My recent AHA is that growth comes from focusing relentlessly on the positive. That's a big change for me. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my past, to try to understand it and learn whatever lesson is there for me. Now I'm realizing how limited the usefulness of that approach is.
For the past few months, I've been focusing on how great my present is, and on the wonderful possibilities that the future contains. As a result, I always have a smile on my face and I feel like I've dropped about 10 pounds of stress.
The other equally important benefit is that great things are happening in my business. I'm connecting more easily with people and new and better opportunities are landing in my lap.
That's no coincidence.
Here's an exercise to help you get a new perspective on wherever you are.
If you're treading water, this will help you switch your focus and energy. Follow these steps, and you'll find yourself taking action more easily and you'll have a smile on your face. It will feel easy and graceful.
If you're in the midst of change- you're working harder than ever, or you're trying a new strategy, you may feel great about your goal (where you're going) AND be uncomfortable where you are (in the middle of your journey to arrive at that goal). Follow these steps and you'll gain comfort. Your soul will feel lighter. The wrinkles on your forehead will smooth out. You'll start having fun again! Yay!
1. Make a list of your strengths, your brilliance, what's unique about you.Aim for at least 20 items on that list. Having problems getting to 20? Ask three friends or collections: What are 5 characteristics (physical, intellectual, spiritual, or emotional) that stand out about me? Make sure you get that list up to 20. And feel free to keep adding to it 🙂
From my list, three of my strengths are: I'm supportive, I have a strong sense of style, and I have a lot of entrepreneurial expertise.
2. What are your top 10 core values? Take a minute to reflect on this and start writing.
Three of my core values are helping others, independence, and creativity.
3. Choose the most energizing strength and the most energizing value. Scan the list of strengths and pick the one that most appeals to you, that gives you a little zing when you read it. Circle that. Now do the same with the list of core values: scan the list of values and circle the one that has the most energy for you right now.
4. Combine your strength with your value. How can you combine these two together? This should immediately feel energizing and fun!
As an example using one of my strengths with one of my values, I can ask myself: How can I mix being supportive with my creativity? Just asking myself that question stimulates, well, my creativity about being creative!
Sometimes there are new ways I can be supportive: I could use my sense of humor to support someone in a new way.
Flipping the question around: how can other people support my creativity? I could ask people about how they experience creativity in their lives, which would help my listening skills (that's supportive!) And give me some new ideas too.
Play around with your unique combination; have fun with it!
5.Keep that fun and energy going all week! Write your strength and your value down and post them in places where you can see them everyday: the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, your computer, in the car, in the bedroom, where you spend time.
For the next week, keep bringing this strength and this value into your awareness, several times throughout the day. In every conversation – particularly those that are difficult for you, whether it's with someone you struggle with, or if it's in an area where you feel certain – take a deep breath and visualize your strength and your value.
While you're talking, and while you're working, keep coming back to your strength and your value. You'll find that your sense of ease increases. New solutions and opportunities will present themselves to you.