Life is full of ups and downs and sometimes has a few sideways thrown in too. When things go wrong or don’t go as planned, or when something happens to throw us off balance and doubt ourselves it can be tough to deal with. After all, we all want things to go well, to go as we plan, to achieve success and our goals. But life will always throw challenges at us, and we can’t control everything. Nor should we try. It’s not what happens to you but what you do with what happens to you that makes the difference. Try these two easy ways that you can shift our of the negative and back into your purpose.
1. Focus on Your Strengths
We’re a bunch of contradictions – sorry to break it to you.
Sometimes happy, sometimes sad; sometimes hopeful, sometimes pessimistic; sometimes childish and sometimes mature. We also have a whole load of strengths and weaknesses that affect what we do and how we do it, but we tend to put more focus on our weaknesses and not our strengths.
A strength is something that you do consistently well– it’s something you’re just able to do, you’re hard-wired to do it well and you get an inherent satisfaction from doing it. It could be tackling your kids math problems, empathizing with people, writing books, skiing, being compassionate or being able to make the perfect omelette. Focusing on what you do well rather than what you’re not so good at makes all kinds of sense. When you look at what you’re not good at you feel bad about yourself and your abilities in a specific area of your life. But when you focus on and play to your strengths you’re guaranteed to get results, and can even eliminate any negative effect your weaknesses might have.
2. Simple (maybe) Messy, Action Steps
Sure, there will be times when you can just head into something, do brilliantly at it and get the result you were hoping for (normally if you’re playing to your strengths), but other times you might blunder forwards, wing it and not get the result you wanted. Whatever challenges or opportunities you’re facing you’ll stand a much better chance of getting a great result if you set things up to succeed ahead of time.
So what exactly do you want to happen?
What solution, outcome or result would be great?
Get really clear on the outcome you want from what’s facing you and how it would feel to get the outcome you’re looking for. Then start breaking it down into bit size action steps.
What can you do to set things up so that your desired outcome happens?
What needs to be put in place?
What will help to make what you want to happen, happen?
And to ensure the best outcome, what are you willing to do?
As you go through these steps, remember that it's OKAY to not be amazing at everything. That is the perfectionist in you trying to come through. The people-pleasing wanting everything to be JUST SO.
My friend, that is not real life and that will 100% set you up for failure. Take the strengths you feel confident in and find a way to use them towards your goals with the small actions steps - messy action is still forward movement.