Friday, October 24, 2008

The Sun Does Come Out

People always tell these lines to you when you’re not feeling quite up to speed; “the sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day, you never know what will happen”. I should know, because I’m one of those people who usually say them. Well I have to tell you it’s true. For some reason the sun came out for me yesterday. It’s not like I got a job offer or even an interview. I just woke up and felt positive. Now I did get a really good night’s sleep. Talked to my mom previous night and she advised me to read something calm and somewhat boring before I went to sleep. Well she sure was right. Way to go Mom!

That being said, it is true that getting enough sleep is very helpful. In so many ways sleep can help you; to lose weight, to win a deal, or just to get up and get going. I know it’s not always easy to get to sleep, believe me. There are things you can do. Besides taking Tylenol PM, you can not eat right before you sleep, read or watch something boring or comforting. Whatever you do, just do something. It is really worth it.

With this new burst of positive energy, yesterday I actually reached out to some people for networking opportunities. Everyone will tell you, you have got to network. Now mind you, I have been doing some of this already, but not thinking of it as “networking”. For some reason the word “networking” just makes me cringe. But I do know it is really important to keep in contact with as many people as possible. This will not only lead to possible job opportunities, but also keeps you in touch with what’s going on in your industry and can lead to something you are really interested in and that you hadn’t thought about before. My advice to everyone is just email or get on the phone with colleagues, vendors, and clients and just touch base. Plus a friend said to me the other day that people would like to be in a position to help you. It gives most people pleasure to provide support and encouragement. I mean if they like or admire you. I wouldn’t reach out to those people you didn’t get along with. I know, enough said.

I’ll leave you with these tips I found in the NAFE newsletter (feed the positive wolf)

5 Tips for Staying UP in a Down Economy
Dana Lightman, Ph.D., is a national keynote speaker and trainer, expert on positivity, author and creator of POWER Optimism – strategies to create the outcome you want, regardless of the circumstance.
Dana says: You tune in to the economic news, and it’s practically impossible not to have some gut-clenching response. The fact is, there’s not much you can do to change the current economic circumstances. But there’s a lot you can do to maintain your own professional equilibrium in the face of increased business stressors. And once you are on an even keel, you can use these same tips to bolster your staff.

#1 Don’t feed the negative. A Cherokee chief, teaching his grandson about life, explains that we all battle two wolves. One is negative, filled with anger, self-pity and self-doubt. The other is positive, filled with joy, hope, and trust. His grandson listens carefully and then asks, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply replies, “The one you feed.” Stop feeding your negative wolf with complaints, worries, negative talk, and excessive media. Even if you can’t feel positive, don’t let your negative wolf put you on a downward spiral.#2 Take a step back. You are taking a photograph. When you have the lens on zoom, it’s easy to focus solely on your subject. Conversely, if you step back far enough, your subject becomes one small part of a larger landscape. It’s the same principle with maintaining an upward spiral. You may need to zoom in on a particular problem or stressor in order to develop a solution. But don’t keep your focus there. Remember to take a step back to see a bigger picture. Put your problem in the context of positive aspects and it ceases to dominate your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. You are now free to experience a sense of relief and perhaps serenity.#3 Keep breathing. No one knows how this economic crisis will evolve and resolve, but most experts agree that there is no quick fix. Staying fearful and anxious only serves to increase your distress, which may even escalate into more severe physical and mental symptoms. Instead, you can choose to relax and stay calm. Practice yoga, meditation or other relaxation techniques. Take deep, cleansing breaths and center yourself. This is a great way to increase your resiliency.#4 Focus on today. The past is the past, the future is the future, but the present is a gift. Life can only be lived in the present moment. So take time to create a positive intention for your day. You may even want to break your day into different segments and visualize successful outcomes for each. Plan activities and take actions that will put you on an upward spiral. In this way, you are feeding your positive wolf!#5 Reframe difficulties into gains. You are likely to face some business difficulties as a result of the current economic uncertainties. While this can be troublesome, within every difficulty lies the potential for gain. Think about past problems or disappointments and the gains that emerged over time in handling those situations. Now, imagine the possible benefits that you may derive from your current difficulties. For example, in searching for solutions, you may discover some hidden talents among your staff or less expensive yet effective marketing tools. By focusing on these potential gains, you are creating the momentum you need to keep you inspired and energized.

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