Running a business can be a rocky ride sometimes.
Your self-belief will be put to the test, things won’t always go to plan, and there will inevitably be days when you wonder if it would just be easier to pack it all in and get a job. Trust me. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have days when your va va voom does a vanishing act.
Developing a successful business is reliant on so many factors that it can feel overwhelming sometimes…how you market yourself, how you communicate with your clients, how you manage your time, how you price yourself, how you place yourself in the market…on and on the list goes.
However, at the very core of everything you do, there is one underlying principle that is more important than any other to ensure your success and your ability to sustain a positive mindset.
You have to truly believe in yourself and your business
Being your own boss takes guts, determination and enthusiasm. You need to be able to pick yourself up when things go wrong (because they will sometimes), and you need to be able to find the courage to try things out and put yourself out there, despite past let-downs.
The good news is that developing a positive mindset that says ‘YES, I can do this!’ can be learnt and developed. All it takes is some time, practice and a few simple actions.
Here are my 5 tips for getting started
1. Have a good de-clutter
Have you ever noticed that the modern world is becoming increasingly busy? We own more, we do more, we work more and we are constantly bombarded with information that comes at us left, right and centre. Decluttering your life doesn’t just mean chucking out the old clothes that haven’t seen the light of day for two years (although I highly recommend you do that too!) But rather it’s about making space in your life for the things, people and activities that really nourish who you are as a person rather than leaving you feeling stressed, poor or exhausted.
Clear out your schedule to make time for you, let go of relationships that leave you feeling drained, unsubscribe to all the newsletters that you never read and make your work space a place that feels calm, uncluttered and inspiring. The more simplicity and beauty you can bring into your life, the easier it will be to see the silver lining.
2. Release negative emotions
The ups and downs of life and business, mean that inevitably at some point you are going to experience negative emotions such as stress, disappointment and worry. However, how you deal with these feelings will make a huge difference as to how you move onwards and upwards. Carrying negative emotions around with you like baggage will only serve to drag you down, whereas learning from experiences and releasing the emotions will put you back in the driving seat.
If something goes wrong in your business, take some time out to reflect on what has happened and to recognise the associated feelings (this certainly isn’t about sticking your head in the sand). You can then take action to release the emotions and bring your mind back to the present moment. Practices such as journaling, meditating and listing what you are grateful for, can all help clear the anxiety and keep you in a place of calm, positive thinking.
3. Care for yourself
Running a business involves hard work and it can certainly be a challenge to switch off. However in order to maintain a positive mindset, it’s really important that you shape your business to work with your strengths and needs, so you can give yourself the time and care that your body requires. As an introvert, I know that too many face-to-face meetings in one week will leave me feeling drained and overwhelmed. To deal with this I ensure that most of my communication and marketing is done via online methods, which leaves me feeling far more energised and focused.
I have also built in simple daily actions which ensure I get enough sleep, regularly step away from the computer, drink enough water, and do some daily exercise – all of which help to keep me feeling fit and healthy, both in body and mind.
4. Use your imagination
Being able to imagine your success before it happens, can be a hugely powerful tool for developing a positive mindset. Rather than worrying about all the things that could go wrong, take some time to close your eyes and imagine how it will look and feel when everything goes wonderfully well. Just taking this time to move your mind from a negative, worrying space to an optimistic, energetic space can do wonders. If you struggle to focus your mind on a positive image, try using some motivational audios and guided meditations which lead you through a visualising process. These can really help to clear your mind of the clutter so you can focus on what you want.
5. Surround yourself with positive energy
There is a huge amount of inspiration out there and surrounding yourself with vibrant, positive energy in this way can really help to lift your spirits and maintain your positive mindset when you’re having an off day. Joining supportive communities, watching inspiring TED talks, reading blogs and magazines that actively encourage the type of life-style you wish for, are all ways to help raise your confidence levels and give your mojo a boost when you need one. Just the simple act of connecting with other people who think the same way as you, can be incredibly helpful for easing any negative thoughts. I’ve found that some of the connections I’ve made with people online have been invaluable for maintaining my motivation.
Developing a positive mindset takes time and practice and it’s certainly not something that will change overnight. However, ultimately the more time you dedicate to caring for yourself and building your self-belief, the more your business will reap the rewards.
Start to become aware of which direction your thoughts are taking you, and take action to lift your spirits when you’re feeling blue.
I believe that you have what it takes. Now it‘s your turn!
More great articles by Kathryn can be found here!