Don’t beat yourself up

The best thing you can do in business to make the most of your innate abilities is learn how to pat yourself on the back.

Doubtful businessman

Too often, I see clients being over critical of themselves. When their plans and actions don’t produce the desired results, they blame themselves.

Doing this has the unfortunate effect of undermining your self confidence and making you risk averse.

Whenever you beat yourself up for something which didn’t turn out right, a negative message is lodged in your subconscious. If you do it often enough, a little warning bell will ring whenever you get into a situation which could lead to a negative result.

You will tend to avoid doing anything that could have negative consequences. It is simply human nature. We instinctively avoid experiencing pain, both physical and psychological.

If you don’t take risks, you won’t get hurt. But the problem is, if you don’t take risks your business will never become a great success.

Without even thinking about it, you won’t take advantage of business opportunities — just in case you are not successful. You will avoid changing the way you do things because it is “safer” to keep them the way they are.

“Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realise how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison.

The result of all this is that your business could very quickly fall behind the times. The business environment is becoming increasingly competitive. And only forward thinking, open–minded, opportunity–seeking and risk-taking competitors prosper in the long term.

Negative self-talk is more harmful and pervasive than you might think. Research suggests up to 70 per cent of self-talk centres around admonishing oneself for doing or saying the wrong thing. Or handling situations in the wrong way.

But it really is in your best interests to get out of the destructive habit. Your ability to be positive about all the decisions you make is at stake.

The other side of the coin is that most people don’t pay much attention to their successes.

They take them for granted. This is unfortunate because success is something you want to repeat.

So reinforce the experience by acknowledging your successes. Subconsciously, we tend to repeat things that have a positive outcome.

So catch yourself doing things right. And pat yourself on the back whenever it happens.

Accept that all the decisions you make are based on the best information that was available to you at the time. See failure in a positive light.

If things don’t work out the way you wanted them too, learn from the experience.

Remember that failure is the best teacher. See it simply as feedback and you learn little. See your failures as milestones on your journey to becoming successful.

It took Edison 10,000 attempts before he got his most famous invention, the light bulb, to work. But he didn’t see any of the first 9999 attempts as failures.

A quote from his writings says it all: “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”