Baby, it’s cold outside!
With most of the East Coast of the US in a deep freeze, The Clarks headed north (not south!) last week to visit family and spend time on our ancestral farm in New Hampshire. It is the perfect place to unplug, unwind, and get back to nature. But with temperatures dipping well below zero, enjoying our long hikes and outside adventures was going to be a challenge.
But the forecast was no surprise. We knew it was going to be frigid and we came to the frozen tundra prepared with warm hats, thick gloves and several layers of thermal clothes. Staying inside and playing video games was not an option. So we layered up, hunkered down and headed out into the wilderness to battle Mr. Snow Miser!
We were determined. We were excited. And when we stepped outside and started our trek, a funny thing happened. We really didn’t feel all that cold. We were mentally and physically prepared for a battle. And the thought of the brutal temperatures was much more intimidating than the actual blast of Arctic air.
It was the best hike of our lives.
When we layer up, we can withstand more than we think. And isn’t that the way it should be in our professional and personal lives?
We Can’t Have a “One-Layer” Approach
In our work lives, how do we survive that blast of cold air that occasionally threatens to stop us in our tracks? We lose a major sale. We lose a top client. Our pitch falls flat. We fail to secure adequate financing. Our students and players regress. We feel exposed as that wind kicks up and damages our self-esteem and ego. Staying inside and diving under the covers is not the answer. It’s time to layer up!
We need to cultivate multiple clients and multiple opportunities to spread out our risk. If we lose one layer, we are not down to our shorts. We need to constantly hone our skills and study our craft. If we have one poor performance, a solid foundation makes it much easier to bounce back and crush the next presentation. We cannot have one approach to inspire our team members. We must be prepared to pivot and try new angles to coax out peak performance across the board.
And we certainly can’t go running inside every time the cold wind blows. A one-layer approach to anything can be devastating when that layer is exposed. But once we layer up, we realize how exhilarating our journey can be!
Breathe That Cold Air
The same is true in our personal lives. A rejection or falling out with a loved one or friend can be painful. A dip in finances can feel cold and raw. An injury can set us back. If we don’t layer up, these minor setbacks can leave us exposed.
There will always be some level of conflict in our personal lives. Sometimes, we need to lean more heavily on one group of loved ones in order to gain much needed perspective and allow for healing. Financial exposure is never pleasant. But we must diversify our income and look for other streams of revenue to offset a loss. Injuries, both mental and physical, can be debilitating and painful. But we must build up other muscles and other areas of our lives to help heal the impacted area.
We can’t rely on one layer to get us through. We need to layer up and jump back into that clear, cold air!
It Takes a Village
But there are some temperatures that we simply can’t bear. No number of layers will completely protect us from devastating wind and bone-chilling cold. No amount of inner resiliency makes us bullet-proof from tragedy. The sudden death of a loved one. A heartbreaking divorce. Financial ruin. What do we do when the cold wind feels like it will rip the skin from our nose?
We can’t get through it alone.
Come in and sit by the fire. Pour some brown liquor or a Chardonnay. Our inner circle and loved ones will be there for us. They will give us strength. They will comfort us and help us breathe. They will be the layers we need to get back on our feet and face the world.
It won’t be easy, but we will survive. Sometimes, it takes a village to be resilient.
Keep Adding Layers
It’s going to get cold at some point in our lives. We can’t stay inside and avoid it forever. We need to prepare. We need to layer up and face the wind and the Arctic air. Let it fill our lungs. And if it gets to be too much, we can always find comfort in the loving layers of our inner circle of friends and family.
Layer up. Hunker down. Embrace the cold. Soak it in and don’t worry.
It’s getting warmer already.
Until next week, keep smiling.