I struggled to get out of bed and to get to the gym, EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING!
These #firstWorldProblems, unfortunately, weren’t what had me concerned. They were just two of the symptoms for a much deeper problem. A problem manifesting the characteristics of the lazy teenager from my past.
And it gets worse…
10 Years Ago
I knew with the upmost certainty that I was going to go to university, get a degree, secure a high paying job, and live comfortable from then on. After all that’s what we’re “meant” to do. Right?
Over the following years I did exactly that, and I did it really really well. I fast tracked my degree and got a full-time job (of my then dreams) all before I’d even finished the 2nd year of my 4 year degree. I was shining in the corporate world, though the glamour was wearing off and the drudgery was slowly smothering my soul. Something was out of balance but I knew how to fix it – I’d recently read a book about entrepreneurship after all.
I’d quit my job, set up a passive-income business, and live happily ever after.
So, off I went on my new path to peace, contentment and financial freedom, with the motivation and momentum of a speeding freight train. Nothing would stop me. For a while, this fact was very true.
Until one morning, where I woke up, and then went straight back to sleep…for the entire day.
My motivation wasn’t just waning, it was gone. Completely.
I was deeply perplexed as to why, it wasn’t like something had disastrously gone wrong. Sure there’d been a series of minor failures, a few difficult conversations and this whole “success” thing was taking much longer than I’d initially expected. I thought I’d just simply write it off as a bad day and I continue onwards. Problem solved.
Then a week later it happened again. Though, this time 1 day became 2, then 2 became 3.
“What the heck is wrong with me?”
The thought that ran through my head. To which, my mind promptly proceeded to answer with “You’re simply not good enough, maybe you’re just not cut out to be an entrepreneur”.
Was it true?
I pondered this question for weeks. The longer I thought about it, the more it seemed that maybe it was true. I probably wasn’t good enough and I just didn’t have what it took to be an entrepreneur. Sure, I had the business knowledge and expertise; but I simply lacked the balls, the stomach and the DNA of a true gritty entrepreneur.
This monologue was that which really worried me. Not the the missed workouts, the days in spent in bed or any business failure.
I’d allowed my mind to get lost, and without my conscious guidance, it’s compass had returned it’s natural negative bias.
Along the way, it’d also decided to take my confidence with it.
This monologue was now the steaming fright train, and I was adding fuel to the fire.
It had all happened so fast, from passionate (read: naive) entrepreneur to mental train wreck (Pun, defiantly intended.) in less then 12 months.
How Had it Happened, at All?
At the time, I wasn’t really sure.
Until, one day as I sat mindlessly starring at my computer screen trying to muster up the motivation to actually do something, I realized two things:
- You only get out, what you put in – mentally.
- Without vision, the people perish – I perish.
You Get Out, What You Put In – mentally.
If you’re like me you’ve probably mostly heard this phrase in the context of your physical health. In this case, I’m talking about your mind, not your body.
I was allowing negative thoughts in, and stay in. The negative monolog was becoming my very own self-fulfilling prophesy. The more I thought about the question “What the heck is wrong with me?”, the more negative answers my mind conjured and the less productive I became. The less productive I was the more I thought about the question. Round and round the cycle went growing in strength with every pass.
It started small, as a passing thought and I’d not noticed it, by the time I was fully aware of it’s presence I was standing right in the eye of the storm.
Without Vision, The People Perish. I Would Perish.
The second realization, was I’d completely lost site of the end goal, my dream. I was starring at everything that stood between me and my dream, rather than the dream itself.
My mind was so clouded and my vision so blurry, I’d taken my eye off the prize.
What Was I Going do?
I was going to use these two principles in reverse. Was I sure it was going to work? Nope, but I was confident that it had to be better than was I was doing right now.
The Positivity Diet – A real confidence booster.
To counteract the negative monologue, which said I wasn’t good enough to be entrepreneur. I’d do the opposite, I’d tell myself that I was good enough.
A while back, on a Podcast I’d heard that Zig Ziglar used a daily self-talk card throughout his entire life. I figure that was a good place to start, so I downloaded it and began talking to myself.
Yep, initially I felt as crazy as you’re thinking I am right now.
Something crazy did happen, and it wasn’t that there was one more crazy person talking to himself in the mirror. The balance in my mind began to swing. I was telling my mind I was good enough, that I had what it took, and surprisingly it couldn’t tell the difference.
My diet of positivity was working, just like going to the gym, the more I worked out my “positivity” the stronger it became.
Vision – How Not To Perish
Months earlier, I’d written down my vision and shared it with my wife. The excitement was palpable, akin to those moments where you’ve daydreamed of winning the lottery (don’t act like you’ve never done this). This was when my motivation was at it’s highest, nothing would stop me.
We spoke about it again several times that week, tweaking and refining the dream – Where we’d live, how much money we’d make, and with what we’d fill our days. Over the next few months it would pop-up from time-to-time, but after about 5 months we never spoke of it again.
Our conversations had shifted from our dreams to solely the practicalities of getting there. Don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not suggesting that you should completely ignore the practical steps to achieving the goal, they are important and do require your attention. What I am saying is that you should never ignore your end goal.
Write it down someone visible, so that you’re completely reminded. Imagine it in detail, go right into the specifics, the more detailed you are the more real it appears.
Think about it always and talk about it constantly. If you’re starting to annoy your friends by talking about it, you’re doing it right.
My Offer to You.
I believe this so deeply and purely, that I’d like to make you an offer. If you’re an entrepreneur, a small business owner or anyone who’s going through something similar, I’d like to offer my help.
I’m not a psychologist, (and I don’t pretend to be one) I am simply someone who’s faced a battle and come out the other side.
If I can help you do the same, let me know – send me an email, an Instagram message, leave a comment I don’t care how you do it. Just don’t wait.