Ready, Set, Reflect.
June 27, 2014
As the week winds down and the weekend begins, I find myself thinking a little about the importance of checking in during our downtime. We work in a business that is ever-moving and ever-changing. It’s full of personalities, opinions, deadlines, egos, great challenges and opportunities. When we are in our groove, it can feel invigorating, but when we begin to slip, it can begin to feel overwhelming. More importantly, we must all remember that doing too much of anything, even something we love, can lead to burnout and underperformance.
Today, I would like to share a few ways I have learned to address any concerns that come up when I am making assessments.
What’s The Bottom Line? If this sounds a little direct, it’s because it is. There are all kinds of reasons, feelings, and anxieties that circle around a specific thing, but unless you know exactly what that thing is, you’ll never find a lasting solution to the problem. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, undervalued or blocked, say it clearly to yourself without judgement. Then think of three solid ways to address it, and set a plan in motion to do something every single day to solve the issue. Avoidance only leads to underperformance in that it not only clouds up the mind, but it causes costly distractions (think procrastination).
Be Honest With Yourself: When working so closely with others, it’s easy to participate in the blame-shift game. Design will point fingers at production, planners will question florists, and soon. The truth is that we are all professionals in control of ourselves, which means that there is always something we can do to make the situation better. That’s why it is essential to sit down and really think about how you are contributing to any stressful situation, personal or professional, with others or yourself. If you pay close attention to the way you speak and act, as well as the habits you indulge in, you’ll likely find a few areas to tweak, and that may make all of the difference.
Be Willing To Change: Having gone through a number of personal challenges in my life, I know there’s a big difference between saying you want to change, or even knowing it, and being willing to do the work to make the changes necessary to move into a healthier and more productive direction. Pushing yourself to do something you don’t want to do won’t work, so if you’re not going to give your all to getting up earlier, polishing your communication skills, restructuring your business or whatever it is you want to do, it’s better to shelve it.
Make a Plan: This could be the process I mentioned above (identifying three key points and then breaking them down into daily steps). Enroll into a class, take more time for yourself, and go into the world and get inspired by visiting more museums or taking a vacation (both of which can be done with loved ones or colleagues you want to spend more time with).
Be Realistic: If you are like me, getting motivated is not the issue, staying motivated is. I started out in this business as a man in need of a job, and my company took decades to become what it is today (which is still such a wonderful surprise to me). My addiction to sweets is under control today, but there was a time when I would go home and eat a gallon of ice cream after swearing I would stop. Change takes time – overextending yourself or punishing yourself for inevitable set-backs, while expecting everything to be different the moment you want it to be, is unrealistic. It sets yourself up for negative feelings and defeat.
I will close by letting you all know that whatever you are facing in your life that you want to change, you are not alone. We are all human and flawed and looking to do better and be better, regardless of what level of success we have achieved. The key is to get up every day and try. You never know, it might be the day that changes your life forever.
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