Work Smarter//

4 Ways to Find a Sense of Accomplishment When You’re Going Through a Rough Patch at Work

Reframing your mindset can make all the difference.

By ntkris/Shutterstock
By ntkris/Shutterstock

Every week, if not every day, business owners find themselves in situations that are hard. Plans that were made and put into place are suddenly useless due to the market changing. Sometimes the workload required to accomplish a goal is heavier than anticipated. Sometimes it is the overwhelming sense of loneliness while working through plans.

Even in the middle of all these things we can find our sense of accomplishment by adjusting our mindset to find the way through the challenges. Here’s how.

1. Put things into perspective

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Our emotions often deceive us into believing something is more important than it actually is. The Eisenhower Matrix shows us that the key to success is to focus on the important, non-urgent parts of growth. It is easy to get focused on the urgent “fires” demanding attention — but, if we are going to unlock success and find that sense of accomplishment, we must be able to see the important and non-urgent activities.

Never lose sight of where you want to be. Have that future vision so crystal clear that nothing can distract you. When business is gruelingly hard it’s easy to take your eyes off the goals — to get caught up in the stress of the day and forget that a bigger picture is calling us.

2. Identify the season that you are currently in

Each year nature moves through four seasons: a time to plant, a time to grow, a time to harvest, and a time to recover. Our businesses are no different: There’s a time to plan, a time to nurture growth, a time to reap the benefit of our work, and a time to recover from our work. 

Identifying the season starts with understanding the numbers of your business. Each industry has a different quarter when they’re most profitable. Retail tends to be fourth quarter, service industry tends to be second quarter, and so on. As you analyze the season of your business you will find which quarters are your most profitable; this is your harvest season. Work backward from the times of harvest to when you need to increase your marketing and purchase inventory. Each season needs a strategy in order to take advantage of the following season. 

Finding your sense of accomplishment will be difficult if you’re in the recover season but failed to plan for this slower time when you were in your profitable quarter. If you planned for and identified the seasons of your business, you will find that while you may not be in the profitable month, the sense of accomplishment takes on the form of planned recovery.

3. Identify the next step you should take

One challenge rarely discussed is the sense of isolation. Business owners from all types and sizes of businesses have decisions that need to be made and challenges that must be overcome. As I talk with and mentor these owners, it is in the moments when all the bragging and boasting falls away and the reality of operating a business sets in that we seek to find that sense of accomplishment.   

No matter the size of the company or number of employees, the process tends to be the same. There are several challenges or roadblocks the leader faces. In our minds, these challenges borrow the weight of anxiety from the others, so one challenge appears to be an impassable roadblock. 

To find your sense of accomplishment in these situations, first clearly identify the roadblock. Write it down and define exactly what the roadblock is instead of attempting to create solutions within your own thoughts. Once you have clearly identified it, pick that one next decision or action step. Focus on that one thing — only after you complete it should you focus on the next step.

4. Look internally instead of externally

Society looks at the external. Often at networking events individuals ask questions to set your value as a person. What have you accomplished that would impress us? Too often our sense of identity is tied up with the results that we produce. Society judges our value based on the results — but results will never define who you are.

You are valued just as you are. You have a unique set of skills that no one else could possibly possess. With the combination of your personality and life experiences, there is no one just like you. This is your superpower: Your individual uniqueness creates an impact on all those that you come into contact. Never underestimate the influence that you have on everyone around you by showing up with all the talent and skill you have been gifted. It is the ability to find your value from within that will give you a sense of accomplishment, even when the results are not what you were expecting. 

What is the thing that you have been called to accomplish with your life? Are you a world changer? Accomplishments come from the impact you leave on the lives you come in contact with — how you influence them to grow will always allow you to find that sense of accomplishment. 

Originally published on Business Insider.

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