This will be one of the first blogs I have done that will cross over between the worlds I tend to work a lot in: job seeker training/coaching and peak performance training. While most topics I muse about fit neatly into one of the categories or the other, this one is a bit of a mist that hovers over both of them. Take it for what it means to you – be you a job seeker, someone looking to land their true vocation, a business professional trying to excel in your profession, or a manager looking for inspiration and leadership points to share with your team.
The basic philosophy here is to keep the most positive mindset possible about the things you can control (to some degree!) and to be ready for the flip side of the coin if the toss doesn’t go your way for things you have little to no control over. What does that mean? Let’s take a look at it more in depth.
First, I want to you believe that each day is a gift and that when you open your 24 hour box you now have a choice. You can believe and live like you are in control of the hours in front of you, especially when it comes to the attitude you use to attack them. Or, you can choose to wait for the next bad thing to happen, confirming your Nostradamus-induced fears that little black clouds are following you daily. If you have allowed Nostro to move into your spare bedroom, helping you predict bad things each day, then you will be 100% right, 100% of the time! Congratulations, you have indeed made your negative future happen because you had on your positive filtering ray sunglasses and missed all the good things in your day!
That’s a terrible way to live – but we all know someone who thinks this way. Don’t let it be you. You control your attitude – it works for you! Learn to look for positive things and positive people and positive energy – and you will find it!
If you start out with a positive mindset, the door is now open for you to believe that the answer is yes when you ask the questions – when you interview for a new job; pitch a great marketing campaign to a client; show a new home to a family perfect for the space; ask for corporate donations to your charity or civic club; and many more!
You must believe that YES is not only possible but very likely – the energy you put behind your effort to succeed will radiate and the party you are asking for an answer will feel it! They will strongly consider doing business with you, hiring you, or investing in your cause because they believe in YOU first. However, YOU must believe you before anyone else does – this is a skill that can be learned, improved and honed into a sharpened habit and character trait. If your positivity comes into the room before you do, you know that you are on the right path to mastering your belief in YES.
Okay, sounds all fluffy and wonderful, right? The world will be at your door if you just have a positive attitude… Well, not in this world, at least not all the time. You can’t be pollyanna or cavalier with your positivity. Trying to become Captain Blue Sky is not a realistic proposition and just hoping things will get better is not a plan of success. The other side of YES is NO – and you must be ready to deal with half of the equation without allowing the negative response to ruin your positivity parade. Easier said than done…
The way I fight the temptation to get negative after several NO’s is to just work harder. When I feel angst that it might not go my way (again!), I figure out how I can work more diligently, more intelligently, and more creatively than my competition or to get the attention of the person I need to get a YES from. Hard work is the perfect antidote to the lonely, empty, pride-bashing, self-worth crushing feeling of failing to get approval on something you went after. Believe me, after almost 3 years of trying to run my own business, I have had days that were cesspools of sorrow related to money and the financial health of my fledgling enterprise. This economy is tough and trying to start a business when I did was probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. However, had I not done it, I would be left with the feeling of “what if” and would not have had the opportunity to learn as much as I have in such a short amount of time.
So what’s the balance point between YES and NO? That’s an individual and personal decision. For me, I keep pitching, keep asking, keep researching, keep networking, and keep trying to convey my positive outlook to everyone I can find. I expect the answer to be YES – but I keep working and plodding and staying the course like it’s a NO.
For instance, a job seeker I am coaching has had some real success in getting interviews – frankly, dozens of them. Many turn into second interviews, and some into more. However, every time he has a great interview, he stops his job search process believing that this will be the YES and he can get back to work. He ignores the other possibilities on the horizon or the #2, #3 or #4 jobs on his target list because he thinks his work is done. So far, he has not landed the offer he has been seeking. Twice after he had great interviews, and stopped following up with other job leads, he didn’t get the job offer he wanted. Then, he went back to the others on his list and they had been filled in the 2-3 days he ignored them. He has finally realized that he must change, and now he is learning quickly how to believe it’s YES, but to work like it’s a NO!
Sales people do this all time. They believe they have a big sale done, baked, battered and fried, and take their eye off the ball on smaller sales. Then the big fish gets off the line somehow, and they scramble back to try and grab some smaller fish – but the net goes empty because they got lazy. I have taught my sales teams through the years to believe its YES, but to always work like it’s NO!
If this sounds like you or someone you know, we should chat soon. Positivity and practicality can and must co-exist if you are going to reach your goals, find your perfect job, or grow your business. I would be happy to share my thoughts with you on how to achieve that much needed balance in your life. Peace!