What things are normally thought of that get in the way of success? Not taking action, giving up too soon, letting expenditure get out of control, not working out profit margins properly, mismanagement, unclear vision, lack of ruthlessness, lack of capital, lack of resources — lots of things in fact, but none beginning with W. So what are these 4 W’s?
To wish means to have a desire, to long for something. There’s nothing wrong with having a desire, indeed, one element of having a vision is the desire to see it happen. But when it becomes a wish, ie something that is out of your control and may or may not happen, then it often takes on the feeling of longing. And with this feeling comes the focus on what’s not happening in your business, rather than what is happening. It’s very common to hear people wishing for all sorts of things
‘I wish I was more successful’,
‘I wish I had more clients’,
‘I wish I was more like her/him over there’.
What you focus on expands, so when you are focusing on wishing you were being more successful or had more clients, as opposed to already being more successful and having more clients, and then taking action in line with that, then you are in fact pushing away what you say you are wishing for!
It’s a fine line, but pay attention next time you catch yourself wishing for something, see how you feel, and whether or not you truly are supporting yourself in the best way possible.
This is another tricky one, as often you’re told to focus on what you want, and then you’ll get there eventually. But want is another word that actually focuses on lack. It’s defined as ‘the state or fact of being without or of having an insufficient quantity; an absence or deficiency of necessities’.
So again, it has that feeling of yearning, a noticing of what you don’t have, and a wanting it to be different. So it’s OK to specify a want, as a direction you are pointing in, as in
‘I want to have 5 more clients by the end of the month’,
‘I want my turnover to reach £10,000 this quarter’,
but if you then focus on why that isn’t or hasn’t been happening, or keep thinking about the fact that you only have 3 clients and it’s nearly the end of the month, or you can’t see how you’re going to reach £10,000 in that quarter, then again, you’re focusing on what you don’t want, as opposed to what you do.
Once more, a very fine line — and it takes practice to realise what you truly are focusing on. Start paying attention today to what your thoughts are really focused on; and if you discover you’re more often thinking of what you don’t have, rather than what you do, then change those thoughts!
Wondering how you might be more successful in your business is also another apparently innocuous state. The definition of wonder is ‘to speculate, ask oneself, to feel doubt’.
So speculating, or asking yourself could be acceptable when you are focusing on your business, because you will have bypassed all the negative thoughts that keep you stuck, like, “It’ll never happen”, or, “I can’t see how that could happen”, etc, and moved to a place of thinking your goal will happen, but you’re just wondering how.
However, this in itself could be interfering with where you want to go! Instead of trusting you will reach where you’re going, keeping your mindset in line with that, and taking appropriate actions, wondering about it can easily slip into ‘feeling doubt’.
This is what I was doing in the midde of the night last night, so when I realised what was going on I decided I was going to write an article about the process of wondering, instead of letting my negative thoughts interfere with the process of my business! The real challenge with wondering is that it is incredibly easy for it to slip over into the next ‘w’.
Worrying about your business is definitely not going to help. It’s just another name for imagining with fear, and perhaps you already know this, but find it hard to actually stop the worrying.
One way to work with the worry though, is to regard it as a warning bell that you’ve gone off course, in which case it can become a friend to you. That’s so long as you stop doing the worrying as soon as you notice it happening, and that is a lot easier said than done!
How I make friends with worry is very practical. Here’s what to do: Spend five minutes really going into the worry, but no more than five minutes maximum. Focus on your worries as determinedly as you’d like to be able to focus on your successful business. Really let go into how dreadful everything would be if all your worries came true. When the five minutes is up, deliberately change to focus for at least five minutes on your vision, or the success of your business. You do that by deciding to think something different, thoughts that make you feel better, and then actively thinking them.
I know someone who regularly does this exercise while taking his daughter to school — on the way there, he does the worrying; on the way back he focuses on the successes, and therefore arrives at work in a great space to start the day. And that’s another hint — moving physically from the place you’ve been worrying, to another place where you focus on the good things happening helps with this process.
So, start today to notice when any of the 4 W’s are taking over your life, and direct your thoughts down a different path. At the very least, you are going to feel much better