I was reminded recently of how becoming an entrepreneur has helped me change my mindset for the better as I was listening to two people argue about something unnecessary and trivial. I wasn't eavesdropping by any means; I was within earshot in a public establishment and they were loud.
They were an older couple that seemed like they could make a regular sport of argument and maybe it even worked for them. All I heard though was an expenditure of negative energy about their driving route that seemed quite trivial to me.
As I was listening, I came to a realization — the older we get, the less likely we are to change negative thoughts when there's a setback. Some of us seem to have worrisome or angry thoughts ingrained into our personality, and we let it sit there for a long time.
Part of being a successful entrepreneur or even just trying to build a business can be overwhelming. We have two choices when that feeling of overwhelm envelopes us — we can lose our ish and check out, or we can plow through it and ignore the setback.
GUAGE YOUR REACTION
Try a visualization exercise by answering this question honestly.
How would you react if you walked into your kitchen to see spilled milk on the floor?
Picture the scene in your head.
Would you get angry and start spouting off about how careless that somebody was?
Would you start pointing fingers and making accusations?
Would you interrogate everyone in the house to find out who did it and ask the culprit to go clean it up?
Would you clean it up yourself and utter expletives under your breath because that kind of carelessness is unacceptable?
Would you just clean it up yourself and get back to what you were doing when you walked into the kitchen? (Good answer, by the way.)
Which one did you choose? You don't have to tell anyone, but you have to think about what type of mindset you carry around to create your reaction, and whether it can use improvement to create more inner peace.
Are you the type of person who would easily let that spilled milk completely destroy your day, interrupt your path, or create anger and blame?
If so, you need to think long and hard about the negative energy you just expended. To be a successful entrepreneur, you'll need to find a way to cope with mishaps, accidents, mistakes, disappointments, overwhelm and setbacks along the way. They're all okay because that's how we learn. And if you're not learning, you're not growing.
THE NEXT TIME
Who cares who spilled the milk? Clean it up and move on. Save your frustration and energy for a problem worth fixing.
The next time you find yourself stewing over something that didn't go right, make a note in your journal of what it was and how much time you spent letting it pull you away from your focus. How could you handle it differently?
Did you make a mistake? Fix it and move on. Don't dwell or start self-shaming. You're worth a whole lot more than a negative self-review.
Are you stuck because you don't understand a topic or hit a roadblock? Move on to the next subject and come back later when you're not frustrated. Ask someone for help or visit Dr. Google when you have a clearer frame of mind.
Did someone say something in a group, post or forum that you didn't like or agree with? Move on. Don't respond. The feeling will pass quickly and you will have saved your precious time and energy resources from engaging.
As an entrepreneur, you need to quit sweating the negative things that people say, do, or talk about online. You are working on something that's bigger than those people's opinions. Pretty sure they're not part of that big picture. Click To Tweet
And to the couple I listened to in Starbucks for 30 minutes arguing about which highway to take to get to a town in northeast Texas? Just get in the damn car and head that direction. You both just wasted 30 minutes of drive time.
WHO CARES WHO SPILLED THE MILK?
What was the last mishap that occurred in your world and how much time and energy did you spend? Share in the comments.