Crucible: a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.
In the midst of challenging situations and times, do your thoughts turn to the possibility that a crucible is happening and will create something new? It could be helpful to do so. When you experience challenges, it is natural to focus on the difficulties you are experiencing – they are real. However, you benefit from developing the practice of looking at situations from various angles, crucibles being one of them. Doing so, allows you to open your mind to other possibilities and to weather crises more evenly.
Next time you face a severe challenge, try looking at the possibility that it is a crucible that will lead to something new.
photo: Robert_C, pixabay.com
A coach once told me that life is not about one upward climb to an ultimate goal, but rather a continuous, repeating pattern of ups and downs. He was trying to help me see that challenges and smooth rides are a constant in my life and that I should learn how to ride them. At that time in my life I had just become a coach and was looking at the transition as having an ultimate destination of total success. Not! My coaching journey is an ongoing series of successes and challenges.
When you have an upward climb – a challenge, a setback or a disappointment – how do you look at it? It is not a final end and will not last forever. Best to learn how to weather ups and downs and to see them as a natural pattern in your life. That way, you can be present with them, know that they will not last forever and navigate them with a sense of ease.
“All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, and you can’t bat a thousand all the time.” – Julie Andrews
photo: Lindsay Henwood, stocksnap.io
Do you ever find yourself caught in a labyrinth at work? Labyrinths involve intricate, difficult pathways, entrances and exits, dead ends, confusion and right and wrong turns. You can find yourself in a labyrinth when executing a difficult project, dealing with hidden agendas, stretching your skills to the max or facing unknown outcomes.
When in a labyrinth, your best strategy is to stay alert, operate fully in the present moment, employ your intelligence, be patient, keep your cool and move forward at a brisk pace. Life and work are such that sometimes a labyrinth stands between you and success. Learn to navigate a labyrinth well and it will not slow you down.
Persistence is hardest during challenging times. Challenges can come in many forms: uncertainty about the future, obstacles to your goals, setbacks, personal challenges that affect other aspects of your life or a lack of clarity regarding what to do next. Persistence is often the only way through.
Here are a few suggestions to help you garner the strength you need to persist in challenging times.
• Identify the nature of the challenges you face and carry this awareness in the decisions you make.
• “Up” your self-nurturing”. In challenging times, you need more self-care and joy.
• Remind yourself of why you want to go forward and face any challenges that arise,
• Believe in yourself and find allies who support you.
• Know that this too will pass and you will be better off having persisted.
Life is up and down and then up and down again. The only steadiness in life is found in realizing change is constant and developing what you need to persist through challenges that arise.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
All careers have a flow to them. Careers go through phases, as well as ups and downs. Sometimes, without your realizing it, your career can start to fade. By fading, I mean that your career starts losing momentum. There can be any number of reasons for careers fading: a decline in motivation, a person or situation presenting an obstacle, complacency, bewilderment, lack of interest, blindness, not knowing what to do to change a situation or fear.
What is the state of your career today? Is it bright and promising? Or is it beginning to fade? Do you need to pay some attention to your career, so that it maintains its momentum and employs all that you have to offer? Fading is dull and boring. Keep your career vital and you’ll find yourself fulfilled.
photo: Mister GC, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Are your life and actions aligned with reality? You may say reality is a downer. It can be, but it is the best place to start from. Reality does not limit you or dictate your next steps. It just needs to be factored in, so that your choices come both from truth and the present moment.
Say that you are in what looks like a lose-lose situation at work. Do you pretend what is happening isn’t there? Or do you look carefully at the reality of what exists and find your way through it? I think the latter. When you align with reality, no matter how bad things are, you actually are in a very powerful place. Truth sets you free.
photo: Danilo Rizzuti, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Adding on to my 2014 blog post here’s 10 more ways to boost your manager mojo.
Mojo: a power that may seem magical and that allows someone to be very effective and successful – Merriam Webster Dictionary
1. Find ways to foster your creativity.
2. Sharpen your emotional intelligence.
3. Do an informal 360 review on your managing.
4. Identify the allies you have in your organization.
5. Pick a managing skill you can improve and work on it during the year.
6. Create a plan for managing your team or projects this year.
7. Start taking breaks when you need them.
8. Identify your 3 biggest challenges this year and how you will handle them.
9. Commit to using your time well.
10. Make one of your dreams come true this year.
Wishing you a fabulous 2015 at your managing best! Thanks for being a part of The Managers Hub community.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Many ancient and indigenous cultures used mythology and stories to inform their people about life and meaning. The 20th century scholar, Joseph Campbell, spent his lifetime studying these stories and myths and posited that we need to know them and to create our own. Campbell called the structure of these myths and stories The Hero’s Journey. He said that each of us is a hero and we are all meant to take this journey to self-realization. The stages of the hero’s journey include: the ordinary world, a call to adventure, refusal of the call, acceptance of the call, tests, allies and enemies, the supreme ordeal and return to the ordinary world. (Think: The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and hero-centered video games.)
You may ask, “What does this have to do with managing?” Your strength as a manager and leader correlates directly with your self-knowledge and awareness. Your unique talents and gifts are meant to be found and shared in the world. To find them, you embark on the hero’s journey.
Since learning of Campbell’s work, I see the hero’s journey as a powerful reference point in each of our lives. It contains the elements of: the unknown, mentors, each person having a unique purpose, challenges and difficulties and the opportunity to bring our gifts to the world. Are you the hero of your life?
photo: Antonio Veraldi, Dreamstime.com
It can be funny when we use animals to describe human behavior. It has its usefulness, though, by letting us take a step back and use an image to understand someone better. I’ve heard people be compared to peacocks – showy, colorful, in your face, demanding that you see them. One of the challenges of working in teams is to find your way with a wide variety of personalities. How do you make it work?
A first step is to be true to yourself and how you feel about members of your team. Own and be aware of your gut reactions to people. Then, spend some time observing people that are not that easy to work with. See what you can learn about them and what makes them tick. From there, figure out how you will interact with them and what boundaries you must draw, keeping in mind you are part of a team and that you want the team to succeed.
By being aware and true to yourself, you will develop the skill to work effectively with a wide variety of the animal kingdom. It’s a jungle out there.
photo: anekoho, FreeDigitalPhotos.net