The immediate response to this would be yes! Even when we have difficult or bad news to deliver, we will find a way to cloak it in a thinly veiled disguise of happiness. And why wouldn’t we, at the end of the day we would all much prefer that warm and fuzzy feeling that being happy and positive provides to us.
But do we do ourselves a disservice when we don’t allow the challenge and struggle to be met front on. Some times it is accepting that things get tough for all of us but it’s what we do next that counts.
I’ve had some recent challenges myself of late. Way back in early April, whilst working with a client I fell, it was a rather unfortunate accident and it left me with a badly fractured ankle in a delicate part of my right foot. Unfortunately nearly 3 months on it has been a real journey to get my foot and ankle to start healing and begin the long road back to using my foot and ankle again. Without belabouring the point it’s been a real challenge, possibly exacerbated by the fact that when the injury occurred I genuinely thought that I just needed to give it a few days and it would all be fine!
Unfortunately my situation just intensified when they discovered a second fracture that had been missed as part of my original diagnosis. Well didn’t that set me into a spin.
The issue here for me was that as a Business Consultant and owner of my own business how was I going to manage this situation out. My clients rely on me to help them achieve the things they need in their businesses; guiding them with leadership often in new and positive ways. There’s no hiding that I love what I do – I feel for my clients when they are struggling and work with them constantly to nurture them through the process; striving to achieve what it is they are working towards.
BUT…I couldn’t be on hand as I normal and unfortunately I was dealing with my own challenges, including the pain of this type of injury. Now I’m not blowing this out of proportion but when you work for yourself and you are used to being incredibly focused and independent; it’s a shock to the system.
For me it was about creating my own mindset shift. It wasn’t about telling myself that I should or shouldn’t feel bad but accepting that this was my situation and to look forward. To focus on how I was still going to achieve my purpose.
So I considered three key areas:
- Relationships: I looked at my key relationships and connections, I wanted to ensure that our bond was intact through all eventualities. My community ultimately reached out to me as much as I had reached out to them.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. I couldn’t assume that everyone knew what I was experiencing so I spoke honestly to those people that relied on me about my situation. Addressed where the challenges might be and how I could continue to support them. Interestingly nearly everyone had there own story to share with me and was incredibly supportive in return.
- What could we aim for? Having a sense of direction helps us focus, know what we are aiming for. Goals, wishes, dreams, desires they are all part of the bigger picture of what we want today and where we want to be tomorrow. I knew if we could focus on some of the short term things that we could still be constructive and the sense of satisfaction would be enhanced. Taking the time to work on these for myself as well as my clients has definitely helped during my injury down time.
A way to achieve positive movement is through innovation, so in any business when it is experiencing challenges you need to think outside of the box. This doesn’t mean you change things for the sake of doing things differently. But in my situation, my business was being challenged and I needed to operate differently and believed that I could. It required me stress testing what would work and what didn’t, a blend of new techniques with the traditional way I had been doing things. Sometimes things worked and sometimes they didn’t but the continual iteration of what I was doing helped create positive movement.
There have been times of incredible frustration and disruption but it was only as I was pushed out of my comfort zone that my innovation and desire to succeed kicked in. You see it is the blend of positive and negative that build momentum and create shift. Ultimately I’m the winner because I’ve experienced growth, as an individual, a business owner and as a business consultant and coach to my clients. I can’t thank my clients enough for coming on the journey with me. As a result of this experience I have had the opportunity to still contribute to my community and I have received so much more back in return.
Pretty much a win / win situation wouldn’t you say!
Yes, I am in the business of creating positivity, but it is the challenges we meet that help us strive to achieve that positivity each day. What challenges have you faced that have impacted on your business?