For those who saw my 2017 recap, you may think my life is only filled with joy and happy moments, but in all honesty and candor, it isn’t void of struggle.
No matter how many wonderful experiences are packed into a year, they can’t completely insulate us from adversity.
In spite of the tough times, though, I choose to be positive.
It’s important to highlight because it doesn’t mean that I never waver, but it does mean that I prioritize it and foster it within myself.
One of the messages that’s offered me strength through some pretty difficult challenges is: “Leadership takes courage. It isn’t always easy. Lead anyway.”
We must face negative forces head-on, including the people who undermine our intentions and the voices that belittle our choices.
That’s why my word for 2018 is “courage.”
Everybody can spout it, very few can really execute it. The truth is, though, we can’t take control of our lives without it.
Personally, I can attest to that. Many of the defining points in my life have only been possible because I dug down deep to find the courage to take a leap – from being the first in my family to attend college to buying my partner’s stake in Pinnacle in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.
As I wrote on LeanIn.org, after making that decision, it appeared to many that I’d just bought 100 percent of nothing, but what I’d actually done was acquire 100 percent of my destiny.
“I talked to my associates and they leaned in with me. Sometimes working for free and always hustling, we answered over 40 proposals in nine months before we won a single one. I will never forget that momentous win and the people who helped make it happen; it was the beginning of Pinnacle’s renaissance.”
Even as business took off, though, we continued to need courage. When you win a major contract, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to deliver! That’s what a lot of people don’t consider: It takes courage, even when good things are happening.
We need it All. The. Time. That’s why it’s so important to cultivate. It’s a combination of fierceness and positivity that helps us to tap into our own power. We’ve got to harness that courage if we ever hope to change the world!
One thing I always tell people is: Don’t beat yourself up, someone else will gladly do that for you.
Few things require as much courage as standing up to detractors, and it begins with being your own advocate. You’ve got to trust in your own abilities, believe in your own potential, and exude your own confidence so the worst of your critics won’t shake you from doing what’s right.
Doing so also requires the mental strength to disregard negative thoughts. Take a moment to consider how you talk to your loved ones versus how you talk to yourself. I’m betting they’re vastly different, and that’s got to change if you ever want to overcome struggles and reach your goals. It doesn’t mean that your internal dialogue should never be critical, but the key is to do so in a constructive way. Then, take that mentality and act upon it.
It’s up to each of us to stand up and say, “Today, I’m going to tackle anything that comes my way and regardless of what happens, I’m going to leave this place better than when I found it!”
That, takes true courage. #TimesUp