Entrepreneurs need to be able to bounce back from whatever life throws at them, pick up the pieces and stay focused on their goals. This isn’t easy for most of us, we worry too much about mistakes and this can lead to lost sleep and ‘tetchiness’ the next day … There are some simple things you can do to help build your resilience:
1. Act fast to stop the ‘bad news’ hitting you hard
When an event happens, such as being rejected for that hoped-for contract, you have a moment in which you can decide how you will take the event. If you tell yourself “Oh no, another rejection, I’m a failure at this.” The event will hit your mood and confidence, knocking you back and put you in a state where you feel ineffective and unable to deal with things. In that moment you need to see the event in a different perspective. Maybe take another viewpoint, such as looking back on your life once you’ve retired and seeing how insignificant this event was, or looking at it from the point of view of Donald Duck (think of all the scrapes he got into and out of!)… If you can see a way to laugh at the event, that is one of the quickest ways of making sure it doesn’t affect your mood and confidence. By taking a different perspective you will appreciate that the event was merely feedback and gives you the opportunity to learn something, so you can put in a better proposal next time.
2. Worry is not a productive state, change it to problem-solving
If you find you’re worrying about something, it usually means the issue is going round and round in your head and you’re making no progress on it. This is not helpful for two reasons, one is that the more you think about it, the stronger you make the negative feelings, the other is that you’re effectively going backwards, when you want to be making progress. So what can you do?
Let’s assume you’re alone here. Write out the story, identifying the key factors involved, this process helps to take the issue out of your head. Once it is on paper, people often find they’re not worrying about it. Then you want to make progress, so identify all the ideas you have to resolve the issue and write them out, weigh up the pros and cons and make decisions on what action you will take and when. If there is really nothing you can do, then thinking this through and realising that it is out of your control, will release you from unhelpful worry, then you can get on with something else.
3. Develop a habit of mindfulness
This is proven to help people be calmer, more grounded and aware and to make better decisions. Everything is rushing at us these days, so much data is out there, demands are constant and communication is 24/7. We need to be able to take control of our own mind and body in order to focus on the things that will make a difference to us. Mindfulness practice can help. It’s about sitting in a relaxed position and clearing the mind.
One method is to sit on a chair in a relaxed position but with a straight spine, hands resting on your thighs. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Don’t try to force yourself to breathe slowly, start by just noticing how you are breathing in and out. Then put your attention on breathing deeply into your abdomen and notice how the air enters via your nose, flows down into your lungs, reaching those bottommost parts and then flows back out again. Notice how your body naturally knows when to breathe in again. Spend a few minutes doing this.
You could time how many deep breaths you take in a minute – this is one ‘piece’ of mindfulness, which will be your reference for anytime you feel a few minutes of mindfulness will help you regain calm before tackling an issue. If you take 8 deep breaths in a minute and you know you have a couple of minutes for this, you simply get into the relaxed position, close your eyes and then count say 20 breaths.
I recommend making mindfulness practice part of your daily routine, do it every morning before you start work, maybe take a couple of minutes to do it before important meetings, and definitely find a couple of minutes to do it whenever you feel yourself getting anxious or angry.
If you want to find out more about how you can control your effectiveness visit my site: www.amandabouchconsulting.co.uk
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