What will be your takeaway from 2020? The thousands of memes about the year – from inept political figures to the historic shortage of paper goods – suggest leaving it behind and never looking back.
However, if conducting my radio show and podcast has taught me anything, it is that greatness, success, and progress result from some of the darkest of times.
That is the overarching theme from every guest I have had the privilege of speaking with. Each has overcome a series of trials, only to emerge victorious and stronger than ever before. Last year will be considered a trial by fire for many – a defining year. How it is defined however, is not determined by the challenges we face – it’s defined by our attitude and response to those challenges.
I’ve worked with a number of professionals who need to improve their communication skills in order to be more successful. The problem is that many of these individuals do not want to actively address that gap. I get it, public speaking is far from most people’s favorite thing to do. In fact, it’s not just something people don’t want to do, for many it’s something they’re afraid to face. However, as communication is such a critical element of a successful career, one’s attitude toward speaking requires a mindset adjustment.
Working through the hard and undesirable requirements of this life as we begin 2021 is no different.
The following are some proven ways to help change your attitude when you find yourself amid difficulty:
- Acknowledge Your Feelings and Try to Understand Them. It’s no use ignoring or trying to brush aside your feelings about the challenges or expectations you are facing – it will make working through them harder. Instead, accept those feelings and thoughts. Choose to interpret them and seek to understand why you feel the way you do. When you start with an honest assessment, you have a better understanding of what needs to be changed.
- Develop Additional Skills. You feel comfortable doing things you do well, less comfortable doing things you don’t do well. The more you are pushed out of your comfort zone, the quicker you’ll adjust to the most demanding circumstances. Identify skills you want to learn or improve upon and make goals to progress in those areas.
- Set Realistic Goals. Stop demanding perfection from yourself and others. Strive for progress, not perfection! Remember, every accomplishment is achieved one step at a time – with some setbacks along the way.
- Self-Confidence Is Up to You. Keep telling yourself you are either going to fail or succeed. Either way, you’re guaranteed to be right. Your inner voice has so much power – make sure it is a message that helps you achieve what you want. In some cases, this may require you “fake it until you make it.” Natural confidence will come as you push forward seeking to achieve the results you want.
- Think Positive. Remember that bit about self-confidence? You can improve yours with a positive inner voice. We all talk to ourselves. What do you say to the person in the mirror? There is no failure, only feedback. Stay positive with yourself and good things will happen.
- Remind Yourself: Your success doesn’t and won’t happen by chance – it is by choice. Your choice.
- You Don’t Stay the Same. Each day we are headed in one direction or another in every aspect of our life. We either get closer to the result we want or further – the power is yours to choose in which direction you head.
There’s still time to reflect on what 2020 has meant to you. There’s still time to identify reasons to be grateful; to recognize opportunities for change, growth, and renewal. As we begin 2021, embrace the battles fought and allow them to be transformative lessons for the year ahead.