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5 Powerful Lessons to Shift Your Mindset from Surviving 2020 to Thriving in 2021

As with years past, there were numerous ornaments on our Christmas tree, but none as meaningful as the one my sister gave us to commemorate 2020 (pictured above). It reads, “We survived!” I am sure my family is not alone in screaming this phrase from the mountain tops: “We survived one of the toughest years on record, marked by a pandemic, political confusion, social unrest, virtual school, and more at home time than any of us anticipated. We survived it all! Nothing could have prepared us for what 2020 bought to our doorsteps.”

Being an optimist at heart, I’m already looking for the silver lining, a glimmer of hope, and the lessons learned. Surviving 2020 is great – I’m still here, but thriving is where I want to be in 2021. As I reflect on 2020, here are 5 powerful lessons I’m taking into 2021.

1. It’s not over, just because things look dead. It felt like the entire world was crumbling as COVID-19 spread across the globe. I watched my busy February calendar become amazingly open in March and April. Nearly 80% of my business was face-to-face. I thought it was over for me and the work I do. Then, “pivot” became the buzz word, and that’s what I did. I invested in a good headset, some additional lighting, moved things around in my tiny home office, and started converting my content to delivery virtually. I learned it’s not over, just because things look dead. It just means it’s time to look for a new opportunity.

2. Karma is real. Treat people well because you never know when you’ll need someone to help you. My two youngest children, husband, and I tested positive for COVID-19. My children’s symptoms were mild, but my husband and I developed COVID pneumonia. Our oldest child (COVID-free) was left to care for her younger sisters while my husband and I were hospitalized to treat the pneumonia. The outpour of love and support we received during that time and throughout our recovery was amazing. We didn’t realize how many lives we had touched over the years until we were in a position of need. We didn’t have to ask; things just came when we needed it. I was reminded to treat people well because it will come back to you.

3. Laughter is medicine for the soul, so find the joy in life it’s too short to live any other way. There were so many moments during 2020 that felt as if all the joy was sucked out of the atmosphere. You couldn’t escape it – the news, social media, even my personal experience with the coronavirus reinforced the negative feelings. It forced me to find joy in the simple things like playing board games with the family, teaching my mom how to get on Zoom, scrolling through TikTok, and most importantly turning to my faith. As I turned my focus away from everything wrong with this world to all the things that I was grateful for the joy returned along with moments of deep belly laughter. It was medicine for my soul.

4. Change is sometimes painful but necessary. This year forced us all to change whether we liked or not. Change was necessary to adapt to the new way of doing things. Staying the same was not an option, because the old way of doing things no longer existed. This year has taught me to not fear change, but to welcome it. The change process is painful, but the other side of change can lead to even bigger opportunities.

5. Walk in the direction of your North Star. When chaos is all around you, it’s easy to get lost and lose focus. It felt as the rug had been pulled from under my feet. The impact that 2020 had on my business and my family left me feeling off balance. Until I got my footing, I found myself mimicking the actions of others without success. I learned that clarity doesn’t come while standing still. Clarity comes when you start walking in the direction of your North Star.

Like so many of you, I walked into 2020 one version of myself and I’m walking out as a different version. The 2.0 upgrade! I survived 2020, now it’s time to thrive in 2021.



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