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Congratulations! You have officially completed another 365-day journey around the sun. Woohoo.
With a fresh new year ahead of you, the sky is the limit.
You may even feel a sense of renewed energy, motivation and hope for the new year. You feel ready to jump ahead and see what's next.
Exciting right? Yes.
But… if you really want 2019 to be your best year ever, you're going to need to go back in time first.
Don't worry, we won't be hanging out in the past for long. Just a few minutes answering a handful of questions will help you bring the best of 2018 forward with you into the new year.
Handpicking powerful moments to remember and appreciate from 2018 directs our brain to focus on positive memories and lessons.
This matters because if left on its own, our brain can be the worst Debbie Downer you've ever met.
Our brain's natural bias is to interpret data, experiences and memories negatively.
Luckily, there's a way to outsmart your negatively biased brain by intentionally feeding it positive memories, thoughts and feelings.
Pausing and reviewing what " all went right" during the last 12 months is a powerful way to boost your mood, attitude and motivation.
This boost will help you remain resilient after the first few months of the year pass when you typically might start feeling that you are losing momentum.
Here’s how to get started with 4 Easy Questions: 2018 In Review
Give some thought to each of the questions below. Take a few minutes to write out your answers and share them out loud with a colleague or friend. Doing both are great ways to solidify the positive impact of your answers in your brain.
1. What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2018?
2. What new thing did you do that you weren't sure you could at first?
3. What was the most important and helpful lesson you learned this past year?
4. What made you feel loved during the year?
Feel free to add any other questions that will force your brain to produce a positive answer.
Tips if You Had a Tough Year:
If you had a particularly tough year you may find it harder to answer the questions positively. Hang in there and do your best to stick with the questions until you can glean something positive from your year, no matter how small.
Asking someone who knows you well to help you find the good from your year can also be helpful and fun. A friend of mine recently pointed out ways she had seen me grow while I worked through a tough project. She said she noticed that the challenges of the project helped me to be clearer about who I am and how I wanted to express myself. I was so engrossed in the project, I hadn't noticed the shift I had made until she told me. It was great feedback.
One woman, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, struggled with answering the questions at first. She wondered how anything positive could come out of being sick.
She stuck with the exercise anyway and challenged her brain to look for the good.
All of a sudden it hit her, in the past year she had gotten to know what she was really made of. She learned that she is so much more courageous than she ever thought she was. She faced her cancer head-on and she felt proud of how strong she had been.
This realization boosted her confidence. She felt a rush of pride and new hope for 2019 that she hadn't felt before.
Trust me, if your brain reminds you of the negative stuff that didn't go so well last year, keep pushing past these immediate responses and challenge yourself to look for the positive, you will be surprised at what you discover.
I would love to hear from you. Let me know what questions you have or share your proudest moment from the past year.
To Your Best 2019, Stephanie
Want to infuse your organizational culture with more courage in 2019? Bring the courage building leadership program from Dr. Brene' Brown's research and newest New York Times best seller book "Dare To Lead" to your organization.
Contact me to find out more. Official Certified "Dare To Lead" Facilitator.
Keynote Speaker at 29th Annual Claims Management & Leadership Conference
Fear is often just a message from your system asking you to choose between keeping everything the same and comfortable or stepping into learning and growth which can only happen outside your comfort zone. Risky? Yes! Rewarding? Absolutely!
What can skilled leaders excel in that technology can't? According to research, it seems leaders who are strong-willed enough to be persuasive yet flexible enough to think differently and admit when they are wrong. This takes the type of vulnerability @BreneBrown talks about in her new book #DareToLead.
Being open-minded to new ideas or being wrong can trigger feelings of defensiveness or fear of not being in control. Yet without flexibility in thinking skills like creative analysis, imagination and strategic thinking are compromised. The below article looks at the traits important in walking the tightrope of having the willingness to change and the wisdom to know when you shouldn't. It's called Intellectual Humility and it's measured by: 1. Having respect for others viewpoints 2.Not being intellectually overconfident 3. Separating one's ego from one's intellect 4. Willingness to revise one's own viewpoint.
When Brene’ Brown sat down with 150 of the top C-level global leaders to interview them for her latest book “Dare to Lead” she didn’t waste any time. She led with one big question that has the potential to change the way we lead in the future. She asked,
“What, if anything, about the way people are leading today needs to change in order for leaders to be successful in a complex, rapidly changing environment where we’re faced with seemingly intractable challenges and an insatiable demand for innovation?”
CEO’s answered, We need braver leaders and more courageous cultures.
In the discussions that followed, Dr. Brown discovered there are ten common behaviors and cultural issues getting in the way of organizations around the world.
In every instance, braver leadership and cultures where courage is rewarded were revealed as the antidotes to mitigating these barriers.
I’ve repeated the ten barriers below. As you read through this list, consider if your organization is struggling in similar ways.
Ten Common Behaviors & Cultural Issues Getting In The Way of Organizations
1. We avoid tough conversations, including giving honest, productive feedback.
2. Rather than spending a reasonable amount of time proactively acknowledging and addressing the fears and feelings that show up during change and upheaval, we spend an unreasonable amount of time managing problematic behaviors.
3. Diminishing trust caused by a lack of connection and empathy.
4. Not enough people are taking smart risks or creating and sharing bold ideas to meet changing demands and the insatiable need for innovation.
5. We get stuck and defined by setbacks, disappointments, and failures, so instead of spending resources on clean-up to ensure that consumers, stakeholders, or internal processes are made whole, we are spending too much time and energy reassuring team members who are questioning their contribution and value.
6. Too much shame and blame, not enough accountability and learning.
7. People are opting out of vital conversations about diversity and inclusivity because they fear looking wrong, saying something wrong, or being wrong. Choosing our own comfort over hard conversations is the epitome of privilege, and it corrodes trust and moves us away from meaningful and lasting change.
8. When something goes wrong, individuals and teams are rushing into ineffective or unsustainable solutions rather than staying with problem identification and solving. When we fix the wrong thing for the wrong reason, the same problems continue to surface. It’s costly and demoralizing.
9. Organizational values are gauzy and assessed in terms of aspirations rather than actual behaviors that can be taught, measured, and evaluated.
10. Perfectionism and fear are keeping people from learning and growing.
The good news? The courage that is needed to combat these barriers is 100% teachable. Brown uncovered these four teachable courage-building skill sets:
1. Rumbling With Vulnerability
2. Living Into Your Values
3. Braving Trust
4. Learning To Rise
I’ll be digging in to each of these four over the coming weeks. In the meantime, order the book “Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” here: https://amzn.to/2pArQpK
A sneak-peek from Dr Brené Brown's not yet released book, Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
"Vulnerability is not winning or losing. It’s about Having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome". Brene' Brown
I'm super excited to be one of a 125 coach/facilitators selected to deliver the Dare To Lead workshop in organizations. #leadership #vulnerability #daretolead #brenebrown #courageousleaders #howto