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Never Satisfied? Try Gratitude (#15)

The Confident Leader

Is progress in 2020 eluding you? Does this leave you feeling dissatisfied with your current situation? Many leaders are using a simple approach to gratitude to turn things around.

You strike me as [someone] who’s never been satisfied.
— – Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton the Musical

This Week’s Edition

As a leader, do you doubt your ability to be content today while you strive for what you want in the future?

Clarify Your Thinking

“Robin, I’m so frustrated with my business. I had big growth plans for this year,” Christina said.

“Welcome to the club,” I said.

“I’m no longer enjoying the journey. I’m just itching to achieve my goals which seem to slip further out with each passing day.”

“Thanksgiving is just around the corner,” I offered as a non-sequitur. “What do we usually do around this time?”

“We eat too much and watch football,” she said. “Why?”

“Typically, we reflect on those things for which we are grateful,” I said.

“I’m lost. What does this have to do with my situation,” she asked.

“Leaders cannot simultaneously be frustrated with their situation and grateful. Frustration often causes a leader to begin doubting her ability lead today and into the future. Doubt changes your performance and your results every single time,” I coached.

“Well, I don’t want that. What do I do?” She asked.

“Reframe your thinking about your current situation by focusing on those things for which you are grateful. Gratitude has been shown to increase contentment. Peace brought on by contentment allows the brain to think more creatively and generate better ideas.”

“That’s a great suggestion. Gratitude. Contentment. Peace. Better ideas. Sign me up,” she exclaimed.

“Be content with what you have while you strive for what you want,” I concluded.

The Clarify Your Thinking Worksheet will help you move past your frustrations and establish thinking that will create gratitude and achieve your goals.

post pandemic vision

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Once Christina recognized the difference in her thinking, she traded frustration for gratitude. Here is how she did it.

 Christina made a list of all the things she loved about her job and shared it with me. “Number one: I don’t like that I have to work harder for the same results. Number two: when I make a plan, it gets undone by Covid-19. I’m tired of planning. Number three…”

“Wait. Christina, the exercise was not to make a list of what you don’t like,” I said respectfully.

She said, “I know, but that’s what first came to mind. Once I purged all of that frustration, I ended up making a list of 47 things I love about my business. This list became the starting point for identifying the things for which I was truly grateful. I found myself full of gratitude and feeling renewed about my current situation.” 

Giving thanks is not a perfunctory annual exercise reserved for Thanksgiving. It is a crucial tool to protect leaders from being overly frustrated with their circumstances, especially in a crisis. Gratitude has additional benefits: improves sleep, protects from illness, boosts happiness, relieves stress and curbs bad moods. 

Christina found herself employing new ideas to advance her business in the remaining weeks of 2020 versus wishing them away for a better 2021. You have time. Your gratitude list will improve your confidence today and in the future.

Boost Your Performance

The Five Minute Journal is a structured way to identify three things each day for which you are grateful. Coming up with three things each day is more challenging than it sounds. Commit to is and watch your performance soar.

What’s Your Opinion?

Share with me your approach to being grateful.

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

robin pou, chief advisor and strategist

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

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