Although the idea of going through life smoothly with very few hurdles to overcome may seem appealing, that usually isn’t reality – and it actually wouldn’t provide the insights you ultimately need to get to your next level. Individuals and businesses often learn the most when they are faced with adversity, tough economic times or even health challenges. Next time you’re going down a challenging road, remember these five key points:
- Situations are temporary. Danielle LaPorte has a “Manifesto of Encouragement” on her website and one of the quotes is “Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they’ll be thriving like never before. They just can’t see it from where they’re at.” – very wise words!
- Accept help. You likely have people that say “if I can help with anything, just let me know” and believe it or not, they aren’t just saying that. Take them up on their offer for support – whether that means them taking your kids off your hands for the afternoon, bringing dinner, putting in some extra hours at work or just listening, let them take some of the pressure off you.
- Look for the lessons. There are usually a few valuable lessons to be learned in every challenging situation. If you can manage to, try to take a step back and look for those lessons – how did you end up in this situation, what did you contribute to arriving here and what will you do differently in the future so you can avoid (if possible) ending up here again. Simply “surviving” the ordeal isn’t nearly as valuable as what you can learn in the process.
- Keep a positive attitude. This is likely the toughest of all. When things are going sideways, it’s much easier to get caught up in how bad things look and think of the worst case scenario. True leaders will try to rise above the situation and be positive, partially to try to avoid insanity and partially to keep the troops (aka – your team, family, etc.) from needless worry. Having everyone worried that the worst case scenario may become reality doesn’t benefit anyone so stay positive (even if you’re faking it) and everyone in your life, including you, will be further ahead.
- Take care of you. Sometimes it feels like the best solution is working around the clock and burning the candle at both ends to get it solved, but that likely isn’t the case. In fact, exhaustion will leave you without enough brainpower to figure out how to solve the problem. Get rest, eat well and get some exercise – even if that means a short walk around your neighborhood. Without looking after you, you won’t have the right frame of mind to get anything accomplished.
Remember, in times of challenge, perspective is sometimes what it takes to make it through and these five points will help provide that perspective when you’re having a hard time doing so yourself.