Founder at Elivate and Part-Time Million Dollar Business.
If you’re going to build a business that exceeds your highest expectations, there will be times when you need to deny the facts. As an entrepreneur, you keep your vision of success close. You know what progress looks like in three or five years. Your vision includes exceeding revenue goals, growing your customer base and expanding your brand reach. Then there’s reality, otherwise known as “the facts.”
In three years you’re flourishing, but this week, it’s a struggle. It’s in the struggle that you need to give yourself permission to challenge the frames and belief systems—or “facts,” as we often call them—to reach your desired goals.
The Beliefs That Keep You Stuck
Every experience that you have in business is aligned with your frame of mind. For example, if you believe it’s impossible to make money without already having money, that becomes your reality. So, when your revenue takes a dip, your frame of mind may lead you to believe the revenue challenge is because of a lack of marketing spend or too few investors.
Those limiting beliefs are tied to the facts that can keep you stuck. As MIT News explains, “prior beliefs” originate from similar past experiences and mold your expectations for the future. The idea that your expectations will create your reality is not a “positive versus negative mindset” debate. MIT neuroscientists identified brain signals that encode prior beliefs into your memory. The mind then pulls those memories to influence your decisions in moments of uncertainty.
When we’re unsure, our encoded prior beliefs tend to kick in, and we may revert to past experiences to predict how the future will unfold. Why, then, do some entrepreneurs flourish in the face of obstacles while others lose their footing and flail?
Reframing Your Mindset
Some businesses had to close their doors during the height of the pandemic. Many businesses, however, took a look at their circumstances and developed strategies that allowed them to thrive in an entirely new way.
I would argue that a core difference between entrepreneurs who successfully navigate challenges and those who close their businesses is the ability to deny the facts. I don’t mean that you should continue your daily life as if challenges don’t exist. I’m referring to the ability to reframe how you view circumstances and consciously override your prior beliefs.
Restaurants were one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic. Many restaurateurs maintained the frame that customers must dine in in order for the business to succeed. Two chefs in Washington D.C. took a different approach. After they were furloughed, they developed a thriving food pick-up and delivery-only restaurant model that became a major success in the midst of a global pandemic.
Whatever belief system you subscribe to will be what you experience.
How To Conquer Prior Beliefs
Dissasembling encoded thoughts in your mind requires a conscious effort. Letting go of past frames is more than a “think positively” approach. Over the past decade, I have coached thousands of entrepreneurs to “deny the facts” by following these basic steps:
Give Yourself Permission To See Things Differently
One way to do this is to figure out which belief systems about your business are no longer serving you. The majority of the beliefs that keep us stuck are so deeply rooted in our minds that we might not recognize them consciously. Tell yourself it’s okay to let go of those experiences.
Choose Frames That Align With Your Goal
Write down your vision for the fullest, most successful version of your business. Now decide on the belief systems you need to subscribe to in order to achieve that goal. Start with the end game and reverse engineer how you can live the life you want to live.
Pull In People And Experiences That Support Your New Belief System
We’ve all had a partner, friend or coworker who doubted our abilities. Even if they’re well-intended, people who question or scoff at your goals should not influence your new mindset. Surround yourself with people who validate and believe in your new frame of mind.
By changing your mindset, you are customizing the future you want for your business. Stop giving your prior beliefs keys to the driver’s seat in your business and life. Give yourself permission to see things differently.
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