Sam Glenn, Award Winning Author, Artist and Motivational Speaker
Today, our son had his 18 month well-child checkup. It had been postponed several
months due covid-19 restrictions. What I found interesting was some information the doctor shared about the increased number of cases of children with anxiety she has seen in the last two months. Normally, she might get one appointment a week
dealing with a child experiencing anxiety issues. However, since early March when everything abruptly closed, seemingly overnight, the number of cases she has seen has more than quadrupled. It is clear that young people are having to deal
with some incredible changes and despite most parents and teachers' best efforts they are still struggling to adapt to their ever changing world. It breaks my heart
to know that so many children and young people are struggling with anxiety. It’s not a good feeling to try and operate and live life while feeling so scared and unsure of the future.
I want to share a few helpful tips on how to ease the anxiety of not only children and young people, but also within ourselves. In order to provide security and reassurance to our kids and the kids in our lives we must first strengthen ourselves. The kinds of changes we have all been experiencing on a near daily basis can be uncomfortable, challenging, and unnerving. However, the good news is change doesn’t have to be haunting Change can actually be a big positive if you point your focus and attitude in that direction. That process requires consistency in order for it to work. It’s not a quick fix, or a one time solution, but rather it’s a process that leads to progress and eventually positive momentum. I think we could all use some positive momentum right now. Would you agree?
I want to share something that has worked really well during this historical mark in time. I call it the 3 E’s to managing change in a positive way. When applied, the 3 E’s boost confidence, dissolve stress and anxiety and make growth the positive denominator. It is essential to first start with your attitude. Your attitude is the starting point to EVERYTHING. If your attitude isn’t working right, then nothing that follows it will have the ability to go right. Having a positive attitude doesn’t stop adversity from happening, but a better attitude gives us the mental stamina, clarity, resilience and creativity to grow from our adversities instead of being dragged down by them. Now, these 3 E’s may seem like soft principles, but they are incredibly valuable when applied with consistency. And best of all – THEY WORK!
- The first E is Example.
Be a positive example. When I speak to leaders, I always inform them that the example you set is the one people will replicate. Examples are educational. Examples equip us with lessons we use throughout our whole life – both personally and professionally. When the news broke that we had to stay at home for 15 days, which eventually turned into 30 and then 45 days, my oldest daughter got scared. She loves going to school and playing with her friends and seeing her wonderful teacher. Her whole world got turned upside down. Life as we all know it got turned upside down. We couldn't do any of the normal activities, large or small, that our lives had surrounded around for so long. Enter the new normal. So, to ease my daughters fears, my wife and I realized that we needed to be a consistent example not only for our kids but for each other..
The starting point to setting the right example is choosing the right attitude. The question you have to ask, “Is my attitude being helpful or hurtful? What example is my attitude and actions creating for others around me?” Instead of focusing on all the things we could no longer do we shifted our focus to all of the fun things we now had time to do. When my daughter was sad we could not go to her favorite restaurant we decided to recreate the experience at home. Homemade cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes became a fun family experience rather than something eaten quickly in the car on the way home from an activity. And we even remembered to include the toy with the meal. :)
- The second E is Encouragement.
Be encouraging. Again, this ties back into your attitude. Are you being encouraging to others or are you being discouraging. I think now more than ever, we need to encourage each other to keep going, to keep getting better, to keep working hard and build on that every day. When someone around you isn’t doing their best or feeling their best, maybe pause for a moment to encourage them. Look for what they are doing right, no matter how small, and praise that abundantly. Positive feedback brings positive action quicker than almost anything else. This has helped me the most during all this virus mess. I have been waking up early every day to paint an original inspirational painting and giving it away to someone on my Facebook page @SamGlennSpeaks. I post a positive quote to get the attitude pointed in the right direction and I paint a painting with an inspirational message and give it away. At the time of this blog, we are up to 67 days of giving away art. It may be a small part in someone’s day to stop by my page, but I want to make sure if anyone stops by for only 30 seconds, it makes their day and gives them a positive boost. I don’t have all the answers for what’s going on, but I am happy, ready and willing to encourage you to keep your head up and keep going. Because honestly, that’s the best we call can do.
Who can you encourage around you? Encourage your spouse, partner, co-workers, kids, neighbors, friends and family. A little encouragement can do wonders. As I always say in my speeches, choose an attitude that is a light to someone’s dark. We can all make a difference by using the best of who we are to bless other people.
- The third E is Empathy.
Empathy is empowerment. It communicates you care. It is both an example and an encouragement. Empathy is the recognition that we all respond to change in different ways. For some of us, this historical event has taken a mental toll and for that reason, we need to be kind to each other. We all have a story in this chapter of history and many people have lost their jobs, small businesses have closed and some people have no idea what’s next around the corner. So, you see, it’s easy to understand why
anxiety is at an all time high. Empathy is putting others first because you care about them and want the best for them. It’s being a little more patient. It’s extending some grace and understanding even when that may not be our first impulse but it is choosing to put aside how you may feel in order to think of someone else first. It is choosing to assume good intentions, assume that the other person is giving their best effort, and overlook mistakes. It is recognizing that negative behavior may not be a result of disobedience or a poor attitude but rather an expression of inner turmoil and stress. Most of the time when kids act out it is not because they are choosing to act poorly but because they are hungry, over tired, scared, or wanting attention. When those needs are addressed their behavior almost always immediately changes.
As we all work every day to adapt to the changing rules, regulations, and needs of those around us we need to remember to give grace to ourselves first and then from that place of grace give it to others as well. The more good news and good messages we pour into ourselves the more good we can pour into others. The more confident we are, the more confidence we can inspire in others. While this is the most challenging time most of us have encountered it also presents the biggest opportunity for personal growth most of us have had.
This blog/ article is by award winning author and motivational speaker, Sam Glenn. Sam Glenn is known as the human inspirational highlight to meetings and conferences. In adapting to the change in meeting formats, Sam is widely becoming known as a virtual meeting Rockstar – providing entertaining, artistic and informative virtual speeches that empower, rekindle enthusiasm and focus on getting thinking better so we do better. Check out his books, art and virtual keynotes at (www.SamGlennBooks.com)
For Booking In Person or Virtual, email his booking team at Contact@SamGlenn.com