Few would argue that the impacts of widespread economic uncertainty are very challenging on a personal level. Many of the techniques used in the workplace to manage the consequences of organizational decisions can be tweaked or used "as-is" to help individuals remain positive and motivated, both at work and outside of work.

Here are eleven things you can do to become or remain positive and motivated even during difficult and challenging times:

  1. Get out from under the desk; it will not protect you. Take decisive action, even if you aren't sure it's exactly the right thing to do.
  2. Ensure that you keep your "to do" list reasonable and realistic. Prioritize the list so that at the top are things that are critical and that no one except you can do.
  3. Create criteria for decision-making that enable you to feel that you are honoring your commitments and taking care of yourself. For example, take a hard look at those "should do" items on the list and ask yourself, "Says who?"
  4. Be kind to yourself. Support and nurture yourself first, then see how you can assist others.
  5. Define your value in terms of who you are personally rather than by external means of "validation" such as the job title on your business card. Expect that others will respect and value you for who you are personally. Conveying how you wish to be treated goes a long way toward ensuring people actually behave toward you as you have indicated they should.
  6. Create some "quiet" time for yourself. Check in and listen for what's going on internally. You know what's best for you, though sometimes it's hidden among the cacophony of daily life.
  7. Be kind to yourself and others. Start with yourself. (I know I am repeating this point. It's such a critical concept that it deserves to be emphasized.)
  8. Create an appreciative environment. Use positive self-talk. Catch yourself doing things well and recognize your efforts as well as your successes and achievements. Celebrate those times.
  9. Recognize that you always have choices about how you experience any situation. You have more control than you think you do, so use it. You can choose whether to be a victim or to make healthy decisions that help you move your life forward.
  10. Create your own supportive community. Keep in touch with the individuals there, rely on their wisdom, and allow them to help you.
  11. Create your personal "big picture" and use it as your touchstone. Having this vision in front of you quickly helps you put things in perspective, especially during challenging times.

Pat Lynch, Ph.D., is President of Business Alignment Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that helps clients optimize business results by aligning people, programs, and processes with organizational goals. You may contact Pat or call (562) 985-0333.

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