This morning, I approached the main road near my house during the busy rush hour. I was in a hurry, and wanting to do my usual right-hand turn, my heart sank as I got closer. The traffic in both directions was almost at a standstill. With everyone in a rush, I knew that waiting for two nice drivers to create a gap in the traffic might be a waste of time.
Then, just before feeling disheartened, I decided to approach the junction with the thought that someone would make a space for me. And this is exactly what happened, the instant my car stopped at the crossing.
It is so easy to forget that you actually have a choice about what you think in any given situation!
But being positive isn’t always easy!
To be fair, even I sometimes find it challenging to stay positive during particularly stressful periods or when suffering from the hormonal ups and downs midlife women can be prone to. And often, before you know it, your negative thoughts have become regular visitors.
In my experience, it requires quite a bit of effort to stay positive when you’re under pressure, but persistence and regular practice do pay off in the long run.
So what can you do?
The first step is in realising and monitoring your natural thought processes. Sometimes our thoughts appear in what we say in passing to a colleague. For example, have you ever caught yourself thinking or saying things like:
“They will be too busy and won’t want me to call today”
“They won’t pay me”
“I’ll mess up this presentation”
“I won’t get any business from this meeting anyway”?
Thinking in this way will inevitably affect your confidence and can prevent you from taking the positive action your business needs right now.
So before attending an event or starting a challenging task today, don’t just jump in. Instead, take yourself through a little prep task first.
If going to a networking meeting or event, either stay in the car or find a quiet space for a couple of minutes so you can become aware of your thoughts. For example, if you notice that you’re thinking that nobody ever wants to talk to you, or is interested in your business, decide which thought or approach would suit you better:
“I will ask the organiser to introduce me”
“I will approach just one person”
“I’ll ask them questions and show that I’m interested in them”
Making a choice can be quite difficult at first, as your negative thoughts will keep bobbing to the surface like apples that have fallen into a bucket of water.
So at first you might find it helpful to say your new thought out loud. But if you’re with people and speaking to yourself feels odd, take your phone and type the new thought as if you were sending someone a text message. Or you can write it in a small notebook. This way, no one will know!
The simple act of hearing your own voice or seeing your thought written down may help to plant the idea and get you used to thinking differently.
As the author Jodi Picoult said in her book My Sister’s Keeper, “If you tell yourself you feel fine, you will.”
PS. Why not share a tip below that works for you?
About the author: Ute Wieczorek-King provides business & blogging support for passionate midlife women who want to be more visible, focused and profitable. Get Ute’s business tips on Facebook or visit the Success Network website to receive Ute’s free “Passion to Profit ebook. You too can take your micro-business from good to great!