The Day Covid stole my voice… & what I discovered without it

I had been lucky throughout the early years of this pandemic that I had not caught Covid. I was working from home mostly and had little international travel. Just when it seemed that we were over the worst of it, Omicron found me in Summer 2022.

To say I was ill, was and understatement. I felt I had gone 10 rounds with Muhammad Ali with no gloves and receiving repeated blows to my ribs, back and throat area. It was the single worst illness I can ever remember experiencing.

One of the lasting impacts of the virus and the subsequent infections that came in its stead was that I lost my voice. I could hardly whisper and for a few weeks the pain in my throat so severe that I could barely eat.

The loss of voice meant that all my work stopped, since as a coach and consultant I am not expected to sit quiet in a meeting. I could have raged and worried about my predicament, but instead I just accepted my fate. I relaxed into the unfolding, first of the illness and the slow road to recovery. Having had a period of serious illness in 2008, I knew that my thoughts, plans or expectations had little to do with the speed of my healing. I learned through that earlier illness, that railing against my body did me little good and often contributed to my prolonged state of ill health.

Not being able to contribute to my client’s work or coach or continue my LinkedIn Live series, I had time to reflect on what was really important to me. Was my ‘busyness’ really contributing value to my clients and was it serving my highest calling?

The feedback I received during this time tole me I was adding value and appreciated, but was this in the best way possible?

The enforced break from work allowed me to concentrate on my writing and complete my third book The Inclusion Edge. I believe the extra time I could invest resulted in a better book, but perhaps you may be a judge of that when it comes out soon.

What I realised through my enforced silence is that I needed to take time to understand what was important to me and what was I trying to achieve. I still love my coaching work and am committed to helping as many career women as possible. But I feel I could do more. I want to make this world a better place. Perhaps that is why my next book is about Diversity and Belonging. Can we with our combined efforts make a world that is kinder, more compassionate and treads more lightly on the earth’s fragile resources? I believe we can and you will see as I start to share the work of the book that I want to help to do that. Together we can all contribute to a better world.

Moving forward I have renewed my commitment to my core values and the impact I want to make on the world. I will lead with kindness since that is my core value and this will be evident in everything I communicate.

If my work is not helping to positively improve lives, it is not my work

My role is to amplify the voice and potential of others. I wish to help my clients to shine and reach their full potential and in doing so, I will fulfill mine.

Despite being robbed by Covid, I feel it has given me the grace of time and reflection to make deeper commitment to my work and my values going forward.

I’d love to hear your comments. Do share!

The Inclusion Edge is out soon on Amazon.

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