Do you ever find yourself saying, "I wish I would have seen that coming," or, "Too bad I didn't think of that"? Well, hindsight is 20/20, as they say. But I challenge the thought that hindsight is the only viewpoint from which we are able to see things differently. Certainly foresight is much more powerful, as it invites us to consider the future as something that we can create, shape, and be prepared for, rather than something that's already been determined for us.
To master the gift of foresight you must have an open mind, free and clear of beliefs that limit you. Here are five changes you can make to help you become free of regret-filled hindsight and create a brighter future.
1. Accept support.
As a coach who supports people through the challenges and the wins, accepting help from others wasn't always easy. I get it--there are times that it just feels more familiar, even comfortable, to struggle through your challenges alone. This is a belief that will never serve you well.
When you're going through a difficult time, or you feel stuck in your business, reach out to others and allow them in to help. Let go of the notion that this is a sign of weakness; every successful person has someone to thank for their support. Whether you hire a coach, enlist the aid of a mentor, or reach out to friends and family, the support will accelerate your growth and facilitate change within you--and your business. It may be a matter of pride that stops people from asking for help, but it often ends up being a matter of failure when they don't.
2. Take more risks.
When life throws you a curve ball it's natural to retreat within yourself to assimilate what's happened. It's easy to get stuck in this place because it somehow feels safer. But it will also keep you from risks in hopes of reducing the possibility of further letdown. Eventually this way of thinking will stunt your growth, both personally and professionally.
Open your mind to the fact that, while not every plan unfolds exactly as you imagine, sometimes unexpected twists and turns lead to something even better than anticipated. When you become more receptive to this idea, your brain's filter will permit you to observe things that you wouldn't have noticed otherwise. Avoid a limited or negative point of view and think expansively!
3. See value in everything.
From having to perform mundane tasks to making difficult decisions; entrepreneurs are often faced with things that they don't like doing. Seeing only the negative side of these experiences will prevent you from benefiting from the value in them.
Just about everything in life holds a meaning--a chance to observe something you've never noticed before, to improve something in your business, or within yourself. People who experience great success and happiness have the ability to recognize this value and take every opportunity to see a hidden blessing or a greater opportunity in everything they do.
4. Believe in yourself.
Entrepreneurial endeavors have a way of pushing us to our limit, but the magic happens when we go beyond those limits. Launching my new startup has demanded things of me that I never thought I'd be capable of doing--yet I did them. In doing so, I formed a new attitude that tells me I can do anything I set my mind to. Remove your self-imposed limits--even those you know to be true--and the world is your oyster! Begin with this:
- The minute a negative statement forms in your mind, seek the opposite thought. If you say, "I can't," ask yourself, "what if I did?"
- Remove the word "but" from your vocabulary. But leads to a negative; replace it with "and" to expand your way of thinking. When a negative statement comes out of your mouth, add the word "and" to the end of it and keep talking. Eventually, you'll run out of negatives and the positive possibilities will surface.
5. Adjust your vision.
Although entrepreneurs work hard to build their vision, there are few businesses that turn out exactly as imagined. When given the opportunity to become involved in a new business last year I had to step into someone else's vision and pieces of my own went on the back burner. To do this I had to trust my business partners. At first it felt risky and even sacrificial; now it feels expansive and exciting.
The important thing about a vision is that it encompasses who you are and what you want to contribute to the world. When opportunity knocks, and it will, be willing to consider that there are many ways to achieve what's most important to you.