As we head into the holiday season it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things. Maybe you are the type of person who gets super festive and pumped about the holidays and decorate your house the day after Halloween, or maybe you are the type of person who could care less. Either way friend, your mindset during this season really makes a difference.
I’ve been thinking about the things that can help us build and sustain a great and healthy attitude as a leader — perhaps because the days haven’t been the greatest or the most fun for many of us in 2020.
Now this is not about denial. I don’t want to be pretending that things are wonderful when they’re not. But I do know that mindset does shape how we lead. So, I want to make sure, where possible, that I’m cultivating the kind of mindset that keeps propelling me forward.
I’ve thought of four things that are helping me along the way — and I think they might encourage you, too.
1. Ask yourself the question: What is going well? So often we’re working so hard, trying so hard, and in our head so much that we can’t see what’s actually going well. Take a step back and look at what is actually happening — then, write it down; tell somebody; and count your big and small blessings.
2. Look at your team — the people around you —and take note. Ask yourself: What good things are you seeing grow up in your team in this time? Maybe it’s the way they’ve exhibited resilience, or character traits, or the way they’ve shown empathy and compassion in difficult times. Maybe it’s the ways they’ve listened and learned to the challenges and are responding.
3. Think of the simple things that you’re grateful for. When I go for a run, I’m thankful I can move. When I sit down to dinner, I’m grateful for the food on the table with my family. The things I’ve taken for granted, I’m reminding myself to be actively thankful for. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
4. Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Bad and sad days do come, and rather than push them away, I allow the ebbs and flows of emotions to actually happen. I allow myself to grieve, because mourning what has been lost is not the sign of a bad attitude, it’s a healthy aspect of our whole emotional makeup.
We don’t need performative positivity or pretense because that can be toxic. What we do want to strive for is recognizing that, even in the struggles, there are still reasons to be thankful. We need to work out how to take note of the good things that are happening that will comfort us even as we recognize the losses. Let’s keep cultivating these attitudes. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.