Whether you are an employee, a president, an entrepreneur or even unemployed we are all faced with struggles consistently. Thomas Edison said it best - “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” There are several different emotions that come into play when you are faced with a struggle or challenge that you’re not sure how to navigate through. Excitement for the challenge is usually not one of them. I’m hoping after I walk you through a few steps in how to address a struggle, you will begin to teach yourself to view struggles with motivation rather than defeat.
1. Liberate yourself
View your challenges as changes, opportunities that cause you to think differently or from a different point of view. A challenge is only a problem in your mind. And only you can change that. As a decision-maker, your primary job is to be a full-time problem solver. By working through these issues you can turn them into opportunities that can make yourself and your company stronger. With that, you can start to see where your company is headed, where it needs help and where it is shining. This also allows you to determine which problems are vital to your success and which may not be worth your time.
2. Draft a Problem-Planning List
Please don’t read this and say you will try to later. Actually follow these instructions as you read them. You don’t have to have a real problem in mind, just test it with something as simple as “I need to wake up earlier” and “I don’t have time to go grocery shopping.”
Now, take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Write “Problems” in the left-hand column and “Opportunities” in the right-hand column. List your problems. When you’re done, move to the right-hand side and note how each problem could be turned into some kind of opportunity. For example, “I don’t have time to go grocery shopping.” An opportunity for that could be – “I will order groceries online and prevent impulse shopping, thus saving money and calories.”
3. Know When to Pivot
Sometimes the issues you are facing are not really a problem; sometimes the world is just changing. The one thing we can always depend on is change and therefore playing it safe will only get you so far. Sometimes you will need to push yourself to jump the next hurdle, especially in today’s ever-changing economy. Instead of trying to avoid it, you should try to get ahead of it. If something isn’t working, maybe you need to direct yourself or your company down a different path. Think of it as a way to grow and develop both yourself and your company. If you’re not willing to adapt or stay ahead of the change, that’s when you really have a problem.
4. Learn from Mistakes
I challenge you that after your next mistake to reflect on what you learned from it. How the mistake will provide an opportunity for you to do more and do better. We’ve all heard it before, but that means it’s true – Failure brings you one step closer to success. All great leaders have failed, several times over. But that didn’t stop them from being a great leader and that didn’t stop them from believing in their abilities. Learning and understanding your mistakes allows you to lead by example and motivate your team. Quickly after completing your problem-planning list, you will no longer view your problems as such bad situations.
If it’s not challenging you, it’s not changing you. If you’re not changing, you’re behind. Problems don’t disappear but you have the power to make them not as scary and easier to solve. And sometimes, you don’t have all the answers. That’s where All Systems Grow comes in. From management consulting to business training and development, we enjoy helping companies turn their struggles into opportunities and take their business to the next level. Contact us today for a consultation.