Maintaining a positive mindset

Day 7: Which key tools will you turn to regularly to maintain your mindset and how will you use them effectively?

Running my own business is never going to be easy, so to get through the tough times I will need my mindset to be positive, confident, calm, compassionate and resilient.

There are a few tools I use to try to develop and maintain this kind of mindset:

1. Dancing

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to dance. I didn’t have classes as a child, but since the age of 21, I’ve taken classes in everything from salsa to belly dancing and jazz.

Dancing makes me feel alive and confident and helps me to let go and express emotions I may not be able to put into words. I need to dance regularly to feel happy and preserve my sanity. Plus it’s a great way to keep fit.

2. Family and friends

I’ve lived by myself for a few years now and so am increasingly comfortable and happy with my own company. However, I can be quite self-critical and sometimes give myself a hard time. Although I’ve learnt to recognise this and try to nip it in the bud, there’s nothing like talking to a close friend or family member to help me put things in perspective.

In addition to just talking through problems, though, it’s important to remember to have fun with friends and family, whether it’s going out for drinks or a meal, seeing a play or dancing (see above). As I’m sure any 30-something professional will agree, co-ordinating diaries with friends at this age is no mean feat. But when we do meet it’s so worth it.

In addition to keeping in touch with existing friends and family, I’m increasingly trying to connect with other entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. This was part of the motivation for joining the ‘Startup MBA’ with Escape the City and for joining Natalie Sisson’s 30 day blog challenge. Next month I’m also doing another ‘30 day challenge’ with John Williams and Selina Barker of ‘Screw Work, Let’s Play’ fame. (Two 30 day challenges back to back? That’s right – I’m crazy!) This involves 200 people working on a ‘play project’ of their choosing, so I’m excited to meet my fellow ‘challengers’.

3. Reading

Over the past couple of years I’ve read a number of inspiring books and blogs that have taught me a lot, particularly that you can (a) run a business based on something you love (b) do this with a small (initial) investment (c) set up a business you can run from anywhere.

Some of my favourites so far are (in no particular order):

Although the time has now come for action, not just reading, I know that I’ll continue to draw inspiration and important lessons from those who have trodden a similar path before me.

4. Writing

Writing this blog is really helping me to organise my thoughts and get them ‘out there’ instead of swimming round in circles in my head. I plan to keep up with the challenge and continue to blog regularly once the month is up.

What about you? How do you maintain a positive mindset?

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