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Program Yourself for Success

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We’ve all had them. Those days when discouragement threatens to defeat purpose and conviction and start us down the steep, slippery slope of self-doubt.

The early days of entrepreneurship are filled with activity, busy-ness, a whirlwind of activity. Once that initial phase passes and things settle down to a more or less predictable routine, when our fantasies of fantastic wealth have not materialized after six months of endeavor, when someone is critical, when those orders just aren’t coming in, no matter what we do or how many hours we work … we get discouraged and begin to question whether we really do have the right stuff for this business, after all!

So, how do you get through those times of self-doubt and back into the saddle?

The first thing is to prepare for them. KNOW there are going to be “days like this”. If you expect them then you will be better able to recognize them for what they are and not give them greater prominence than they deserve. Nine times out of ten, things really DO look better in the morning! (You were right mom!)

Next, get right back to basics. What motivates you and keeps you focused? What is your motivation and purpose in starting your own business? The strength of your purpose will ultimately determine your level of motivation and hence determination. Is your purpose clear in your mind? If not, maybe you need to remind yourself of the reasons why you want to work for yourself. You may find your reasons aren’t strong enough motivators. If not, find some that are.

Remind yourself of your purpose when you need to motivate yourself. If you’re a mom, perhaps your purpose in starting your home business was so you could be home with your children rather than in the paid workforce. So, when you’re feeling discouraged because you didn’t land that account you wanted or didn’t make that sale, remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. Picture your children. Visualize your purpose as vividly as you can. Then harness that motivation and turn it into energy you can direct back into your business. Use that energy to examine why you didn’t land the account or make the sale and then change whatever needs to be changed. By making changes in response to such stimuli, you are increasing the odds of being successful next time around.

Your response to setbacks will also be determined by your personal confidence level. A confident individual is more resilient in the face of setbacks whereas a less confident person is more likely to react to a setback as an indication that he or she is not really capable of being successful. Your response to setbacks is critical to the future success or failure of your business. If you’re someone whose self-talk is positive, you will tell yourself, “well, that approach didn’t achieve what I wanted. I’ll have to try something different”. If, on the other hand, your self-talk is pretty negative, you are much more likely to tell yourself “well, that obviously didn’t work. I just don’t have what it takes to be a success at this”.

The difference between the two is that one, the positive self-talker, refuses to internalize a setback as a personal failure. The negative self-talker, on the other hand, doesn’t view the setback as just part of external environment in which the business operates but rather, internalizes the setback as a personal failure.

So, watch your self-talk. The language you use in your thoughts makes an enormous impression on your subconscious. If you impress upon your subconscious that you are not deserving of success, your subconscious will busily go about proving the truth of that statement. Similarly, if you impress upon your subconscious that you are a successful, confident person, it will work just as hard to validate that presumption. The important point is this: your subconscious DOESN’T CARE where it takes you. It will literally take you WHEREVER you program it to go.

One highly effective technique to help remove the negative self-talk that can be so harmful to long-term success is self-hypnosis. There are many good induction tapes available that will guide you into a state of deep mental relaxation and then provide you with positive suggestions. If you are in a state of deep relaxation when you receive a positive suggestion, it will be absorbed much more readily by your subconscious, where those nagging self-doubts emanate from in the first place. Choose a tape that deals with issues such as self-confidence or positive thinking. By programming your subconscious with positive messages of confidence and success, it will actively go to work integrating those qualities.

Do not underestimate the value of positive programming and the danger of negative programming in determining the ultimate success of your business. It may very well mean the difference between stunning success and whimpering failure.

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online … practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com/

Program Yourself for Success
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