The road to 2021 has not been easy, but if I have learned anything in my years as a business professional, it is that growth comes from tribulation. What did 2020 teach us that we can use to grow in 2021 and beyond? Patience and Perseverance.
Patience can be tough. We have been trying to learn patience since we were children; I remember my parents always telling me, patience is a virtue. As a kid I did not know what that meant, and it was hard to wait without getting angry or frustrated. Most people have trouble waiting for an answer or for something to happen that they have no control over. Maybe that’s why this is a virtue most people work on their entire lives.
Everyone’s patience was tried in 2020, both personally and professionally. We could not be with the people we loved because of the pandemic. We had to use Zoom to see others virtually when in the past, we could just visit them face to face. Remember when we could hug? Remember when shaking hands with people was second nature? 2020 was the year we gave all that up as well as going to our favorite restaurants and movies. Thank goodness for Netflix.
On the professional side we had to hone our patience skills as business started to slow down and jobs we thought would be booked were put on hold. Sometimes it is hard not to get angry while we are waiting on answers which could take much longer than normal. We toed the line between following up on projects and rushing jobs that weren’t quite ready, knowing customers could be dealing with issues on their side as well. We learned to walk a tight rope and know when to push and when to sit back and wait for that customer to get the results we want. This time taught us to slow down and breathe, to realize we have limited control over many things.
Perseverance is the real challenge, though. I’m sure after the year we just had we all feel we have put in the time, but now is our chance to grow. To persevere, we must get up every day and put one foot in front of the other. We must understand that some days will be tougher than others, but we continue. We persevere. If we “keep our eye on the prize” and keep working towards our goals - things will get accomplished.
One of my favorite ways to practice perseverance is by making a list of everything I want to accomplish. I make this list at the end of each day, and then start the next day knowing what my goals are and what I want to accomplish. This usually helps the day go a little smoother; I can persevere through minor setbacks both personally and professionally by keeping my goals in focus and not letting these little things get in my way. Sometimes we beat ourselves up for not completing our to-do list each day. Learn to be realistic. Do not make a list that has more than you can humanely accomplish. Over the years I have learned to stay organized, keep moving and not be too hard on myself. This has certainly helped me through the challenges of the past year. Some days will be better than others, but with perseverance you can make it through.
The past 13 months have been hard on all of us. Keeping patience and perseverance in focus are necessary skills to help make it through. We will get through this.
Diana Hanna is National Sales Director – Business Development and Strategic Accounts for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.