Positive thoughts, positive people, positive action – Part 1

This is one of a series of blogs written specifically for those people in small businesses who are responsible for winning sales.  These people will often have other roles and responsibilities which requires them to be very time-efficient during their selling activities.  Larger businesses are likely to employ one or more full-time salespeople and this blog series is also written to help these people.

Think positive thoughts

Most small business owners will probably agree that being “positive” about their business is a whole lot better than being “negative”.  Being an optimist means you expect the very best to happen in your life.  You are bursting with energy and will be driving yourself forwards, with a spring in your step.  Life seems full of good things and opportunities.  You are positive about your situation, your prospects and your future.

Contrast this to a negative person, the pessimist.  Being a pessimist means you expect problems to occur.  You might even feel that everything you try will go wrong and that everyone is against you.  Every day will be littered with obstacles and problems and you will tend to blame others for your circumstances.  There is certainly no spring in your step, everything is an uphill battle and life gets you down.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Where do you sit on the spectrum from optimism to pessimism?

Why are you at that point?

How is it that the same event can cause people to react in completely different ways?

For example, imagine you are travelling to a distant city for a meeting the following day.  At the last minute, your flight or your train is cancelled.  The next departure is not for another 2 hours.  How would you react?

Optimists would quickly accept the situation and assess how to get the best out of circumstances for which they have no control.  They would be inclined to accept the delay could be used to tackle more tasks on their to-do list.  Even when travelling light, this time could be used for reflection, planning and reviewing.  They would try to make the best of the circumstances in which they find themselves and look to gain some value from the delay.

Pessimists would moan about the cancellation and probably become very agitated.  They would be inclined to go and look for somebody to blame, feeling it was yet another example of how everything goes wrong for them.  Their anger and negative emotions mean that they would not use the delay to any benefit.  For them, this time and this opportunity is lost forever.

It is fascinating to watch how people react in such different ways to the same set of circumstances, even when it is obvious that the events are completely outside their control.

Learn to take responsibility

Look at the word responsibility, it is the combination of 2 words:- response and ability.  It means your ability to choose your response to any situation [for a more detailed analysis, see “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey].  Positive people recognise this.  They do not blame circumstances, conditions or their upbringing for the way they behave.

Nature is neutral.  It is only humans who have the ability to respond emotionally to events, either positively or negatively.  The key point to remember, should you ever find yourself feeling angry, victimised or stressed, is you choose to respond to each event that you encounter in the way you do.

You could decide on a different response.  You could decide to respond more positively.

So, how do you become a more positive person?

Answer: Feed your mind with positive thoughts and think only about the things you want.

Read books or listen to audios produced by people who tell you how you can, not why you can’t achieve something.  Try material from Dale Carnegie, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracy, Jeffrey Gitomer, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Harvey Mackay for starters.

Begin by reading regularly, every day.  If you have an intense schedule you should start by finding a short block of time for reading, perhaps 15 minutes.  Over time, gradually increase this to 60 minutes.  Some people can do this while they travel, others may have to get up a little earlier and make reading their first task of the day.

The important point is to find time in your schedule every day to read something positive.  Make it a habit and once you are reading this sort of material for 1 hour every day, you will find it much easier to focus on what it is you want in life, rather than what you don’t want.

You will learn to accept there will always be setbacks to negotiate.  You will develop the mindset to take them in your stride, learn from the experiences and push on towards your goals.  Accept total responsibility for what happens in your life and if you hit problems, make the necessary changes in order to avoid them arising again.

Next time we’ll continue the theme of positivity with some more suggestions regarding positive thoughts, positive people and positive actions.

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