We can all relate to the experience of a sleepless night or the anxious energy that pulses through us when we ruminate on a particular worry repeatedly. Life, with its complexity, contains much stress. It’s important for leaders to learn how to reframe the pressure we can feel when working to live a life of responsibility and success.
I encourage you to take in the beautiful image at the top of this message. Take a moment to enjoy its majesty. Beautiful photos remind us that there are many things right in this world. We can choose to focus on what’s possible instead of living in a place of fear and scarcity. Challenges don’t have one perfect solution; they actually have many right answers. This realization allows us to move from thinking that life is full of problems to solve to realizing that life is full of opportunities to explore.
The next time you find yourself filled with worry, consider these practices:
Plan multiple next steps. Thoughtful action, instead of paralyzing worries, is the key to resolving concerns. Instead of catastrophizing, challenge yourself to think of all the many proactive steps you could take to move beyond the issue at hand. Then, choose to take action to shape circumstances, don’t be at the mercy of them.
Practice both/and thinking. Leading well means moving beyond limited thinking of this or that, option A or B, succeed or fail. If a challenge is difficult, its complexity requires both/and thinking– meaning exploring many possibilities and resolutions.
Stay aware of repeating worrying habits. If you find yourself worrying about the same things over and over, you could be stuck in a worry rut. So much of our success depends on our perspective to reframe the difficulties we face. When we see possibility, we can grow, strengthen, serve, and inspire as we face obstacles. We end up better off when we overcome them because we are open to learning our way through them.
Leading well requires us to manage complexity in thoughtful ways. By harnessing our thoughts toward productive outcomes, we resist getting stuck in worry loops. This allows us to focus on finding new, thoughtful action steps to embrace the challenges we face. Fresh thinking leads us to new levels of results.