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Are You Discouraged?
Do you get discouraged in your business at times? How do you deal with this? By now you've heard the phrases "Think Positive" Many personal growth teachers remind us "You get what you concentrate on".
These are time honored principles which have guided men and women throughout the ages to extraordinary achievements. On the surface seem simple enough... just focus on what you want! Hey, what could be easier than that? Well sometimes the simplest things aren't so simple but can teach us the most!
I've found that putting this into practice in real day to day life brings lots of learning! One area that has puzzled me for a while is this ... What if you really don't BELIEVE your positive thoughts??
I've often found myself making positive affirmations, or creating vivid mental pictures, but not really believing that they would ever happen!
One part of me says "think positive" The other part says, "naaah, I don't believe it!" Has this every happened to you? What do you do with that?
I had an experience recently that gave me some insight. A few weeks ago I began to upgrade my home office. There has been some exciting growth in my business this year, and my husband and I felt it was time that my outer reality more closely matched my inner reality.
So I got a spiffy new computer! This was very, very cool ... my first "real" one! Previous to this I built my business on a shoestring, with a teeny tiny (and VERY slow zzzzzzz ) laptop. Before that I shared a computer with my husband. All kinds of new possibilities were opening up now. I was thrilled!
The computer came, I set it up, and it became immediately clear that the table I had my laptop on would not work for the new computer. It was too cramped and created a messy look. So I went shopping and found exactly the right desk, which fit perfectly in my modest office space... yay!! It looked great, the price was right, and there was only one catch ...
The desk came in one of those long thin boxes that said "assembly required". :(
I am probably the least "handy" of all the people on the planet. I have little interest, experience, or inclination in matters of household carpentry. I've managed to squeak by several decades of life without having to deal with this directly, thanks to loving friends and family who have that wonderful "handy gene" that I am lacking! :-)
I can't stand household "handy person" stuff ... but I really, really, really wanted that desk! And I was under some time pressure because I needed to get the new computer set up. Sure, I could have called on my husband or my friends who could have helped me on the weekend, but I couldn't wait. I was determined that I was going to have this desk set up as soon as possible, carpentry challenged or not!
"I can do this" I said to myself. "I can do anything I set my mind to". I got the positive thinking juices flowing. I reminded myself of all the other things I've done that I didn’t think were possible.
"Remember getting through graduate school Tamara? Remember getting your first check from your business? Remember surviving three business failures before finding the right one?" Surely putting together a computer desk would be much, MUCH easier!
I took some time to vividly imagine myself with a new desk, excited to be working with such comfort and ease. The more I imagined this, the better I felt.
I was excited and ready to roll! Confidently, I assembled my tools and laid the long, thin box on a table and opened the box. I was prepared for an exciting adventure of learning and success. I was unprepared for what happened next.
A loud and intimidating chorus of thoughts rose up, like a huge buzzing swarm of bees, flying everywhere and making lots of noise!
"Tamara, this will NEVER work"
"You aren't smart enough to figure this out"
"You're stupid to be trying this"
"Don't even bother to start, just give up!"
Hey, I wasn't expecting that! I could almost see them swarming around my head! OK well that wasn't going to stop me, so I continued on. I sifted through the unfamiliar pre-cut wood pieces, the strange looking metal objects which looked to my dismaying eyes like widgets from the planet Taelon ... and then I found the directions.
"OK now we're cooking" I thought, somewhat relieved, "Now I'll know what to do". I unfolded the directions and lo and behold they looked like they had been written in Chinese! Actually they were written in 5 different languages, none of them in Chinese, but the English part made NO sense to me!
"Insert dowel rod C into widget recliner base B" ... Yikes!! The typeface was very small, so you could hardly read the directions. There were elaborate diagrams which I couldn't make sense of. The buzzing bees got louder and the swarm got bigger.
"I told you, this will NEVER work!"
"You'll never figure this out, why bother?"
"Don't waste your time with this Tamara, just
A wave of despair washed over me. Maybe this was going to be a real hassle. I started to feel tired. "OK, I need to think positive" I said, straightening my spine, trying to whip myself into shape. "I CAN do this!"
I took another moment to vividly imagine myself with a new desk, excited to be working with such comfort and ease. The inner picture was kind of faded by now, and I couldn't drum up the feeling of excitement, but I imagined it anyways. By now, I didn't really BELIEVE it anymore! I had forgotten it all.
The "buzzing bees" escalated to a near fever pitch! They were all around me, so thick and loud I could hardly see.
"Tamara you're inadequate"
We all have our vulnerable spots and mine just had gotten prodded ... OUCH! "They’re right" I thought, "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this". I looked at the pile of strange wooden shapes and widgets from planet Taelon (just kidding, they only looked that way!)
How easy it would be to just wait until the weekend and have my husband do it! Just close up that box and let someone else deal with it. What a relief! Hey taking a week off from my business wouldn't be so bad. No one will notice I'm gone." You get the idea ... it wasn't a pretty picture. I put down the directions, and got ready to close the box ...
But wait! I suddenly remembered my vision of sitting at new desk, excited to be working with such comfort and ease. It felt so good! I couldn't give up now!
I rallied my forces and went to open the box again. The buzzing bees were screaming by now ... if bees could scream!! :-)
"Give up Tamara, you CAN'T do it!!!!!!!!"
They were really putting up a fuss and I confess, I almost did give up right there. I was getting ready to walk away from the whole thing. It was just too darned hard! I went to shut the box again and then I realized ... I just COULDN'T give up. Because I really, really, REALLY wanted that desk ... and I wanted it NOW!!!
I wasn't willing to give it up ... even if it was a hassle. My desire to have the desk ASAP was STRONGER than all those "buzzing bees" that were yelling out all the reasons why I couldn't do it!
Once I realized this simple fact, I opened the box back up again. Failure was no longer an option for me. I said a prayer, and ignored the "buzzing bees", which no longer intimidated me. Now I focused all of my attention and intention on figuring out those crazy directions! It took a while, but once I relaxed it was actually kind of fun!
I went very, very slowly, made a few mistakes, learned a lot of great stuff. Voila, in less than two hours I HAD a new computer desk!! I felt fantastic, excited, and very empowered. AND I had learned several new skills ... Including how to assemble a desk!
And yet I almost gave up, I was that close to missing out on so much great stuff. When you are focusing on positive thoughts and intentions, sometimes you run into your own "buzzing bees" ... negative thoughts that arise as you are moving towards your goals and dreams.
The old thoughts like to put up a fuss... but they can't win unless you let them. I look at the "buzzing bees" as a kind of cleansing process ... our mind begins letting go of the old beliefs and thoughts that no longer serve us.
It is the intention to transform our thinking, combined with the natural process of letting go, that creates the space for new thoughts and new beliefs. The releasing process itself can feel like an onslaught, an uprising of negativity. It can make you think you've messed up and gone in the wrong direction.
When the "buzzing bees" are being let out of their cage, it's very easy to BELIEVE what they say!!
What I learned is to stay connected to what I REALLY want. That "really want" is a feeling, an emotion, that goes beyond positive or negative thoughts. No matter how many "buzzing bees" are around, what we REALLY want is much stronger.
THIS is the key. You must REALLY, truly want it ... whatever your goal is. You must want it even MORE than you want other things!
What you TRULY want is part of your essence, of who you really are. Your essence is your own unique expression of YOU. This is the heart of our business and the heart of your business success!
About the Author: Tamara Esgoode is a business consultant, coach, and writer for http://www.HomeBizWomen.com which offers free training and mentoring for women starting a business from home.