How Your Negative Thinking Is Killing Your Business


Last week I wrote about goals and improvement.

This week I’d like to talk about mindset and how a negative mindset can be holding you back.

And holding your business back.

Have you ever met someone who always sees the small chance of failure in every opportunity?

Someone who hopes that it’s not going to rain, although rain is not in the forecast?

To be successful in business we really need to think like a racehorse thinks.

As Jerry Seinfeld said, the only thought in the mind of a racehorse is to get to the end of the race so that it can receive its oat bag.

Throughout that race, all that racehorse is thinking about is the oat bag.

As Seinfeld said, if racehorses even thought that they could trip and fall, and break a leg while racing, they would certainly tread more gingerly.

A fall, and a broken leg would result in the racehorse having its brains blown out.

But during the race the racehorse is focused completely on that oat bag.

Failure is not an option for the racehorse.

Apollo XIII

When things went south during the Apollo XIII mission to the moon, the key focus of Mission Control in Houston was to bring the spaceship and crew home.

“Failure is not an option.”

This edict was paramount in the Mission Control team effort that saw the lives of the astronauts saved.

Burn the Boats!

When Cortes and his fleet landed their eleven ships in Central America in 1519, Cortes’s first edict to his six hundred men in this newly discovered land was to

“Burn the boats!”

Once the boats were burned, there was no going back.

There was no path of retreat, no change of plans.

The aim of the mission was to succeed or perish.

Sure, they understood that their mission could fail.

But without their boats, the men were now more focused on succeeding than ever before.

How’s your thinking?

Are you an action taker?

Is your brain wired to always focus on the win, and not to focus on the possibilities of losing or failing?

It does make sense to be a realist, but not at the expense of limiting your own successes.

After all, the chances of being killed in an automobile accident are much higher than the chances of being killed in a plane crash.

Yet all of those who fear flying will happily jump into a car.

Where’s the logic in that?

Disruption or discomfort?

Sometimes the fear of change, and the potential disruption caused by change, prevent people from venturing outside of their comfort zone to achieve what can be achieved.

Sometimes the habit of mediocrity overrides the prospect of achievement.

This is true in weight loss and diet.

For some, the discomfort of exercise and the discipline of sensible eating seem too much compared to the “normality” of inactivity and grazing on comfort food.

Yet the long-term benefits to your body of a lower BMI and regular exercise gives you a healthier body and mind not needing so much medical attention and intervention into your older years.

It’s the same for business

Those targets and stretches that you set your team and your business maintain a focus that reflects in the results that your business achieves for you and for your customers.

And in business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.

As the great man said:

“If you’re going to think, you might as well think big”

Which is logical.

How’s your thinking?

Is your negative thinking hampering and strangling your success?


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