I write this as the month of February comes to a close. Truth be told, it’s been a very challenging month on just about every level imaginable. Despite a myriad of significant challenges, problems, and a wave of general adversity, we are looking forward to March. I have been tested this month. My co-workers have been tested this month. My wife and my sons have been tested this month. It’s been a month that we’d just as soon turn the page on and forget forever. Still, we are optimistic. Despite our beloved dog leaving life behind, despite two of my three co-workers needing surgery, despite one of my co-workers helping her only sister fight for her life, despite my wife having a bad crash skiing on a Mountain in Colorado and needing surgery, despite my 401k and IRAs taking a dive due to the Coronavirus panic, despite one of my best friends fighting an illness most of the month, despite losing another friend to cancer, things are looking pretty good for March and beyond. I’ve been thinking about mindsets and attitudes, and how easy it is to lose the positive and begin to feel sorry for yourself when bad luck starts to visit you regularly. If you want to do a gut check on your attitude for the rest of the year, read on.
Fear Will Challenge Your Confidence
I had a coaching session earlier this week with a new client, a very successful guy that I’ve known for over a decade. He told me his number one challenge is that he doesn’t feel completely like he belongs. He feels a bit like an imposter, who is calling on CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs, and somehow, despite nearly 25+ years of experience, he doesn’t feel worthy of their time and attention. I was stopped in my tracks. This guy is one of the very best sales professionals at one of the very finest technology consulting firms in this country and he has every right to be brimming with confidence that he belongs at ANY meeting. And yet, for some reason, despite years of significant accomplishment and consistently high performance, he is letting his fears tell him he doesn’t deserve a seat at the table with the C-Suite Executives he needs to call on to continue to grow his business. Fear will do that to you. It’s not legitimate. It’s not rational. It’s not real. It’s just there. So, I told him to go to his next C-Suite Executive meeting armed with a ton of research and preparation, to just go in there and create value for the C-Suite Executives by verifying what you’ve learned in your preparations. By understanding proactively what they’re trying to accomplish, you will build your self credibility and prove yourself worthy of an ongoing relationship with the Executives and begin to build a long term relationship with them. Simultaneously, you will kick your Fear to the curb by ignoring it.
Adversity Comes In Waves
February has brought waves of problems and adversity for me, my family, and my colleagues in our firm. Every time we thought “OK, at least things cannot get any worse….” then things got worse with the next challenge. At that exact moment, when adversity arrives and you stare into the face of a problem that you must handle, you will realize that you cannot control the circumstances of this challenge. The one and only thing that you can control, nearly completely, is your attitude, your mindset, and how you choose to play your cards in addressing the adversity. You can choose to play your victim card and feel sorry for yourself, and things are likely to go from bad to worse. You can choose to play your hand with a positive mindset, expecting to be able to master the challenge and overcome the adversity. In my experience, that is by far the quickest route to a successful outcome. Adversity may visit you on Monday, and it may stop by again on Tuesday, and if it crosses your path again on Wednesday, you may well be tempted to get down and let it overwhelm you, but you must not. If you don’t see adversity for what it is, you will only see the challenges and the problems inherent in the disappointment. You won’t see the opportunity to learn or the opportunity to gain confidence that lies within. Seize the day! Fight the good fight! Turn and face the bitter wind with all of the resolve you can muster. Believe! Continue to believe! In yourself! In the rest of your team! Do not let adversity wash you away, stand your ground and fight to make something positive out of the challenges. In doing so, you will become a better, stronger, and more worthy adversary…
You’re Going To Want To Quit
I promise you, no matter how strong your resolve to remain positive and proactive, a serious challenge will come along that will tempt you to give in. Your toil and pain will make the burden seem unbearable. Your anguish will make you conclude that the sacrifice is not worth it. Your lungs may be screaming, and your arms and legs longing for a respite. “Screw it, this just isn’t worth the suffering…” your mind will say. Don’t you listen to that diseased voice when it speaks to you about giving in or giving up. Don’t you dare allow yourself to believe that the suffering doesn’t lead to value. The thing about adversity is that we see the downside readily, easily, and quickly. What we struggle to see at all are the benefits we gain from overcoming adversity. We gain confidence from every new accomplishment. We gain muscle memory from vanquishing our worst fears. We receive grace from having paid the price when we have fought all the way through the challenge from beginning to end. We learn from the sacrifice. We learn from the suffering. We become better, faster, stronger, and smarter. And then one day, the adversity that used to be insurmountable, finally becomes surmountable. We overcome it. We win! We celebrate the sweet taste of victory. Don’t quit. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever, if the thing that is challenging you can yield a benefit by continuing to battle it. Believe in yourself. Believe in your team. Believe in your ultimate ability to turn adversity into a stepping stone.
Talk To An Experienced Coach
Adversity has been having its way with me, my friends, my colleagues, and my family for the better part of the month of February. We’ve had the urge to throw up our hands and talk about how unfair these insults and challenges have been. We’ve heard that voice that suggests that maybe we should throw in the towel and take the easy way out. But we haven’t given an inch. We’re still in the game, we’re still battling, we’re still competing to overcome each and every challenge as best we can. We are resilient and we are becoming more resolved to outlast this losing streak with every challenge. In the end, we will overcome adversity or we’ll die trying, happily believing that our luck is about to change. We will keep bringing our best. We will keep fighting for all we are worth. Good luck, Jeannie! Good luck, Amy! Good luck, Linda! Good luck, Clyde! We’re going to miss you, Izzy! And keep believing in yourself, Michael!
We hope you gain something useful from this article today. If you’d like to talk to an experienced coach about adversity in the workplace and how to overcome challenges, we are here for you. You can overcome anything with the right mindset. Be strong! You too can overcome adversity and gain so much for pushing through the hard challenges in life. We gained resolve to continue fighting by writing this article for you. Keep fighting!