5 lessons from the 2020 – the ‘WTF year from hell!’ – How to thrive during uncertain times.

There are only a few people, or businesses, who have found themselves thriving under the current circumstances!

I wondered if it would be useful to share some of the lessons I have learned from my experience of COVID mania!  Read on if you think you would like to hear more – otherwise turn on a good comedy and laugh to boost your immune system! Or better – go and laugh with someone – even if they have to be 6 feet away!

Uncertainty creates fear because we feel out of control. But…the great news is that we always, always have control over one thing. And no one can take that away from us. 

WE control our thoughts; the stories we tell ourselves; how present we are; what we choose to believe and consequently how we choose to behave. WE create our life within the bubble of disruption. WE choose to find something good and work with it – or not. WE choose to show up and do our best – or not. 

The greatest ability we can develop is to observe our thinking – the stories we are telling ourselves. Then assess whether they are helpful or destructive. Become conscious and observe of all your unconscious thoughts and stories. (95-99% of them are unconscious!) Your stories rule your life – but you are NOT your stories!! 

Your emotional state and feelings can change even though nothing in your environment changes. Why do some prisoners of war survive well and others don’t? Mindset. Awareness of thoughts. Control of thoughts and stories. The decision to serve others. The conscious decision to stay present and show up.


Where do we belong? Most of the other global crises I have lived though at some level created cohesion. They pulled people closer together against common ‘enemies’ or entities. 

But COVID is separating us in many different ways – obviously and insidiously. Humans NEED other humans. We need that interaction; the touch; the emotional highs and lows; the heart to heart connections; the capacity to see each other in person; to feel our ’tribe’. The concept of ‘fitting in’ and belonging somewhere is paramount at home and at work – for us to feel alive – even more at the moment. 

All the work done trying to connect people virtually is aimed at one thing – to help people feel they belong to a team and to help them function in a coherent way – even though they can’t really ‘experience’ each other in the flesh – which is so important for all the non verbal clues and cues and to feel the quantum field around us.  Any of you who feel mentioning the field is a bit out there – think of how many times you have felt a ‘vibe’. About a place or a person. It’s usually instant. And accurate. And what you did was to pick up on the ‘field’ energy that was present – either in the person or place.  A culture is really a field that is created by everyone in it. It can be done when everyone is remote – but with much more effort and consciousness.

Thrive lesson 2: WE ARE NEVER SEPARATEWe are all connected, ALL the time – even if you don’t feel it. We are. Know that and make the effort to acknowledge and enhance those connections. Acknowledge people; have long and deep conversations with them; be real; share what is going on for you and ask them how they are – truly listen to them.

What to do with massive change – and with time on your hands but no familiar routine. Or if you are busier than you ever have been – home schooling, learning how to work from home and stay part of a team.

We have all had to learn new routines and patterns and if you have no work at all – like me initially – learn how to not to escape into busy-ness! Wrapped in the difficulty is a precious gift – if you choose to unwrap it! And that gift is to be present. All the time! 

For me, it was a totally new experience to be present, let alone present every moment – present to my feelings being the most difficult challenge! I had no idea that I had not really felt for most of my life. Of course, pre COVID I was busy and usually felt overwhelmed most of the time! I was rarely home and it was difficult to accept I actually didn’t have a life! I had work. 

I was more at home in airports and hotel rooms than at home! Although it was not in any way easy, the value learning to feel and be present has brought to my life is transformational. 

Being present and feeling means I don’t focus on the drama of the past or the fear of the future….it means focusing on feeling calm and noticing what disrupts my calm state. Another great way to be present is to ground yourself. Go into nature. It calms us down; soothes our stress and souls; nature teaches us when we are still and observe and feel. Walk barefoot or stand barefoot on the ground. Get out into the sunshine – or at least go outside. Swim in the ocean. Bushwalk. 

Thrive lesson 3: BE PRESENT. Slow down. Take a breath. Be right here, right now and notice how you are feeling. Then observe what you are saying to yourself to create that feeling. Then choose a different story or at least realise you have been living your life on the story of a 0-7 year old and decide if you want to keep doing it! (Visit my Youtube channel – amandagoretv – to see more detail on this).

Show up! Show up as YOU! Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be conscious of any dissonance within you – or discomfort or a feeling that something is not right. Ask yourself – are you being really honest – with yourself and others? Do you have the low grade feeling of something is not right….that people will find out you actually are not up to the task – or that they will find out you are not good enough! It’s called imposter syndrome and is rampant – but we rarely talk about it! 

Are you authentically expressing how you really feel? As long as the environment you are in is a safe one and the people are emotionally safe – be vulnerable and connect heart to heart with others. Sharing your experience and feelings with others gives them permission to do the same – it takes courage to be vulnerable – but the rewards are huge. As I have learned in the last year myself! I really believed I was being authentic – in fact, it was one of my core values. What I have learned as I have worked ON myself – not just lost myself rushing around IN my life drama – is that I was ‘authentic’ to my persona! The version of me I had created to make sure no one realised I was actually worthless! Or that was the story I had told myself – that I was worthless – which came from an experience I had when I was 2. The scary part is that I had no idea until I was 60 that I had told myself and believed I was worthless. 

Discover the stories you have been telling yourself (since childhood!) – those stories are NOT YOU but they rule your life and create all the patterns you see being repeated. Observe your thinking and anytime you are not feeling good about yourself, listen to the story you are telling yourself in that moment – question it! Most of the time it is SO not true – but something you took on as a toddler. 

Thrive lesson 4: WORK ON YOURSELF – Find the real you – that amazing being that you really are.  Be authentic to that, be real and vulnerable. Have the courage to do the work and show up! 

Be Grateful!

Gratitude needs no introduction. Oodles of studies show the feeling gratitude and choosing to be grateful changes your entire physiology. It is the master ‘re-framer’. It changes everything that happens to you or around you – IF you choose to see things with gratitude – to actively look for things for which to be grateful. Or to look for something for which to be grateful in everything and everyone.

Thrive lesson 5: FIND THINGS FOR WHICH TO BE GRATEFUL – every morning, every night – and preferably every minute!

So the WTF year from hell held within it amazing opportunities for you to find yourself and your real purpose in life. If you choose to see it that way and do the work! I have and am SO grateful I embarked on this challenging but really rewarding experience.


Amanda Gore

If Amanda can help you or your business during these challenging times please reach out below!