It’s really easy to “be happy” when everything’s going well…you’re healthy, your job is going well, the kids are behaving, the bills are paid and your relationships are awesome …life’s good.
However, the truth is that life happens! Stressful situations creep in on those happy times and we then have to respond accordingly. So, how do you navigate yourself through the tough times? How do you pull yourself through to perform and be effective when life gets hard?
If this is something you’re experiencing, here are a few things that have helped me:
Change your thinking
Your mind is a very powerful tool. What you think about is what you become – therefore changing the way you think will ultimately change your life.
Your mind is a battlefield when navigating through tough times. So how do you refocus?
My first few months at Madison were fantastic. I was exceeding targets which put me in great stead for the rest of the year. However, later in the year, things were not so good and I was definitely not at the level that I should have been for a good few months. I’m very tough on myself and found this lag extremely difficult.
I realised that something was wrong when my manager asked the question, “What makes you a successful recruiter?” and I replied with, “I don’t think I’m a successful recruiter.” I did not believe I was great or successful.
This made me realise that I needed to do something about it; that is when I sought help and engaged with a counsellor. Talking through my concerns in both my personal and professional life really helped me refocus and gave me another perspective on things.
I think the most important lesson I’ve learnt through this process was that my personal value and self-worth was not dependent on how well I was doing at work. That ‘I am’ special, and that I’m intelligent and worthy despite a lag in work KPI’s or other setbacks that have happened in my life. Having the fear of failure and disappointing others removed, took so much pressure off and allowed me to get back on track.
Have a little Faith
Faith is an interesting thing because it’s not tangible and we cannot see it, and sometimes it absolutely does not make sense.
I remember losing my first home after separating with my husband. My boys and I were living with my dad at the time in a popular area. I was on my way to visit a friend in the same area and we drove past some really nice houses. My son asked if we would have a home like that one day and without hesitation I said, “yes we definitely will”. Logically there was no way that I would be able to afford a home in that area but there was no way I was going to have my children believe that the “dream” was not possible.
Not long afterwards, I purchased my home just around the corner from where we’d had that discussion.
There is power in faith and your spoken words, and the belief that anything is possible.
This same strategy has also been effective in my work life.
I start early with my coffee and journal, writing down my thoughts and plans for the day. I plan my day by listing my goals and intentions for both the day and week.
I’ve found that getting up early and having my quiet time before the craziness of emails, breakfast and prepping lunches etc has made me more effective.
I’m more focused on what I need to achieve in the day, week and month and have a plan of action.
Life is extremely busy and most days, I’m running from morning to night, starting with dropping the kids to school, then to work meetings, followed by after school activities. Weekends are full of more sports (which I absolutely love), so there is not a lot of time to rest.
I’ve found so much benefit in purposefully making the time to refill and rest, going on walks, sleeping in on a Saturday and actually switching my phone off.
Give a little
Taking the focus off yourself and helping where you can in any way does not only help others but helps you focus on what is important.
I recently came across this app: https://www.mealtrain.com/, which a group of friends and I used to arrange meals for a friend who lost her husband.
It was so easy to use and see who is scheduled to help, and you receive a calendar reminder!
There are so many ways to give and help others; it doesn’t necessarily need to be a bold and grand gesture. Keep it simple and make a difference in someone else’s world.