Originally published on Medium.com.
Nothing in entrepreneurial life is predictable. It can be a daunting fact, but it’s why many of us chose this path in the first place. With the uncertainty of striking out on your own comes the strength, courage and exhilaration of achieving self-made success and building something in which you can take pride and feel accomplished.
Because of that unpredictability, seeking entrepreneurial success also comes with risk. In fact, success in many of the most fulfilling areas of our lives (be it career, family, creative; you name it!) comes with an element of risk. The risk is what makes our personal and professional lives exhilarating in the first place; that fear of failure can keep you on your toes.
One of the risks of following an unpredictable course of life is that sometimes, despite your best efforts and intentions, the best-laid plans can be unexpectedly upended by circumstances bigger than you, and you might never have seen it coming. These can be natural disasters, volatile markets, unexpected health issues, personal loss, and more.
For many of us, the current climate might feel like some combination of all of those things. We’ve seen our businesses impacted, we’ve feared for the health of our loved ones, we’ve fretted about our futures.
But, hopefully, we’ve also held on to hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. If we’re lucky, we’ve started to appreciate the familiar and meaningful touchpoints in our days that we might have been overlooking in our previously busy lives spent rushing to achieve success. If we can do anything with this pause that we have been given, it can be to find ways to improve our lives and businesses through gratitude, both now and once things return to normal.
Gratitude in the face of challenges
Our ability to find gratitude when times get tough might be one of the few immediately-available silver linings when we’re facing a challenge. The concept of gratitude touches on many ideas that are proven to improve our wellness despite external factors. Some people might incorporate this concept in their lives through exercises like meditation, yoga and journaling, while others might simply take a moment to express thanks to a loved one or find a bit of peace in a quiet moment spent appreciating their surroundings.
However it comes to you, gratitude is shown to calm the nerves and quiet the mind and put into perspective the weight of challenges versus the weight of things that are coming to us with ease. When we can be grateful for the big things (like health, family, friends, home, safety, and past opportunities) as well as the little things (like a sunny day, a favorite outdoor spot, a great movie, a morning cup of coffee, a favorite notebook) it’s easier to keep perspective and a level head. And when we’re able to find calm, it helps us weather the storm and maintain optimism for the future, which drives our motivation and work ethic.
Gratitude after challenges pass
Gratitude isn’t only important when we’re confronted with an obstacle. Cultivating an ability to find reasons to be grateful and ways to be calm when you’re struggling is also beneficial once those challenging times have passed.
In fact, finding gratitude after-the-fact can allow us to find meaning, purpose, and transformation as a result of some of our most difficulties. Challenges breed strength and resilience in us and make us better able to confront difficult times when we’re faced with them in the future. If we take this perspective, it’s easier to be grateful for the times you’re knocked down, because they’ve given you the opportunity to prove to yourself and everyone around you that you’re able to get up again.
In a recent Masterminds webinar episode on the subject of gratitude, I spoke with fellow leader, broker and mom Jessica Hellard about overcoming adversity. Jessica has built an impressive business and found ways to contribute to her community through charitable efforts, all while building a family and caring for a son with special needs. For Jessica, her son has been a constant source of unexpected lessons and joy, and has made her value the ability to keep a sunny disposition while cultivating inner strength, which she says has helped her build a strong business. I’ve seen this reflected in my own life, as well. Having lost my father at a young age, I never thought I would be able to come to see it as something I could find gratitude in. But years later, I can recognize the ways in which that experience have made me a stronger person, and I work to bring that strength and compassion to work every day.
Gratitude is good business
When we bring our best selves to work, we are better at our work, it’s as simple as that. Especially in the world of real estate, so much of our ability to do good business is wrapped up in our ability to be personable, passionate, optimistic, flexible, and genuinely caring. And it can be hard to be all of those things when you’re bogged down by negativity.
So, despite the uncertain times, seek out ways to cultivate daily gratitude for those things both big and small that are going right in your life. Not only will it help you keep your head up as we weather the storm that we’re all experiencing, but it will leave you a better person and a better entrepreneur once the blue skies do return.
Watch the KBCC Ultimate Mastermind this article was based off of here!
THE FUTURE OF
Enter your blog post content here.