As Student Affairs graduates, professionals, and leaders, the pressure of dealing with internal and external sources of stress can happen to anyone. Our students feel all kinds of pressure, from fitting in, to picking a major, and of course, decisions about their post-graduate experience. Moments such as these can lead even the most positive people to have days of feeling down and trying to rationalize their emotions. As SA leaders, these moments happen in our lives when we are faced with issues and challenges within our careers. Dealing with this is a huge part of how we accept change and deal with our feelings. Here are 5 ways we can turn these obstacles around.
Whenever I am faced with an issue that takes time, reflection, or external sources to fix it, I will always ask “What did I learn from this issue?” Asking this question helps me to learn about the decisions I made and to rationalize what happened and how I can rise above the problem. The mindset of “Mind Over Matter” creates motivation to use the past towards a successful future. This reflection process also helps with reminding myself that I did the best I could do for myself and others today. Understanding this helps me move forward and see the challenges I face as positive motivators of success.
#2- How Do I Feel Right Now?
Whenever you are happy, upset, or needs time to vent, it’s important to allow yourself to “feel the feelings”. Many times, people think that their feelings have to be changed to accept and understand the situation instead of just letting everything out now for a healthy reflection. It’s okay not to have the answer to the question right away, but it’s important to own your emotions and allow yourself to just feel. As we work with students in our field, it’s important to understand how we feel and how to help our students to be okay with moments that they don’t feel strong and must overcome issues with support and guidance.
#3- Take Some Time For Yourself To Think
The power to step away and collect yourself can help you look at the problem rationally and take positive steps towards change. It’s important to allow your mind and personal feelings to take some time to accept how situations are right now even if they are small. Even if it’s five minutes or a couple of days, allow yourself to think about the next step towards solving any issues you face. Time works as an ally to allow people to grow and creatively design actions for success. Time can also help you understand how to react differently if a similar issue arises, rather than becoming taken back by a challenges. Give yourself time to be in the moment and connect with what makes you happy.
#4- Find All Your Positive Leadership Traits
When people get down, it can be hard to remember the positives about what you bring to the table as a leader. During these moments, reflect on the successes you have had in life and what skills it took to make them happen. This practice can not only bring good vibes to your bad days, they can help motivate you to find new steps to success and ways to rise above obstacles. Keep your sense of self as a leader, but more importantly as a person. This can be a great factor towards making obstacles turn from negative experiences into positive outlets.
#5- Remember That Today Is Another Day For Success
A bad day or moment will pass and better ones are around the corner. No matter what issues arrive, always believe that your next step, move, and day will bring you to a new level of success. Take each bad day and turn it into a small step towards a long road of success.
Good Luck to you all as you continue to help the lives of students and reach your goals in life. Remember to use your “Take 5 tools of success” to believe in your path and growth towards success.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Gamification in Higher Ed & Student Affairs with Stacy Jacob & Dave Eng