“Slow Down to Take Your Control Back and Good Outcomes Will Follow”
Sprinkling in any change into the pool of uncertainty during a pandemic would challenge any group of people. How about adding in a job change when markets are volatile? Looking for a job change is stressful enough in a good environment. It takes on a new form when your company announces that your business has been sold to a formidable competitor headquartered far away, across the country. This is really happening, right now. Control of my future essentially seems lost and in the hands of others. Natural feelings of self-doubt and anxiety start to creep in. Before anyone spins out of control, it is time to slow it all down and do some self-care to effectively move forward.
Now what to do, wait, and see what the fate is of my future sitting in the hands of people I barely even know. Since the announcement in early September of this news, I have been all over the spectrum with my feelings and emotions about this shift. I continue to think about the success that the combined organizations will have coming together, with the creation of opportunities for so many. I tend to put my focus here, thinking about the people I work with. Helping them thrive and succeed at work and in life, through good and bad times.
Whether it is a pandemic, a job change, a health scare, an upcoming surgery, hybrid school days, or whatever attempts to turn your life upside down, I urge you to take your control back with the steps that help you stay present and on-track. Through good times or uncertain ones, being true to ourselves and grateful for what we have are staples to stand by. These are all fairly easy to live out in any situation. I encourage people to identify and connect with the purpose they are delivering to the world. For this exercise, I ask people to invite positivity and to welcome a “greater good” mentality when figuring this out. It can start with just one word that you want to be known for or multiple words that you develop into a purpose statement. Start with one word, for now, identify one that you feel with your heart and one that lights you up. If you need help, check out the website https://myoneword.org and discover your new-found inspiration to live a purposeful life. Once we do, we begin to authentically live a truth that reflects our being and connects us to our authentic selves. It is easier to live as your true self.
My one word in 2020 is enlighten, with the words “ignite” and “inspire” in previous years. I tie the one word into a purpose statement each year and watch how my life connects to it in almost everything I do. It has shaped my mindset, my actions, and my behaviors follow suit. It leads me down the path of who I can become. Join me to experience how fascinating it is to see one word become the fiber of our being.
“Where we put our attention, the results will follow” – Andrea P. Tulley, Psychotherapist
During this unusual year, I have often gone back to the well of positivity to see the silver linings in many aspects of my life. One technique is to intentionally slow down time and reflect on what brings us gratitude. This exercise tends to be heartwarming and focuses on what matters most, right now. Doing this exercise for a day or two is uplifting, yet try doing this for a whole month and see how you feel. I am committing to doing this for the month of October to keep me grounded and present. One way to do this is to write down what you are grateful for each day and briefly jot down why you feel that way. The other approach to consider is including others in your gratitude by directly sharing with them what you are grateful for, why it matters so much to you, and how it makes you feel. You will be giving an unexpected gift to the other people receiving this heartfelt gratitude and raising your own spirits as well. It is like giving yourself an emotional hug as you serve others with the gift of appreciation and worthiness.
Putting these tools to work for myself is helping me stay focused on what matters most. In preparation for a recent presentation to the acquiring Company, it forced me to stop and reflect in divergent ways. I always value the people I work with, yet this time was a bit different. One day, I had a team share their journey and story with me, framing up their passionate mission and everything they have done to support their colleagues to thrive at work. I sat there astonished as I listened to every word they said. I asked them how they felt and they used words like proud, amazed, best team ever, and life-changing. This team started as an idea and tirelessly taught themselves new skills to create new intelligence tools for life. I get why they feel they are a super bowl winning team as they contributed huge value. At this meeting with my people, I got emotional out of admiration. Seeing this team so proud and confident in themselves, and showing a level of belonging, joy and worthiness just filled me with such happy tears. It was just a special moment. One I may have missed and overlooked by not stopping to jump in, at the moment, in a distinct way.
Some might think I let my guard down and showed weakness in that emotional meeting. Heck, I would have felt that way a few years back myself before my personal awakening. I believe that people are better connected from servant leadership and that it takes more courage to share emotions with genuine care for others. What happened to me in this special moment was my purpose: enlighten others to ignite the light inside them to live their possible.
For us to feel joy, we need to accept it in all forms. Seek out gratitude that helps you feel again or at an even higher level and sync up your personal word(s) of purpose. Keeping this internal fire lit each day and inviting the broader world into yours will set you on a course that just might make you unstoppable. These simple steps will help you live through many cycles of uncertainty and arm you with basic practices that intentionally keep us moving forward, one moment at a time. As your moments form into a movement, you will begin living and seeing joyful possibilities appear in front of you out of thin air. When you are ready and you believe, you too will start to feel anything is possible. Be you and live your possible.