Keep Your Eye on the Open Field
When we think about taking big risks, many of us find it easier to imagine how it can all go wrong rather than how it can go right. I’ve observed that my clients often making decisions based on their fears and, later, are not surprised when they fail. I want you to flip your thinking and visualize success. Every day.
My oldest daughter is a skydiver. I was talking to her about some of my clients’ constant negative thoughts and she said, “That thinking is called Object or Target Fixation.” All new skydivers take a First Jump Course where they learn that a jumpers’ biggest concern happens to be, obviously, landing! Landing equals success in skydiving language. In order to succeed, a skydiver must focus on achieving a successful landing, i.e. landing on a clear patch of grass. Easy right? Not so much.
New skydivers, in their effort to not fail, may actually practice negative Target Fixation. Target Fixation happens when the skydiver focuses on what NOT to hit. The jumper wants to land on an area of grass that is surrounded by several trees. Her instinct is to keep her eyes on the trees to avoid them. In reality, her body and her parachute follows the direction of her eyes and she ends up in a tree. So when the skydiver takes a First Jump Course, she learns, over and over, DO NOT look at the trees! Learning to control her Target Fixation will save her life.
And you must shift your Target Fixation in your own business, train your mind daily to overcome negative thought and focus on the steps you need to take to succeed. When you focus on the positive, you will see solutions where others see obstacles, a powerful superpower for an entrepreneur to have, right?
How do you identify what thought processes to improve? The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you are the one person in control of your environment, and your mindset, each and every day. Focus on what you want your life to look like in three months, one year, five years. Take just ten minutes and write it down. Now! Go do it. Next, take your three month goals and break each down into a few small, manageable points of action. Incorporate at least one action every day that will get you closer to your goals. It can be as simple as cleaning out your office, sending emails, or driving to the coffee shop to finish that project.
Now, harness your thoughts towards success and keep your eyes on the landing field. In business and in life, you cannot allow yourself to focus on negative outcomes. Positive visualization is more powerful to you than the constant repeating of the negative. If you allow yourself to focus on what could go wrong, you’re increasing the chance that something will go wrong. Don’t.
Kim Serafini of MindPT, the popular program that harnesses the power of the subconscious mind through positive images, wrote, “Everyone can suffer from the existence of Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTS. ANTS are a defensive mechanism. They begin with the goal to protect, but if left uncontrolled, they end up preventing or limiting potential solutions and greater possibilities.” Do not let ANTS put limits on your business!
I coach a client who focuses on how her customers are always trying to screw her out of money. When a client asks a question, she gets annoyed and reacts defensively. I suggested to her that she is assuming her customer’s motives and, thus, CHOOSING to protect herself from getting taken advantage. As a result, many of her interactions end badly.
I worked with her to change her assumption, to aim for a successful landing on the grass rather than focusing on the trees. The new assumption is when a customer asks a question, that person is simply looking for information so they can feel the value of the transaction. My client was instructed to repress her defensiveness. Sounds easy, but it takes a daily commitment to reshape our natural reactive instincts. But it is 100% doable.
You can change your negative thoughts, your fears of failure. I encourage you to list and focus on your business positives. Write down a dozen great things your business provides, does, and helps with … and read them every morning and every night. Add to your list as you think of more positives. Plan your successes and make daily movements towards your goals. Stop worrying about crashing into the trees. Just aim for the open field.