RENT the Situation but OWN the Lesson

RENT the Situation but OWN the Lesson with Sarah McVanelLast week we talked about how the crisis of confidence you and others you look up to are feeling right now is exactly what we would expect to happen in the depth of the pandemic. 

Do we throw our hands up in defeat? Well, this isn’t a war, so no. Put the white flag away.

Instead, we get to change the narrative. Narratives are powerful. Think about the Marvel movies (don’t tell me you haven’t binge-watched them during COVID). Can you think of a single hero that had it easy? That they rolled out of bed and accidentally saved the day. That they had all the tools and resources to battle the “bad guys.” That they didn’t have some crisis of values or relationships or confidence. 

What makes those comic book series movies so juicy is all the messed stuff that keeps you on the edge of your seat, so riveted that you didn’t even notice you ate an entire bag of popcorn by yourself (okay, well maybe that’s just me.) “How will they do it? What will happen next? Will they save the day?” (Kinda sounds like the questions you ask about our frontline healthcare heroes doesn’t it?)

Our greatest heroes have to flip failure on the route to greatness. 

What You Focus on Matters

focus with Sarah McVanelThink about your greatest mentors. I bet you that the people who have most inspired you had to struggle through survival and because of it, it was part of their thrival (a thrival revival!)

As tough as it is right now – and I so get it’s an on-your-knees, I’m-so-done-with-this, how-long-can-this-go-on – level of tough. Yes, and, the emotion and strain of the situation don’t need to be mistaken for something that requires you to dig in, fix, and figure out. Your extended experience of struggle is not the ‘new you’ or the “new normal” (yuck that term). 

It’s arguably the longest temporary shared painful human experience of our lifetime. So, you don’t need to let the pain of it prioritize it. Shoulda coulda woulda never inspired anyone. Including yourself.

Don’t make your mindset about this time more permanent than the time itself.

You get to RENT this time for its lessons and learnings.

If you’re feeling, “okay that’d be nice but I’m too darn worn down to figure out how to do this”, I’ve got you. Here are 15 mantras to help you RENT the situation and OWN the lessons.

How to Rent:

  1. If it’s not permanent, you don’t need a long-term fix
  2. If it’s out of your control, you get to go with the flow
  3. If it’s ever-changing, you can put a “hold” on big decisions
  4. If it’s you’re struggling today, you might have greater insight tomorrow
  5. If it’s working in the short-term, it might be worth keeping long-term
  6. If it’s tough now, it might allow you to appreciate “better” later
  7. If it’s not something you miss, maybe you realize you didn’t actually want it
  8. If it’s something you crave, you have more clarity you may need it
  9. If it’s a relationship that’s a struggle, it reveals how important it is to you
  10. If it’s a roadblock today, you have the opportunity to find a way around it 
  11. If it’s a surprise, it might have always been there but hidden 
  12. If it’s deflating you, you can work toward mitigating or even elevating going forward
  13. If it’s tough to rally today, maybe it’s better to rest and recharge
  14. If it’s burnout knocking on your door, evict it with self-care
  15. If it’s tough to act, maybe it’s better to reflect

Please know, I am not minimizing this time for anyone. It’s a knock-down drag-it-out fight for so many, including me, so I’m right there with you. However, if you’re in the boxing ring of life, then someone has got to lose; I’m worried it’s us. We’re losing. Or losing out. Maybe if we realize it’s a practice rather than the actual match of life then we can rent the lessons it brings. We can stay in the ring, training today for what life brings us tomorrow. And allow ourselves to do what we need today for a hopeful future. And stay focused not on what’s distracting, disturbing and detracting us, but instead, getting clarity and reconnected to stuff that matters most.

If you know someone who might benefit from these mantras, will you forward this to them? Stay safe and remember, you are already greatness.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve