We have been facing extraordinary events in recent years—the pandemic, soaring inflation and climate disasters being just a few. Some are having lasting negative effects on us, our families, friends, colleagues and merchant clients.
In the face of such setbacks it is often more difficult to persist in pursuing goals. But given the entrepreneurial nature of the payments industry, and the array of opportunities that unfold in our sphere during good times and bad, most payments professionals do indeed get going when the going gets tough. However, when hit especially hard, some put on a brave face but have a difficult time pursuing objectives with customary gusto.
Is there something you can do when this happens? I believe so. The first thing is to pay attention to self-talk. When embarking upon a goal, it's easy to visualize the finish line, such as shaking hands with skilled partners, boarding a record number of new merchant accounts, and big residual checks to pay for that new home remodel underway or long-awaited family vacation. When a setback occurs, however, visualizing the desired outcome can slip away as worries and self-doubt creep in. Awareness is key here. Pay attention to your thoughts and never lose sight of what you want.
Having a support network is also critical no matter what circumstances throw at you. A mentor, mastermind group or regular check-ins with a colleague who cares about your objectives can be extremely helpful. However, in the final analysis, your support system will not make an ounce of difference unless you become your own best friend. You must cheer yourself on. You must become your biggest fan, give yourself a shout out or high five at every step achieved even if this feels so embarrassing you can't envision doing it even in private.
Speaking of steps, when overwhelm has landed in your lap, take action. That doesn't mean you need to organize and pull off a stellar client presentation by the end of the day. It means determining one small thing you can do right now that will move you toward your goal. Just one. The key is to focus on action. For it's the small, productive steps we take overall that lead not just to a satisfying career but also to a life well-lived.
Another thing: while it's always good to track progress and reassess goals and action plans as new information comes to light, refrain from delegating just to make things easier when they seem too hard. Think this through. If you wanted to do something yourself before the setback because you sought to acquire knowledge, make new connections or gain something else that would help your career long-term, determine what you will gain and lose by turning it over to someone else. Don't let overwhelm, which is likely temporary, be what guides your decision.
That said, we all have limitations. You may discover you simply aren't the right person for a particular project. If that's the case, you're lucky, because expertise in payments abounds like a delicious buffet table, and you can partake of exactly what you need to realize your goals.
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