There are many ouch moments in life. How OUCH moments turn our businesses around can be quite profound. Its natural also that we have a whinge and complain about our lot in life at times (albeit some folk whinge constantly and others intermittently – and it sure does feel good to off-load at times). But the ouch moments that matter have the oxygen to really turn our business around and elevate our personal brand value.
We are not robots but living breathing ‘non-perfect human beings’ who have professional and personal challenges and a myriad of circumstances that we inherit, encounter, attract, amplify or create. No one has all the answers in life and right from birth we are absorbing, refining, learning and trying to be successful and happy.
But in adulthood there is often a tendency for many to forget that learning must never stop and that it is absolutely OK to make mistakes and not have all the answers. But sadly for many people, a lockdown in their psyche has built up over the years by toxic fear and shame which paralyses their ability to ask for help, learn new tricks and be open to change.
When facing a struggle of any kind ponder on Dr Phil’s famous question – and be brutally honest with yourself :
How is it all working for you ?
If things are not working super well and not going to plan for you in your career, business, job search or any aspect of your life – the next question should be:
” Do I have a Teachable Spirit & Open Mind / Heart ?”
Because if you don’t have these 2 attitudes, life can and will be harder than it needs to be and much less fun. Having a Teachable Spirit & Open Mind / Heart is often easier said than done yet are the keys to success and happiness. It is hard work confronting our truths, gaps and vulnerability to redress what we do, how we do it and how we show up in life. And there are many people who take great delight in pulling others down for the sake of elevating their own ego and lack of self-esteem. But most people try and help with good intent (be it in a paid or unpaid relationship).
I have been reflecting deeply on this subject of late – both from my own challenges and observing others drowning in their ‘struggle & moan pools’.
The last 12 months has seen the biggest changes and learning curves of my business life and I have been the beneficiary of some really very tough business feedback and ‘OUCH’ moments. I have felt so disillusioned and inadequate from what I was told that I would just jump into a hole of misery for a few days as I processed the content. I also observed I went through cycles of grief each time I healed from those ‘OUCH’ moments – “denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance”.
But I needed to receive some tough personal and business brand feedback and teachings which then propelled me to re-think and readjust. It took courage for those people to deliver and for me to accept and take action (once I dusted off the poor me, self-pity party). No pain no gain and I am grateful to each and every person.
Conversely, whilst on my own journey I have witnessed others in a raft of their own pain and struggles and yet they refused and couldn’t accept any advice or feedback. Many whinged and were embedded in the blame game that they couldn’t find a job, get interviews, find great staff, great clients, work with their current manager etc – all manner of issues that they did and did not create. But the thing that concerned me greatly was that many just wouldn’t take a look in their own mirror and check in if they could make a difference to change outcomes and alleviate their angst.
Of course everyone processes information and advice in their own way and in their own timeframe. But I have followed different situations over the last 12 months and many individuals and companies are still doing exactly what they did and are still in a pool of pain without better results. They have not changed or tried anything different despite lots of support and feedback. Was it ego, shame or fear that prevented them from having a teachable spirit and open mind?
Being teachable and having an open attitude is a CHOICE ! There are good and bad ways of giving advice and feedback. And the delivery style or delivery person may not be the kindest, most diplomatic or welcome at times. But you need to ask if the actual content they provide could be helpful in any way. It may not be of course (it could be garbage) but don’t always ” throw the baby out with the bathwater” And sometimes we just need to stop all the super soft wishy washy stuff and just put on our big boy and big girl pants and change our mindset.
A few tips to flex a teachable spirit and open mind /heart attitude:
- Take a honest look in the mirror – we all can do better
- Make a ‘choice’ to not let fear and shame stop learning
- Be approachable and smile – allow yourself to be human
- Accept always that 2 heads are often better than 1
- Show attention and be receptive to others (especially people you don’t like)
- Have a ‘curiosity of the cat attitude’ – it builds your knowledge capacity
- Trust yourself and others – remember, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes and doesn’t know what they don’t know
- Encourage others to share their stories & pain – you may learn something
- Change your language from ‘should do’ to ‘must do’ for a better outcome
- Learn something new weekly -online,a book,YouTube, Meet Up etc
- Have a chat/ask questions of someone who has different views to yours – remember no one is 100% wrong or 100% right
- Do something for someone that is the opposite of you – flex your heart
A Teachable Spirit & Open Mind/Heart are the 2 greatest keys to help you succeed. Those ‘OUCH moments’ have the power to really change our lives and business success.