I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed, I freeze. Too many options, too many mistakes, too many problems to solve. I tell myself it’s best to avoid making the necessary changes right now. It’s too big. I should wait until later… which turns into later… which turns into, well, you know.
This summer, I read a new book called Pivot Leadership by my friend Angela Craig. The premise of the book is that in order to affect deep change, you don’t have to make earth-shattering decisions. Keep it simple and take a small step. The smallest shift in your mindset can make the biggest difference. I learned this little tip this past week while camping with my family.
You should know that I am not a particularly happy camper. Nevertheless, every summer we pack up our house and small daughter and venture out to the great outdoors to camp in a local state park with our church family. I cherish the time with people I love, but in years past I found that I had little fun. While everyone else was enjoying the river, reading a book in the sunshine, or playing games around the campground, I was cooking, cleaning, and organizing my campsite. A little compulsive you say? Indeed.
This year, I decided things would be different. I had just finished reading Pivot Leadership: Small Steps… Big Changes where I learned that changing my approach to a situation didn’t have to be mind-bending – it could be simple. I talked with several friends and came up with a game plan to make my campsite simpler and easier to maintain. But after all my “simplified” menus and “easier to maintain” ideas, the biggest change this week came from a simple shift in my mindset.
This past week, I decided that the most important thing was creating a place for my family to have fun. I decided that I would let go of my desire to keep things “perfect” and that I would stop working so hard and have fun. I admit that I didn’t execute this plan perfectly, but there were plenty of moments where I intentionally walked away from my imperfectly organized campsite and joined my family at the river or painted with my daughter and her friends.
Hands down, this year’s camping trip was the most enjoyable of any I have done before! Even though there were some unforeseen (and by unforeseen, I mean negative) events, I was actually a little sad to leave! That is a big (and unexpected) outcome for me. All because of a simple pivot in my mindset.
It is worth mentioning that my little mindset pivot did not come first. My DESIRE for a mindset pivot did. I WANTED to do things differently this year, so I made a simple plan and set up some accountability. The more small steps I took toward simplifying my campsite, the more my brain got on board with the idea. In order to sustain my momentum, it was crucial to pivot my approach to camping (my mindset). But my brain is stubborn and doesn’t change easily. I had to make a plan and take some steps. Then my brain said, “Hey, this is a great idea! I like this! Let’s keep this rolling people!”
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER: How about you? What are you overwhelmed by? What is one small step you can take TODAY to leverage yourself out of your little “thinking rut” and get moving again? Please comment below.
If you are looking for some practical tools to help you gain momentum with your work teams, organizational mission, or even your personal life, I recommend reading Pivot Leadership: Small Steps… Big Changes. It’s a quick read and is filled with quick and practical tips that get you thinking and dreaming again. Here are some more resources related to the book:
- For a free sample chapter, click here.
- To watch the book trailer on YouTube, click here.
- To purchase Pivot Leadership, click here.