Firstly, thank you to all the amazing people in our community that wrote to me personally, offering their condolences and best wishes. Your caring and big hearts blew me away. I shared them with my beloved and responded to each one (it took some time), thank you so very much!
I was amazed at the open-hearted sharing of those of you that wrote to me. Many of you have also faced the death of a loved one or endured other big challenges that you shared. Life is full of challenges and tough times, especially over the last couple of years.
In a recent conversation with my good friend Paul Spiers from the New P&L, I asked what he has heard from business leaders regarding what their biggest challenge is right now. His answer, Powerlessness. Having been smashed by the pandemic, leaders are now getting hit by a recession. Massive inflation, rising interest rates, poor engagement levels, and supply-line disruptions all make the running of business very difficult.
Whether it is the loss of a loved one or a huge challenge either professionally or privately, we can all feel powerless at times. This can lead to the loss of momentum, low motivation, poor decision making and fear of failure, which in turn reduces courage. These states undermine our ability to lead ourselves and even our teams into a bright future.
It is Billy Ocean’s song that sums it up well, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” We are now in an economic winter, and there is one thing I know for sure. Things are going to get tougher before spring comes.
Following are some of the things that have helped me overcome adversity and step up when I have needed to the most. I hope you find them useful moving forward in the weeks and months to come.
Vision – When times are tough and I find myself struggling to move forward I remind myself of a Māori proverb, “Aim for the clouds, so that if you miss them you will hit a lofty mountain.”Focusing on something bigger than yourself gives you a sense of purpose. Do you know your purpose? What about a vision for your life, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years from now? We are what we focus on, and more importantly, we feel what we focus on. Focus on what you want and it will be so.
State – A principle from Cognitive Behavioural Sciences says ‘All behaviour is state dependent.’Change your behaviour, change your results and to do so we must be masters of our own state. To be masters of our state we must be masters of our physiology, focus and meaning. I have addressed focus to an extent above. Our physiology, how we move, carry ourselves, and our posture all affect how we feel. This is why exercise is the number one thing we can do to boost our mood and move into a more uplifting positive state. Lastly, we are all meaning makers, there is no meaning out there just the meaning we make and give to things. Make sure you find the positive meaning in everything you experience. You can do this by asking yourself the question, “What is the opportunity in this problem right now?”
Be Resourceful – Most people want more resources to succeed. More money, people, love, fill in the dotted line. Those that overcome challenges and thrive when times are tough are the ones that get resourceful. Getting resourceful means going internal and accessing your resources. It starts with a belief that… “I have all the resources I need to succeed within me.”A resourceful mindset is what is going to get you through tough times the most. You might not have the external resources right now that you need but if you get resourceful enough you will make it through and succeed.