Overcoming exhaustion with social capital

Getting through the pandemic will take a marathoner’s spirit. Turn to your network when your energy starts to flag
We get by with a little help from our well-nurtured network of friends and colleagues. (Photo: Yalcinsonat, Dreamstime)

For many of us, our new COVID-19 reality can feel a bit like the movie “Groundhog Day,” or like we are perpetually treading water without making any real progress. When we perceive how many things are still unknown about what to expect, planning for the future can be a challenge. It is easy to start strong, but the true rewards are for those who, through endurance and perseverance, finish strong.

Related: Social capital in a crisis

We must be laser focused on our goals and the steps it will take to reach them, and then with grit and tenacity, we must take action. I encourage you to revisit the goals you set for this year. Are they still in alignment with where you want to go and what you what to accomplish? Revise them as necessary and begin outlining actionable steps that you can take to achieve them. Unexpected circumstances, like a pandemic, can offer unexpected opportunities if we are able to perceive them. It may require a shift in our strategy, trying new methods and doing things differently, but being flexible and willing to learn allows this to be an exciting part of the process.

Once you have clear goals and actionable steps, you need an accountability partner — someone who knows your goals and action plan, and is willing to consistently discuss your progress toward them.

Over the next 90 days, spend time revising your goals and your action plan. Find that person (or people) who can hold you accountable and help you stay focused. Most importantly, take daily action to reach your goals!

Many have asked, “How do I build social capital during a pandemic, when I cannot connect with people the way I used to?” My encouragement to them is to “get creative.” There are still many needs in the world around us and many opportunities to add value for people we know. Perhaps where you once sent an email or a text, now you can make a phone call or invite someone to Zoom for a more personal conversation. Maybe what once was a large event becomes a few small, intimate gatherings. Instead of speaking to congregations of people, maybe now we have the chance to get to know someone one on one, allowing us to understand more about what is important to them individually.

Related: In uncertain times, leaders take action

Cultivating social capital requires a “long-game” mindset. Much like on our path to reach our goals, we must be willing to revisit our methods and adopt new strategies. Successfully navigating this pandemic requires us to have endurance, pressing forward for an undetermined length of time with consistency and positivity. The steps we have taken to cultivate social capital now go beyond creating professional opportunities and give us a place to turn for help should our capacity for endurance fail.


Leave a Reply