Photo credit: UpNorth.com
In 18 weeks, I will be getting in the waters of Lake Michigan to start the swim portion of the Traverse City Ironman 70.3. It is something I have never done, and the training is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
To say that I am a bit outside my comfort zone would be spot on and each week…heck, each workout….brings on new challenges. New thoughts, fears, frustrations, adversity. Let’s be honest…at this age, I do not know what body part is going to hurt when!
But I endure. I have faith in the process and the workout plan that is laid out for me each week. There are so many things that I do not have control over but I choose to control the conversation in my head and when I get sideways with myself I redirect my focus and remember why I am doing this and literally move my thoughts to the next step, the next revolution on the bike, and the next stroke in the pool.
1%. Just get one percent better every workout, mentally and physically.
Similar to my training, what we are going through with COVID-19 is a marathon and not a sprint. Though l liken it to how Jon Gordon describes life…. a marathon full of sprints, with a boxing match thrown in here and there.
Here is the difference, I signed up for the 70.3 and knew what I was getting into (at least I thought I did!). We did not sign up for this and truly, we are still uncertain of so many things.
I want to help you. I want to help you help others….whether it be your team at work or home.
Take Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Them
- It is what it is. Acknowledge that we are in this for the long haul, that our current situation is truly a marathon and not a sprint. Then when things get tough, when you do not see a finish line in sight, just focus on the next step. This will help align your reality with your expectations and positively impact your outlook mood and stress levels.
- Stay level. There will be highs and lows EVERY DAY! One thing I have learned is that things are never as good as they seem or as bad as they seem, but somewhere in the middle is where reality lies. Do not allow yourself to get on the emotional roller coaster. This will help you manage energy, make better decisions, and make them quickly without all the information, increase your confidence level and stay consistent in all facets of your world.
- The Three R’s. Rest, Refuel and Replace. This is all about managing your energy level so you can maximize the time you are at your best. There are so many drains on your energy and all of those are elevated right now. Get your Rest. Not only should you be getting eight hours a night (full disclosure, I only get 6-7 but that is way better than I used to be) you need to think about chilling out during the day and maybe getting in a power nap. Refuel with a balanced diet. I eat a high-protein, low-carb diet and I hydrate like crazy during the day. Also, pay attention to what you feed your mind. Like your body, what you put in is what you will get out. This leads to the third R and that is Replace. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. This may require changing what you watch, listen to, and who you spend your time talking to.
- Be at peace with your thoughts. It is ok to have fears, to be uncomfortable with the uncertainty and the unknown, and it is so key to not be critical of yourself for having those emotions. I call it grace. I have been meditating for over two years now and this has been instrumental in me achieving the ability to experience different emotions, acknowledge them, and then let them go. The great thing is, you become more present and aware which means the best version of you shows up much more often and when there is a little bit of slippage, you catch yourself and pivot.
Timing is Everything
In a recent episode of The Athletics of Business podcast, I welcomed back my great friend Jason Bey of Dompé. I have known Jason for 30 years now and it is no shock to me that he is such an amazing and accomplished leader. You can listen to the entire episode here, but let me give you a preview of what you can expect to hear. He shared so much in this encore interview.
On Dealing with COVID-19:
“First thing I did was look inward to face my fears. This allowed me to be vulnerable with myself, family, friends, and colleagues. Next, I reopened my gratitude journal in my nightstand and started writing again and acknowledging all that I am grateful for daily. This helped me maintain a sense of calmness during a very challenging time,”
On What Were Some of the Reasons For Dompé’s Massive Success in the U.S. in 2019:
- We collectively activated an inspirational and motivating vision, value proposition, and operating principles.
- We focused on need, not precedent and we were not afraid to take risks.
- We empowered people to make decisions at the local level and to own their dirt by allowing people to leverage their strengths and talents to contribute in a meaningful way.
On What Were His Personal Learnings In 2019 as a Leader:
- The importance of making decisions without having all the information needed.
- Being able to walk away from things that aren’t business-critical.
- To show patience and still be productive at work.
- Trust is earned when actions meet words.
- All conversations are easier when you establish trust with your teams.
This may seem like a lot but I just scratched the surface with all of the things Jason shares on the podcast.
Finally, as you continue to grow and lead during this challenging time and incredible opportunity ask yourself these questions today:
- Where am I overreacting and when/why does it usually happen?
- Am I getting enough sleep? Why not?
- Am I eating properly and am I staying hydrated?
- What am I feeding my mind?
- Am I replacing negative thoughts with positive ones or am I allowing the negativity to build up?
- What are my fears?
Be real with your answers. Answering these questions has become a daily habit of mine for quite a while now and I am not sure how I survived without this type of focus.
Like you, I have adversity and fears.
My world changed dramatically. The business got off to it’s the best start ever and we were set to have an incredible Q1 and my training was going extremely well.
I have not been able to get in a pool and workout in almost seven weeks yet I will be jumping in Lake Michigan in 18 weeks to swim 1.2 miles before biking 56 and running 13.1.
And….the revenue for The Molitor Group dropped significantly seven weeks ago. All at once.
But you know what, I have never built so many new professional relationships in such a short period of time, never had deeper relationships with clients, I have never felt closer to my wife and kids and I have allowed myself to work on things in the business that there was never time for before.
Go get the positive and do the best you can with what you have to become the best you are capable of becoming. NOW!