My husband is undergoing some medical treatment at the moment and while he’s not anxious, I certainly am. Perhaps because it affects him and there’s nothing I can do about it other than support him, but I feel powerless and yes, anxious.
So I decided to use a tool to help me stay positive that I have used in the past when I was studying which was to find a theme song to help me through. Daggy yet effective. I found a great quote which was ‘Don’t fill your head with worries, there won’t be room for anything else’ and decided to put the call out on social media for some great song choices that might fit this theme.
I received some great suggestions. Everything from the Lion King’s ‘Hakuna Mata’ to ‘Don’t Worry be Happy’ however I also received an interesting post from a woman that I deeply admire which was, instead of don’t worry, “fill your head with optimism” – remember the brain can’t process a negative.’
Don’t believe me? Well then don’t think of yellow. In fact, I especially want you not to think of a field of vibrant yellow daisies.
You’re picturing daisies now aren’t you? And yellow.
That’s because if we’re focussing on the negative, even if we’re telling ourselves with the best of intentions not to, then your brain can’t help but focus on them. It’s why in business if you focus on our declining sales, poor customer service or your dismal bank account balance then you simply can’t help but be stressed and anxious.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t acknowledge those things. If I don’t acknowledge that I’m worried or anxious and push those feelings down I’m likely to end up cranky and stressed but now without knowing why. Similarly if you don’t acknowledge your poor cash flow, your declining sales or poor customer service you won’t be spurred to do anything about it.
So what should you be doing? Focus instead on the result you want and the activity you should be doing to achieve that result. So if you’re wanting to ‘not worry’, then drop the negative and flip it instead to ‘be happy’ or ‘be filled with optimism’. If you’re in business, then don’t focus on the declining sales but instead focus on the increasing your number of customers, increasing your retention rate, your conversion rate, your average sale price or whatever that critical number is that will turn things around for you. It’s not ignoring the negative and it’s not putting your head into a big pile of sand – instead it’s finding the positive activity that will lead to a change of circumstances.
As for me, I followed the advice of another incredible woman in my life and decided to be ‘filled with optimism’ by following her formula:
Step 1. Find incredible, positive, uplifting song choices such as : ‘This girl is on fire’, ‘Roar’ and ‘On Top of the World’
Step 2 create playlist on phone
Step 3 play on repeat
Step 4 don’t forget to breathe
Step 5 raise the corners of your mouth
What negative are you focusing on unintentionally? How do you turn that around into a positive mantra and what activity can you begin that will lead to a change in circumstances for you and your business?
Tags: busines planning, business, business confidence, business owner, entrepreneur, focus, sales, stress, women in business, worry