The coronavirus chronicles: Rethinking redux

IN last week’s column, we explored the power of rethinking and how it can impact our lives and work.  This is especially meaningful now that we are in mid-year 2022, and are navigating a whole new post-pandemic world.

In another article, Minda Zetlin suggests a mental readjustment in four key areas: your relationships with other people, your relationship with circumstances, your relationship with time, and your relationship with yourself. She says This 4-Step Plan Will Help You Reach Your Most Ambitious Goals in 2022.

This time, she gets a little help from Wendy Capland, executive coach to such companies as IBM and Bank of America, and author of the best-selling book, Your Next Bold Move.

Capland says that these are the four things that “stop you from dreaming, that stop you thinking that something is or is not possible for you. That can stop you in your tracks.”

Here is Capland’s advice on how you can keep these relationships from becoming obstacles in your work or life.

Rethink your relationships with others

Relationships are very important in work and in life. This is especially true in the Philippines when good relationships can open doors, and give us an edge when doing our tasks.  These can also make us very happy.

There are times, however, when we have to rethink relationships that don’t seem to be going right.  Capland recalls a time when she asked her manager for a raise and was told that she had the maximum salary for her position—and couldn’t possibly be paid any more.  Then she left, and another manager came in and said, “Oh, we’ll give you a promotion. That’ll do it.”

When we face rejection, we can work on changing a person’s perceptions, “making sure your boss, customer, or co-worker knows just what you can do and how much your work can benefit them. That may help your boss or your customer see you in a new light.”

If not, “it may be time for you to rethink the relationship and whether it’s time to move on to another one.” Whatever you do, “if someone in your life or work has a limiting view of you and your abilities, don’t let that limiting view bleed into your own view of yourself.”

Rethink your relationship with circumstances

We cannot control circumstances around us—what is happening in our family, our workplace, our neighborhood, our country.  The pandemic is one circumstance where many of us felt helpless, but after two years, we have seen how different people have had different responses. Some responses have allowed them to rise above the circumstances, others have not been so lucky.

The reality is “only you can determine whether you are truly bound by circumstances.” With this, it will be good for us to ask yourself some what-if questions.

What if this circumstance could be changed in this way? What if you could ask someone for help with part of it? What if there is a way to turn this circumstance to your advantage? These are some ways of rethinking.

Rethink your relationship with time

“I cannot tell you how often I hear, ‘I don’t have the time,’” Capland says.  “But if I told you you need to drop everything right now and go to the hospital because someone you love had a terrible accident, you can be damn sure you can do it. People just use the excuse, ‘I’m too busy, I don’t have the time.’”

If you want something, “you have to reprioritize what you’re doing so you will have time for it.”

In Four Thousand Weeks, Oliver Burkeman points out that we all have a limited amount of time on this planet, let alone in our workweek. That is why it is often said that time is currency and should not be wasted.

As such, as Capland says, “if you can’t find the time for something you truly care about, you should reexamine your priorities. Figure out if any of the things you spend time on could be reduced or eliminated.”

More importantly, “make a date with yourself—write it in your calendar—to set aside time for whatever it is you want to make sure to do.”

Rethink your relationship with yourself

Believe it or not—your own beliefs can be stopping you from reaching your goals, Capland says.

“Our beliefs create our thoughts, create our actions, create our results,” she says. “You can look at everything you have around you and your life, and you can tie it all back to the belief you have.”

A limiting view of your capabilities, for example, could rob you of the success you deserve.  If your beliefs are holding you back, how can you change that? How can you change your relationship with yourself?

Capland believes in getting another point of view or seeking outside help—a counselor, a coach, a trainer, a mentor.

All in all, “changing how we see our circumstances, how we prioritize our time, our relationships with others, and most importantly—rethinking all these areas can help move you forward in your career and life.  It can take you to places might never imagined?”  Will you give it a try?

PR Matters is a roundtable column by members of the local chapter of the United Kingdom-based International Public Relations Association (Ipra), the world’s premier association for senior professionals around the world. Millie Dizon, the senior vice president for Marketing and Communications of SM, is the former local chairman.

We are devoting a special column each month to answer the reader’s questions about public relations.  Please send your comments and questions to [email protected]

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