It has been a rough year, and this post I’ll be departing from storytelling and marketing insights to focus on providing myself (and hopefully others) some perspective to help finish strong.

Maintaining a sense of Buoyancy in life and business

Would you choose to repeat 2020? I personally would rather eat an airplane.

When you experience setbacks, it’s really hard to maintain the perspective that they’re opportunities for growth. But if your business is still around next year, there’s a good chance the lessons you’ve learned will help it prosper well into the future.

rubber duckie

In the meantime, can we have a little fun? … Maybe.

Neither permanent, nor pervasive, nor personal

Author Daniel Pink dedicates a wonderful chapter to Buoyancy in his #1 New York Times business bestseller To Sell Is Human. Buoyancy is also one of my favorite words because it complements optimism, grit, and fun.

Pink has some great insights into how to maintain a sense of buoyancy through life’s setbacks:

“People who give up easily, who become helpless even in situations where they actually can do something, explain bad events as permanent, pervasive, and personal,” Pink says. The way you process setbacks is a function of your attributional style, and the traps we set for ourselves tend to be along these lines:

  • We mistakenly think or intuit that negative conditions and feelings will remain well into the future (they’re permanent)
  • We think failures point to something universal rather than contextual (they’re pervasive)
  • We see failures as more of a reflection of our abilities or character than they really are (they’re personal)

Pink suggests asking yourself these three questions when something bad occurs—and then to “come up with an intelligent way to answer each one ‘no’”:

  1. Is this permanent?
  2. Is this pervasive?
  3. Is this personal?

You’re probably making some things harder on yourself than you need to. God knows I do. So sometime in the next week, step back examine your attributional style.

The challenges within us are greater than the challenges before us

Negative feelings trick us into thinking they’re permanent—or that a setback we’re experiencing is a reflection on our character. Setbacks aren’t permanent, and to the extent that they may reflect upon our character (this usually isn’t the case), they can be repaired.

Positive feelings trick us too. They trick us into thinking they’re supposed to be permanent. But science has shown that too much positivity makes us complacent and clueless.

How has your outlook on your business changed over the last 8 months? How can I support you in translating that into a lasting competitive advantage?

I help purpose-driven entrepreneurs elevate their marketing through storytelling, humor, and clear strategic messaging.

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Posted on: November 30, 2020