It may seem unbelievable, but 2020 is about to come to an end. I’m not saying that 2021 will not have its own unique challenges, but this year has been one like no other.
As Rachel Hollis said in a recent interview with Business Chicks CEO Emma Isaacs, “no-one is coming out of 2020 unscathed”.
Most of us have felt fear this year and have been negatively affected in varying degrees in every single aspect of our lives. For some, the virus itself has been the main focus of fear, because of underlying health issues for ourselves or family members. Fear and uncertainty has shown up in our work in multiple ways, because we have had to work from home, for some of us while schooling children. Others have experienced fear and uncertainty from losing jobs and closing businesses.
Mental health has taken a huge toll for many of us because of loss of connection to love ones and having our freedom of movement restricted.
We have all been affected.
And there has been the experience of positive impacts. Slowing down, letting go, connecting deeper with loved ones, having the time to enhance wellbeing and mental health.
I recently spoke to a client who said matter-of-factly – “Before the pandemic, I think I was 6 months away from a heart attack due to work stress and feeling the need to constantly prove myself. Now I have had the chance to slow down and breathe.”
For myself, I knew that I had so much travel in my calendar that I realised I would have to let go of writing my next book for another year. Once I couldn’t travel, I suddenly had an opportunity to shift focus to my writing.
2020 has had shadow and light for all of us and will be an unforgettable and defining moment, so I believe it would be a missed opportunity not to galvanise our experience of this time.
The impacts of this year will play out for many years to come in the areas I have already mentioned such as work and mental health, but adding to that, we in Australia are now in a recession (as are many other places in the world), so we still have much to navigate.
And yet, let’s take the opportunity to acknowledge this year for all of its disappointments and the unexpected opportunities that have presented themselves.
How we choose to look back on this year will impact how we step into 2021.
As I am not a fan of positive thinking, this is not going to be an exercise of sweeping the challenges of the year under the carpet and forcing ourselves to find a silver lining. This is an opportunity to honour the duality that is life; that we can be in the midst of darkness and still experience moments of light. That we can lose something and gain something else in the same moment.
The next 20 questions are a chance for you to acknowledge what you have lost and gained this year. It is an opportunity to own your growth and honour your vulnerabilities.
It is a way of putting a full stop to the end of the year while at the same time allowing what you learn about yourself to inform how you want to move into 2021.
Before we dive into the questions, I need to give some instructions to mitigate the inner critic.
- Do not judge your answers; your experience is your experience.
- There are no right or wrong answers.
- You may not have an answer for all the questions right now; you may need to sit with a question for a while.
20 Questions For 2020
- What have you learnt about the world this year?
- What have you learnt about people?
- What has been your biggest challenge this year?
- What has inspired you this year?
- What have you learnt about yourself?
- What have you learnt in a practical sense in terms of skills?
- What experience of loss have you had this year?
- What do you believe you have gained?
- What are you most proud of yourself for?
- If you could name three people who have supported you this year who are they? Note: Please tell them.
- If you could describe your ‘pre-Covid’ life in 3 words what words would you choose?
- Has this time allowed you to gain clarity on your priorities and if so what are your top 3 priorities right now?
- What three words would you want to describe your life in a ‘Covid normal’ world?
- If you were to create a three-sentence vision for your life in a ‘Covid normal’ world, what would you write?
- What mindset shift would you need to have to bring this vison to life?
- What would you need to stop doing to move towards this vision of your life?
- What would you need to start doing to move toward this vision?
- What commitment do you need to make to yourself to birth this vision?
- What support do you need?
- What will be the first action you need to take to step boldly into 2021?
As I said before setting out the questions, there are no right answers, only your honouring of how 2020 has played out for you.
Some of your answers you knew already, some will surprise you, and some will require deeper reflection and thought.
If you lead a team, answering these questions would be an empowering process to take them through to build connection and possibly celebrate of the journey you have travelled together.
You can also gather together family and friends in real life (or via Zoom of course), and answer these questions.
Trust me; there is nothing more empowering than giving others the space to own their journey.
No-one will end 2020 unscathed, but to try and get to the next chapter without completing the previous one means that we miss the bigger story. We miss the clues, and the essential parts of the narrative.
To pretend 2020 has not happened, is to diminish the profound impact this year has had on you as an individual and on us collectively as a human race.
2020 happened; you get to choose what it means and how it informs the next chapter.
It has been a joy to write for this community for another year.
I look forward to writing the next chapter, chapter 2021, alongside you. x
Regarded as one of Australia’s most sought after speakers and facilitators, and recognised as a leading coach for female executives and entrepreneurs, Kemi Nekvapil is known for her unique ability to empower meaningful action and sustainable growth. Having trained with Dr. Brene Brown, she is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator and a powerful advocate for courageous leadership in life. Kemi is a Business Chicks Premium member and regular contributor to Latte, our magazine published exclusively for Premium members.