How to overcome the negativity trap and become one of the 20% who build a successful business
It’s great having your own business isn’t it? However, a staggering 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg. This is perhaps why a very small percentage of people ever find the courage to sack their boss – it’s usually the other way around! Having your own business is incredibly rewarding, and well worth the effort that’s required, but it can feel like being on a never-ending roller coaster…
Slipping into the Negativity Trap
It’s so easy to slip into the negative thinking cycle when things appear to be going against us. You only have to read the papers or watch the news to get the impression that it’s all going pear-shaped. And then, when we’re trying to build our business, our prospects just don’t seem to want to see us or spend their money – we’re in a great big recession after all!
Have you ever found yourself thinking negative thoughts? You know you want to avoid them at all costs, but they have this nasty habit of creeping up on you when you’re least expecting it. Picture the scene: you bounce into the office, full of motivation for a great day ahead. You take a sip of that amazing coffee you decided to treat yourself to (after all – you deserve it). Then you get on the phones. Call One: “In a meeting.” Call Two: “Too busy to talk to you.” Call Three: “Don’t take cold callers.” Call Four: “No thanks.” Call Five: “Not now.” By now, you’re getting that sinking feeling. That coffee’s gone a bit cold and doesn’t taste so nice any more. You start hearing that voice in your head saying “we’re in recession – nobody’s buying”; “I’ll never be any good at this.” “This is a disaster.”: “I’m running out of money to pay the mortgage.” Or, “I give up!!”
Fighting the Negativity Trap
The majority of new businesses apparently don’t last more than 2 years – perhaps their owners give up when they hit the inevitable obstacles? When we’re in the negativity trap, it’s easy to believe those unhelpful thoughts and believe that you’ll never succeed. But what if you’re next big contract was to come from the very next call you made? If you knew that was true, would you make that next call? The truth is that we don’t know what’s around the next corner, so we need to turn it to find out. But we can only do that if we start to turn our thoughts around…
I was at a seminar in 1988 with Tony Buzan, creator of “Mind Mapping” when he said something that rocked my world. He said, “At its fundamental level, your brain doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong – it only knows what you tell it.” When you think about it, how true that is. If we can think negative thoughts at will and turn them into our reality, then logic tells us that we must therefore be capable of thinking positive thoughts at will and turn THEM into our reality. When you start to realise this, you will become empowered to overcome any obstacles that get in your way, and achieve whatever level of success you’re prepared to work for, supported by the belief that you’re going to make it happen. We have the power to CHOOSE how we perceive things, and how we think.
Our thoughts are really powerful – more so than we might think. Our thoughts define how we choose to feel about or perceive a situation. Our feelings influence how we react and behave in response to that situation. And our behaviour determines the results we get. So if we can control how we think – logic tells us that we can create positive behaviours and therefore influence the degree of success we have.
Now THAT’S exciting!