Owning a business can be very exciting and rewarding. But it can also be discouraging at times. How do you navigate those days of discouragement? Here are some tips that can help you stay positive and keep you moving forward.
Realize it’s All in Your Head
Emotions are a direct byproduct of our beliefs. It’s not our circumstances that discourage us, it’s our belief about those circumstances. That’s why two different business owners can have the same challenge or struggle but manifest two different emotional states.
If you believe that a situation or a series of events mean you are a failure or your business is coming to an end, obviously you will be discouraged. However, if you believe that your current circumstances are not the end, but simply a learning opportunity to help you stretch and grow, you will feel differently.
I believe that we often have to fail to win! If I’m not taking calculated risks and trying new things, I’m not failing. And if I’m not failing from time to time, I’m not challenging myself enough and I’m not growing!
I also believe that while I cannot always control my circumstances, I can control my attitude about those circumstances. I believe that my circumstances, and even my failures, do NOT determine my value and worth as a person. They are simply opportunities to learn and grow. I believe that I can always find a path to success, no matter what!
Discouragement is a reflection of my head trash! So, I must not indulge myself in sorrow or self-pity even when confronted by repeated challenges!
Identify the Limiting Beliefs that Cause the Discouragement
Now that I know the battle is in my head, I must ask myself, “What are those limiting beliefs driving my discouragement?” It’s going to be different for each of us, but here are some of the limiting beliefs that I’ve had to address:
- I can’t find new clients
- I can’t get my team to work together
- I’m going to run out of money
- My services or products are not relevant anymore
- I will never be as successful as I want to be
- I need to find a job; business ownership doesn’t work for me
- I cannot deliver enough value to my clients
- Nobody wants my products or services
These are just a few of the limiting beliefs that might be behind your discouragement. Take some time to reflect and identify the beliefs that are driving your discouragement. The list of possibilities is almost endless, so be honest with yourself and know your own demons!
See These Beliefs for What They Are – Limiting!
Ninety percent or more of our limiting beliefs are totally untrue! However, there is often an unrelenting fear or doubt that there might be some truth to them. Honestly, while it may be true that at the moment I can’t find new clients or I can’t grow my business, it doesn’t mean that I am forever doomed to that reality! There is always an opportunity for new learning!
I’m reminded of two quotes. The first comes from the movie “Apollo 13” when Flight Commander Gene Kranz is confronted by the seeming reality that the Apollo crew were hopelessly lost. He was told by his engineers initially that what they needed to do had never been done before. In addition, they had serious time constraints. Kranz’s response was, “I know, but we’re going to figure it out.” His determination to “figure it out” was what led the NASA engineers to bring our astronauts back to earth safely.
The second quote comes from Napoleon Hill, author of the classic, Think and Grow Rich. Hill is famous for saying “What the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.” The ability to visualize and discover what is true and possible is the key to every individual’s success.
Focus and Dwell on Truth and Positive Affirmations
Successful people know the importance of daily renewing our minds. There are too many negative messages and thoughts that plague most of us. Therefore, we must be intentional every day to feed our minds truth and positivity.
You must find a source of truth and inspiration, and then renew your mind with it daily. For me, as a Christian, I find the Bible and devotional resources to be very uplifting and hope-fueling. If faith is not your source, find something to feed your mind and soul. Then be disciplined to weed out limiting beliefs and replace them with life-giving truths and ideals.
Don’t wait until you’re discouraged to begin this practice! Be proactive and make this a central part of your daily routine.
In addition to strengthening your belief system, find practical action steps that you can take daily to learn from and improve your situation. If you don’t take action, nothing will change in your circumstances. But you have the power to influence and impact your world.
Take 100% responsibility for your situation, and then you will discover that your actions can make a difference.
Learners are overcomers! If you need an encouraging friend or a coach to help you, engage them. Beware of needy or negative people. When you’re feeling strong, help others as much as you can. But when you’re feeling vulnerable to limiting beliefs, be careful about spending too much time around these folks.
Don’t let yourself fall prey to discouragement. You have yet to see all the possibilities that can be yours.