Top-Shelf Tip No. 50:

"Discouragement and failure are two of the surest steppingstones to success."

Dale Carnegie

Three Ways To Work Through Struggles

You're struggling with a report. You show your boss the first draft, and she points out many missing items. You respond that you weren't asked to put those fields in the report in the first place, instead of accepting that you made a mistake.

You add in the requested fields and prepare to run the second draft by your boss. But a little voice tempts you to bypass your boss and send the report straight to the person who requested it. You listen to the little voice and send the report on. Then you learn the other person was expecting a different report altogether. At this point the report has become a big struggle, and you're desperate to move on to something else.

Feeling the frustration? Often, when faced with a struggle, it's easy to focus on the negative. But executive leadership coach, Lolly Daskal, says there are ways to leverage your weaknesses or shortcomings for better outcomes. We'll explain in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

When faced with struggle, Daskal says that most people turn to one of these four behaviors:

Deny. Many people refuse to acknowledge the role of their own weaknesses in their struggle. She says if you deny your weaknesses , they will own you. You'll continue to constantly bump up against them, and likely continue to suffer.

Turn around. Some accept their weakness but are always looking to take a turn instead of facing them. She says there is no turning around from your weaknesses-just acknowledgement or avoidance.

Change. Some people change their direction altogether. Daskal points out that change is good but takes hard work, discipline and consistent action to transform longstanding behavioral patterns.

Leverage. A few can accept their weaknesses and work to leverage them-turning them into strengths. Unfortunately, when people are struggling, they aren't interested in leveraging their weaknesses. Instead, it's human nature to deny them.

She recommends these three specific things you can do:

1. Stop comparing yourself to others. The strengths and weaknesses, and situations of other people don't have anything to do with you. We all have something to work on, and the best way to leverage any weakness is to be true about yourself-find out what you need to work on and learn new skills and competencies so you can constantly be growing and developing. When you take the time to reflect on who you really are it will give you the ability to look at yourself, the world around you, and the relationship between you and the world with deeper insight that leads to wise new choices.

2. Stop worrying. Worry has never achieved much besides feeding the struggle, so stop worrying and start thinking. What can you do today that will lead to small wins tomorrow? What actions can you take that will generate movement instead of stagnation? Connect with what you really want and what you need to do to attain it.

3. Stop blaming others. Instead of finding others to blame for your struggles, search your own past and look for the origins of your weaknesses. Blaming others is a subconscious mechanism for avoiding accountability, but it's still unacceptable. Making bad choices and struggling for them is part of life, and it's immature to blaming others for those bad decisions.

Strength and growth come though constant work and effort-and from struggle of every kind. Successful leaders are those who can look beyond a struggle or failure, and manage the circumstances and situations as well as their response-things they can shape, adjust and change.

Source: Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to help leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives and the world. Daskal's new book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, is a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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