An expression famously attributed to French novelist Alphonse Karr sums up what “positivity” means to me: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
I truly believe we can build our own luck with the right mentality and positive attitude. We can train to gain new abilities needed to achieve our personal success. There is nothing new we cannot learn. Knowledge surrounds us. We just need to tap into it.
All entrepreneurs know very well that building a business is a path trodden with fear, negative reactions, failure and constant rejection, both internal and external.
The key to success is nurturing an attitude that will help us overcome negativity so we can achieve success. At any given moment, I believe we can change our perception of negativity and turn it into a positive tool for building our success story.
Here are my five personal principals of positivity that can be applied to any business:
Overcome your fears.
The first roadblocks to success are all the negative voices we hear in our heads that are trying to convince us we will never be able to make it. The fear of starting something new can be daunting. Years ago, when I launched my first business, I was terrified. As the years went by, I realized nothing bad ever really happened to me. Most of the fears I had were imaginary and never materialized.
You can overcome your fears by tuning into your intuition and carefully planning out the entrepreneurial journey on which you are planning to embark. Building a business is a gradual process, so you do not need to rush into anything. Once you feel prepared, seek out the help of at least three other successful entrepreneurs and ask them to be your personal business mentors. Fortunately, there are many successful people out there who are ready to help budding entrepreneurs. Their guidance might shine some light on your darkest moments.
Go against the traditional system.
We live in a society defined by written and unspoken rules. They determine the way we act, behave and build our lives. But one could question: Who really sets the rules? We should never be afraid of going against the traditional system and building our own story. Rule setting is a personal thing.
You can build your own rules by making a list of the top five skills that make you shine. Build your business around your strongest skills, and seek help for the skills you need to improve. Dare to be different, as it is your uniqueness that will be the key ingredient of your future business success.
Focus on internal validation, not external.
In order to build a positive life, we need to have a positive mind. We need to believe we are worthy of success. This comes when we internally validate ourselves. Waiting for external validation is a Sisyphean task. It is like gazing into a distorted mirror and hoping to see a clear image of oneself. From my perspective, what others project onto us is likely their own personal perception of the world. We cannot base our worth on someone else’s subjectivity.
The only real validation comes from the inside. And if we base our lives on integrity, there is no reason why we would not validate ourselves on the internal level. You can validate yourself internally by focusing on your greatest achievements. I’ve found it helpful to keep a list of all of the situations and moments you extended help to those around you.
Focus on the positive people around you.
Both in personal and professional life, we are constantly confronted with experiences and people who we can classify into two groups: negative and positive. We need to learn from the negative group and focus all of our time and energy on the positive group. These are the people and experiences that will ultimately lead us to success. Building empathy toward everyone around you is key to success when trying to overcome negativity and when understanding that positivity is the foundation of everything.
Get up time and time again until you make it to the top.
I love traveling, and a few years ago, I decided to visit Nepal. The minute I landed among the local mountains, I was mesmerized by the majestic Mount Everest that so many climbers attempt to climb each year. We all know that climbing this mountain can be a deadly endeavor. When reading about the climbers, I also learned that it used to be common to see Sherpas simply wearing tennis shoes and cotton clothing. They were able to climb in such basic equipment because their genes have adapted to the environment, so they are more resilient.
This is how I see many new entrepreneurs: They often start climbing with only basic equipment. But nonetheless, they can reach the top when they are driven by passion, talent and a positive attitude. When you think you cannot make it, think like a Sherpa. You can do it. Start climbing and keep going. The top is nearer than you think.