You tune in to the economic news, and it’s practically impossible not to have some gut-clenching response. The fact is, there’s not much you can do to change the current economic circumstances. But there is a lot you can do to maintain your own entrepreneurial equilibrium in the face of increased business stressors. And once you are on an even keel, you’ll be ready to use these same tips to bolster your teams.
Don’t feed the negative. A Cherokee chief, teaching his grandson about life, explains that we all battle two wolves. One is negative, filled with anger, self-pity and self-doubt. The other is positive, filled with joy, hope, and trust. His grandson listens carefully and then asks, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply replies, “The one you feed.” Stop feeding your negative wolf with complaints, worries, negative talk and excessive media. Even if you can’t feel positive, don’t let your negative wolf put you on a downward spiral.
- Interrupt negative talk among team members. Negativity is contagious. It will spread like wildfire from one member to another, especially in this atmosphere of economic tension.
- Transform worries into plans. Nothing zaps the energy out of a worry like a well-laid plan. If you are fearful that your sales are down, brainstorm ideas about new sales leads. If you’re fretting because you aren’t getting the bookings you want, inspire yourself to make calls by remembering why you love what you do.
- Take a break from the media. Too much attention to the news can feed your negative wolf. Instead, why not watch an uplifting video.
- Take a step back. You are taking a photograph. When you have the lens on zoom, it’s easy to focus solely on your subject. Conversely, if you step back far enough, your subject becomes one small part of a larger landscape. It’s the same principle with maintaining an upward spiral. You may need to zoom in on a particular problem or stressor in order to develop a solution. But don’t keep your focus there. Remember to take a step back to see a bigger picture. Put your problem in the context of positive aspects and it ceases to dominate your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. You are now free to experience a sense of relief and perhaps serenity.
- Write down all the things you love about your direct sales business. Whenever you have a problem or feel stressed, take out the paper and read it. This is a great positive attitude adjuster
- Take a moment to recall a time when you had a successful business event. Really get into the feeling by remembering what you were wearing, the surroundings, who else was there, etc. When you need to take a step back from a problem, flash on this mental image in a clear and vivid way.
- Reframe difficulties into gains. You are likely to face some business difficulties as a result of the current economic uncertainties. While this can be troublesome, within every difficulty lies the potential for gain. Think about past problems or disappointments and the gains that emerged over time in handling those situations. Now, imagine the possible benefits that you may derive from your current difficulties. For example, in searching for solutions, you may discover some hidden talents among your team members or more effective marketing tools. By focusing on these potential gains, you are creating the momentum you need to keep you (and your team) inspired and energized.
- Think of a current difficulty. Using your past experiences and your imagination, write a list of all the possible gains from having to handle this difficulty. Write down the gains and read the list regularly.
- Have a team brainstorm. First, have each member think of past problems and the lessons and gains that came from that situation. Now, as a team, identify a current difficulty and brainstorm all the potential gains. Use each other as support to focus on these gains. The choice is yours. You can either succumb to the negative or take action to stay in the positive. Which wolf will you feed? Use these five tips as inspiration to feed your positive wolf and put you and your team members on an upward spiral of success!
Dana Lightman, Ph.D., is an exciting motivational speaker, psychotherapist, coach and author. She has been providing keynotes and seminars for over 20 years. As an expert in positive psychology, Dana is the creator of POWER Optimism – a method of replacing negative patterns with positive practices. Her goal is to help direct sellers increase bookings, recruits, sales and team performance by cultivating a positive perspective. For more information, www.danalightman.com.