We all have challenges that we face on a daily basis, whether they’re big or small, shared or individual. I have a fitness tracker and each month it gives me a challenge to do something with exercise, how much I move or how many calories I burn. To start with, I didn’t take too much notice of these monthly challenges (my watch can't tell me what to do!) but gradually as times gone on, I’ve been paying more attention to them and going out of my comfort zone during the month to meet the challenge. This seems pretty sad, I’ll admit it. Leaving the tracker out of it though, one of the best ways to rise to any challenge in general, especially at work, is to look at something objectively rather than subjectively.
So, rather than saying to yourself ‘how can I do this’? Say ‘how can this be done’? It’s really simple but incredibly effective as it means that you’re looking at the bigger picture and taking yourself out of the situation. You may not believe that you can achieve the challenge on your own, for example a really tight deadline on a project. But if you look at alternative ways of getting the job done (say asking someone who is really good at spreadsheets to do these for you), the challenge seems more achievable. Just by looking at the facts separates out any personal pressure and you are looking at the challenge itself in a more objective and concrete way.
Secondly, see any setback as just part of the process. These can be unavoidable sometimes as we can’t control everything especially the external environment. By looking at the issue with a positive mindset and planning for potential issues that may come up though can control these to some extent. For example, you may be faced with some really impossible questions at the presentation stage of a project but if you prepare as many potential questions and answers to these questions in advance, you’re managing a certain amount of possible risk.
Lastly, face the challenge head on and take your time. By shying away from something, quite often the situation gets worse but equally don’t rush in. Sit and be objective. Note the facts of the problem before going forwards. How many times have we heard someone say ‘I didn’t think it through’ as an apology after an event? Don’t get ahead of yourself as you may end up cutting corners. Sometimes, slower is better.
There are a few days coming up this week where I know I won’t be able to run. Perhaps I won’t meet my fitness challenge this month. Or maybe I’ll think of a way around it. Anyone want to wear my watch for me….?