In August 2012, I faced the biggest challenge of my career in corporate America. While going through that challenge, I was reminded of 3 lessons my parents taught me about the POWER we have when facing challenges. I'd like to share those with you.
You see, by August 2012, there had been a couple rounds of layoffs at our site. Employee morale was at an all-time low. I was restless in my current position. I had worked in the department for 6 years already, and was ready to move out.
So, I made a bold move and applied for a position that I was not qualified for. Why? Because I wanted to be noticed. And noticed, indeed! I submitted the application at the beginning of the week. That Friday, the CFO came to me and said, “I didn’t know you wanted to move. I have a position that will be opening. Are you ready for the challenge?”
Challenge accepted! But boy, oh boy, I had no idea what I was heading into. The next year would become a roller coaster! I had 4 days of training and then the only person in the company who knew how to do exactly what I was doing left the company. I quickly realized that I disliked the actual job itself. Yet, I had to teach myself how to do it, all the while surrounded by a very negative environment. As if that was not enough, the company had multiple corporate restructures. Each restructure meant new policies and procedures, new reporting requirements, new ways of doing my job. Basically, I was in a constant state of learning, mastering, and then back to square one.
It was demoralizing! All this while planning two concerts, two outreach trips to Mexico, and two sports tournaments outside of work.
It was INTENSE!
There were days when I didn’t want to go to work. I would stay in bed for as long as I could before I absolutely HAD to leave for work. And in the face of this challenge, I at first felt powerless. I felt that I couldn’t do anything. I felt that life was happening to me. At first, I wanted to wallow in self-pity and play the “woe is me” card.
But then, I thought of what my parents had gone through in communist Romania. I thought of the challenges they faced when they moved HALF WAY across the world with 9 children and only one luggage each. Their actions taught me that I ALWAYS have POWER when I face a challenge.
I remembered those lessons, started applying them, and things started to change.
Let me be clear – the first “thing” that changed was ME. My attitude, my work ethic, and my results. The most challenging year of my career was also one of my most productive. I mastered what was thrown at me. In fact, we had 100% turnover in our department, and by the time manager #4 came around, I helped train her on the new processes and procedures for the group. Me, who had been in the group for less than a year!
How was I able to do that? By tapping into these powers.
1. The power of DECISION
When you face a challenge, you have the power to decide WHO you are going to be. Are you going to be a victim or a champion? Will you let it destroy you? Or will you let it shape you into a stronger, better human being? Your DECISION will affect your outcome.
2. The power of ACTION
We cannot control all of our circumstances. But there is always SOMETHING we can control. When going through a challenge, don’t focus on what you can’t change. Focus on what you do have control over. Act on those things. I couldn’t control my company, but I could control my attitude, I could influence the attitude of my co-workers, and I could impact the quality of my work. I focused on what I could control and acted to control it. Focus on what you can control, act, and see how empowered you feel.
3. The power of FAITH
Choose to believe that each challenge serves a purpose. You might not know what it is at this time, but have faith! Believe that this challenge will either make you better, stronger, wiser, more capable of loving, or will somehow serve a purpose in the future. If you have this faith, it will strengthen your resolve of decision and action.
I applied these 3 powers to my situation and had one of the most transformative years of my career. Imagine what you could do!
Are you ready to face the challenges that 2017 brings?
I would like to invite you on a journey to explore and rediscover your true potential and more than anything to advance your career in 2017. Join the Be Fearless 2017 journey! Be Fearless 2017 could be that boost you need in your career. If you are looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging circumstance or you are just prepared to move into a new direction in your career, I look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.