“My mindset is not in a good place.” This was the first thing a client said to me during our weekly coaching call this past week.
Mindset is the single most important tool in a business owner’s toolbox. Without a mindset of confidence, intention, and achievement, we can lose our ability to push through challenges when they arise. This is precisely why mindset is the first piece of business I address with my clients when we begin our work together.
My client is experiencing challenges that every business owner faces: personnel issues, process development and implementation, customer retention, too much work & not enough time, fear of losing great people. All of these challenges are hard & stressful, but they are not unique.
“Marissa, what can I do to not get overwhelmed?”
My answer was, “You must become comfortable with volatility….with chaos. You must learn to live alongside the chaos, rather than thinking you can avoid the chaos, or make it disappear.”
Volatility is part of business ownership, and business building. So how can we become comfortable with chaos?
This is where the practice of meditation and mindfulness comes into play.
My objective with this column is not to convert you to Buddhism. It is, however, to enlighten you to two timeless principles that you can apply to all aspects of your life.
Coexisting with Chaos
When we are going through a struggle, our natural inclination may be to run or hide from it. We don’t want to deal with the reality that is right in front of us. We all know that running from our challenges only fuels them to grow bigger. When we lean into our challenges, we learn two things:
1: The challenges are usually not nearly as big as we have imagined them to be.
2: We are always stronger than our challenges.
Fantasizing that everything will go exactly as planned, with no unforeseen problems, is living in denial. Especially in business, we are so interconnected with others. When one expectation falls short, it usually starts a chain reaction of other expectations that are misaligned.
Some of the universal challenges that all organizations face include:
- Great employees leave.
- We lose contracts.
- Customers don’t pay us or pay us late.
- Employees make mistakes with our customers.
- Partners fail to deliver.
Typically these are not fatal flaws, but they can temporarily set us back.
I am sharing with you one of my favorite articles that have some easy strategies for co-existing with chaos. Remember that the obstacles we face ARE the path, rather than things that get in the way of our path. This perspective helps us to embrace the challenges as opportunities for learning and personal development. It is also the premise for the single most important factor in overall success: Grit. Grit is our ability to weather storms, to endure, and to demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity.
You are stronger than your challenges. You can endure.
The second strategy that helps us navigate difficulty is Impermanence. This explains that every moment is constantly changing. It gives us strength to get through difficulty, and teaches us to appreciate when things are good. Because either way, no event will ever happen again. In other words, “this too shall pass.”
When you are in the middle of a dark period, even when we feel we are standing still, we have to remember we are moving closer to light in every moment. We are always moving forward and making progress.
Here is an article that talks about the concept of Impermanence in greater depth.
Many people compartmentalize their “business life” from the rest of their life. This is counter-productive. All aspects of our life are intertwined. These principles of spirituality represent a way of thinking, a way of living, and a way of engaging with the world around us.
Knowing that we are stronger than any challenge we face (personal or professional), and knowing that all situations are impermanent, makes our challenges much more manageable and less ominous.
When we live from a mindset of strength, confidence, and achievement, then we are able to begin the “real” work of building and fulfilling our dreams.
I hope these insights provide strength to you as you navigate your path.
I would love your feedback on this column.
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About Successful Culture
We work with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams that want to achieve their greatest personal & organizational potential. Through coaching, strategic consulting, retreat facilitation, and workshops, we equip leaders & emerging leaders with the mindset, tools, strategies, and processes they need to excel.
Ready to move forward? Email us today at [email protected]
Connect with me on Instragram, Facebook, and Twitter. Engage with me during my morning Periscope sessions as well (@marissalevin).
Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
– In my latest Inc, article, I share The Essential Guide to Avoiding Workplace Text, Email, & Social Media Disasters.
– Learn about the 9 Leadership Behaviors that Lose Employee Trust & Respect here.
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”