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Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
Speaking Information at (727) 467-0202 or e-mail info@fawngermer.com

Don’t look for ease, look for strength

I went to a concert last night with a friend who has been having one of those year-from-hell-good-God-I-can’t-take-it-anymore moments. With good reason, too, because it really has been the year when everything that could possibly go wrong professionally has gone wrong for her. One thing after another. There was a frivolous professional grievance filed by a spiteful former client. Legal bills that escalated from outrageous to astronomical. A settlement that should have ended things but instead made the problem mushroom to other parts of her professional practice.

Last night, she showed up at the concert with more bad news: Someone had gotten hurt in the parking lot of her office building, and the building manager was able to force her out of her shared office arrangement since there was no lease.

She’s had enough. She wants to quit her practice and get a job. There wouldn’t be so many problems, one on top of another, each one getting bigger and bigger, if it weren’t some sort of sign that she should be doing something else. She’s exhausted and depressed and can’t stand the thought of anything else happening. There’s been so much bad news – way too much bad news – and she just wants it to stop.

“I just think this may be telling me it is time to leave the profession,” she said.

If she does, it is a real shame for the people she serves – and for herself — because she is gifted in her work and deserves great success. But, she’s lost faith in herself. Her reserves are depleted and she doesn’t think she has the energy to deal with another disappointment or setback. If she does abandon her work, she will do it because she is surrendering to a merciless run of horrible luck, not because she doesn’t want to do the work and not because she can’t succeed with it. It’s a decision made out of frustration and exhaustion.

Don’t look for ease, look for strength. Like all of us, you will go through difficult times, and how you emerge depends entirely on your approach adversity. You either give power to your obstacles, or build strength to deal with them. You can’t know when a run of bad luck is going to end, but have faith that it will end.

I have been taught something profound from every one of those old, unpleasant test points I have experienced in life, and my difficulties have ultimately led me to far greater personal or professional success than any of the accomplishments that came with ease.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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