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Project Slippers – Week 11-15 Update

They say third time lucky, but this is now the third instalment of the Project Slippers round-up and COVID continues to impact the world, which doesn’t feel very lucky…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of roundups of ‘Project Slippers’ – the period of time I’ve spent working in lockdown as a result of COVID-19.

If you’ve missed the first two round-up instalments, take a look down the list of blog posts to catch-up on weeks 1 to 5 and 6 to 10. This chapter takes us from week 11 to week 15.

Here goes…

Week 11 - Week Ending 29/05/2020 - "The Strange Supermarket"

This week has been a strange one….

Although the lockdown is largely the same as it has always been, with only a gentle releasing to allow people to visit public outside spaces more often, it feels very different.

During my trip to the supermarket, I was surprised to see families shopping with their children, and very very few people wearing masks and gloves. In fact, I think people were looking at me a bit funny as I zipped around wearing my mask and gloves; at least I think it was the mask and the gloves that was causing the funny looks!

I'm continuing lockdown life and Project Slippers in largely the same way as I have been for the last 11 weeks. Thankfully, business is keeping me busy in my office during the day, and in the evenings,  I've been enjoying my usual walk or cycle ride.

Over the weekend, 'Project Garden Meeting Area' was also complete, which is fantastic. And yes, it was:

  • On time
  • On budget
  • As per scope
  • All requirements delivered!

It'll be used initially for some much-needed relaxation, and in the coming weeks it'll be the venue for social distance meetings with colleagues (when the lockdown guidelines allow...).

It's all about adapting and innovating. Digital meeting solutions like Zoom and Teams have been a lifeline over the last few weeks of lockdown, but it's still good to have face to face meetings, albeit at a distance (when we're allowed) . You could call it an omni-channel approach! 

The next Project is 'Project Fence Replacement'. Planning and preparations are underway…

Stay safe everyone and keep innovating!

Week 12 - Week Ending 05/06/2020 - “Learn, Adapt, Evolve"

The next stage of the lockdown release has taken place this week in the UK. Some businesses have been allowed to go back to work, including car Dealerships (in England) and ‘outdoor services’, such as markets, and individuals can now socialise with more people outside of their household (whilst maintaining social distancing guidelines).

It’s uncertain times for business, and the coming weeks and months will be focused on recovering at least some of their lost revenue from the last weeks and months of lockdown.  

I really hope that every business, whether affected by COVID19 or not, uses these unprecedented times as a way of diversifying, transforming and innovating. (Yes, "unprecedented times" is an overused phrase, but it's a true description of what we're all experiencing right now.)

I have always prided myself on being an innovator. However, I also pride myself on being someone who never stops learning; both in my personal and my business life.

COVID19 has demonstrated why we should never stop learning, never stop innovating, and never stop listening to our customers.

I'm certainly going to continue diversifying and expanding my wings into new territory. My entrepreneurial thinking cap is on, so watch this space!

It's time to learn, adapt & evolve...

Week 13 - Week Ending 12/06/2020 - “Self-Worth Check-In"

I’ve talked about self-worth before, so I thought I’d reignite the topic this week with a self-worth check-in.

Firstly, what is self-worth? 

John Niland from the Self-Worth Academy describes it in this way:

“Self-worth is a deep belief in your inherent value as a person, from a position of unconditional friendship with yourself. You don’t earn self-worth by doing worthy things: you already have it.”

And he explains why it’s so important:

“Our current culture of the “optimized” self is creating a fair share of problems. For example, a nagging sense of insecurity, a lot of energy spent proving ourselves, sometimes even depression, often with quite successful people, whose experience is a sense of disappointment with themselves.”

I am proud to be a Certified Associate of the Self-Worth Academy, following completion of their residential training course in 2019. This training and certification afford me the skills and capability to support people with their life and career transitions.

And now more than ever, people are considering their life and career transformations; and if they’re not, they should be!

Lockdown and the entire COVID19 pandemic should be used as an opportunity to transform and evolve ourselves.

 Are we valued by our employer?

Are we truly happy in the work we’re doing?

Do our earnings match our value?

Do we have the Sunday evening feeling of dread before the working week starts again?

Are we critical to the business we work within?

The Self Worth Academy and its Associates, have created a list of 32 signs that your self-worth might be low:

  1. Feelings of inadequacy, “I’m not enough”, self-criticism
  2. Constantly trying to impress other people all the time
  3. Doing projects to prove your credibility (e.g. getting one qualification after another)
  4. Doing, doing... unable to rest. Over-servicing clients or boss or family e.g. doing far more than is required.
  5. Prolonged feelings of sadness, resignation or loss of hope
  6. Dreading social occasions
  7. Being consistently under-paid
  8. Paralysis: unable to take any action, slump in energy
  9. Constantly comparing self unfavourably to others
  10. Blaming: people, past, society etc.
  11. Inability to connect with any sense of purpose, even after repeated attempts to do so
  12. Isolation, unable to connect with others
  13. Addictive behaviours or patterns
  14. Fear about the future, constant gnawing feelings of anxiety
  15. Feeling unlovable
  16. Impostor syndrome – dreading being “found out”
  17. Deeply wounded by setbacks, rejection or criticism. Taking days / weeks to recover.
  18. Unable to show vulnerability- maintaining a mask at all times.
  19. Loud, talking all the time, needing to be the centre of attention
  20. Difficulty saying No
  21. Perfectionism
  22. Feeling like a victim, helplessness
  23. Difficulty with self-care e.g. ignoring or minimising one’s needs
  24. Feelings of not deserving, always being “wrong”
  25. Numbness
  26. Secrets, hiding of self
  27. Feeling like an outcast or outsider, not belonging
  28. Working too hard for things you don’t really want
  29. Pretending: e.g. to know what you don't know
  30. Inability to be on your own
  31. Always apologising, saying “sorry!”
  32. Putting the needs of others before your own

How many can you tick?

I’ll let you in on a secret…as soon as you tick one of these items, it’s a sign that your self-worth could be low, and therefore, you may need to think about some self-care, and perhaps even spending some time evaluating and transforming something in your life to regenerate your self-worth.

There’s no shame in your self-worth being dented; it happens to us all. The trick is to do something about it!

We’re in a strange period where we need to be prepared to ride the wave of change? And how do we do that? We learn to surf!

If you’ve ticked one or more items in the list above and fancy learning to surf the wave of change, reach out to me and we can go surfing together! 

Week 14 - Week Ending 19/06/2020 - “Footsteps Of Inspiration"

The lockdown measures are continuing to be lifted slowly in the UK. This week saw "non-essential" shops being allowed to open in England, which includes clothes shops. There was a flurry of people queuing (and in some cases, fighting!) to get into the shops. When interviewed by the media, they cited the "need for a trip out" as being their main reason for queuing outside a shop for 3 hours before it opens.

I must say, even after 14 weeks of lockdown, there are no shops that I am that desperate to visit - even for a trip out - that would warrant me queuing for hours to get in. I am still very conscious and aware of the risk of the virus and have chosen to continue with the approach of limiting my time away from home, to necessary journeys.

Talking of necessary journeys….one trip I am looking forward to is to my hairdresser in early July when they're allowed to operate again! After 20 weeks (my regular appointment was scheduled for a few days after the lockdown was initiated!), it's definitely a necessary trip!

Back to this week….

This week I have been inspired by friends' and colleagues' social media posts about their fitness activities. Once again, I have found myself spending far too much time in the office and not enough time on my feet getting fresh air!

I have channelled that inspiration into the purchase of a new gadget; a fitness tracker device thingy!

After doing my research (it's the Business Analyst in me!), I settled on a Garmin device and I have now entered the world of tracking my steps! To be fair, as I write this, it's only day 3 since it arrived, but so far, so good! I enjoy meeting goals and targets, so hopefully wearing a device that reminds me of my daily step target and weekly activity target will be the motivation I need to spend more time away from the office.

If only it tracked the number of emails I write and web calls I attend; I'd be exceeding every target it could set for me!

It also has a 'stress-ometer' function though, which will be an interesting read when I get my weekly results….!

Have a safe (and active and stress free!) week…

Week 15 - Week Ending 26/06/2020 - “A Momentous Moment"

Guess what I did this week?

It was very exciting and a real turning point in the events of the last 4 months…

I had a meeting....

...in person…

...with real people…

...at a distance of course, and without the usual hand shakes at the start and the end of the meeting, but it felt like a ground-breaking and momentous moment nonetheless!

It's amazing how a level of 'corona-phobia' can kick in when you take a first step like this. I've spent the last 15 weeks at home, only venturing out for essential supermarket visits. I know some people are far more relaxed, and have embraced the new lockdown release measures introduced over the last few weeks. Some people have pushed the measures, and some have completely ignored them. The point is, we can't judge how each other are feeling and acting; we must respect each other. 

However, once I had levelled my 'corona-phobia' (and ensured I had a stock of anti-bac gel and anti-bac wipes in my handbag, I was very excited to be venturing out for something other than milk and bread!)

It was great to do my hair and make-up for the first time in months, to wear smart clothes (no tracksuit or shorts and t-shirts!), and to know I can still walk in heels (no slippers!)

And best of all, the meeting was very productive and exciting!

I'm looking forward to further embracing the lockdown release as it progresses over the coming weeks. Personally, my journeys out of the house will still only be for essential purposes, but business development is definitely essential. We need to help to rebuild the economy, and build our own businesses, whilst staying safe of course.

And on a final note, although it was lovely to get dressed up and wear heels, I am now back in my shorts and t-shirt….and slippers of course….