You will be with them soon: Extended family and friends – including some of whom you have a history of conflict. If you are unprepared to be at your best, you may have to settle for the worst experiences.

Answer these six proven questions and you will be the best you could ever be – regardless of the company.

1) Acceptance: What has occurred in the past that you cannot change? Wishing for someone to be different than they are spoils the moment. You do not have to condone what they have done. If you want freedom, however, you do have to acknowledge that what is – is.

2) Responsibility: What virtues will you choose to demonstrate? With your energy no longer fighting what you cannot change, you can use your focus to live honorably. Operating from your ethics – what you know is right – enables you to shape your experience.

3) Autonomy: Who determines how you think and feel? Now that you have greater control over your responses to what others say or do, you can get on with what Maslow and others have reinforced: You are here for your self-actualization. You are the one who determines your value.

4) Dance like Nobody is Watching: What does it look like to be your authentic self? When the opinions of others no longer restrict you, you are free to demonstrate your unique brand of joy, curiosity and living. Now, you are actively creating richer experiences.

5) Quiet Mind: What is on your “to be” list (rather than your “to do” list)? When we need others to say or do things so we can feel at peace, we rarely experience what we pursue. When we have taken the steps above, we are centered. With this grounding, we do not need anyone or anything to be different.

6) Passion to Serve: How will you make a difference for them? Anxiety is often the result of focusing on what we want or need. The nerves of “what if” dissolve when we shift our focus and use our energy in service to others.

Creating a holiday experience that is the best in history is stressful. (Who needs it?) Being prepared to be the best you could ever be in the moments ahead can change everything.

P.S. We’ve all worked too hard this year not to get our holidays right. Join us in our next Collaborative Leaders Huddle, November 22 at 11:00am Eastern (a replay will be shared if you’re not able to make it live). In just 50 minutes, we’ll make certain we all are equipped to be at our best when it matters most. You can register here.

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