One Step Forward, Two Steps Back & Why Mindset Matters

“Are you working toward business owner goals with a self-employment mindset.” Tara Gentile

I’ve talked about the importance of and the role of mindset when it comes to reaching your goals here. So, I understand quite well that there exists a powerful connection between one’s mindset and the successful achievement of your goals.

But last week, Tara Gentile, my business strategist and the creator of the Quiet Power Strategy, took this connection to a whole new level for me and wrote a piece that just rocked my world. In it, she raises the above question and I haven’t been able to stop mulling over it ever since.

On so many levels, it is such a powerful question. Sterling is an S-corp; so, based on my tax status, I own a business. But if you pulled back the curtain and unpacked how I have made some business decisions, those would clearly fall in the self-employment mode.

Neither her post nor the epiphany it held for me is about whether owning a business is better than being self-employed. That’s a personal and strategic business choice.

However, it is about this: That moment when you realize you think you’re behaving one way when in fact you aren’t!

Perhaps this disconnect is behind why some of the moments I declared were my tipping points, didn’t actually tip my business forward to the next level like I wanted!

Can you relate?

After all, you don’t need to have a business to benefit from exploring whether there is a mismatch between your goals and the mindset you’re relying on to achieve them.

If you have a goal that always seems to be close but yet so far – it just well may be due to this misalignment.

Shucks, You Didn’t Get What You Want

There’s another reason Tara’s piece rocked my world. It came on the heels of a disappointment.

Last week I learned I didn’t get the financial services commercial for which I had auditioned. Despite two successful auditions and the casting director and the entire team at the production company lobbying on my behalf, the client chose someone else. I am/was grateful for the opportunity and to have made it as far into the process as I did. But I’m not going to lie – I was bummed about the outcome.

And, the measurement of success that outcome held for me.

It represented SO MUCH more than landing a paid commercial gig – it represented a foray into another media platform; it represented a foray into another revenue stream; it represented a tipping point – my tipping point. One that I’ve been working tirelessly to reach and cross over.

I’m going to suspect the same sentiment is true for the two people whom inspired my recent posts about the impact of layoffs (you can read those here and here). I bet it’s not just about the layoff for them, but what the layoff represents in terms of the career plan they created and what comes next. It’s about coming to terms with a humbling and universal truth about life: Sometimes, you can do all the right things and still not experience the outcomes you’re valiantly working to achieve.

That’s another reason why Tara’s piece felt so penetrating; she challenges what I describe as the myth of effort and casts a spotlight on an experience to which we can all relate when a step forward ends up feeling like two steps back instead.

When you don’t achieve your goals or your measurement of success, it can be tough to move forward. That is precisely why managing your mindset matters.

Tara’s post was a wake-up call. She reminded me and now I’m reminding you that auditing the connection between our goals and our mindset should actually be a regular activity. Not just something you and I explore and evaluate when we fail to get a particular result.

There are many ways to practice managing your mindset. And when I’m really disciplined, my daily practice consists of a combination of silence and the following question: “What do I need to know about…?”

Likewise, there are many benefits to having a regular practice of managing your mindset. But here are three; it…

Reminds you not to lose trust in your ability. Self-trust is often one of the first things you lose sight of when you bump up against failure or a setback.

Reminds you to trust your intuition. The adage, “every delay is not a denial,” can sound so cliche. But remembering it can help you discern when it’s best to press forward vs. when it’s best to sit tight and wait.

Reminds you that success (financial or otherwise) is mostly an inner-game.

When you’re in the thick of it, one step forward, two steps back sucks. Yet, you never know what you’re being prepared for – you never know when one step forward will actually propel you three steps ahead. That’s why you always need to be prepared for what you want.

And that’s why managing your mindset and making sure it is in sync with your goals matters.

 

p.s. How do you practice managing your mindset?

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