Last week’s blog on owning the mindset reminded me of a previous conversation we had about overcoming. Here’s an excerpt:
The ability to overcome obstacles, to face and deal with adversity head on—and move past what’s happening—is a key piece for ‘Maturity’ in life and leadership. Here are a few thoughts to remember:
Everyone faces adversity. It’s not what happens to you; it’s what happens in you.
Although this can mean many things, in Gestalt Theory, it is said that none of us sees reality as it is. Instead, we’re going to bend what we see to our own patterns and internal messages. So what happens in me puts together an entire story about my life and existence and builds a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Sometimes it’s tempting to embrace negative messaging and then start piling trash on trash. You can end up feeling pessimistic about all that happens to you, since apparently some great cosmic force has chosen you as the Universe’s dumping ground.
What’s the message in your head when you go through adversity? Do you believe it’s your lot in life to be defeated? Leaders are not in denial, believing nothing bad will ever happen, but neither do they camp out in failure. You know someone’s internal makeup when they confront adversity. Imagine a sponge: You only find out what’s on the inside, when it gets squeezed.
We see a lot of that. In fact, we(Influence Leadership) exist as a service-based business, because people have problems—problems around conflict and problems in execution. Of course, from a business perspective, “problems aren’t problems; problems are money.” If you solve the problems, you get the money. The people who rise highest in organizations are more solution focused than problem focused. They’re worth higher salaries. Why? Because they’re effective at tackling bigger problems. They see adversity as a window to competitive advantage.
• The higher the barrier to entry and more difficult the business, the greater the opportunity is for us to succeed.
Why? Because our competition will likely fold. In any case, adversity builds a critical leadership component, which is capacity. For example, I’ve got a friend that’s a runner. Though I’m not a runner, I’m told if you run a 5k and can get through that, then you pursue a 10k and get through that. You continue to increase your capacity and go on to run half and full marathons. As you persevere and press through the pain to get to that goal, it builds confidence and credibility. If you quit too soon, you experience the pain, but never reap the benefits of having weathered it.
Weightlifting is another great example, because essentially muscle is built from where it’s torn. You can imagine that’s a painful process, but eventually the perseverance and fortitude leads to greater heights and greater results.
In business, we’ve got to press on. To find ways to reach the top, we learn whatever we need to learn and press on past any obstacles. Otherwise, the pain was experienced for nothing.
The topic of challenges, problems and solutions is an important one, so I’m going to continue it in the next blog post.
For more on this topic, click the mic to check out the full podcast. Have a great week!