Recently I was asked to do a virtual presentation to a business networking group to provide motivation and encouragement for our membership of local small businesses.
As I thought about what to talk about, this thought kept coming up, “What got you here will get you through this craziness.” I couldn’t shake it. And, as I held it up to the light, I realized it was true.
I write about the idea that we have everything we need, that we’re plenty, that, whether we realize it or not, at every moment of our life we’re prepared – we just have to take a minute and breathe to see it.
Out of those thoughts came this: “What got you here will get you through this craziness (aka the current pandemic).”
Here’s what we bring to the table – and – listen – if you don’t think you bring these things to the table, I’m going to challenge you to think deeply about your life experience and identify at least one time where you’ve brought these attitudes and capacities to bear because I know you have. I know it.
We understand that we sometimes can’t control the situation we find ourselves in. We don’t set the time frame and we can’t rush through it. This is something I have to work on all the time. I am not a naturally patient person. I want to get things done. And, if it’s something unpleasant, I want to have gotten through it yesterday. But that’s not always a choice I get to make.
We make it easier on ourselves when we guard against trying to push through something we can’t control. Instead of pushing through, we need to do only what we can manage and then stop.
We have to stop so we can breathe. And, when we breathe, we can move forward again. We must remember to be patient with the situation and with ourselves.
When we remember that we’ve done hard things before, we can call up the confidence we need to face uncertainty.
I’ve shared this quote with you before: “Confidence occurs when the insidious self-perception that you aren’t able is trumped by the stark reality of your achievements.” – from The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.
In the context of getting through the uncertainty and craziness of a pandemic, I’d change it up to say that our self-perception that we can’t is trumped by the stark reality of our experience – the things we’ve already survived.
When we take the time to remember those tough experiences and acknowledge that we made it through, we renew our confidence in our abilities in the current moment.
In our lifetimes we have all accumulated wisdom through experience. It’s too easy to forget about our wisdom – the deep seated understanding of ourselves, our families, and the world that we bring to our lives every day.
The dictionary says wisdom is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement.”
I believe that wisdom is another word for gut instinct. I talk to clients about the idea that it’s good to go with their gut instincts because they are educated instincts. When we reject using our gut instinct to make a decision, we’re rejecting our own wisdom.
We’ve lived through the experience that honed those instincts, so it’s smart to honor their wisdom.
Tenacity is the backbone of success. When we stick to our determination to get through any situation and come out on the other end, we’re ahead of the game. We’re showing up for our kids, our families, our work, and our world because we refuse to give up.
If you’re feeling like you’re ready to give up, think back to times where you’ve refused to give up in uncomfortable situations. How did they turn out? How do you feel about them now?
This is one of my favorites. Luck happens when patience, wisdom, and tenacity collide with opportunity. I like to say that it’s important to get in the way of luck – so that it has to run through you to get somewhere else.
We put ourselves in the way of luck when we make the smallest step forward, when we move a couple of feet outside our comfort zone, when we dare to imagine an outcome that others would never think of.
Here’s a favorite quote about luck, “It’s all about having the skill to grab the luck when it’s presented to you.” – Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier on the “How I Built This” podcast.
When we’re taking tiny steps and honoring our own wisdom and refusing to stop, we’re positioning ourselves to recognize and be able to act on luck when it shows up. We know being lucky is about the footwork; it’s also about not giving up – about getting up when we stumble – and recognizing the value of taking the smallest step forward so we’re right there, ready and waiting when luck appears.
I don’t know about you, but I used to limit my thinking about creativity to the arts. It wasn’t until an assessment said that creativity is one of my strongest attributes that I began to look at it differently.
Creativity is about our original strategies, ideas, and approach to our lives – both business and personal. It shows up when something breaks at home and you figure out a fix that, surprisingly to you, works. It also shows up when your kids are in the midst of a knock down, drag out fight and you come up with a brilliant remark that stops them and redirects the whole situation.
Then there are the times when you find yourself solving problems at work with finesse and insight. Maybe there’s a customer who has a, so far, intractable issue with a product. It just won’t do what they want. Nobody can figure out an answer. Then you look at the product and the customer’s need and have just the right insight to solve the issue.
Luck plus creativity is an unbeatable combination. When luck shows up, it’s our creative take on the possibilities of that bit of luck that allows us to deploy it successfully.
This hearkens back to wisdom. The definition of trust is “firm belief in the reliability, truth, or strength of someone or something.” When we trust our wisdom, we’re believing in ourselves and our experience. We believe that we have what we need to go forward.
And, when we trust others enough to ask for help, we’re telling those people that we believe in them and in their ability to help us get unstuck. When we ask someone for help, we’re offering the gift of our trust. When we trust ourselves and trust others, we thrive.
Trust and faith are different things. I know because I looked up the definition of both! Faith is “complete trust or confidence in something.” So, by definition, there can be no faith without trust.
When we have faith in our ability to do what needs to be done, things become easier. We can breathe and have room in our minds for new answers. When we have faith that we’re plenty – that we have more than enough to bring to the table in whatever situation we find ourselves in – we’re ignoring the noise that tells us we’re not good enough, that we don’t know enough.
And, when we have faith that the Universe/God has our backs, even though we can’t see it or maybe even feel it, it becomes possible to persevere through impossibly unpredictable and sometimes scary times.
My favorite. We know how to offer grace to others – to our kids when they color on the table by accident, to our spouses when they say something they really didn’t mean, to our co-workers when they drop the ball on a project. We can let that go with compassion.
But do we do the same thing for ourselves? When we drop the ball, or lose it after suiting up to go the grocery store and returning home to sanitize everything we bought, or collapsing on the bed because there’s no more room in our brains for one more worry, do we offer ourselves grace?
Grace is the outward manifestation of the realization that we’re only human. But, why is it so easy to allow others to be human while chastising ourselves for not doing enough or not being enough?
When we offer ourselves relentless grace, we acknowledge our humanness. We acknowledge that we have a beginning and an end. We acknowledge that we can’t do it alone.
Raise your hand if Carly Simon’s voice just started up in your head. Me, too! To me, anticipation is more than about optimism, it’s about looking forward to what comes next.
About a month ago I was participating in an Instagram Live Video with one of my younger gurus. As she took us through one of her design for change exercises one of the questions was “If you were an emotion what would you be?” Anticipation immediately popped into my head.
My natural state is surfing the waves of anticipation and wondering what’s going to happen next. My main thought these days centers around this: “I wonder how this (whatever I’m thinking about – usually my brand new (March 1st, 2020) coworking business) is going to work out?”
And then I remind myself it always works out. Always. It works out particularly well when I force myself back into a state of wonder instead of trolling the depths of dread.
So, I remind myself that instead of dreading what’s next, I can wonder about it. After all, I am the woman who preaches “This is going to work out better than I can imagine!”
When I open my mind to wondering about what’s next, I find myself facing the future with faith, hope, and anticipation.
So, please take good care. Give yourself grace. Know you can handle this. Wonder how it’s going to play out.
PS: If you’d like to download the presentation, click here.