President’s Corner — January/February, 2020

IT’S TWENTY-TWENTY!! Not only are we in a new year, we’re going into another decade here. In addition to that, it’s also a leap year! So, in February, we get an extra day for work, play, contemplation, or any other thing you want to do to take advantage of this quadrennial event.

With so much going on these days, it can be easy to fall into traps of defeat. We know people who seem to have everything going for them but somehow never manage to leverage all these advantages for good. Often, we find that one’s attitude is the culprit. Attitude has been referred to as “the lens we use to view our world,” and if our attitude falters, it can wreak havoc on our endeavors.

In order to move past these various “spins” in our behavior, it is good to think about alternative ways to improve our attitude(s). Here are three suggested attitudes, along with actions you can apply today to develop them.

“I belong”

This is the attitude that “I am not alone.” The attitude of belonging means that you always feel there are a few people in your life who you can turn to when you are overwhelmed, buried and stressed out, who will always have your back. People who have an attitude of belonging always know that no matter what goes down, they are not isolated, and someone has their back.

Action | Find 3-4 people of character, whom you trust and become vulnerable with them. Bring them into how overwhelmed and stressed out you have been. You will be amazed at the focus and positivity that emerges from this.

“I have power”

The attitude that “I am not helpless, and I can do something about my situation.” Successful people always look for a choice and they don’t give in to what the research calls learned helplessness, which is a feeling that no matter what you do, you will lose, so why not give up? Instead, they think, “I may have financial, strategic or cultural problems, but I also have enough power to make one great choice to change things here.”

Action | Brainstorm with a trusted friend the toughest situation you are currently facing. Literally get in front of a whiteboard and write down 10 choices you can make (they may be difficult, but it’s movement). Then pick the one that will get you the most traction on the problem and execute it. That is acting on power. Note, this is not power over another. It is power over your life.

“I’m OK even when I’m not OK

A little bit of a word play, but this is the attitude that failure, even repeated failure, won’t get you down. You will resist the judge in your head who calls you a loser and disappointment and instead remember that every time you fail, you commit to learning something valuable. So, failure (doing something not OK) doesn’t mean you’re not OK.

Action | Tell someone you trust the 3 toughest bad choices you’ve ever made (I’m serious about the “someone you trust”, there are lots of people who can’t handle who you really are, or would judge you, so pick carefully). Don’t minimize it or blame others, just say the raw reality. Then ask them what they think of you. Success comes from knowing that we don’t have to pretend that we are someone we are not. And it comes from hearing that we are acceptable and connected even when we don’t feel so acceptable.

Attitudes matter so Just work on one of these this week. You’ve noticed that each skill involves another person to support you. Regardless of who this is, doing the work is the most important part of the exercise!

See you next month!

~Terry

P.S. A new year brings a new Annual Meeting, so please save the date. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

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