It’s a common understanding that social media is largely a highlight reel. While it’s beautiful and inspiring, behind the 10% happiness that you see on social media is 90% hard.
Behind every beautiful pic is someone struggling to find their voice, someone wrestling with insecurity, someone feeling alone, someone striving to figure out this thing called motherhood, someone pursuing a dream (and failing at times), someone putting themselves out there in a desire to make friends and someone feeling not enough.
And this isn’t only true of our personal lives but of our professional lives as well.
This is certainly the case for me.
I see you. I get it. You are not alone.
Maybe your hard season is right at this moment. Maybe it was last month. Or maybe it’s coming in your not-so-distant future but the reality is that you will experience challenges in this business. I’ve yet to hear of an entrepreneur’s story who didn’t have countless setbacks when it came to growing their business. Although I’d love for it not to be the case, the truth is that “hard” happens in life and in business.
While some seasons are undoubtedly more difficult than others, I’ve found that there are a few things you can do to help you survive and thrive through your hardest days. Weirdly enough, I’d even go so far as to say that the hard seasons are truly what has helped me to grow even stronger and greater than I ever could have without them.
“EVERY SETBACK DOUBLES THE CHANCES WE’LL GROW.”
– BOB GOFF
Tips for Surviving & Thriving in the Hard Seasons
1. Give Yourself Grace.
I can be my own worst enemy at times. I beat myself up for the shouldas, couldas and wouldas in business and am left worn out and beat down because of my own doing.
The truth is that you can’t change the past. Now you can (and should) do your due diligence and go back and try and make it right but after you’ve done everything in your power to clean up the damage, you have to choose to give yourself grace. Dust yourself off and move forward with your head held high.
2. Slow down.
When you’re in the weeds, wrestling to and fro, the dust is constantly being stirred up, making it hard to see what’s next because you’re in one big ole dust storm. But rather, when you’re in the weeds, and you stop, rest and let the dust settle, you’ll be able to see more clearly and get out of the weeds in a more timely fashion.
I know it seems counter-intuitive to suggest slowing down when the professional season you’re in feels messy and needs to be cleaned up. However, when I’ve felt the most discouraged professionally, I’ve found that simply slowing down, resting, and giving it all some time is the very best medicine.
Whether you lead a team of 100+ or a team of 1, you have to talk with someone. Be honest with your team or if you don’t have a team, share openly with a trusted friend.
While bottling it all up and taking the weight of the business and your leadership on your own shoulders might feel like the strong thing to do, the weight of the season will eventually become too much to carry and the last thing your business needs is a burnt-out leader.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
4. One foot in front of the next.
When doing the tough work of growing a business, it’s hard to see the progress that’s been made over the years because quite honestly, when you’re in the thick of it, it’s simply one foot in front of the other. Especially in the hard seasons.
But what’s amazing is that what starts as one foot in front of the other becomes a beautiful journey of steps stringing together to make days. Days stringing together to make weeks. Weeks stringing together to make years. And somewhere in the middle of it all, you’ve survived (and thrived) amidst the hard.
Do the next thing. Then do the next thing after that.