We have 65,000 thoughts each day; unfortunately, 65% of them are negative.
- Negative thoughts about ourselves tax our confidence, weaken our immune systems, and preclude us from doing what we want to do. On the other hand, positive thoughts about ourselves strengthen our immune system, motivate us, and help us to accomplish our goals.
- Not to fact-bomb you at “hello,” but there were 28.2 million businesses in the United States in 2011—and more than 21.15 million of those were non-employer firms.
- From experience, I know that many are holding companies, but most were operating as sole proprietorships and still are today. I’ve had as many as 500 people working for me during my career. Unfortunately, I still talk to myself as if I were a bad employee most of the time. It comes naturally! Perhaps some of you can empathize.
We can all benefit from our collective experience when it comes to dealing with managing negative self-thoughts – do share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you manage your negative self-thoughts, convert them to positive thoughts, and help you be a better employee for your company today.
1. Watch how you talk to yourself. This advice came repeatedly from my therapist after a particularly harsh business failure. She didn’t say much and mostly asked questions, but she insisted that I stop acting like a hired CEO and pause when I found myself doing so. It worked.
2. Take a break when negative self-thoughts get bad. Something bad is going to happen today. I hope that it will be small. In the unlikely event that it is major, like losing a client or not being able to meet payroll, take a damn break and rejuvenate yourself—however you do that (without drugs, alcohol, or anything illegal).
3. Write down what would make you a good employee if you had to hire yourself. This might sound strange, but I advise many established business owners who use job descriptions to help retain and recruit better employees. Why not write your job description to make you a better employee for your company? www.BusinessBalls.com teaches us how here.
4. Revisit your successes. I’m not sure if this will work for you, but I know that reviewing my past successes helps me to focus on my future ones. I take pleasure watching my former students operate multimillion-dollar companies. It brings me joy to know that a reader planned something before they spent their life savings. What are your past business successes?
5. Write down three things that you want to accomplish today. I use this technique weekly to help me reset and refocus when bad things happen. Ah, the distractions of a fresh batch of email-inbox hell. The client who won’t pay. The distractions from your personal life that creep into your workday. When distractions happen, I resolve them as well as I can, reread my goals for the week, and get back to work.
6. Call someone. Fortunately, I have a network of close business friends I can call when I need to manage a business distraction or reset my focus. Who do you know who might help you? Try calling them—and don’t forget to return the favor.
7. Work like a good employee. If you want to be a good employee for yourself, act like one. This probably involves doing something that you don’t want to do today, like sales and marketing, but if you work like a good employee, you just might treat yourself like your favorite employee.
If you disappoint yourself with negative thoughts during your workday, remember that you are not alone. In fact, more than 20 million small-business owners think about themselves just like you do about yourself. When negativity gets out of control and you need to get back to work, take time out first by stopping and minding how you talk to yourself. Do whatever works for you to help you work in the present moment and be the best employee you can be for your company.
(2) The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, 1956, Prentice-Hall
[Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]