How to Pivot and Ask For Help

Unexpected pivot

How to Pivot and Ask For Help


Isn’t this the theme song for 2020? We are all struggling with how to stay on track with our work and our lives. It has been a challenging time for all of us, and these last few months have given new meaning to life being a marathon and not a sprint.


I was asked to share how you get back on track professionally when you have been derailed or thrown off course. It is a perfect time for me personally to reflect on this because my Mom recently suffered a heart attack. We were not even aware she had a heart problem. So yes, it came as quite a shock to learn that my Mom was having a heart attack when she was rushed to the hospital at 3 AM a few weeks ago.


That same day, I was scheduled to present the first of a series of three live webinars to support the launch of my inaugural digital course. At first, after hearing the news about my Mom, I thought the show must go on. It became clear very quickly that my Mom’s situation was too serious, and we had to immediately pivot and postpone the webinars so that I could jump on a plane to be at her bedside. Family is the most important part of my life.


Reflecting to Make a New Decision


I’ve had time to reflect during these last few weeks spent in Michigan on what it means to have to make an abrupt professional plan change. The most important thing to do, I believe, when life hands us the unexpected, is to keep your perspective. While it’s hard to do, especially living in the moment of a crisis, I do believe you have to try to gain perspective as quickly as you can. Here’s what else I had to do to get through the unexpected.


How to Silence Negative Thoughts 


When things don’t go as planned, both fear and worry can take over. I recommend ending any negativity running through your mind as quickly as possible. It’s too important to stay focused during difficult times, and negative thoughts distract. If I can’t quiet my mind from negative thoughts, I listen to a guided meditation on positivity or mindfulness for about ten or twelve minutes. 


Once you have time to collect your thoughts and take action, don’t be afraid to talk about a setback or concern to those who love and support you. I am a very private person. It’s hard for me to talk about personal and professional things sometimes, especially if they are not positive. I have learned the hard way that ruminating is not good! If you can get it out of your head and onto paper in your journal or speak with someone directly about what is concerning you, it helps immediately.


Why Communication is the Key to Success


Communication is the key to success in so many ways, and your happiness and well-being depend on you being able to talk to someone about what’s bothering you. The more you speak about what’s challenging you, the easier it gets to do it. Don’t keep what is concerning you inside. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about what’s holding you back so you can process those feelings and move forward in your life.


How to Ask For Help


Right up there with communicating a challenge or setback is asking for help. People want to help. They really do. And so many of us think, especially as women, that we must figure everything out on our own. While it’s true you don’t want to complain or discuss every minor thing, never be afraid to ask for help when you are stuck and need support. Asking for help is emotional strength. Forget about what the other person will think. Let’s face it, none of us succeed on our own. Now more than ever, with so much change happening so quickly, I ask for help much sooner than I used to, and it’s been a gift in my life.


The Power of Believing In Yourself


After opening up, sharing concerns, and asking for help, you must always believe in yourself. No matter what, we all must have faith in our own capabilities. Life gets overwhelming at times; however, you must believe in yourself so that you can take action. Our inner faith creates our external results. It’s easy to lose faith in yourself when you have setbacks, failures, or fear. Just remember, we all fail. Simply put, this is how life goes. And we often learn more from our failures than from our successes. It’s important to get back up and try again, even if it takes a little time to get yourself back together.


Practice Flexibility in Your Life


Flexibility is one of the most important traits we all need to develop in this rapidly changing new world we find ourselves living and working in. Always remember to watch and listen and learn from those around you. Podcasts are great for this. I love hearing people share what has worked to make them more successful or manage through a difficult time. That’s why mentors are so important, especially now. People who can adapt will survive and thrive.


Add Self-Care to Your Week


Most importantly, and now more than ever, practice self-care. The old saying is so true, we must put our own oxygen masks on first! Stress is not good and will negatively impact your health and well-being. Since working from home, I drink more water, eat healthier, take a walk in a nature park each week with a friend (yes, with masks and social distance), and I have been reading like crazy. These are the activities that I have on my self-care list. Which activities do you have on your list?


Pivoting and business coaching is essential to achieving your goals! However, all of us need assistance from others more than once in our life to support us so we can be our best. If you are unsure where to start, I’d love to connect with you to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Reach out to find out how we can work together via my contact page today!


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Mary Williams

Mary is a business etiquette and protocol expert for executives and rising stars who want to unleash their best self and achieve their goals. A veteran of the C-Suite, Mary is a passionate advocate for utilizing the best skills in business etiquette and protocol to ensure meaningful actions for success in business and life. After more than a dozen years in her role as chief of staff, Mary launched her own dream business, Mary Williams, Your First Impression Authority. As a graduate of The American School of Protocol and a certified Business Coach, in addition to working at the highest levels of national and international organizations, Mary understands both the demands and the complexities of maneuvering effectively through business and life.   She is a regular presenter at university business schools, nonprofit organizations, trade association conferences, as well as corporate events. Her mission is to share all she has learned along the way, and in doing so provide effective business coaching to ultimately help people reach their true potential, utilizing distinct techniques and simple steps that guarantee success.

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