As we continue to navigate this new normal, let’s get real: IT IS HARD. Our generation has never faced anything so daunting in our lives – pandemic, riots, murders, record unemployment, economic hardship. It is a lot to swallow.

AND it is very easy to succumb to self-doubt, fear, anxiety, trepidation, and to just plain lose faith.

Yet, as my momma used to say…this is when we reveal if we have the ‘stuff’. Her definition of the ‘stuff’ was gumption, chutzpah, a steel backbone. You get it. Now more than ever, we have to dig deep and foster that resolve. There is no place for self-doubt. We have to lift our chins, thrust our shoulders back and move forward with strength and conviction. Not easy.

So what are a few things to give us the oomph to do just that?

  1. Remember that life is a marathon not a sprint. Many of us (me, included) can be hard on ourselves. We expect a lot and we want it fast. And there is NOTHING fast about this current environment. It may be years before we come through this current situation. And, we will never be the same. We also can have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. If we’re not moving as fast or seeing the results that they are, we get discouraged, disenchanted, and may even be tempted to ‘chuck it’.  Yet, here is the reality: though we may have big dreams and goals, they all start (and end) with the single step. So, even if we want to create a 7-figure income or write a best-selling book or lose 35 lbs, these ‘end games’ are accomplished with incremental steps. They start with making $1000 a month or writing a monthly blog or joining the gym and losing 2 lbs. When we do these things consistently, we are on our way.  Keeping the ‘big picture’ vision is vitally important, yet maintaining the daily consistency (and starting over if we have fallen off) is the key. The little successes will help boost us and help erase any self doubt that may creep into our minds. That is even more important now….as we are truly digging out of a deep hole. Will we get there? Yes. Will it be easy? No. Yet, we will get there.
  2. We are undoubtedly the company we keep.  It has been said that we are a combination of the 5 folks with whom we spend the most time. That can be a powerful thing. If we surround ourselves with ‘A’ players, and folks that are the most successful in our field – we will grow, learn, and be challenged. Yet, if we surround ourselves with marginal players, we have the tendency to fall to the lowest common denominator. Also, if you socialize with naysayers, this can breed self-doubt. What I know for sure is that our thoughts create our lives. So, if we begin to believe the naysayers rhetoric, it has a high potential of coming true. The winners in life and in business have one secret weapon, and that is their mindset. Period. If we want to reach the top of whatever mountain we are climbing, our mindset is the magic. We need to surround ourselves with folks that support, encourage, teach, push, and pull us – especially now.
  3. We are living at our highest potential when we are aligned. My definition of alignment is when you love what you do, you are good at it, and most importantly, it is tied to something much greater than yourself.  And no, this is not static. What I loved when I was 20 has evolved over the years….as has my life, my career, and the way in which I choose to contribute. At the end of the day, the money, titles, and ‘span of control’ in any company or organization in which we work is not what matters. Our legacy (how we are remembered) is all about the relationships we have built, the contributions we have made, and most importantly – how we have lived our lives. Being in alignment, keeps us energized and fulfilled – which is the juice. Especially now, staying true to what and how we want to contribute is everything. As the road will be long and bumpy….yet, our conviction will be the fuel. And having that conviction tied to something much greater than ourselves will ensure our resiliency and ‘stick-to-itness’ in the face of unprecedented gale force winds.

So our bootstraps? These reveal our core. These constitute our ‘stuff’. Sure, we never get anywhere without the help, support, collaboration, and encouragement of others, yet, it starts with us.

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash