Home » The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – February 2019

The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – February 2019

Welcome to February in Cincinnati. As I’ve been sitting here writing this, the weather has gone through snow, rain, sleet and back to rain. In the past week we’ve seen temps in the 60s and in the low 20s. Is it any wonder that we struggle deciding what to wear when we get ready to leave the house? That’s just one of life’s little challenges – at least in Cincinnati.

This newsletter will provide you Eight Effective Ways to Deal with Challenges!

As we go through our daily lives, there are an infinite number of challenges we face – some very small like what to wear, what to have for dinner or where to go on a date. Others, can truly impact the quality of our life by making us feel defeated or lost with no idea how to move forward. Some may even seem like life or death situations. How we respond to those tough challenges is all about our mindset – how we choose to handle the situation.

For those tough times, it’s a good idea to have an arsenal of ways to deal with the challenges. While everyone will benefit from different approaches, here’s a list of things that have worked for me and others:

  1. Embrace the Challenge! Dealing with challenges builds our ability to solve problems. Humans are, by nature, problem solvers. Some are better at it than others because they believe that they have the ability to overcome any challenge. They practice it and get better at it every day! This builds strength and a “Can Do” attitude that will demonstrate to you that your potential goes much farther than you may have ever imagined.
  2. Understand your Resources. Figure out who and how others can help you. Who has knowledge or experience dealing with a similar situation? Step into their shoes and follow their lead to deal with the challenge. Who “has your back” when you need someone to listen and reflect on the situation with you? Friends, family and colleagues are great sources of information that can help you solve any challenge. And, they will enjoy doing so! People love to share their knowledge so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help.
  3. Become a Positive Pat. Psychologists tell us that we are conditioned with a “negativity bias” – our brains are usually looking for danger or threats – those that are real as well as the ones we often make up. To eliminate that bias, focus on all the positives around you. Think about what is right with the world and how much you appreciate it. That positive attitude will carry over and build your confidence to deal with any challenge – real or perceived. When you tell yourself stories, be sure they are positive. Dismiss those negative thoughts!
  4. Work Out. Exercising creates energy that allows you to deal better with challenges. Richard Branson was once asked his secret to productivity and he responded “working out”. Try to get in some exercise at least three days a week. Preferably outdoors as that combines both the benefits of exercise with the quality of life and brain function that psychologist Marc Berman states we get when we interact with nature. The serenity of nature is calming and opens the mind to all sorts of ideas that will help you deal with challenges.
  5. Celebrate successes! Make a list of all those things you’ve done successfully in your life. I’ll bet the list is longer than you think. While it may be difficult to get started, you’ll find there are many, many things that you have done successfully over the years. You’ll also find that celebrating them makes you feel good about, not only what you’ve done, but also your ability to achieve new successes. Make another list – this one should include all the things you still want to do. Remember, we are much more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down. And, continue to add to your list – having a list of things we want to accomplish drives us to move forward and deal with any challenges better!
  6. Demonstrate confidence. This applies to both your body language and your communication. Standing tall has been shown to improve the inner workings of your brain and is one way to demonstrate your confidence when dealing with a difficult situation. Use words that reflect your attitude – unstoppable, powerful, and confident. Studies have shown that we react strongly to the words that we hear and use every day. For example, if we constantly focus on “old” language, we will actually slow down and feel old. Use younger language and positive language to boost your ability to deal with any situation!
  7. Schedule challenges. The facts show that if we want to get something done, we should schedule it. Much of last year’s newsletters focused on planning and scheduling. Doing so for the challenges we face will help us move forward efficiently. We may have to break it down to smaller, actionable pieces; however, writing it down on a calendar and scheduling those actions will help deal with both the small and larger challenges successfully! And, when you get it done – check it off, release endorphins and feel good about your accomplishment. It builds energy for the next challenge!
  8. Learn something new. If you are not learning, you are moving backward. Plan to learn something new every day. It not only bolsters your energy, it provides new ideas on how to feel productive and worthwhile. Learning new things provides greater perspective on the situation at hand and ways it may be handled.

I hope you find these ideas for dealing with challenges to be helpful! I’d love to hear other ways you find for solving life’s challenges.

Until next month, keep a positive attitude and go solve those challenges with vigor!