The Sharpening Stone – Declare Your Outlook

Hi Everyone! We all can learn from our past, and 2020 was a year unlike any other.  In fact, it was an incredibly challenging year that threw everything that we considered normal upside down.  From COVID, to the election, to racial justice issues, businesses shuttering, home/online schooling, and events cancelled; along with guidelines that seemed to change almost every other day.

Maybe 2020 hit you especially hard, and things that you thought you were in control of, you learned you really were not.  In fact, there are really three things that you do have control over: 1) Your Attitude, 2) your Outlook, and 3) your Response. So, let’s talk about what drives that second element, your Outlook!

When you wake up – Do any of these come to mind ? “I’m tired; where’s the coffee?” … “There’s too much to do! I wish I had an extra day of the week.” … “Whatever I do, I just can’t get ahead.”  Sound familiar?

Well, I want to make a statement, and then ask you a question.  My Statement – Your life moves in the direction of your strongest thoughts. My Question – are you excited about the direction your thoughts are taking you … really?

If you are honest, and you’re not excited about the direction of your thoughts, let me share with you a simple practice, a discipline, that can help get you on your way to thinking differently.  I started this discipline a few years ago when one of my favorite communicators and authors, Craig Groeschel, shared what he did, as his thought life was creating havoc with him.

Let’s start with this question: “What negative thoughts dominate your thinking?” Examples: I’m overwhelmed, I’m not a good enough leader, I’m not a good enough parent, or I’m just not good enough!  Be honest with these statements that you are telling yourself over and over, because again, your life moves in the direction of your strongest thoughts.

Then, what truth, or as I like to call them, “declarations”, will help you eliminate those negative thoughts?  By developing these declarations, these positive statements, and saying them at the start of every day, it will lead you on the right path to a more promising outlook.  These statements will DECLARE your OUTLOOK!

As a person of faith, I look to the Bible for my declarations.  You may look at a different source, but what you want to do is frame up a declaration that changes the way you are thinking.  You may think, “I’m not strong enough. I don’t have what it takes. I can’t get through the day.”  As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that Christ has given me everything I need. My declaration => “With Him, I can do all things.”  The more you say it, the more you’ll renew your mind. And eventually, there will be a switch that takes place.

Here are some of my other declarations:

  • I am loved.
  • I will put aside my own interests to serve the interests of others.
  • I will not be swayed by criticism or fear of rejection because I live for an “Audience of One”.
  • I will write a story I’m proud to tell one decision at a time.

SO put your list together and DECLARE YOUR OUTLOOK!  You might just make this year One of Your Best!

About the Author: Steve Erb

Steve is a graduate of Purdue University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics / Statistics, and Villanova University, where he received his MBA. Steve’s career has included senior leadership positions with two Fortune500 companies in Procurement, Logistics, Supply Chain, and Operations. Steve also built out the Organizational Development/HR department for a software technology firm and was a key part of seven (7) acquisitions over a 2-year period; as well as developing a successful compensation strategy and structure.

Steve’s expertise lies in developing operations strategies that eliminate redundancies; streamline processes/systems; and deliver productivity, quality, and efficiency gains. Steve has a proven reputation for caring for employees and teams, resulting in an overriding “Servant Leadership” mentality that transforms company cultures and creates a sense of employee engagement and accountability. Steve is also known for his change management expertise and ability to gain credibility to align performance drivers, customer expectations, and initiate continuous improvement across multi-site operations.

The Sharpening Stone

The Sharpening Stone is a series of short videos from True Edge designed to sharpen leaders and their organizations.

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