Have you ever felt stuck in a the doldrums? You just feel a little off. You feel unmotivated to pursue your goals as passionately as you once did. Or your last little defeat has turned into a downward spiral and you can’t seem to stop the negative momentum. It happens to all of us from time to time. Sometimes it’s a small blip on the screen. Other times negativity digs in its heals and stops you in your tracks. Whether big or small, negativity left unchecked not only erodes your sense of well-being, it also pokes a hole in the sails that propel your business.
Think about it. If you are frustrated you might become impatient with a client who then feels less inclined to refer you to others. If you feel jealous and inferior because a competitor wins your ideal contract you might start to get discouraged and put less effort into prospecting for leads. If you let small technical difficulties fluster you, you may start to develop self-doubt. All this negative energy can effect not only your productivity, but also your pocket book and even your health! Fortunately, there is a cure. It’s called Positivity.
Positivity is the mindset that challenges and defeats negative forces. According to Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, leading expert in the field of positive psychology and author of the book entitled Positivity, you can increase your positivity quotient by nurturing and cultivating 10 specific emotions. Doing so, she says, not only leaves you feeling happier, but also gives you more access to your creativity, increases your productivity, improves your health and enhances your social relationships. I say, sign me up!
While the benefits apply to all aspects of life, let’s take a closer look at how these 10 can increase your BUSINESS POSITIVITY QUOTIENT. The goal is to try to search out and foster these emotions and do the activities that illicit these emotions on a regular basis.
Here is your Merry Menu:
1. Joy. What brings you joy in your business? Is it interacting with a particular client? Is it mastering certain skills? Is it using one of your core strengths to solve problems? Identify those activities which make you feel joyful in your business.
2. Gratitude.When things are not going your way it feels counter intuitive to practice gratitude, however, it is in those moments when gratitude can be the most helpful. It’s easy to get stuck in the “why does this always happen” mindset. Instead of focusing on the negative, try to think of things you truly appreciate like the fact you get to run your own business or make your own hours.
3. Serenity. What makes you feel calm, relaxed and peaceful in your business? Perhaps it is a ritual you do to prepare for your day. Maybe it is stepping outside at lunch for 15 minutes to commune with nature before you jump back into responding to emails. Or perhaps it is a way your structure your indoor environment using music or a sound machine to increase tranquility while you work.
4. Interest. What are you curious about? I for one, love getting to know my clients. I am so intrigued and curious about their businesses, their challenges and their unique paths. It is one of my favorite parts about my work. I find it supremely interesting. I also love all aspects of branding, marketing and mindset development. I read all the time. It feeds me. What feeds you? What parts of your business capture your brand and heart? What do you always want to know more about? Create a habit of continuously feeding your curiosity.
5. Hope. Hope is the belief that things will get better. When you are struggling in your business you NEED hope to move forward. As an entrepreneur you have the advantage with hope because what happens in your business rests largely in your hands. You do not have to rely on a boss or a company policy to change the direction of an unfavorable circumstance. You control the reigns and as long as you are still steering the ship, hope if alive.
6. Pride. This is a great one! What makes you feel proud in your business? Is it the wonderful new workshop you just developed? Is it the way you masterfully helped your last client breakthrough their challenges? When you want to boost your positivity, think on those things you have done already which make you feel proud. Also imagine things in the future that WILL make you feel proud once they are accomplished. This will give you a little more wind in your sails.
7. Amusement. Are you having FUN in your business? Why did you go into business in the first place? Are you still enjoying yourself? When I am using my mind to come up with creative marketing and branding solutions for my clients, I feel like I am at a giant playground for adults. It’s so fun. I love it! What’s fun for you? Do you need to add whimsy to your office? When was the last time you belly laughed at work? Are you surrounding yourself with fun people? When you add more amusement to your work life, your “work” life ceases to exist. Instead it becomes a really fun game.
8. Inspiration. What inspires you in your work? Do you have a mission for your business? Hang it on your wall so you can be reminded of it when you get stuck. What motivates you? Who are your role models? Try putting up pictures of things and people who inspire you to excel, perhaps a picture of a great athlete or a great thinker. Whatever works for you.
9. Awe. I think inspiration and awe are sisters. When you feel awe, you are often inspired to act. I am in awe of women who have meaningful and successful businesses. I feel respect and admiration for their accomplishments and it inspires me to do better. I also feel awed by great beauty, art and the passion and dedication needed for brilliant creation. Of course, nature is awe inspiring, especially the ocean. Make sure you put yourself in the path of what makes you feel awe so you too can be inspired, refreshed and fed by its greatness.
10. Love. Do you love your business? As entrepreneurs, we often talk about our businesses as our “babies.” What would you do for your baby to show it love? Would you ridicule your innocent, beautiful baby for being imperfect, for not growing up fast enough, for making messes you have to clean up? No, you would hold your baby in your arms, feed and nurture it. You would create an environment where your baby could play, explore and grow. Are you doing that for your business? What can you do to show your business the love?
The great thing about babies is they grow up. If you have given them love and attention and all the things they need to grow and flourish, they turn into thriving little people. As you watch them you feel pride, you feel joy in their presence and hopeful for their future. If you treat your business the same way, I am pretty sure you will be setting your sails for a brighter future as well. No, wait, I’m positive.
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a Reach certified personal brand strategist and business coach who helps women entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their businesses by showing them how to create powerful and authentic personal brands to attract more of their ideal clients. Heather is also a classically trained soprano and she uses much of her experience as a singer and performer to help other women entrepreneurs find and project their own unique voices into the marketplace. To learn even more about Heather and the Brand Discovery System click the link. www.clearvoicebranding.com