Business can be brutal. Jerry McGuire once described business as an ‘up at dawn, pride swallowing siege’ that he would never tell you about.
Business will act as a magnifying glass that exaggerates and distorts; it exaggerates the potential of every win; it distorts the gravity of every loss.
Choosing to live on emotional extremes is a dreadful experience that will ruin your health, marriage, relationships, and workplace culture.
But, living on the extremes, in the end…is a choice.
Make no mistake; you choose how you live.
No, you will not be able to take the emotion out of business. Yes, you can control how you react to the events that trigger the emotions. Every setback is only a learning experience to where you’ll eventually end up.
There could be pain (Of course! That’s part of the risk of owning a business). But the reality is you live in America. Therefore you’re not going to starve or have your family living destitute on the street if this business ceases to exist. You had a life before you started this business; you’ll have a life after this business
You were smart enough to start a business; you’re smart enough to find food and get out of the rain…so let’s get that head trash off the table.
And that leads us to our first tip for dealing with business worry.
1) Delete your head trash
Discover the truth about your situation. The vast majority of things we “fear” never materialize; they are the fiction created by an overactive imagination. Need proof? Did the worst-case scenario of your last “disaster” actually come to pass? What about the disaster before that?
If you are a person of faith, do you believe that the last time God helped you was indeed “the last time he’ll ever help you?” That’s doubtful. You weren’t brought this far to be left on the side of the road.
One of the most effective methods for separating the truth from emotion is to accept that what happened in the past actually happened. Namely, you recognized the problem, you took action, and you survived (probably no worse for the wear and more than likely a little smarter).
You can handle this.
2) Be honest with yourself
Business leaders, doctors, lawyers, or professors are not one iota smarter than you; what they have is expertise or knowledge in a particular area that you can choose to incorporate into your path forward. What we know is that business doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it.
Don’t accept lies that make you feel unworthy or incapable of becoming the success you were meant to be. You’re smart enough to fix this.
3) True character is displayed in times of crisis.
Captain America always seems to know exactly what to do when a hero is needed. His motivation is always to protect those around him. He is unwavering in his commitment to his virtues of morality, respect for others, and self-sacrifice.
Unfortunately, you're not Captain America and neither are we.
When a business goes in the tank, tempers flare, people become protective and territorial, and self-preservation instincts kick in, “Maybe we’ll overcharge here, underpay there, or act like we didn’t get that voicemail.” We have to resist the urge to disrespect people.
Now is the time to be who you say you are! Be fair-minded in all your dealings and don’t blather on with false double-speak. Rest assured, you are only in this place for a brief moment of time, so keep your wits and make the tough decisions, but do it with integrity.
You’re better than that.
4) Focus on the positives!
Fine! An ant crawled on your peanut butter sandwich. All is not lost. You still have a big’ole peanut butter sandwich!
For every one thing that has gone off the rails, you’ll be able to find ten things that are blessings. Spend less time focusing on how bad you feel and more time concentrating on the things that bring you joy.
Why? In 1937, Napoleon Hill coined the words “we become what we think about.” In 1956, Earl Nightingale expanded on this concept in his The Strangest Secret recording. He compared the human mind to a field. A field will grow corn, or weeds, in equal measure. The only variable is what is planted in it.
Planting positives in your mind, whether you do that by spending time with family, reading good books, or getting out of your own head long enough to help to somebody else, will somehow…as if by magic, transform your weedy field into a fertile pasture.
You can choose to think and be positive!
5) Be a cheerful receiver
Do you feel uncomfortable receiving a compliment? Do you immediately deflect, discount, and make excuses for being as good as you are? Here’s a tip. Say thank you. You have positively affected the lives of people around you, and they feel compelled to show gratitude. Do not steal that from them.
When you decline the compliment, you are subconsciously feeding the fallacy that you are not worthy, will never be worthy, and that sooner or later somebody will figure you’re a fake and a fraud. Denying who you are will not help you get out of this hole any quicker.
You are the right person, at the right time, in the right place.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
These are five steps to help you get out of stress and worry, and to step back into a mindset for growth. Once you have freed up the mental space that worry once occupied, you can now move on to the next step: removing the obstacles to growth.