Leaders face difficult tasks and tackle daunting problems. This is hard, but it’s in the job description.
You know what I’m describing: that difficult conversation or update, the phone call you’ve put off, the presentation you need to finish but don’t know what to say, the real-world-you’re-not-cutting-it feedback you need to give to that person in your team, etc.
Here are some tips for you to successfully get through that next “eat a frog” moment:
- Remove distractions
Get the problem in front of you, and face it squarely. Get everything else out of your peripheral vision. Squelch that thought of, “Isn’t it time to defragment my hard drive?”.
- Define the task and your desired outcome
Fuzzy definition of hard tasks makes them even more difficult. You can’t solve an ill-defined problem. You can’t get to a solution if you can’t imagine yourself getting there. What does success look like? What will it feel like to get past this?
- Recall an instance of excellent performance
This is key. You’ve solved hard problems before. You’ve done hard things before. Recall in your mind some past event where you didn’t just survive it, but you excelled as you accomplished it. Get those positive juices flowing.
Focus your positive energies for a short time. Make it happen. Then, store up the “I did it” thinking and emotions in your memory tank to use the next time.
Remember that all growth begins at the end of your comfort zone. Following these steps expands your comfort zone. Never fear, there are new difficult tasks coming your way in the future!