When your business vision and the reality in which you live are miles apart, it may not be for the reasons you believe. Lack of money and time are the most typical issues that soloists cite for the mile-wide gap between vision and reality, but as they progress in coaching they discover that the true missing pieces are clarity, strategy and an empowering mindset. Today we are going to take a look at the latter.
'But once I have the clarity, strategy and mindset in place, where is the money going to come from?'
If you are like many of my new clients, this is what you're asking right about now. Well, it's time to believe in yourself -really and truly - and have a little faith in what you can achieve with the right framework in place. If you are using binoculars to see across that mile-wide gap right now, try replacing them with a blindfold for a while. Allow your vision and intuition to work together without external circumstances getting in the way. Let's stop looking at the outer resources for a few minutes and take a journey within.
Imagine a sensor probe traveling down to wherever it is that you store your emotions. What does it pick up? Are there anxious thoughts leading you to believe that you are stuck? Do you feel frustrated, or even angry? Let's probe a little deeper. What's at the core of these thoughts and feelings? Is there a nagging doubt that says, 'I can't do this?' Or something along the lines of 'What if I don't get a lucky break?' Or, 'I really don't know how to pull this off but I can't let anyone find that out?' Allow yourself to probe deeper and put your doubt and fear into words. After all, fear is defined as the sensation of being out of control. What better way to regain some control than to define the fear and look at it head on? Ask yourself, "What's my greatest fear?"
Good job! Now that it's out what do you do about it? Why address it in the first place? Well, fear is a show stopper. It's paralyzing, demoralizing, and it's also a great excuse to procrastinate. To a business person who is relying on their creativity to put food on the table, it's stifling and toxic. Fear is rarely a motivator so addressing it will give you the ability to think big and act accordingly.
Here are a few ways to transform your fear and embrace a new way of thinking.
- Be patient with your fearful thoughts and refrain from berating yourself when fearful thoughts surface. Anger and frustration will only exasperate the situation and continue to block the flow of positive thoughts and opportunities. Let's face it; if you are 'busy' behind your desk feeling awful about yourself, you are not out in the world attracting people who want to work with that 'positive, brilliant guy who has a great business'.
- Reframe your negative thoughts. It's not easy to 'erase' negative thinking; reframing is a method of teaching yourself a new way to think and sending your subconscious mind a positive message. So if you have a thought like, 'I will never make this work, then what?' Try reframing it to something like, 'It's taken longer than I'd like to make this happen, but I believe in myself and my business and it will change – beginning now.' When we 'erase' the negative and open our minds to the possibility, ideas and opportunities flow much more freely.
- Make a list of the things you have achieved thus far. When I go through such lists with my clients I'm often amazed at what they don't give themselves credit for. Seeing it in writing and acknowledging each success is very uplifting and empowering.
- Talk to your fear. Too corny? Don't knock it until you try it! Sit your fear down across the table and have a two-way conversation. Ok, so you don't want anyone to witness this, but really – it's amazing. This 'conversation' gives you the opportunity to discuss your fear without judgment. It will produce clarity and reason; it will give you a new slant on what's going on so that you can step back into the driver's seat. Begin with something like, 'Ok fear, what's going on? What have you been trying to tell me?' Just see where it goes. You may have to make a few attempts at this until you feel comfortable with the process; don't give up after one try.
- Elicit positive feelings with pictures. Our mind thinks in pictures so physical images of things that help us to feel our vision are very powerful. Believe it or not, a positive emotional response will actually begin to change our neural-patterns after only 20 seconds. I liken it to a good cardio workout; after 20 minutes you begin burning fat…but this is only 20 seconds! Our negative experiences embed themselves in our DNA, that's why it's not always possible to simply change negative thoughts. Utilizing images and taking our thought to a positive and powerful place can begin to disrupt the negative messages that are embedded within us. Cut out a few pictures from magazines or find them on-line and print them out. These images should represent your success and happiness and have the power to elicit feelings of great success and happiness. Focus on the image, and the feeling, for a few minutes each day. Notice how much more energy you will have when you do this.
- Find someone to help. If you have experienced a lot of negativity in your life, these patterns will be all the more stubborn and embedded. I always tell my clients, 'It's not your fault!' These patterns of thoughts are deeply engrained and they've been there for _____, how long? There is no shame in reaching out to a coach, a therapist, or a professional who practices an energy psychology technique like the one I mentioned in last week's post, The Emotional Freedom Techniques. If you are ready to succeed your thoughts guide the way. Empowering thoughts will lead you to bringing your vision to life.
How do you maintain an empowering mindset? Share your tips here!
Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.