Back in 2013, I was making a go at network marketing full time. I had a relatively small following on social media and no one ever liked my posts. Someone close to me suggested that I stop using social media to complain, and instead only post positive things. This may sound obvious, but I was so stuck in negative self-talk and my own unhappiness, that I had to really work at this suggestion.
Instead of posting things like "I can't shake this cold," or "I'm so tired today!", I started posting things like "I made a really healthy dinner tonight to help support my body to beat my cold" (with a photo of my food), and "Despite feeling tired today, I dragged my ass to yoga and I have to report --I loved it!" Eventually, I was able to get rid of most of the negativity in my posts, so that everything I posted was motivational, helpful, kind, and positive.
My life began to change. Rapidly. People I knew off of Facebook would tell me how inspired they were by my posts. People on Facebook would tell me that I was the most positive person they knew. It didn't take long for people to forget Angelique the complainer, and accept Angelique the motivator. My business began to grow. More importantly, my self-esteem began to change. I felt good about myself and about the world I was living in. The better I felt, the more things I had to feel better about.
Eventually, I decided to see if my way would work for other people. I led a group of 20 people through a mindset challenge with amazing results! Many people found happiness for the first time in a long time. Others rekindled old friendships, or left toxic relationships. The biggest success story was Linda, a woman who found enough confidence to apply for the job of her dreams --and get it! It quite literally changed her life.
I know that if it was possible for me, and it was possible for them, it's also possible for you. All it takes is a willingness to try something new. And these three mindset shifts:
#1 Whenever you start to worry about, obsess over, or get stressed out by something going wrong, become aware of the thought and reframe it to something your grateful for, or something that's going right.
Personally, I like to say "Interesting" out loud as a pattern-interrupt. Then I consciously make a decision to focus on what's working. For example, yesterday, I was overwhelmed with homework for my Master's degree. I started to go down the rabbit hole of "Why do I always leave things to the last minute?" and "What's wrong with me?" And then I noticed the negative thoughts, said "Interesting", and started to think about how awesome I am that I have a 102% in one class and a 98% in the other, even after being out of school for twenty years! In just a matter of minutes, I was feeling confident, proud, and joyful about what I was learning in school.
According to researchers, at the Mayo Clinic, "The positive thinking that usually comes from optimism is a key part of effective stress management." Additionally, there are health benefits to positive thinking that may include an increased life span, lower rates of depression and distress, and greater resistance to the common cold. Now, I'm not saying that I don't get sick anymore because I'm positive, but I do think staying positive helps my immune response!
#2 Humans' brains are hardwired to be negative. Positivity takes practice. Practice positive self-talk. Use affirmations!
It turns out, our brains are hardwired for negative thinking. To put it simply, negative bias is our brain's tendency to react more strongly to negative stimuli and to dwell on it longer. (Read about it here.) This is great news! This means that everyone has to practice positivity, and anyone can become more positive with enough practice.
How can you practice positivity? Easily! All it takes is a little commitment. I like to start with a list of the things I don't like about myself, or things that I am afraid of. For example, I am afraid of getting hurt in a yoga inversion. Next, I turn that negative statement into a positive affirmation, like so: "I am strong and capable, so I practice inversions safely and with ease." Then I record myself saying it. I listen to my recording and repeat my words out loud as often as I can, with conviction. I particularly like the app ThinkUp for recording and practicing affirmations.
#3 You deserve to get paid and get paid well for whatever product or service you are providing your customers, clients, or students.
I am not sure why this is so hard for so many people, and in particular, women. There is some disconnect between money and service, as though a service is only as good as how freely you can provide it. Recently, I had a leak in my basement. It was really important to me to fix it for several reasons, the biggest being that it effected my ability to take a hot shower. While my father could have fixed it for me for free, my father lives in Florida. So I called a plumber. It cost $350 and it took him about 15 minutes. He told me the price and I had to decide if my hot shower was worth his time. I decided it was. He didn't feel the need to negotiate with me, or to offer me something for nothing, even when I hemmed and hawed over the price. He was providing a service I needed and that was the price. End of story.
Often, as entrepreneurs, we tend to start to discount our service at the first sign that someone doesn't want to pay for it. Why do we do that? Isn't my time worth as much as the plumber's? Doesn't the gas cost the same for me to drive to your house to teach you yoga as his did to come fix my leaky pipe? And my service is no less important than his! He fixed one pipe. I help people move and breathe. Equally important, if not more important, if you ask me.
So in order to be successful at business, we must stand by our price as much as we stand by our product. If you find yourself using the self-talk that says things like "Well, something is better than nothing," or "She could just get it cheaper on the internet and then I'll lose this customer," stop right there. Reframe. New thought: "My service is valuable as is my time. If it's not a right fit for this client, I can refer her to someone else."
Come to the financial objection from a state of service. Is it truly too expensive for this client to afford your service? If so, provide her with a referral, and in so doing, provide her with a service she needs. Maybe it's not the money at all, but her fear of commitment. How can you help her commit to herself? Can you still be in service?
Download my free workbook, 5 Things You Must Believe to Be a Yoga Professional for practical tips on how to change your mindset.
Adopting any or all of these mindset shifts will help set you up for success in your business. What are some of the limiting beliefs you are working to overcome in your own business?