I’m Thankful For What I’ve Learned In 2020

No one will argue that 2020 has been quite a year! It’s the first time I’ve experienced a single issue, COVID-19, impact people across the globe in a common way. It’s affected economies and families with tragic consequences.

While I believe that good can come from terrible circumstances, I thought it a good idea to consider what I’m thankful for as we approach the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Here are the top four things I’ve learned and am thankful for in 2020:

  1. I don’t have as much control over my daily life as I thought. I’ve over-estimated my degree of control over events, and when faced in uncertain situations with incomplete information, I may make poorer decisions. I’ve found my situational awareness has improved dramatically. Staying present and tuning in to my environment is critical in safely navigating the world outside my home. I’m more thoughtful about where I go, what I touch, even who I interact with. That has also made me more intentional in my interactions with people and prompted me to check my assumptions and biases. Both of which have proven to be beneficial in all my relationships.
  2. When there is less certainty, I need to be asking more questions and keep an open mind. I’ve found I need to move beyond the status quo because new information may call for doing something different. I’m typically action-oriented and have found, in some situations, it helpful to pause and not do anything until I have more information. I’ve focused on being more self-aware of my tendencies and realize when I need to recalibrate.
  3. All the uncertainty is stressful. I’ve recognized the need to recharge by doing something I enjoy every day. I feel much more balanced and better able to support others and focus on my work when doing something for myself. It’s not selfish; it’s an essential part of self-care.
  4. Patience. I’ve never claimed to be a patient person, and 2020 has allowed me to build some new muscles when it comes to patience. From the election, vaccine development, business shut-downs and reopenings, technology issues, and delays or canceling group gatherings and celebrations, I’ve learned to focus on the big picture and appreciate the importance of delayed gratification.

What about you? I challenge you to reflect on what 2020 has taught you about yourself. What have you learned? How are you better equipped to deal with ambiguity and successfully navigate difficult situations?

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at mduesterhoft@people-results.com.