One of the challenges you face as an entrepreneur is how to overcome negative thinking. Negativity comes in many forms – parents, friends, colleagues, and generally anyone who doesn't understand what it's like to build a business. What they don't understand is the 80% of business that needs to be done, that is generally not their job. However we can't control what they think, or say. So it's up to you and me to figure out ways to handle it.
When I say “handle it” I don't mean blindly accepting the negativity of these people. What I mean is that you need to find a method where the negativity has zero impact on you. It bounces off of you like rain on a windshield.
Today I have three methods to help you do just that.
Method 1: The Mirror Exercise
Method 1 is something I learned at Breakthrough To Success with Jack Canfield. It's called the mirror exercise. Before I tell you how to do it let me tell you the results it's given me.
Since starting to do this exercise almost 30 days ago, I've found that I:
- Wake up each day with a positive attitude
- During the day I have zero, negative self-talk (that annoying voice in your head telling you that “you can't” or “it won't work”)
- Am more positive with my family and clients
At first I was hesitant to do this exercise as it seemed a bit weird to me. However I talk to myself, out loud, anyhow, so it' wasn't much of a stretch 🙂
The recommendation from Jack Canfield is to do this everyday for 30 days. If you miss a day, the 30 count starts over again.
Here's how this works. Each night before you go to bed:
- Say your name
- Appreciate yourself for your achievements, successes, risks taken, disciplines kept, and temptations overcome
- Say “I love you” to yourself
- Take a deep breath, and take it in.
I know, it sounds hokey. But I'm telling you that it works.
At first when I told myself “I love you” I felt really weird. Now, each time I say it, I smile.
Method 2: Meditation
The better you know yourself and what you are capable of, the less impact the opinions of others has. For instance, I've always been told, by many, that I should get a job because it's “stable”. I've had more than enough success in my life with my past businesses to know that my intention to grow Dempsey Marketing into a large business is going to happen. So now, when I hear people tell me to get a job, I completely disregard it, because I know what I'm capable of, and what they fail to understand.
However, understanding yourself is not a simple matter. It takes time, and large amounts of introspection. Why? Because many times, people put on facades for those around them. There are many reasons for this – something outside the scope of this article.
The bottom line is that meditation is one of the best ways to truly understand yourself at a deeper level.
There are two kinds of meditation I practice: guided and unguided. Guided meditations are those where someone leads you through it. Unguided is the opposite. When starting out with meditation, I recommend guided.
One of the guided meditation CD's I have is Awakening Power from Jack Canfield & Deborah Sandella. Each morning, I select a meditation to perform, and I do it. These can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. It's the best way I've found to start my day.
One of my fellow BTS attendees, Kathy Andersen, created a guided meditation and posted it to Vimeo for everyone:
If you're looking for recommendations for meditation music, here is my list, all available via iTunes:
- Asian Spa – Dan Gibson's Solitudes
- Mountain Meadow Meditation – Dean Evenson
- Music for Zen Meditation – Riley Lee
- Zen [Hallmark] – Daniel May
- Songs from a Secret Garden – Secret Garden
- Sonata-Nature Collection – Alain Lemay
- Ocean Melody – Javad Maroufi
- Dreamcatcher – Secret Garden
- Buddha Garden – Parijat
Since beginning my day with meditation, I find that I am:
- Much more relaxed during the day
- Less prone to get stressed out, no matter how much work I have or whatever else happens during the day
- More positive and upbeat during the day
I'll take those benefits!
Method 3: Mastermind
A mastermind is a small group of people, preferably 5-6, that come together to support each other. The benefit of the mastermind is that you are surrounded by people that are extremely understanding and supportive. In addition, your fellow masterminders are either in the same place you are, but in a different business, or where you want to be in the future. They are a positive, unbiased and external perspective.
Surrounding yourself with people like these is of the utmost importance. We have enough doom and gloom on the television (which I don't watch) – we don't need it from the people we are with.
The more you are around negative people, the more negative you become. To counteract this, surround yourself with positive people that truly wish to help you. And that you can help as well.
That is what a mastermind is all about.
The Iron Trifecta Of Positivity
It's always amazing to me how many awesome things come in three's. This is no exception.
If you practice everything I've told you here – the mirror exercise, meditation, and are part of a mastermind, I guarantee that you will overcome negative and limiting thinking. And it can happen within a relatively short amount of time.
Life is too important to pass this up.
You deserve to be happy and stress-free. You deserve to be fulfilled. You deserve to be free from the limitations that others would place upon you.
And now, you have a method for doing so.