Coach's Corner

How to Stay Positive
Nov 4, 2021
Michelle Gladieux
Coach's Corner

Hi Michelle,

You’re well aware of my work situation after our coaching session today. I try to stay positive, but how does one do that when there’s literally NO upside?

Reader, this question comes from a great guy in an operations leadership position. Through decades of change, he’s adapted each time his industry faced setbacks, most recently in the face of the pandemic.

To the client: I love this question, my friend. It made me laugh – although I’m not laughing at your stress. I felt joy in your honesty and felt hope that we can find upsides. I thought of your personality assessment, which shows outstanding analytical gifts. Those gifts of detail-driven, logical and careful thought often come with a darker side if strengths are overused. For analysts, that can mean a failure to consider what positives might be possible, even in the darkest of times.

I have a few questions for you:

Will you be watching for tiny wins and possible solutions when opportunity knocks? Or will you rule out the fact that improvement is possible?

Will you remember why you keep choosing to do this work? We have a free, downloadable tool to help anyone articulate their reason for working:

Worry is a heavy habit to carry. Worries are familiar and hard to give up, even though they don’t help us survive or thrive. Recently, my team admitted aloud to one another one bothersome worry and swore to set it aside for one whole month. Each time the worry surfaced, we released it. All our other worries were allowed to stay. With determination, we broke up with the selected worries and they lost their hold on us. Check it out at:

You had setbacks this year. Like many of us, you’ve faced health concerns with loved ones as work grew more stressful. Taking care of yourself (mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually) is a must to sustain yourself in this world. 

Post-traumatic growth refers to benefits of uniquely bad times. It often happens naturally, but you can nurture it by seeking learning opportunities and:

Recalling successes – were you prepared, did you use resources well or keep communication flowing?

Disclosing – talking about the short and long-term effects of tough times turns worry into reflection and problem-solving. 

Developing your own narrative – You’re the author of this book. How might the story turn out? How does it lead to a better future because you waded through the muck?

Finally, serve. Don’t stop serving. People do better in the aftermath of tough times if they have paid or unpaid work that benefits others. 25 years of research demonstrate that folks who decide to show compassion surf change better. 

I’m lucky to know you and glad you shared such a pertinent, helpful question. 

Are you dealing with a career or communication challenge?
If you’ve got a question, write to for consideration. 

Questions remain confidential and anonymous.

Lake City Bank - Face to Face

Related Stories