Last week I shared a very honest reflection of how I’m coping personally and professionally through this time. It was truly amazing to read and respond to all of the emails you sent in response. I love corresponding with you all and now feels like an especially good time to connect virtually.
This week I wanted to share what might be summed up as part two of what I wrote last week. If you’ve been a long time reader of The Storytelling Non-Profit, you may remember past years when I shared year-end reflections and reflection workbooks o help you with your own reflection and planning processes.
Reflection is my #1 tool for navigating life. Whether it’s journaling or just spending a few minutes thinking while my coffee brews, I try to find pockets of time for reflection. I’ll tell you this has been harder these days with a two month old 🙂 And yet, I still try to prioritize this.
I use questions as a way to start any reflection process. Today I’ll share some of the questions that I’m using to help myself get through this time personally and professionally.
What will I wish I had done now four months from now?
Questions like this are at the heart of most planning processes for me. It’s great to set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and do a brain dump of everything that comes to mind. Then, give yourself a chance to read through what you wrote and try to prioritize what is essential. It usually becomes pretty clear to me that there’s a lot of stuff on my list that doesn’t really matter. Realizing that is a weight off my mind and helps me focus my energy in the right places.
What is calling my attention today?
I don’t need to tell you that emotions are running high right now. One of my strategies for processing my emotions is to find a focus for them. I use this question to chart a course for my day, identify what might be on my mind so I can address it, or use it as an intentional check in with myself. This could be a question that you ask yourself while drinking your morning coffee, or as you sit down to begin your work day.
What do I know to be true?
When I’m feeling lost or a little uncertain about what’s next in my work, I use this question. By writing down a list of things I know to be true, I focus on the facts and (mostly) known variables. I find that this gives me the perspective I need to make better decisions. You might find this question helpful as you try to make short or medium term decisions about your fundraising or communications program.
What encouragement or assurance do I need?
I’ve used this question at so many points in my life to identify what it is I need to hear to quiet my anxiety or kickstart my motivation. I’ve also realized that sometimes it’s something I need to hear from someone else, that’s great to realize because it helps us meet our needs.
What would bring me joy today?
This is more of a personal reflection question than a professional one. If I’m having a tough day or feeling in a bit of a funk, asking this question directs me towards something that may make me feel a little better. Oftentimes, it’s not anything big. Recently some of my daily answers to this question have been: watching an episode of a favorite show, taking an afternoon nap (a benefit of working at home!), watching my daughter practice rolling over, and enjoying the cherry blossoms in my yard. It’s a bit cliche but sometimes the simple things can bring us a good amount of solace and joy.
I hope these reflection questions support you through this time. I’d love to hear what else I can do to support you through these weekly emails and in my blog posts. Would you like more questions like this? Personal stories? Or do you need some practical work-related resources? Let me know.