Do you just wake up each morning and go through the motions? It seems like the same battle against the crowd every day, and you never seem to reach the exit door—the one with your great big reward. For most people, this is what life is really like. There are even some people who have additional challenges working against them—managing a busy family, having chronic or life-threatening or mental illnesses—yet somehow the sun still continues shining.
At the end of one long day, we can breathe a sigh of relief that we made it. And again, when we wake up the next morning ready for a brand new day.
Do you have specific challenges in your life that may set you apart from others? Many men and women who are attempting to run a small business may experience their own personal challenges. These challenges will lead to self-improvement. Often you may reach that breaking point where you decide “I must do something!”
Many people start by trying one or two things. It’s also better to take smaller steps, so if you hit on something that works, you’ll know what it was, rather than making ten big changes tomorrow, then not being able to figure out which one was the definitive moment in changing your life.
These can involve big or small changes in your life. What it takes is a decision, big or small. You’ll also learn how you can become your own worst enemy. You may have a bunch of negative thoughts filling up your mind.
Your journey may be one day, or it may take several years. But remember that in order to improve your life, which naturally includes finding better and easier ways to run your small business, it begins with one step.
Here are 7 lessons to remember, which will all assist you during those days that you think your small business and your life sucks too.
1. Choose who you decide to be.
If you think that you’re one type of person then you’ll be that type of person. Obviously, many people will choose to think of themselves in a negative way. This is why you must choose who you are. This begins by changing your thoughts.
Negative thoughts can be anything from thinking you’re a terrible salesperson, to someone who is lazy or uninspired to do anything better. And you know what happens when you think that way? Soon you start acting that way. You’ll begin to think about how you’ll just skip doing your office tasks because that’s what you do. Or, you won’t get the next sale, because you’re crappy at sales.
It’s up to you to choose who you want to be. You can do this by directly changing your thoughts. Let’s assume that you’re in business and you want to improve your sales. You must wake up each morning with positive thoughts. You’ll tell yourself in the mirror how you’re a go-getter and an awesome salesperson. You’re going to become friends with your new clients and encourage them. Once you begin changing your thoughts by choosing who you want to be, you’ll soon become that person.
2. Question your beliefs.
Many people hold to the same set of beliefs not realizing that its certain beliefs that could be holding them back. It’s important to become aware of your thoughts and start questioning them. While you don’t want to do this every waking hour, you can assign an hour a day to do so.
Take a step back before beginning a task, go to a meeting, make a call, send an email, etc, etc. Ask yourself these 5 questions. The goal is to see if you’re on track, or if you must change your beliefs in order to succeed.
• I just thought something. Why did I think that?
• Where would I have gotten this belief? Friend? Family? Colleague? Television?
• Am I correct in making this assumption? Is it possible that I could be wrong?
• It is possible there could be other correct perspectives?
• Do the beliefs I have to help me at all?
When you have thoughts, they can lead to you expressing emotions. It’s important to watch your emotions because your emotions can lead to your actions. It can also happen that you have no emotions about something—plan, task, goal—and thus, it leads to zero results because you did nothing.
For the times when you have achieved positive results, consider what beliefs you had that helped you to achieve these results.
The goal of this lesson is to see if you like where you are, and if not, to change it by looking at your results. Examine what actions you took to get to these results. Then take a step back to remember the emotions that came with these actions. Then go further back to see what the thinking was that created your emotions in the first place.
Now you can begin to understand why what we think, or our beliefs, are so important.
3. Things must get worse before they get better.
It may sound like a cliche that things must get worse before they get better, but it makes sense. Otherwise, a situation will remain stagnant.
And often when your life sucks, you make a conscious effort to find ways to improve on it. So, that naturally leads to improvement.
Did you know that you can do anything you set your mind to? Yes, another cliche, yet it has worked to solve many people’s problems. Even if you think you’re stuck, and that it’s going to physically or mentally hurt you to get out of your rut, you can still do it.
You may be terrified of public speaking, or you hate driving through rush hour traffic. Perhaps both are keeping you from meeting with clients. Yes, there is going to be some panic associated with going beyond your comfort levels, but you know you must do it.
And the first time you try something new, you may hate it. Why did you get out of bed two hours early to go to the gym you may ask yourself? Did someone tell you that getting fit will give you more energy so you could add more energy to your business ventures? It may seem crazy, but it does work with a bit of time.
Yes, you can quit and stay home. You can go on eating your ramen noodles and watching TV all day long and tell yourself how much your life sucks. Or, you can do something to change it. And, it’s not going to be easy.
You can begin to see how things will need to get worse before they can get better. You may have reached that point where you are at the bottom of the barrel. Your life simply can’t get worse. You’re broke, you can’t afford to spend another dime on business advertisements, and you feel like crap. But the good news is that you can move forward.
Moving forward is positive and it’s the only way you can move from the back or the bottom. And surprisingly, what most people find is that their lives will actually improve when they make a concerted effort to do better.
In a way, the bad times are like a gift in your life. Bad times will enable you to learn from your mistakes, or help you to remember those changes in life that you failed to take. You’ll begin to learn a lot about yourself and these situations.
Always remember that when you achieve your happy moments that you’ll always be able to look back on the terrible moments in your life. This will give you the inspiration to bring out your hidden potential. Remember that without these bad times you would never have been able to bring out your true power and resilience.
4. No more excuses.
You can keep on making excuses for not doing work, but then nothing will ever get done. If you want to fix this, starting making excuses for why you can.
This means go and do it in spite of all your reasons why you can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t do it. If you need examples, you should contact three more clients per day because you need the extra money. You should wake up earlier in the morning because you need to get more work done. You should send that followup email because you said you would.
See? If you’re addicted to excuses, you can make the right ones!
5. Give thanks.
People who are successful are naturally thankful for their beneficial circumstances. Remember that you won’t achieve anything if you never attempt it in the first place.
Many people have risen beyond their disabilities to succeed. These are people who have asked themselves what they need to learn and how does the universe need them to grow? For them to succeed, they stopped placing blame on the hand that they were dealt with and learned how to work it to their advantage.
Remember that you don’t want to develop the habit of not doing, you want to develop the habit of doing. Give thanks to your clients, give thanks to yourself for being awesome, and if you have faith, give thanks to that too.
Many successful people try meditation to calm their minds, help them to focus on the task at hand, and de-stress. But many people can find it difficult to do at first.
It’s important to learn to meditate, as it not only places you in control of your own mind, but it also means that your frenemies are no longer pushing your buttons or having a negative impact on your mind like they used to.
Another benefit of meditation is that if you are suffering from any chronic pain or another type of medical condition, it can assist you in disconnecting your brain from your body. This gives you a break from feeling pain or discomfort.
If you ask anyone who remains calm, even when dealing with difficult people, they’ll likely tell you that they practice meditation. It can be the secret to your calmness and inner peace. Once you begin to meditate, you’ll find that you can brush over incidents. The new you is going to respond differently. And, you’ll no longer be fuming about how you thought you had almost closed a deal, but then your client backed off, or how that backed up traffic caused you to be late for a client meeting and they were not pleased with you.
The best time to meditate is first thing in the morning. You may be like many people when you first wake up in the morning. The alarm goes off. You wake up, remember how much your job sucks, then hit the snooze button.
Instead, of doing that, meditate immediately after waking up. Yes, you can hit the snooze button to remind you to stop ten minutes later. Meditation will help you to discover your real values and passions.
You’ll soon begin to see the benefits of meditation at different points during the day. You may have an ah-ha moment at some point during the day. It could be an idea or insight, or inspirational moment.
7. Truly decide.
You’ll need to truly decide what it is you really want in life. Don’t make a half-baked decision then forget about it. Most likely, you already know what your goal is. This is the one that you hope to attain, no matter what.
This may also be the moment when your back is to the wall and you have nowhere else to go but forward. You’ll be experiencing certain emotions when this happens. In the future, before making a big decision, you can compare your emotions to see if they are something you truly meant when you first made your decision.
Now, it’s your turn!
Reviews these 7 lessons on a regular basis to help reinforce your goals and important decisions in your life. Remember to keep moving forward no matter how much you feel your life sucks because it’s key to your self-growth and life can only get better. Let me know in the comments below what life lessons you’ve learned to help you overcome roadblocks in your life and business!