You’ve gone as high as you possibly can, right? Have you truly pushed yourself as far as you can go? Do you have it in you to push just a little bit farther or harder? Are you giving up now that you feel you’ve reached the pinnacle of success in either business or in life — or both?
Could it be that you’ve reached a point at which you’re just going to give up? That brass ring is just this far out of reach and you simply can’t push yourself any further? Well, you should push forward. Striving, pushing yourself to greater heights fuels even more activity and even more success. I truly believe that.
What can you do? Here are my three suggestions:
- Make sure you have proper perspective. There are times when it feels that all the walls are caving in, but when this happens you need to take a deep breath and step back so you can get a new perspective. You may need to talk to a friend or family member or trusted business colleague to help you regain perspective.
- Dream big. Live large. No one says you can’t dream big. If you don’t put out big dreams for yourself, who will? Push your limits to achieve big dreams. If you have a long term goal that is HUGE, break it into smaller bite-sized chunks then go for it!
- Attitude matters. If you’re positive you will draw in positive energy and positive people. Negativity feeds negativity and so a positive attitude will feed a positive attitude. See what you can do to gain a more positive attitude then push forward.
What can you do to achieve a dream?
There are times in both life and business when you will get thrown a curve ball. How you handle it reflects on both your resiliency and your attitude. A positive attitude and a tendency toward resiliency will help you roll with it and get back on your feet.
Here are some lessons to keep in mind when things simply aren’t going your way:
- Be bold. Take a chance. Put yourself out there and see what the world sends back. It may not always be the boon you’d hoped for but you will never know until you try, right?
- Remember, life goes on. Yes, there are times when you’re dealt a devastating blow but once you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take stock — even if it takes a couple of days — you can get back on course. In business, rarely is failing fatal.
- Know when to simply let go. There are times in business and in life when you have to know when to walk away — whether from a personal relationship or a business client that is draining your energies and not appreciating your efforts.
How do you face challenges? What do you do to come out the other side?
When Things Get Dark – Turn On The Lights…
Have you ever felt a little discouraged, a little down, maybe even a little hopeless? We all have and it’s what you do when this feeling begins to creep in that makes all the difference.
I was sitting this morning writing in preparation for an upcoming “Keynote” presentation when my mind drifted… (does yours ever do that?). I thought back to a time not that long ago, when a series of events, one right after the other, left me exhausted, and I felt discouragement slipping into the recesses on my mind.
It all begins so innocent, so subtle. A little thought enters… “you could have done it better”, or “you should have been more prepared”. We can be quite harsh on ourselves at times. But as soon as I realized these thoughts were taking over, driving me down, I paused to take a different view of the thoughts.
You see, unless you interfere with the pattern, break the flow of self-condemnation and abasement; you will rapidly lose the strength to combat the problem. Before long, you become overwhelmed, with your focused shifted to a direction where solutions seem too far away to reach.
Before I go on, I want you to know, that no matter what has happened, it’s never too late to turn it around, and turn it around in a big way…, but first you have to “turn it on”.
“Turning it on” refers to the release of an endless source of energy, ideas, and creativity that lies within all of us. It never goes away, but we can allow it to become hidden, buried, and disguised so that we do not recognize it any longer. In fact, in time we can completely forget it is even there.
Let’s first take a closer look at discouragement so we can better understand the challenge.
- Universal. Almost everyone has been discouraged at one time or another.
- Recurring. You may overcome discouragement one week, only to face it again the next.
- Contagious. Watch out for those who want to pull you down by indulging in negativity and self-pity.
- Unpredictable. You never know when it will strike you or a loved one.
- Temporary. It will pass if you respond correctly.
Discouragement differs from disappointment. When our expectations aren’t met, we feel disappointed. But discouragement, a feeling of despair and despondency, is a choice. We can choose to remain dejected or determine to work through our feelings and overcome them. So we may ask, “what are the causes of discouragement”?
The causes of discouragement are…
- Inability to please others
- Physical or verbal abuse
- Unanswered prayer
- Lack of proper recognition
- Financial pressure
- Health problems
- Unexplained adversity
- Feelings of worthlessness
We may also ask, “what will happen to me if I allow discouragement to remain”?
The consequences of discouragement are…
- Divided attention—If you are discouraged, you may not be able to work wholeheartedly.
- Placing blame—When you feel down, be careful not to dwell on the wrongs of others.
- Anger and depression—Unless you address the inner roots of discouragement, you will never overcome negative feelings.
- Estrangement—People push others away by constantly grumbling.
- Loss of confidence—Every aspect of your life will suffer when you feel unsure of yourself.
- Negative spirit—Remembering and rehashing painful events.
- Unwise decisions—Discouragement can cloud your judgment.
H. Spiritual drift—Depression is fertile ground for seeds of doubt.
So how do you find the inner strength, remove the mask that hides the assets required to depart from the discouragement and “turn it on”. Let’s take a look at the cure!
- Look within yourself. Ask, Why am I discouraged?
- Look up. Faith has the ability to rescue you from harmful attitudes.
- Look back. Don’t dwell on hurtful things in the past. Instead, think about God’s faithfulness to deliver you.
- Look ahead. Focus on what God is doing now in your life. Realize the fact that you are special, designed with a purpose and part of a much larger “strategic plan”. Then, be encouraged by what He has planned for your future.
Then, once we have mentally and spiritually dealt with the challenge, there are some specific steps we can take.
- Rest. Physical and emotional exhaustion often lead to discouragement.
- Nourish. When your body is depleted from the healthy foods it needs and the water it craves, your resistance to discouragement is weakened.
- Reorganize your life. In other words, evaluate your use of time, energy, and other resources. Make sure you’re doing the right things in the right way. Clean house, organize your desk and make ready for a new flow of energy.
- Resolve to trust God. Believe that He is in control (Ps. 103:19), loves you, and will never leave you (Heb. 13:5). He can turn any adversity into something beautiful, something good.
- Resist discouragement. Ask God to reveal the best response to your difficulty. You will be amazed at the difference a positive attitude makes.
Are you tired of being discouraged? You don’t have to stay that way. Whether or not the situations around you change, you can experience joy, peace, and contentment. Circumstances don’t have to dictate emotions. Read the Bible and allow Scripture to permeate your mind and heart. Discouragement will lose its foothold, and joy will return.
Then there’s one last step…, the step that can make all the difference.
You see at the root of the problem was some thought, plan, or responsibility that you did not act upon, or that you acted incorrectly upon. Now with renewed energy and cleared thinking, take action to resolve the challenge, do the work, and make the most of your newfound clarity and direction.
There are countless examples of discouragement in the lives of famous and accomplished people. In fact it is almost without exception found in the lives of those we respect as the greatest leaders of all time. But though discouraged, they did not allow it to take their lives from them. They “took action” and turned the darkness into light.
You, as I, as many others, can do the same thing. The best time to start, is always…, now!
Attitude is everything — at the holidays and year round. Consider the phrase, “A person is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.” If you think about it, it’s true. If you’re unhappy, your negativity will follow you and impact those around you. If you project a positive attitude that will surround those around you and feed on itself.
Adopting an “attitude of gratitude” is about more than counting your blessings on the holidays, it is about starting the day with a round up of your blessings and stopping to count them during the day. Embracing an attitude of gratitude means that you recognize your blessings as they occur throughout the day, week, month and year. Keep your mind and heart open to those blessings and expect them to come to you as you go about your day.
Remember, your attitude is the spyglass through which you view your day and your world. Your attitude is something over which you have the power to choose — good or bad — it is no one’s choice but your own. Is the glass through which you view the world clean and shiny or streaky and dirty?
Take a few minutes now, when you wake up in the morning, and before you go to bed at night to write down the blessings with which you’ve been favored. Your blessings and your attitude define your character and help you become the person that you are and the attitude through which you view the world.
Studies have long shown that individuals have about 40% control over their mindset. If you feel you’re not in control or if your 40% isn’t positive, there may be ways to retrain your brain, through your actions, to enhance a more positive attitude. Here are a few steps to take toward a sunnier outlook on life:
- Make time for yourself. You need to step away from your business and your daily stressors as a way toward a happier outlook. If you can take a ten-minute “you” break, you just might be happier. If possible, go outside for your ten-minute you breaks.
- Count your blessings. In times of stress it’s easy to look at what you don’t have or what you wish you hadn’t lost. Take some time at the beginning and end of each day and count your blessings on what you do have, what you accomplished and what you have to look forward to.
- Push yourself toward greater heights. Challenging yourself and taking initiative helps you feel more in control of your life and your business. It’s also found that pessimists tend to sit back and wait for things to come to them or to happen and this leads to dissatisfaction. Raise the bar at work and home and then reap the rewards of your hard work.
What do you do to enhance your attitude?
The power of positive thinking can’t be denied, but then neither can the power of surrounding yourself with positive people! I believe that positivity not only brings inner peace, but it leads you toward a path of success, enhances your health and happiness and helps you improve relationships with friends, family and business associates.
Here are some of my thoughts on the benefits of surrounding yourself (both personally and professionally) with positive people:
- Just as bad moods are contagious, so too, are good moods! If you exude positive energy, those around you will pick up on that and it will surround you like a ray of sunshine. Project the attitude you would like to surround yourself with.
- Positive thinking can also impact project outcomes. If you’re in the midst of a difficult task, but are thinking positively, the project will likely move along more smoothly and you’ll see a better outcome to your efforts!
- Your inner dialogue affects your actions. When you’re working on a project tell yourself, “I can do this,” or “Even though this is trying, it is possible!” These words will help you power through your projects whether it’s writing a blog post, working on an accounting issue or preparing for a speech.
Here are some steps I take to boost my positivity every day:
- I surround myself with people who feed me positive energy and I offer mine right back to them!
- I read scripture or a passage of an inspirational (to me) book every day
- I watch movies or listen to music that moves me toward happiness
What do you do to be positive for both yourself and those around you?