Council Post: The Power Of Positive Thinking: Staying Motivated During Trying Times
Scott Hirsch, CEO of Media Direct, is an internet marketing pioneer widely recognized as an expert in e-commerce and the online marketplace.
You don’t need me to tell you we’re going through hard times. Some of us might have thought we would be past the pandemic by Memorial Day or mid-summer, but Covid-19 cases are still prevalent across the U.S., and many businesses have been forced to file for bankruptcy.
What we thought was going to be a speed bump has turned into a roadblock. Rather than resolution and acceleration, which is what we were all hoping for, we’re facing perpetual uncertainty. What can help us navigate this uncertainty? Stay positive.
1. Set achievable goals, and stay motivated.
I know at this point it might sound trite after months and months of trying to stay optimistic, but, frankly, what choice do we have? Should we fold, quit or pack it in? Author J.P. Donleavy once said, “…never while you breathe give up.” I’m not saying it’s easy. For many of us, these might be the most trying times we’ve ever endured. So, how can we stay positive?
Here’s what I suggest:
2. Take care of yourself.
Whatever goals you set back in the first quarter of 2020 for your organization and for your team, don’t let go of them. Yes, you need to revise them, but don’t abandon them completely. Stay the course. This also means revising your milestones so you can take stock at intervals and celebrate whatever success you achieve. This will also keep your team inspired, engaged and ready once they’re back to full power.
You’ll have to embrace the myriad challenges this pandemic presents, but be creative and help your team to set achievable goals, such as doubling your database, updating and sharpening all of your marketing copy, freshening up your website, etc. This is a great time to fine-tune, get everything humming and improve things that you typically set aside when you were at full sail. When the horizon seems too far off, shorten the distance by setting achievable goals.
3. Share positivity.
“Eat right. Get lots of sleep. Drink plenty of fluids. Go like hell.” This is a saying that comes from a Nike ad I loved way back in the ’80s, and it’s never lost its relevance. I believe fitness is crucial to staying positive and upbeat. Regular exercise can benefit your mental health and improve your mood, which I’ve found can help you feel more positive and more hopeful about things.
Taking care of yourself physically and mentally also gives you a chance to set personal goals and achieve them. Maybe you’ve been thinking about participating in a half-marathon or century ride; now’s the time to start training, even if you end up doing it with a friend or two on your own. Or, perhaps you have the goal of simply leading a healthier lifestyle. You can consider doing some push-ups and sit-ups in the backyard, investing in some at-home gym equipment or go for a walk or bike ride. Set weekly goals, break them down and then increase your goals as you improve.
I believe negativity saps energy, but positivity creates it. And right now, you need whatever positivity you can generate, as do your family, friends and employees. Leaders — especially during difficult times — must create an aura of positivity that they share with their team members.
4. Be hopeful.
If you’re slogging around the office spewing negativity, do you think your team will stick around long enough to experience the recovery? As the saying goes, people don’t quit a job, they quit a boss. Instead, managers must create a culture of positivity.
Some ideas from a recent Harvard Business Review article include: starting meetings with “three positives,” encouraging praise and recognition and team-based acts of kindness. You could even create an award for the most positive or helpful employee or team. Positivity: It works!
This, too, shall pass. We will get through these difficult times, and we’ll come out the other side better and stronger than we are now. Let’s make this our goal. Let’s stay hopeful.
Does the glass feel half-empty right now? Sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hoist it as if it’s full. I believe when you’re positive, you have something to give. Your positive thinking can help you stay motivated, and it can motivate everyone around you. Do I see land on the horizon? Right now, no. However, I am positive it’s there, and I’m personally more motivated than ever to get there.