Written by Kate Billing, Founder & Creative Director, Blacksmith

(Part One in a seven-part series) A 2 minute read.

COVID-19 is everywhere we look, listen, and live.

To be honest, I’m getting a little numb to its constant appearance in my email inbox, in my social media feeds, and in my conversations.

 But…this has me thinking.

 Could we use this pervasiveness as a power for good in helping us thrive?

 I’ve come up with a recipe for thriving in ‘the current reality’ using COVID-19 as an acronym.

The C Word 2

It’s helping me and I thought it might help you too. Each week for the next seven weeks I’ll unpack each of these words in a blog along with a tool or practice you can use to build that muscle and/or mindset.


Compassion for self and others is critical in this trying time. Having care and concern for our own suffering and for the suffering of others, in what must be the single most powerful example of our common humanity and shared human experience in our lifetimes, will be fundamental to us making it through this in better shape than when we went in.

Self-compassion starts with something my Mum used to say to me when I was younger: “Be your own best friend”. Are you allowing yourself to feel all of this experience? Are you getting caught up in your fears and negative self-talk? Are you treating yourself with words and deeds of kindness?

Dr. Kristin Neff is a world leader in the field of self-compassion and her website www.self-compassion.org is chock full of resources and practices to help you be a little kinder and more compassionate to yourself. I recommend heading straight to the ‘PRACTICES’ page to explore the guided meditations and the eight different self-compassion exercises.

When it comes to compassion for others, the Blacksmith team has a practice we use in our work with leaders we call The 5 Steps – A Compassion Practice (PDF here for you to download and use). It’s a simple and powerful practice which I’ve been using personally for about 12 years and which I thoroughly recommend.

You can use it on your partner, your kids, the customer service person on the end of the phone, supermarket staff or fellow shoppers…anyone who may be testing the edges of your resilience, politeness, and humanness…and they don’t ever need to know!

Just put your attention on them and walk through the 5 steps in your mind. You’ll be amazed at what happens: in your mind, in your feelings for the other person, and in your behaviour as a result.

Give it a go.

Next week we’ll look at OPTIMISM and how to build it even in the most trying of times.


P.S: If you haven’t already, sign up to join our growing Fully Human Tribe HERE or at the bottom of this page and we’ll keep you posted with upcoming events, new thinking and development opportunities!