5 Tips for Facing Challenges in 2014
My heartfelt condolences and prayer goes out to the families and friends of those who died in the fire at
Résidence du Havre in L’Isle-Verte in Quebec last week. Whenever tragedies such as this occur I usually
question the existence of God. Ultimately I accept that there are realities that lie beyond my
comprehension and accept such inexplicable mysteries with trustful humility. In the end I respond to
such tragedies with composure, quietness, respect and honour. May the souls of the senior citizens who
perished in the fire rest in peace and blessing shine on the survivors, families, friends, love ones and first
Last week I faced my own challenges too but itcannot be compared with the losses experienced by
those affected by the fire in Quebec. Few days ago Iwas hit with the bombshell news that I had lossan
important client that represented a large part of myconsulting practice revenue. For the past three years
I supported the client providing advice on technical matters and policy development. The client has
decided that they have now built sufficient capacity to fill the role internally. The client was awesomeas
a primary source of revenue and the work was extremely stimulating.
I knew from the beginning that my practice was overexposed due to the significant level of dependence
on the client. The brutal truth is my greatest fear is now a reality andI will now have to intensive my
search for other opportunities to replace the revenue hit. The departure of the client comes at the same
time when I am also feeling the negative effects of a rapidly declining Canadian dollar. In fact I was
speaking with a friend about my experience and he said to me “damn man you might be worth more
dead today than alive.”I strongly disagreed with him and since then I have taken some time to reflect on
how I will face challenges in 2014 which I will share with you today.
Challenges, setbacks and adversities are a part of our existence. Here are five tips to facing challenges in
Change negative into positive
In 2014, I will endeavour to change negative into positive. I will continue to pursue other areas of
interest to diversify my business. As I have posted in previous blogs in 2014 you have to make the
impossible possible, creating opportunities, discover new talents and exceed your potential. In my
case I am not going to over-analyse the loss of my client or other setbacks I might face this year. Rather
than trying to figure out why and see despair I am going to see opportunities and possibilities. I will
strive to be happy and I will remain calm and optimistic.
This week for example I will participate in two debates at the Mississauga Central Library on Thursday
January 30, 2014 at 6.30PM. I will be on side opposing the following motionsNewspapers are a thing of
the past and Cell phones should be banned from schools.By participating in these two debates I am
hoping to rekindle my passion for debating and develop my persuasive speaking skills. You too can seek
out ways to change a negative into a positive. Don’t dwell on the challenges you face instead look for
the positive and seek out new opportunities.
Rather than being in denial, accept your situation, let go and move forward
The reality is I cannot change the fact that the client has decided to move on. I also cannot be in denial
but rather I have to accept it, let go and move forward. I have to see this as an opportunity to truly
diversify my practice. I have to press forward with my plans to develop new products and services as
well as breaking into new markets. For example, Friday, January 31st I will a guest speaker in Mississauga
where I will deliver my Leaders Leave Legacy Workshop. I will also be a Target Speaker in Brampton.
These are specific actions I have taken to promote my professional speaking and coaching business.
The key for facing challenges is to acknowledge your vulnerabilities, imperfections and flaws. In my case
I have to accept that in some circumstances I have made mistakes. I have to accept that I am where I am
today. I realise I can’t change today but if I let go I can move forward. I have to let go of my fears
surrounding the loss and avoid apportioning blame or feelings of anger.
You too can get to this point. For example, if you believe someone has caused you pain or hurt you, you
have to be able to forgive. Remember "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the
future." - Paul Boese. To face challenges in 2014, rather than being in denial, I encourage you to accept
your situation, let go and move forward.
Get some reinforcement (have a support network)
A key strategy for me in dealing with challenges and setback is my support network. I have a wonderful
wife and beautiful children. I am very close with my brothers especially Peter McKenzie, an attorney in
New Jersey. We speak daily on the phone. I have people around me who are honest and frank with me.
They keep me in check and will not standby to let me spiral out of control like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
or Justin Bieber. When faced with challenges you need a capable support network from which you can
get meaningful reinforcement and encouragement.
Face your fears, be decisive and take action
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond
measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Who are you not to be?” - Marianne Williamson from her book,
A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
As I have said repeatedly, I do not want to fail because of my inaction. The mistakes I make must be as a
result of my fierce determination and courage. In light of my recent loss, I now have to decide the best
approach for this situation and create a plan of action. I have to tackle this challenge with courage not
fear and above all I have to be decisive and take action.
You are awesome. You have to believe in yourself. Face your fears, be decisive and take action.
As I stated at the beginning the challenges I face pale in comparison to those who loss love ones in the
fire in Quebec. I am truly grateful for my life and the experiences I have had so far. As I noted in previous
posts on my blog, this year I have committed to volunteer at Regeneration Outreach Community in
Brampton. In February, I will be offering my time and skills to help in Regeneration Outreach Community
Coldest Night of the Year Fundraising Campaign. Giving back to the community is one way in which I
demonstrate my gratitude. If you are faced with challenges practice gratitude.
How will you face challenges in 2014?
Mark McKenzie is a leading Subject Matter Expert in financial services regulation and supervision as well
as a professional motivational speaker, corporate trainer and youth mentor. He can be contacted by
email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 647-406-4622. Read my blog
http://mastbmckenzie.blogspot.ca/ and always write me a comment and share. Follow me on Twitter
@mackynacky. Connect with me on www.youtube.com, Google+, Facebook and Linkedin.