Positive self-talk and inspiration from small successes

Running a business is a constant back and forth between the thrill of success and the challenge of setback, and sometimes it’s really hard to maintain motivation and stay focused. We understand the struggle first hand because, like you, we’ve all felt the highs and lows that come with entrepreneurship.

You feel drained by the constant operational pressures of staff management, managing suppliers and scheduling, the financial pressures we are all experiencing with higher interest rates and consumer costs. By having a better understanding of our natural fluctuations in mood, allied with a few small tools we can help improve this. 

It is natural to have rhythms of positivity and negativity as we go through life. External factors have an influence on how we feel at any given time as does our self-talk. If we are aware that there are natural cycles that we traverse and that we have a conscious way of lifting ourselves from negativity it can be very empowering and uplifting. 

Where did it begin?

We are conditioned from a young age by our parents to avoid those things that may harm us. This perhaps reflects how they were brought up as kids too, so we have somewhat of a repeating cycle. We become conditioned to hearing advice about what not to do or the things we need to avoid. It is fair to say that on balance we probably receive more of this advice than the positive stuff. Words such as don’t, watch out, be careful all indicate a restriction on taking action. 

An over emphasis on protection discourages risk taking or giving things a go. Potentially it also raises the levels of self-imposed fearfulness of an individual. This conditioning then becomes somewhat harder to break as an adult where we need to motivate ourselves to take calculated risks and take action. It is crucial that we use our own self talk to overcome this to move forward. Susan Jeffers’ book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” is a case in point.

Steps to increase motivation

Much of motivation is having confidence, trust and commitment. Confidence, that the risk is more than met by the reward, trust in one’s ability to achieve the desired outcome and commitment, to be fully engaged in the process. To build these components takes positive self-talk. Having a good process and guidance to achieve these things goes a long way to achieving success in your endeavours. 

Breaking tasks into smaller chunks that are easily completed helps to further encourage your efforts. You get fast success feedback that fuels optimism and confidence that you are on the right track. The success also helps motivate you to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” As all things practice makes perfect and being motivated to try, becomes more ingrained and a habit that helps further inspiration. 

As adults perhaps the words need to be adjusted from ”don’t” to “don’t sweat the small stuff,” “watch out” adjusted to “watch out here I come”, “be careful” adjusted to “be careful when overtaking to the left.”