Got Grit? The One Question You Need to Ask Yourself

22 03 2015

Worry. Never have we worried so much … with so little good to come from it. I am reminded how little value worry has … in fact the impact of worry is similar to fear; it’s a success killer. It gets in the way of performance. Like negative mental rehearsal, we end up creating the very thing we are trying to avoid. The next time you really want to “fly, soar, and succeed at work” remember the Flying Wallenda’s, an aerial circus family out of the U.S. In the late 1970’s the eldest Wallenda, Karl, was performing on the tight rope tied to two of the tallest buildings in Puerto Rico. On that occasion he fell to his death. Some time after he died his wife was interviewed about what happened, and she said, “It was the first time he ever spoke about falling off. He became consumed by the safety details, the weather, and ensuring all the guide wires were correct. Prior to this event, these concerns were not on his radar, he never spent time worrying about them.” We move in the direction of our dominant thoughts. What we pay attention to creates our reality. Now is the time to practice Focus, Optimism, and Persistence. In short to build real GRIT. Read on, for the best question you can ask yourself when your internal weather turns and the gale force winds push fear straight in your face. GRIT disarms fear. And it’s not that hard to do. Here’s the one question you need to ask yourself every day to ward off fear, recover, and regain confidence and perspective. POWERFUL QUESTION:

If I knew that everything was going to turn out just fine, maybe even better than I hoped, how would I be today? How would I use this time in a way that serves me, my family and my leadership?

Managing worry and fear is a new life and business imperative. It is not pollyanna to focus forward, continue to do good work and believe that it matters. It takes a great deal of resilience and grit to move through uncertain times with confidence. And you can.

Why should you act as though everything is going to be ok? 1. Because what’s the alternative? It’s the only thought that serves you. Believing there is nothing you can do … leads to “who cares, so what, why bother, what’s the point?” and that just doesn’t help. Fear can be paralyzing. It will shut you down. Worry keeps you painfully in the future and serves no useful purpose. It’s like negative mental rehearsal. It’s this simple: Tell yourself a bad story — leads to bad feelings — leads to bad actions. (you can fill in the blanks) Tell yourself a good story — leads to good feelings — leads to good actions (again fill in the blanks) Pick a story that serves you. It will lead you to point #2. 2. It leads to purposeful action. Asking yourself, “What can I do now?”, is a great question. It is always a great question because it keeps you firmly planted in the here and now, where you can do something worthwhile. If work slows down or production slows down, how could you use this time to get better and prepare for what’s next? If you knew everything was going to be ok, how would you use this window in time? What do you need to learn? How can you rejuvenate? What needs some fine-tuning? This is resilient thinking that leads to action and engagement. 3. You become a positive force. Every family and workplace needs someone who is not all doom and gloom, who is calm and confident and models grace and resilience. Your energy is contagious. You are a breath of fresh air. We need you. Think of what you can model to your kids by showing them how you handle the tough times. 4. Deep confidence is inspiring. Someone who is truly inspired is not attached to outcomes. When you get so focusssed on the result or goal that you are gunning for, and things go sideways it is hard to stay invested. When big goals are driving the action, fear often rides shot-gun. What if it can’t be done? People who are inspired, do things because it is the right thing to do. Because there is no choice. It represents the truth. Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. What are you willing to work at, with no guarantees? Because the work itself matters. This is the real secret to GRIT.





Time to Wake UP!!

5 02 2012

Have YOU seen the big yellow signs? With the black writing … the ones that say, “Wake UP!” … “Get UP!” If you look you will see them on billboards, in bus stops, on benches … at first I thought it was a personal message from the universe confirming my big intention for 2012 to “Wake UP!” Not really, though it did make me smile … BUUUUT, what if it is a unversal message for everyone to “Wake UP!”

 This month I challenge you to preserve the one thing you can amidst all the chaos, information overload, task overwhelm and endless racing … YOURSELF! Wake up, be more aware and get clear!

 It is impossible to be fully engaged until you do. It is so easy to become reactive and lose yourself in a fog of frantic activity. What are your plans to move past distraction and overwhelm?

 You can decide to make 2012 different, simply by paying attention differently. Take back your senses, respond thoughtfully and …

2012 – Time for Something Different?

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s time to pay attention – to really notice who you are and what you want and then FOCUS on creating all that!

 The biggest obstacle to engagement for me and you, is the assault on our senses of too much noisy meaningless information. The impact is a numbing down … a way of defending against overwhelm. Sooo, we stop noticing – our vision gets narrow and cloudy. We begin to react to whatever is most in our face and we stop seeing clearly and responding effectively.

The world is in chaos … lets just be honest. Everything is turning and shifting – it has to. And so do we. So my big question to you now is, “How are you planning to shift your perspective in order to see things more clearly and take bolder more purposeful action?”

 1. Head into 2012 with OPEN Eyes.

  • What are you pretending not to know?
  •  What are you purposely not looking at?
  • What are you avoiding?

These are great questions to ask yourself regularly. What one or two questions would help you see more clearly in 2012? We make ourselves powerless when we choose not to know. And we give ourselves hope when we insist on looking. We can learn to see better. Wisdom starts with simple questions …

  • What could I know?
  • What should I know that I don’t know? 
  • Just what am I missing here?

This year these are the questions I will be asking myself more of the time.

 2.  Where you Look Shapes What You See

Did you see those big yellow signs cajoling you to wake up … If you didn’t, I bet you will now! 

Have you ever noticed that once you have come up with an opinion, focus, or “story” the facts to support your perspective show up everywhere. (that’s why I noticed those dang signs everywhere). Try being playful with your opinions … choose an opposite perspective and sink way into it. Now look around … can you see new information that supports this other opinion?

If you have an idea that is really scaring you right now … decide to look at is an an adventure and opportunity for bringing something new into your life and experience.

 Why does Zappos pay people to quit … (instead of recruiting people with more money?) Because Zappos culture is not for everybody. Zappos wants to learn if thre’s a bad fit between what makes the organization tick and what makes employees tick.

There is a bigger lesson here … stop trying to hold onto what doesn’t work for you… there’s another perspective that holds more fun and fulfillment … what does work for you?!

    3. Nuke Nostalgia 

In 2012 there are some things you no doubt want to let go of because they no longer serve you. What are they? Many people get stuck feeling like the opportunities, experiences and relationships they want in their life are not present. A good place to start is by asking yourself what do I need to let go of? Making room for something allows it to show up!

 4. Choose Two or Three Words

To boldly set a new intention for 2012 choose two or three words. My two words are aware and awake. It’s only been a couple of weeks and I have already noticed a difference in the way I’m paying attention and the choices I make as a result. What are your two words.

 20 seconds of FUN .. watch this video and see what happens when people are distracted while texting … it could happen to you!

 http://youtu.be/mg11glsBW4Y  

 





How are you managing fear and uncertainty?

20 09 2011

 

How are you dealing with fear and uncertainty?

Six Things You Could Do More Often …

  “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which

 you really stop to look fear in the face … Do the thing you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

 Do you understand the impact of fear and uncertainty on the people you work with? Prevailing fear around the global economy alongside so many other unfathomable big-time changes have left people feeling unhinged and in deep question about pretty much everything in their life and work. Fear unchecked and unmanaged, leads to paralysis and a “wait and see” attitude that can erode engagement and productivity even in the best workplaces. 

A recent Gallup Poll on Engagement says that only 12-20% of people are engaged at work. The rest are disengaged, or worse, actively disengaged. What if you could increase engagement and productivity by even 10%? What would that be worth to your bottom line?

 Consider:

  • What tools have you given your people leaders lately to deal with change and uncertainty?
  • Is it time to change the way people communicate and openly honestly discuss the challenges we all face?
  • How can your leaders role model resilience and fortitude?
  • How are you encouraging leaders to deal with the emotional roller coaster of change?

 

WorkHeart, the Engagement Specialists, would love to provide your leaders with powerful and practical tools to improve overall engagement and ultimately your bottom line.

 How are YOU Managing Fear and Uncertainty? 

Recently I read an article (Macleans Aug 2011) about how Navy Seals manage fear. I realized as I read it that I have been a suck when it comes to managing the fear of change. My inclination, and many people’s, is to take a passive approach to getting through it. If you don’t have a concrete actionable strategy, except to hope for the best, distract yourself from the discomfort, and wait ’til it passes you are not alone. What can you and I learn from Navy Seals?

 1.       Sometimes life is uncomfortable – deal with it. You can’t quit … Sometimes.

Have you ever asked yourself this question – Am I really up for this? Can I handle the not knowing how things are going to turn out? If you were training to be a Navy Seal … which I know you are not, but if you were, you would endure a fair amount of discomfort. It’s called Hell Week.

 Imagine, being naked in the Pacific with stage two hypothermia. Your trainer gets you out of the water and calls you over. You run over shaking uncontrollably and he offers you a cup of hot chocolate. He walks you over by the warm ambulance and says “I know that you don`t need this … ring this bell, I`ll let you drink that hot chocolate, put a blanket around you, and put you in the back of that ambulance.“ You look in the ambulance and see a half dozen other guys in there sipping hot chocolate. You ask yourself, “What am I doing?!“ Then you catch yourself and hand the trainer back the hot chocolate.

 When would you do that? Hand back the proverbial hot chocolate? Do you default too often, to comforting yourself?  Are you bold enough to do the right thing? These are the questions I am asking myself now. Sometimes you shouldn`t take the hot chocolate. What is important enough … what is the bigger stake that compels YOU to stay with the discomfort?

   2.       Fight Your Instincts … Don`t Run and Don`t Hide

Fear makes you want to “fight or flight“ … either way it is about ending the gap, coming to a resolution, forcing an outcome. What are the alternatives? Can you stay with something, endure the uncertainty and move patiently towards what you really want? Do you have the fortitude?

   3.       Stay in This Moment

When asked how a Navy Seal gets through Hell Week, Howard Wasdin, a former Navy Seal on Team Six (the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden), says simply, “You have to look at it as Hell Minute.“ Their focus is getting through the next minute. When you are in a particularly challenging time, saying I just have to get through the next month seems like an eternity, particularly if you are literally freezing and starving and in danger. Fear is pointing you to be present right now … only with that kind of focus can you assess and make choices that serve your real goals. Stress will take you right out of the moment and get in the way of clear thinking.

  4.       Stay Committed to “Your Something Bigger“

The one thing that you know about a Navy Seal is that they won`t quit. How committed are you to your new business, to your fitness goals, to finishing a project or simply to living your life on your terms? Will you stay with it, even when it gets harder than you even imagined it could be? Without passion and vision you cannot endure the challenge.

 5.       Practice Using Fear to Your Advantage

When fear strikes what do you do? Here is something I try to remember about many things … “You don`t rise to the occasion, you sink to your level of practice.“ So how do you know that you will access calm, presence, focus and clarity when you are afraid? You practice. Take time each day to breathe, slow down your heart rate, become centered and grounded. Feel it in your body physically. Don`t let the endgame come into your thinking. When fear kicks in, you have rehearsed extreme presence so many times that the training and muscle memory take over.  NOW, really is the time to begin a meditation practice. The best leaders do.

 6.       Ask Yourself Some Clarifying and Inspiring Questions

Finally … check this video out. http://youtu.be/pkFRwhJEOos.  Johnathon Fields has a trailer for a new book called, The Uncertainty Book, coming out in September 2011. He asks three important questions. They have inspired me and moved me to action. Fear and Paralysis don`t need to live together … why not let fear trigger a whole new set of actions and convictions?

 ·         What if I fail and recover?

·         What if I do nothing?

·         What if I succeed?

 

   Sooo, what are YOU learning? How and what are your people leaders communicating about change and uncertainty? More importantly what are they role modelling?

 *I was saddened to hear that Navy Seals (from Team 6) were recently shot down over Afghanistan.