In my job as a Commercial Excellence Director and Coach I am often confronted with the question:
- “How do I cope with this?”
Not only is the pressure at work increasing all over the world in any sector, personal life nowadays seems more demanding as well. We are constantly seeking for stability and work-life balance, which sadly is a long-lost myth. As a leader, I constantly look to help my colleagues deal with their difficulties in a more resilient way. Resilience is the ability to ‘bounce back’ when we face challenges.
At work, resilient people are better at dealing with heavy workload, change of organizational structures or constantly changing priorities. How we approach life, and dealing with what it sometimes can throw at us, has a massive impact on our experience.
The good news is, you can learn to be resilient.
“Life is not always easy and we are all facing challenges, but you can choose how you want to see them.”
2. You have a choice..
…to accept. Life is not always easy and we are all facing challenges, but you can choose how you want to see them. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” Lou Holtz. Try to see the positive in the bad. If you don´t see it as a drama, but rather as a chance to grow, you may find it less stressful.
3. Be optimistic…
…and see yourself in control of your mindset. If we judge a situation as negative, we are likely blocking ourselves out for seeing the solution to it. Every demanding situation has a positive side. If we allow our mind to dictate how we judge something, it will take over. Use your mind for your benefit, rather than supporting the negative thoughts to increase your doubts and anxieties.
…is the belief that you can achieve what you set your mind to. Develop confidence in your ability to solve the issues. We all got our own sayings in our head; whether they are true or not, we always listen to them. “Be perfect!” ,“You have to try harder!”, “You always fail!”, just to name a few. When I work with my clients I often use Pippi Longstocking as an example. She said: “I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.” This is a much better and healthier mindset.
5. Are you a victim or a survivor…?
…for distinct reasons, people tend to stay in their victim role. Complaining that the universe is only nice to others but not to them. Moaning that colleagues are better treated by the boss, other entrepreneurs have more success or children are this and that; you get the picture. Complaining about a situation or even blame others for such difficulties won’t help. If you take responsibility for a situation and no longer see yourself as a victim, you gain the control back. Don´t give others the remote control for your life!
6. Ask for help…
…if you are facing a new challenge, find someone to support you. Maybe your network has faced similar situations already and has a perfect solution for you. If not, search for a Mentor or Coach. You don´t have to deal with it alone! But ask the right persons for advice. If you are having a broken ankle you are looking for a doctor not a car mechanic. In other words if you want to build a new business from scratch, take a look for the Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk among your network.
7. The future is bright…
…if you are solution oriented and forward looking. But be careful with your goal setting. Have a clear vision and set your goal SMART and then don’t focus on it. Focus on the process, on the small steps to achieve the small goals on the way to your end goal. Be realistic and work on it each day, step by step. Always remember: every journey starts with a little step: you just need to do it!
A very crucial part on your journey is to celebrate your small successes. Take the time at the end of each day or in the morning, to reflect on your achievements and congratulate yourself.
And if there was a day, that didn’t go the way you have planned it – tell yourself: it was just a day, tomorrow will be a new one. And even if there is more than one day, just move on…
Look at myself 15 years back – being broke, in an abusive marriage and working part time as a fitness instructor to get a better income. Now I am working for a FTSE100 listed company, travelling the world and living partly in Spain and Germany. Money issues are history, so is my marriage and people often say that they wonder, if I ever stop smiling.
So, how did I overcome the money issues to now afford a house in Spain? Well, to quote Arnie Schwarzenegger: “You have to work you’re A** off” but moreover, you must have a vision: believe in yourself and fight back.
I remember as a child, you would find me laying on the grass watching the clouds, trying to find some elephants or rabbits within them. You could also find me with a pile of books ready to dive into the stories and live the life of the characters. One of my favorites was Pippi Longstocking. Her attitude to live her life against the rules appealed hugely to me. I was often called a dreamer and that life has only lemons to provide, that I should stop dreaming and reading and get a grown up, facing the real life.
You would imagine, that this is exactly what I did. I grew up and stopped dreaming until I found myself in a world I never wanted to be in! Worked day in and day out, but money was never enough. There were times, where we only ate Spaghettis with Ketchup for days. I constantly wondered if this is it…until the rest of my life?
Luckily, I met my first Mentor who taught me to dream again, to get my vision moving, get out of the victim role, see my future in a bright light way, stop procrastinating, be optimistic…in a nutshell, I could now build on my resilience and fight back against life’s obstacles.
Sure, a vision alone is not enough, you have to be patient, work hard on your goals, but moreover work on your mindset. Don´t expect that everything will change straight away. But stay open minded, watch out for opportunities provided to you and grab them.
This is the real deal. You can´t dream of being financially settled, while you are broke and then expect to be a millionaire tomorrow. But if you are willing to change and stay open minded, there is the guarantee that your life will eventually change.
People often wonder, how someone can overcome personal tragedy and find back their happiness. My response is always: “You can´t find happiness, it´s an inside job!” Meditation, Yoga, Coaching and Grateful journaling helped me to build my inner Happiness and find my real purpose in life.
Based on my experience as Commercial Excellence Director with more than 20 years in the corporate world, I can tell you that focusing on numbers is the worst you can do to motivate your employees. Clearly goals and numbers are needed, no question about this, but if you care for the health and wellbeing of your employees, eventually they will care for your customers and the numbers are no issue any more. My purpose is to bring back the heart and soul into the corporate world, by the combination of building a solid Commercial structure where people are in the right place and love what they are doing, but also by teaching them techniques to become more resilient.
Teach them some Yoga moves, how to meditate and coach them to develop their happiness and get them finding their purpose in life.
When was the last time you watched the clouds moving?
Exchange your business shoes to rubber boots and jumpe into a puddle.
It´s time! Start the New Year with a fresh mindset!