There are better days than others! There are days that we feel we can conquer the world. We feel excited about our job or with our business and feel we are on the right track to accomplish our dreams. However, life is full of ups and downs and there are situations that put a lot of pressure on us. We might feel that circumstances are bigger than what we can handle. We may feel difficulty to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we lose sight, feel stressed, frustrated and lost.
If this is your case: Don’t lose hope! Take a moment, a breath and try out these strategies that have worked for me to bounce back and keep moving forward!
Seek support from family, friends or organizations. Do not get isolated! Accept help and support from others that care about you. Share your situation with people you trust. Being able to talk about your situation with someone, helps you release pressure, gain more clarity or even a new perspective. If you are the kind of person that prefer to keep your work problems to yourself not to worry your loved ones, look for other means of getting support such as having a personal coach, counsellor or joining organizations where you can build meaningful relationships. However, if you are more introvert and find it challenging to reach out, I have found that writing about your problems, might have similar effects as talking to other people. It prevents accumulating pressure and emotions within you.
Take breaks and time to recover. When you are overloaded with work, highly stressed or frustrated take a break to cut this negative loop. If your work or daily activity requires you to be mentally active, get a break where no mental activity is involved, such as going for a walk or exercising. If on the other hand, you are most of the time in physical activity, pause with reading a book, watching a video or listening to your favourite music. According to Peter Drucker, it is recommended to take breaks every ninety minutes. It does not need to be a long break, but rather a few minutes. Some ideas are: walk to the coffee machine grasp a coffee, take the stairs (if any) and go outside for a few minutes to take a few long breaths. It is therefore important that you identify activities that will reboot your energy. Identify short and long activities that will reenergize you and fit them into your schedule.
Remember your WHY! A sense of purpose or destiny is essential to build resilience. Understanding the reasons behind the things you do become your inner drive. Make use of different resources that help you remember those reasons, such as quotes, books, songs among others. An additional exercise that has worked for me is to create an image that I associate with my why. For example, if you are working hard to give a good education to your children, you can visualize your children graduating from school, being successful, and all the emotions that this image brings to you. Access that image whenever you need to reboot.
Take ownership. You can’t control external factors nor circumstances, you can’t control your boss, colleagues or clients’ behaviours. But certainly, you are in control of your reaction. Taking ownership means accepting the fact that as humans we have the choice on how to respond to adversity. Blaming people won’t resolve the problem and may even increase the pressure or frustration.
Look at the bright sight. There is always a positive side to any situation. In those difficult times, when you feel like giving up, start reviewing all that you have achieved, your strengths, be grateful for what you have, and start to think how this situation can make you stronger.
Resilience is described as the ability to bounce back when facing adversity. When we overcome obstacles, we realize the great courage and power to face difficulties. We hence realize our ability to choose and change the pressure from a negative emotion into a driving force. It is then that we understand many resources we always have within us.
My husband and I started our relationship on St. Valentine’s Day 17 years ago. Last weekend we went to celebrate by going out to a nice restaurant. We sat at the bar and ask for a cocktail and as we were talking I noticed a nice question written with chalk on one of the walls of the bar: When was the last time that you felt something for the first time?
This question triggered me to remember our most precious memories as a couple, but also made me reflect on other areas of my life such as my career, friends and family by asking myself 3 meaningful questions that I want to share with you:
- When was the last time you were feeling “in love” with your work?
Many of us spend long hours at work. Some of us are completely in love and engaged in what we do. If you are in this category, take a moment to be grateful for having this opportunity and use this energy to transfer your passion into everything you do as well as to motivate yourself to overcome challenges.
Some others on the contrary might feel trapped doing something they don’t like. If this is the case, it is time to take action and start thinking how could you transition to a more meaningful job. You always have choice that with adequate planning and execution can lead to a better outcome. In the mean time, try to find the positives of your situation, it will help you to release some stress and have a creative mindset to look for other opportunities.
“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” – Jim Rohn
- When was the last time you acknowledged the good work of a colleague?
Successful leaders acknowledge the good work of their team members and celebrate success, even small accomplishments. Whether you are a team leader or a team member, take a moment to mention to some of your colleagues what you admire of them. By doing so, you can inspire others to do the same and create a collaborative and positive environment.
“Compliment people. Magnify their strengths not their weaknesses” – Unknown
- When was the last time that you said “thank you” to a friend or family member for her/his constant support?
We are captured by our busy schedules trying to get as much as we can in a single day. It is easy to take for granted those people that are constantly supporting us. Sometimes we even find it easier to de-prioritize those we love most. Stop for a moment and give a big thank you to those important persons in your life such as spouse, friends, siblings, and/or parents that have contributed to who you are.
“Gratitude is the most beautiful way to express all that’s in your heart with two words: THANK YOU. -Katarina Mayer
It is important to ask yourself these sorts of questions regularly and not only on St. Valentine’s Day. Grateful people are happier!
As the year begins it is very common that we think about new goals to achieve. Many will have not only one goal but plenty in mind for example, to lose weight, change jobs, have a promotion, buy a new house, start a business or many others. However, how many of these goals are you really committed to?
Here are some insights that I have collected that will help you to achieve your goals and get results.
1.Write your goals down: It is scientifically proven that when you write your goals down your commitment towards these goals improve. Make a list of all your goals for this year and prioritise them.
2. Keep it simple. Less is more: A very common excuse to leave our goals is lack of time. We have our own commitments and the “To do” list never ends. Focusing on too many goals at the same time is not recommended. Most of the time we end up doing a bit of everything and achieving nothing. Take a look at your goals in the list you make and focus on the one that is most important to you. Put all your effort and commitment on this one goal. As you start seeing results and you have mastered taking action towards that goal start with the following on your list. You will see that small changes have also a domino effect and when you realise you are able to achieve results in one area of your life, you will see effects in other areas as well.
3. Make a plan. Focus on smaller steps: Change can be scary, and overwhelming. Depending on what our goals are you may visualise them very far away and too difficult to achieve. It is therefore important to break down these goals in very small steps. Steps that you can act upon immediately! Ask yourself when making your plan. What small step can I take today that will help me achieve my goal? Start small!
4. Plan how to deal with obstacles: complications and tendency to go back to old habits is inevitable as we try to change something in our lives. It takes a lot of will power to stick to our implementation plan. Plan ahead your reaction when facing a situation that could derail you from achieving results.
5. Exercise: Although, your goal might not be related with being fit, or lose weight. It is proven that exercise boost motivation and improves your mood, two important elements to stay committed to your goals. As little as 20 minutes can have an effect in your motivation when you are feeling down or doubtful, and start to procrastinate. Include in your implementation plan time to exercise.
Commitment and action are key to be successful and get where you want to be. A professional coach can help you remain accountable to your plan, get rid of internal conflicts that are making you doubt, increase self-awareness and address those blind spots that are preventing you to achieve sustainable results.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Six years ago I was living in the beautiful city of Barcelona. One day my husband came home with the great news that he was being offered a position in Switzerland. I was very happy for him but at the same time I felt sad of leaving my life in that amazing city. I started to look for ways to shift my mindset to confront that change. I came across a course called “coaching”. I knew very little about that topic, but something about this word captured my attention. As I attended the classes my interest in this field grew. I was so interested in getting to know myself better and at the same time understand how to help others face change, take action and transform their lives.
A few months after, my family and I moved to Switzerland. Very quickly I found job in a multinational company. I enjoyed that experience very much! Executives full of knowledge surrounded me and my learning curve was steep. In spite of this, a few questions kept coming regularly to my mind: How can I make a difference? What is my purpose? How can I inspire people within organisations to bring the best of themselves and lead with authenticity? I ignored those questions for years and a busy schedule struggling between my three children, husband, family abroad and a demanding job helped a lot in quieting this voice.
After four years in Switzerland, I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A new city, a new beginning! This time things were different. I did not want a regular job. I wanted a better balance in my life and most importantly I wanted to discover my purpose. After a lot of exploration, I decided to hear my call and become a business coach. I realised that my purpose is to help professionals be authentic, creative and lead to make a difference! A difference in their personal lives, in their team members, in their organisation and inspire others to bring the best out of themselves.
This blog is intended to share knowledge and support people willing to make changes. It is a space to share my voice and inspire leaders to make a positive impact. I hope you enjoy it!