Can you hear that sound? That’s the populations collective sigh as New Zealand once again experiences a Lockdown as a result of COVID-19.
Beyond frustrating, isn’t it? Despite the best efforts of “the team of 5 million”, in spite of the plan to “go hard, go early”, and after the hundreds of exhortations to “be kind”, here we are again, right back at Square One.
It’s enough to do one’s head in.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to despair, doom, gloom, and a sense of hopelessness: it’s the ability to determine the difference between what we can influence, verses what we become concerned about.
Our concerns can be overwhelming because they never really have an endpoint. Our influence, however, is much more manageable because it has a much smaller space to move.
In a lock down we can influence our immediate environment, the people in our bubble, and our resources (e.g. time, money, activity) – that’s pretty much it.
Our concerns, however, can reach all the way into the future, be aimed at the highest realms of government, and become focused on people, places, and things that we ultimately have no control over (e.g. the Pandemic Management Plan, the passing of laws, the closing of a country’s borders, and the loss of jobs and businesses).
To keep a clear head, we must focus on our circle of influence, not our circle of concern. A Circle of Influence list may look like this:
a. What immediate health and safety practices in and outside the home do I need to put in place?
b. From where do I trust to secure accurate information about what is actually going on?
c. What agreements do I need to reach with my family / partner to determine a way through this situation?
d. What job opportunities are revealing themselves as being “recession-proof”, and which of these job types might be suitable for me going forward?
e. How should I better prepare for situations like this in the future?
f. What am I going to have to give up in order to get out of this situation in one piece?
Get to work on this list as soon as possible, and add your own influence questions as well, as this will give you an immediate sense of purpose and control.
Concerns are like rabbits, and there is no point chasing twenty rabbits, when you only need one for a meal.
Steve is the Director of Relationship Matters Ltd. He holds two applied Bachelor's degrees (Counselling & Addiction) and a P.G. Dip. in Applied Social Practice. Steve is married with two children and lives in West Auckland.