Dear Leader,

This KEY unlocks the door to thriving in tough times. You will find what is most important to know in times of challenge and identify ten essentials you can rely on.

We’ll be glad to hear your comments. Please forward this Key to friends, family and associates.


Aviv Shahar

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Mindsets For Tough Times

What’s the most important mindset you need to have when facing tough times? There is plenty of doom talk all around. The economy, oil, war, financial meltdown, GM, Fannie and Freddy – you name it. The good news is the world is not coming to an end tomorrow. But abrupt changes are underway. These changes bring with them challenges filled with opportunities.

How do you react when you’re faced with a challenge?

People approach tough times with unproductive mindsets that assume the worst for themselves and those around them or with productive mindsets. The key, the most important thing to know – the most important mindset to have – is that you have the power to choose your mindset. It’s easy to fall into a number of unproductive mindsets, but you can learn the signs and practice shifting and reframing these into productive mindsets.

Let’s first look at some unproductive mindsets we all fall into, if we’re not careful, during tough times:

1. Helplessness – “There is nothing I can do.”
2. Confusion – “I don’t know what to do.”
3. Freezing – “I am scared.”
4. Hysteria – “WHAA!!!”
5. Anger – “I hate this. This should not be happening to me.”
6. Recklessness – “I can break it all; it doesn’t matter anyway.”
7. Victimhood – “Why does it happen to me? Why is everybody against me?”
8. Blame – “It’s the boss; it’s the government; it’s the other person’s fault.”
9. Escapism – “Let’s run to Vegas”
10. Depression.

Each of these mindsets has its recognizable behaviors, symptoms and brain chemistry. You can learn the signs of their onset and be alert to proactively shift and engage a different mindset and behavioral response. Here are some productive mindsets you can choose to take up when faced with the challenge of tough times:

1. Stay open – “Let’s see what will happen next.” “Where is the opportunity here?”
2. Move on – “Let’s take the next step forward.”
3. Focus on data – “Let’s find out what the facts are.”
4. Update yourself – “What new learning can I find here?” “In what way can I grow and develop in this situation?”
5. Become neutral – “I don’t have to get involved in this; I don’t have to react.”
6. Become observant – “What is actually going on?” “Where is the point of leverage in this situation?”
7. Readjust expectations – “Let’s come down to earth; what is the best plausible outcome here?”
8. Ask for help – “Can you help me with this, please?”; “How would you approach this situation?”
9. Discover the new game – “The game has changed. Let’s discover what the rules are, how to play to win and how to create win/win.”
10. Become trustful – “Let’s discover what new strength, capabilities and confidence I can find.” “I can trust the process of life.”

Coaching can help you practice and develop these mindsets. You can help the people around you shift from self-fulfilling doom and gloom talk by demonstrating these mindsets and leading by example. Show them how to anchor themselves in strength and can-do confidence.

What Can You Rely On In Tough Times?
The greatest help in tough times are the essentials we can rely on – the things we can be grateful for. Here are ten essentials that can help you anchor yourself in productive mindsets:

1. Your health
2. Your knowledge, experience and can-do smarts
3. Your comeback resilience and ability to learn (learn-ability)
4. Your sense of humor
5. Your hobbies; things you enjoy and love to do
6. Your friends
7. Your network, community and congregation
8. Nature – the air, the water, the beauty that surrounds you
9. Follies of yesterday that you already know don’t work and mistakes you have already learned from
10. “This too shall pass”

Good times present great opportunities. Tough times approached with a productive mindset can present many great opportunities too. In the coming weeks we will be posting on our blog ideas and reflections about the opportunities you can find in tough times. Stay tuned.

© Aviv Shahar