We’re a few weeks into the New Year, and we’re already seeing social media memes alluding to cancelling 2021: “I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021. I’ve experienced the free 14-day trial and I’m not interested.” Posts allude to the trauma, and pain we’ve experienced in 2020, extending its crushing tentacles into 2021, aka “Welcome to December 38th, 2020.”
This comes after we struggled through one of, if not the hardest year in our country’s modern history. Between COVID-19, the fires, the protests, working remotely while simultaneously home-schooling children, isolating from loved ones whilst continuing to seek a semblance of normalcy in a world that feels anything but normal — It’s been incredibly challenging.
Yet it’s important to remember, as Glennon Doyle says in her memoir, Untamed, “We can do Hard Things.” While it’s easy to get caught up in our emotions, in the stress and fear that now seems to be our daily companions, we believe that the most effective way to get through trying times is by placing your attention on what you have to give,
By focusing on what you have to give you are harnessing your very best thinking. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you take your attention off yourself, and place it on helping someone else, you engage your brain’s best-thinking. You instantly become calmer and more focused because you’re connected to your problem-solving brain, and something bigger and more purposeful. When your focus is on giving to others, you are in touch with knowledge and insights that will be helpful to you as well.
Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve been through this past year:
- What was the last big challenge you faced?
- What did you do to get through it that felt empowering and effective?
- Was it an attitude you held, a way you approached it, or a specific practice or set of skills?
- And how did that affect the outcome?
Now, ask yourself, how can you use that attitude, practice, or skill-set, and personal power to:
Support others: Maybe there’s someone on your team who’s been looking for coaching, or a mentee you’ve been meaning to reach out to. Now’s the perfect time to invest in a teammate’s development or find ways to better serve others.
Pitch that Grand Plan: You’ve had a great idea that you’ve been stewing on and meaning to pitch to your boss, but life got in the way. Deep down, you know your plan could really aid in more effectively growing your team or aiding the enterprise. Use your power to take action, by outlining a plan and sharing your ideas. Be clear about what you have to offer.
Make New Connections: Maybe this is the time to reach out to that person you’ve been meaning to connect with — or connecting teammates on cross-functional teams that you know will learn from one another.
These are turbulent times. Hopefully, this small step of connecting with your personal power, and committing to using it for good will help you kick off the year on the right foot and help you be your best self. By focusing less on your everyday struggles, and using your power for good — you’ll access your better self, support others, and make our world a better place.