Friday, February 26, 2016

The Little Engine That Could!

Not sure why exactly, but February always is a challenge to me…it’s the longest, shortest month of the year. Living in the Chicagoland area my entire life, February typically holds the coldest and snowiest days where everything seems to be gray and dismal. The workday begins and ends in total darkness and warm blue skies with white puffy clouds and green grass seem to be an elusive memory. Plain and simple…I hate February! It’s hard for me to focus on anything positive except for the hope that March will arrive sooner rather than later with the return of LIFE…

Apparently, I’m not the only one suffering from Februaryitis. I’ve come across several articles lately that deal with depression and the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  As leaders we know the power of leading with optimism, as those we serve need to feel hope that things can and WILL get better. Successful leaders instill hope, not discouragement.  We must remind ourselves that the glass IS half FULL; although I just read whether half full or half empty isn’t the point…the point is the glass is refillable. So…to that point, what can we do to increase our optimism when our tank runs low and things become cold and dreary?

In his blog “Leadership Freak,” Dan Rockwell suggests these 7 steps to help find optimism when our vision is clouded:

1.       Find gratitude. Make a gratitude-list for every teammate. Write five things they’ve done that inspire gratitude beside each name. Share them.

2. Find praise. Never allow weaknesses to overshadow character and strength. Make a praise-list for every teammate. Write five praiseworthy qualities by each name. Say them in public.

3. Find the future, not the past, when exploring new opportunities. A negative past doesn’t build a positive future. Think about where you’re going more than where you’ve been.

4. Find courage. Fear is an opportunity for courage. What will you do to answer fear. The operative word is “do.”

5. Find competence. The future is built on things we can do, not things we can’t.

6. Find what you like and let yourself enjoy it.

7. Find small steps forward.

I’m reminded of the children’s story…The Little Engine That Could…I think I can…I think I can…

Be good to yourself…

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