The Best Antidote to Fear and Frustration [Friday Leadership Tip]

Have you ever had plans that didn’t go as you had intended or expected – either something that you initiated or “caused,” or something that happened TO you?

  • Finding that your new job is not what you had expected?
  • A funder just let you know they will not be supporting your organization next year.
  • Not doing your best in an interview?
  • Not getting offered a job that you wanted?
  • Your Executive Director just gave 4 weeks’ notice?
  • Not getting acknowledged for your contribution to a success?
  • Being laid off due to budget cuts?
  • Becoming a single parent?
  • Having a serious medical situation occur?
  • Not sending out your “Happy Friday” email on Friday as planned? 🙂

In my conversations with clients and colleagues these past two weeks – and in my personal life, too – things not going as planned was a common dynamic. Sometimes the situations may be small and easily manageable, and other times it may bring us to our knees and be life and career altering.

The million dollar question(s): how do you CHOOSE to react, how do you choose to feel, how do you choose to frame it? How do you choose to take charge?

Know this: if we are in business, or actively living, there will be times when things don’t go as planned. If we start with that premise, and we add some simple strategies on how to frame our situation in the context of our broader life’s momentum, trajectory and purpose…we can move from the screeching halt that feelings of failure, anger, frustration, overwhelm, and uncertainty can bring.

If – or I should say WHEN – you find yourself in a situation where things don’t go as planned, see if doing the following things help you initially:

  • Try Benjamin Zander’s practice from the Art of Possibility: put your arms up, smile and say “How Fascinating! (I have the opportunity to reflect and learn)”
  • It’s been said that it’s impossible to feel fear or anger at the same time as gratitude. It may be hard initially, but find a moment to state what you are grateful for – even during this moment of uncertainty and change.
  • Be kind to yourself. We can be our own worst critics. Notice how you are framing the situation, and what assumptions you may be making… often there is a complete opposite (and truthful) way to restate the reality that will then change your feelings, that will then change your (re-)actions.

If you’re finding yourself in a place of uncertainty, or in a place where you KNOW you’re ready to breakthrough, but just need a little more focus, clarity, or guidance, I’d love to talk with you. My 1:1 Leadership Coaching Clients are strong, smart, purpose-driven individuals who know it’s a strength to create strategies and practices to navigate business and life!

Schedule a 1:1 Clarity Call with me here, and we can chat.

Create yourself a great weekend!

Kathryn Martin

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