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Motivating Yourself & Others Through Uncertainty

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Whether we’re facing a pandemic, health issues, or a severe winter storm, we tend to revert back to old habits to manage through. We get frustrated and blame medical professionals, weather reporters, and utility companies.

I get it. I live in a townhome complex with a very active HOA and lots of amazing neighbors.  We have survived together through lost pets, the death of loved ones, the pandemic, and now a huge winter storm that has shut down our city.  We never know when we’ll get power, and if we get it, for how long or how to prepare for the next outage. This is why I’m up at 4:00 a.m. this morning sipping coffee and writing, since all the lights just miraculously came on—I am taking advantage while I can!

One of my favorite quotes is “There is always something right about something that is wrong.” What I am learning through these experiences is we are a resilient people. But we don’t give ourselves enough credit to step into resiliency, nor do we know how to call upon the talents that make us resilient. 

In April of 2020, I began studying resiliency and then created a talk on resiliency for leaders and coworkers at Southwest Airlines to encourage them. I realized as we entered the pandemic that we were in a “Stockdale Moment.” Coined from Admiral Stockdale when he was a prisoner of war for eight years.  

Stockdale learned to balance realism – retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties with optimism confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.  This is also known as The Stockdale Paradox and is mentioned in Jim Collins’ book – “Good to Great.”

What I learned from these talks is that we all want to be resilient, we just don’t know how.  Why?

People only change when something resonates with them personally.

What motivates human behavior? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the best-known theories of motivation.According to humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow, our actions are motivated by the need to achieve certain needs.

Looking below at Maslow’s Pyramid, you will see we can’t move to self-actualization until our physical, security, social, and ego needs are met.  

 Neel Burton

Once a person has met his deficiency needs, he can turn his attention to self-actualization; however, only a small minority of people are able to self-actualize because self-actualization requires uncommon qualities such as honesty, independence, awareness, objectivity, creativity, and originality.

How do we self-actualize?

Whether we are facing a pandemic or a winter snowstorm that threatens our physical needs, we can turn inward with one simple tool, CliftonStrengths, to manage ourselves during difficult times through the following three ways:

Become Self-Aware
            • Know your CliftonStrengths.
            • Apply your Strengths daily to be honest with yourself and realize what you can impact.  
            • Hire a Certified ClfitonStrengths Coach to help you be accountable.
Build Resiliency
            • You are building your resiliency muscle – be aware of times you are overly optimistic, or overly pessimistic, and seek to balance both through your CliftonStrengths.
Live Intentionally
            • Create a narrative based on who you are and how you can contribute creatively and originally to your family, friends, and coworkers. Know your purpose, and live each day focused on your mission.

Our team is here for you and can help you navigate life’s ups and downs through our coaching, online tools, and resources. Feel free to reach us at We would love to partner with you on your journey. 

You’ve got this, and you are resilient! 

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