Life not all smooth sailing? How to course correct

5 ways to increase your resilience & results

Last week I got a chance to watch a flotilla of sailboats racing into the harbor with their colorful spinnakers unfurled – what a pretty sight! While the boats painted a lovely picture for me, I suspect that things didn’t look quite so rosy to the young sailors out on the water. They’d had to nimbly adjust to shifting weather conditions – darkening skies, choppy surf and cold rain. Not exactly smooth sailing!

Sometimes our plans don’t work out the way we expect them to and we’re challenged to course correct, too.

Case in point: an entrepreneur I’m coaching (I’ll call her Jane) said she was feeling discouraged and frustrated because her business isn’t growing the way she expected it to, especially given all the time, effort and energy she’s pouring into it. She was even flirting with the idea of getting a J-O-B instead of pursuing her business – which she’s incredibly passionate about. Things had definitely drifted off course!

We talked through the situation to get to the heart of the problem. Here are 5 strategies that helped Jane shift her perspective, take action – and get results. (Put them in your toolbox and use them the next time you’re feeling stuck and need to get back on track).

  1. Get calm. It’s hard to make your best decisions when your mind is racing and conjuring up all kinds of worst case scenarios. Jane felt overwhelmed and exhausted because she was so anxious about her business. Her first step was to calm her mind so she could think more clearly. For her, taking time to breathe, meditate and exercise did the trick.
  2. Find the facts. Are things really as bad as they feel? Emotions can cloud your vision, making the situation look far worse than it really is. Give yourself a reality check. When Jane looked at where she was actually spending her time, it was an eye opener! Facebook and email were time bandits that diverted her energy and cut into her productivity. She took back that time to focus on her priorities.
  3. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Jane had created several high impact programs and tools for her clients. And because she’s so good at this, it became her go to strategy for business development (time consuming and draining!) But a lack of offerings wasn’t the problem. Now she’s putting her energy towards marketing her existing programs more strategically and effectively instead.
  4. Adjust your attitude. Your mindset is critical. How you think affects how you feel. Your emotions trigger your actions which then lead to your results. When you think you can’t do something, it’s natural to feel disheartened. Acknowledge your feelings. But don’t wallow in them – it will keep you stuck! To turn this around, remember why you’re doing the work you do. Shift the focus to your clients, customers and colleagues and the difference you want to make.
  5. Take action. Once she felt calmer and more focused, we brainstormed immediate action steps Jane could take to grow her business. And I applaud the energy with which she implemented them! Her results speak for themselves: in less than a week, she landed a new client, scheduled a meeting with a prospective client and saw a spike in sales of her book.

Jane’s openness to changing what wasn’t working so she could achieve a different outcome inspired me to make a few tweaks in my business. Is there an attitude or approach you could shift to get more of what you want from your work or life?

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