At this time of year one can’t but help observe, and get wrapped up in (excuse the pun), the flurry of excitement and momentum building up to Christmas.
There is also an uplift in humility and genuine goodwill to all men and women, which is never a bad thing.
But for businesses it can often be a lean period. The economy is undoubtedly experiencing a downturn and many individuals and businesses are finding it a very difficult time indeed – resulting in what seems to be a slight panic in the air (which is nothing to do with the hypothetical Aunt Bessie or having to face sprouts on Christmas day).
There’s no question it’s tough out there, but it is what it is, and if ever there was a time for resilience and grit, it’s now. These are the qualities that so often see us through the troubled times.
I heard a song this morning on my way into London and one of the lines was ‘don’t look back, have faith in what you choose’. I like that – and how true. Keeping faith in our choices, especially when the stakes are high, can be particularly challenging. Yet always looking back will leave us rooted in the past, and perhaps not equipped to deal with the present. Things move quickly and we need to move with them.
Not wanting to let go (be it personally or in a business environment) can sometimes mean doing things that just don’t make sense anymore. The secret is about being bold, making tough decisions and then backing yourself.
Don’t let setbacks knock you off your stride.
Earlier this month, I had the fortune of going to the launch of DakarGB; the Dakar rally which, to my mind anyway, is very possibly one of the most gruelling races on the planet. There are not only extremes of temperature and unimaginable dust, but also an almost certain likelihood of chronic sleep deprivation and genuine personal risk of injury if not worse.
It requires supreme levels of fitness and stamina, and incredible reserves of mental strength to hold one’s nerve and keep faith in your ability.
As some of you know, I learnt how to ride a motorbike this year in order to take an off road trip for charity across the Pyrenees and I’m not ashamed to say that it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
But during the dark days, and the euphoric highs, it made me realise that the rules are essentially the same if you’re riding a motorbike, running a business or building a career. The barriers stopping us from progressing are as much about self-belief, perception and inspiring confidence in others as they are about aptitude or capability.
So if the going gets tough in the coming months keep remembering that one simple thing – hold your nerve.
As the song I was listening to earlier also says, ‘life can sense your attitude’!
Positivity and optimism can go such a long way.
Wishing you a magical festive season filled with joy, fun and inspiration.