Many online business-related articles address technical issues such as developing a functional website, adopting the correct marketing strategies and liaising with staff on a regular basis. Of course, these concepts are all essential if you hope to enjoy a profitable future within the modern business world. However, we do not often encounter a post which focuses upon the psychology of success.
This is likely due to the fact that few authors are willing to tackle what is often considered to be a “grey” area in terms of advice. It is still a foregone conclusion that an incorrect mindset will doom you from the very beginning. What perspectives should you avoid and how can you leverage psychological momentum to your advantage? We need to answer both of these questions before it is possible to fully appreciate the big picture and find out how psychology can help you reach success.
Misery and negativity love company
Many would-be entrepreneurs suffer from the “what-if” syndrome. In other words, they have allowed their fears to overly influence their judgement. Some examples of this habit include questions such as:
- What if I don’t make enough money?
- What if I cannot handle the stress?
- What if I fail?
- What will others think about me?
- What if I have made the wrong decision?
The main issue with any of these positions is that they tend to represent self-fulfilling prophecies over time. Once we begin to fall into the trap of negativity, it becomes increasingly harder to dig ourselves back out. While a healthy amount of fear is indeed a powerful tool, a mindset focused upon such negative outcomes will invariably cause them to occur; reinforcing the initial thought and leading to a downward spiral.
Another very dangerous result of this perspective is that it will often prevent us from taking the risks that might be necessary to break through into the world of business. Would Thomas Edison have ever discovered the light bulb if he was afraid of failure? In terms of a modern comparison, what if Mark Zuckerberg failed to follow the “crazy” dream of developing a worldwide social media network? Negativity will impact every decision that we make and as a result, such thoughts become our own set of personalised shackles. The only way to break free from this form of thinking is to realise just how dangerous it can be.
Looking at fear from a different perspective
For some of us, even the mention of the world fear conjures up images of anxiety, stress and ultimate failure. How will any type of business ever succeed if we are crippled by such thoughts? As opposed to trying to eliminate fear entirely (which is illogical and impossible), we should instead begin to look at it in a different way. Try to remember this acronym:
Although this might sound a bit childish at first, our minds are governed by reinforcement. In other words, thoughts become habits if they are repeated. Another important fact to remember that failure is a normal part of the business world. Mistakes will be made. Owners will often need to backtrack. This represents nothing more than the learning curve and such hurdles should be embraced as opposed to avoided. Let’s take a look at a concrete example of this perspective in action.
Imagine for a moment that you have been brainstorming to uncover new small business ideas. As opposed to repeating to yourself “that would never work”, try to keep an open mind. Let us never forget that past visions such as flying machines and talking pictures were considered “crazy” before they became realities. Think outside of the box. Take a look online to appreciate what direction your specific industry is headed. Examine the efforts (and failures) of similar competitors. You will invariably achieve the insight and clarity required to make informed decisions in the future.
Finally, recognise fear for what it truly is. The mind is a creature of habit and it loves routines. Emotions such as fear, anxiety and even panic will result if it is forced to think in unusual and different ways. However, the mind is also a muscle. Muscles can become more flexible if they are stretched on a regular basis. This concept is just as important in regards to those who are looking to start a small- to medium-sized enterprise.
Whether you have a clear-cut vision or you are still confused, the path to business success is long and interesting. You are only limited by the self-imposed barriers that you create. The mind can represent your best friend or your worst enemy and the ultimate result lies in the you choose to take. Which one would you prefer?