As we appear to be exiting the worst of the pandemic and re-entering the world we used to know under somewhat different terms and conditions, many people are questioning what’s important to them going forward into the next phase of their lives, recognising maybe for the first time what they really value, want more of, what they can no longer tolerate, what they simply do and don’t want.

While whirring away in the daily routine of life at work or home for years, there was little time or inclination to take this sort of ‘helicopter’ view. But Covid-19 and all its trappings, changed that. We had time, and plenty of it, in confined spaces with a limited number of people, working and ‘Zooming’ from morning ‘til night or getting to know every blade of grass in a 5km radius, depending on whether you were front-lined or furloughed.

But this new perspective presents a different kind of instability than was experienced over the past 18 months when we were told what we could and couldn’t do. This came with the ‘you can now hug your granny’ set of instructions.  Now the choices are increasingly ours to own, and people are feeling challenged in ways they never were before.

Resistance to the norm, the ‘done thing’, the unquestioning ‘normality’, has increased and this is something we often don’t know how to navigate. For much of our lives, we have followed familiar and often expected pathways. This internal shift has happened somewhat by default, through circumstances beyond our control.  

On an everyday basis, this is what we unknowingly tend to do. We wait for things to force change, rather than choose change, we stay in 'the comfort zone'. Other times, it’s unfortunate, unplanned events, such as redundancy, illness or bereavement, that foist change upon us. But in these times, the tendency is to feel more like victims, rather than creators of a new life experience more of our choosing.

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is that everything can change in an instant, there are no guarantees, there is no controlling everything, there is only making the best decisions you can with the information you have at any given time, over and over again. But I believe it has also taught us that we only have one life to lead and that we should value it and make the most of the experience.

Change challenges us, so we have a choice to stay as we are until life changes things for us, that is, we respond to external forces, or we can choose to design our own lives, with all the opportunity and challenge that may bring. We may revert back to comfort zones or we may build confidence and resilience as we live life more as we choose to. There is no right or wrong decision, only what works best for you. 


Breda Stewart

Core Needs Coaching

You’re always making choices … even when standing still

Phone: 087 7436254