The shortest distance between point A and point B is a straight line. But that doesn’t always mean that it’s the best way. When it comes to meeting goals (or just forward motion in general), we all desire the shortest distance to the finish line. But the secret is this: There is no finish line, and the shortest distance between the two points leaves you ill-equipped and unprepared. Living your life assuming there is a finish line is the perfect breeding ground for negative thoughts and giving up.
I teach people how to build their own liquidation reselling businesses because I believe that anyone who wants to do it, will do it. I love to build things, and it excites me to do so. But, if I were to build everyone’s business for them, then I would be doing them a huge disservice. Experience is one of our best teachers. Our failures bring attention to exactly what is holding us back. Building someone’s business for them, because it’s the shortest distance between their point A and point B would be robbing them of the best teachers they could ever have.
This is why (despite the frustration from many of my community), I don’t feed people exactly what pallet to buy, whether or not they should buy a warehouse, a truck load, or hire employees. Instead, I give them the information they need to be able to make those decisions themselves.
Will they make mistakes? Yes.
Will that probably not feel very good for them? Yes.
But will they have learned something? If they wanted to.
Like I said, anyone who is willing to do it, will.
But being happy, thriving, and successful costs something. It costs your ego. You must give up your “right to be right”. You must pay in humility, honesty, and grace.
Is it worth it?
How to Overcome The Negative Thoughts that Stunt Your Growth
What You Pay Attention To, Grows.
And conversely, what you ignore will die. If you make a conscious effort to pay attention to your thought processes throughout the day, take note of what you’re thinking about.
Are you growing positive mindsets or negative thoughts? Each thought serves an important process, so don’t avoid the negative ones (there is a time and place for those, discussed later in the post). But, when you are relaxed and not in a time of structured, conscious thinking—pay attention to where your mind drifts.
If you find that your mind is focusing on fear, failure, and anxiety—then do not be surprised when you begin manifesting those things in your physical life.
Start by slowly and gently guiding your mind to changing those thoughts. Teach yourself to think about the things you are doing well. Sing a song that makes you happy, with a positive message. Write your worries down, put them aside and then free your mind to thinking a progressive, building thought. It won’t happen overnight. Like exercising a muscle, you have to exercise your mind, too.
It is hard to build a positive business when you’re not embodying that culture, right? Build yourself a successful business, not a prison.
Validate Negative Feelings, Then Let Them Go.
Both of these steps are important: one cannot happen without the other. We have been taught to avoid negative thoughts and feelings, that they are bad, and we are bad for having them. This is a lie.
There is a cultural root to why we feel this way. Why is it so hard to sit with your friend who is having a bad day without helping them “look on the bright side”, or giving them advice on how to fix their problem? We were always taught that having negative thoughts were wrong. As an act of love, we are trying to pull them out of that negative feeling because we don’t want them doing the “wrong thing”. We think we are loving them, but we are actually helping them perpetuate a negative cycle in their lives. We are also doing this to ourselves. It’s unproductive and inefficient. Look:
1. We feel a negative emotion – These are personalized, depending on our individual personalities and experiences. For me, I get a lot of thoughts that sound like, “I’m not good enough.” “I’m going to fail.” “I am a fraud.”
2. We are ashamed of that emotion, and we don’t want people to know. But we don’t deal with it, and we don’t talk about it. Instead, we sweep it under the rug, put a smile on, and try to move on with our lives.
3. Because we haven’t dealt with it, it hasn’t gone away. Slowly, it starts eating away at us. “Why can’t I just feel good about myself?! I MUST REALLY BE A FRAUD!!”
4. We feel shame and guilt about this emotion. We start to blame ourselves for feeling that way, as if there is something wrong with us or that we’re broken beyond repair.
5. We may become so angry or frustrated with ourselves that we start to punish and degrade ourselves for feeling a normal emotion.
6. This will breed a new negative emotion. So the thought cycle repeats itself.
(This is not a fun time.) More on Emotional Triggers here.
Our body’s way of telling us that something is off is feeling a negative emotion. If we put our hand on a hot stove, we feel pain and remove the hand from the heat to make the pain stop. Emotions are no different. If something is off with us, we will feel sad, frustrated, angry, or shameful. What if, instead of punishing ourselves for “feeling pain when we touched the hot stove”, we used these emotions the way they were meant to be used, then we “removed our hand from the heat and learned not to touch the stove”. What if we used them to identify the lack and then propelled ourselves out of the places of inadequacy and fear?
These emotions should motivate us to change, but for many of us, they don’t. Society has taught us that these feelings equal weakness, then we hide them, stuff them, and refuse to feel them. And thus, the cycle continues.
Don’t be afraid to feel those negative emotions. Find out why you feel the way that you do. Figure out what is lacking or hurting in your life. This is not always going to be an easy fix. Sometimes, you’ll try to heal yourself, only to find it doesn’t work. But remember, what you pay attention to, grows. If you are focused on healing, healing will grow.
Once you find healing, don’t sit there a moment longer than you have to. Once you find the root of that emotion, it’s time to let it go, don’t let it grow again. Write it out, work it out, talk it out… whatever you have to do.
You are NOT your emotions.
Don’t let them define you, but do let them tell you what’s going on inside of you.
Don’t Let The Achievement of Goals Make You Happy. Let The Thrill of The Pursuit Fill You.
So many of us build businesses thinking, “If I could just get to [insert goal]… I’ll be happy”. But it rarely happens. Many of us equate our self-worth with how much money we make or how well we achieve goals. We are only worth something based on what we do or what we offer.
True happiness must be found outside of your actions. Your actions are a small percentage of what makes you who you are. There are so many more defining aspects of who you are, such as your beliefs, your thoughts, your goals, and your dreams and aspirations. So, why do we place our entire happiness and existence upon actions?
Deep down inside, we all have the desire to grow, survive, and thrive. It’s our biological instinct, just like the plants that grow in the cracks of the sidewalk. Just like the salmon who swim upriver, into the mouths of bears for the chance to reproduce. We have a biological instinct to grow, to become better than we were before.
Let the thrill of growth fill you. Think of goals as guidelines to give you a metric for the pathway. But remember—they do not denote the end of your journey.
Celebrate those achievements and milestones! Once you do, you’ll find that new goals will take their place. Ask yourself, do you feel excited to set new goals? Do you feel exhausted and burnt out?
If you’re feeling exhausted, maybe your faith was in your goals and actions, not in yourself.
A successfully happy and thriving person:
- is not afraid of their own anxiety or fear.
- is not afraid of the skeletons in their closet (or the reprimands that come with dealing with them).
- knows that identifying these negative thoughts and emotions and dealing with them reduces the load they carry and makes for an easier climb up the mountain.
I encourage you to not be defined by your emotions, but to use them to your advantage.
Identify what’s going on inside of you, and deal with it. If you don’t know how, find someone (a friend, trusted family member, or even a therapist) to help you figure out what mindsets are keeping you from reaching your true potential.
Because you were meant to be a successfully healthy and thriving person, too.
Rooting for you!