So, it’s finally December!!! How fast has this year gone?! For me it has flown by, but it is such a great time to reflect on what has happened this year and begin to plan for next. Though this can be an exciting time, many of us find it difficult. We reflect on what our year looked like, but instead of the seeing the positive we tend to focus on the negatives. We see the things that didn’t occur in our business, the money we didn’t make, or the goals we didn’t accomplish, instead of the success we experienced, the revenue that did come, or the goals we reached. When we look back at the negatives, it can cause us to feel less than and inadequate which can sometimes make us feel like failures.
If you have ever felt like a failure on your way to your dreams, that’s a huge win! If you fail, it gives you an opportunity to see what didn’t work and try a different approach, which pushes you towards your success. Discouragement is something that all entrepreneurs will face some point on their journey, for many of us we experience it more than once. I am constantly reminded that it is a part of the process. Success is not a straight line, but rather a series of lines all tangled together that depict movements of highs and lows. Once we understand that it won’t be a straight shot to the top, we will be more gracious in our learning and more patient with our growth and success. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it is possible to adopt that mindset. I wanted to encourage you during this holiday to spread some cheer in your life and give you a few ways on how to encourage yourself when you feel like you are losing. These steps will help you gain a new perspective during your journey, strengthen your mindset, and propel you forward into the next season of your life and business.
One of the best things we can do in our businesses is to reflect on our journey. When we feel like we are losing and begin to feel discouraged, we need to look back on how far we have come. We often forget about the growth we experienced over the months or years that we have had as entrepreneurs and we need reminders. Take a moment and reflect on your journey, pull out a piece of paper and pen and write down 5-10 things that you have either obtained, learned, or been able to contribute to the world during your time as an entrepreneur. If you can come up with more, I encourage you to write it all down, place it somewhere on the wall or desk where you can always look at it. This will always serve as a constant reminder and encouragement each time you feel like quitting or that your work is in vain.
God, the universe, or whichever term you use, always has a way of encouraging us when we are at our lowest. Whether it is through a message from a stranger, a customer, or a fellow entrepreneur, people are often sent in our lives to shine their light and encourage us on our journeys. One way I use testimonials as an encouragement is by saving all of them. Whether it is a screenshot, voicemail, or email, it is placed in a specific place for safe keeping so that I can access it when I am feeling low. In 2016, I reached a huge milestone in my network marketing company, I hit the first level or residual income, something that only 2% of people have been able to accomplish. The amount of love and recognition that I received that day was overwhelmingly beautiful. The text messages, calls, and social media posts had me in complete awe and I screenshotted each item and saved in in my Dropbox under a folder that was specific to that achievement. What it allowed me to do was continue to go back and remember what I once accomplished and the words that my leaders, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs spoke about me. I use them as a tool to help me when I am feel deflated, it helps me know that if I did it once, I can do it again and again and again. I encourage you to take any email, text, or even social media post and save it as a reminder of your achievements and contributions. I promise you, you won’t regret it.
One of the greatest things we can express in life is gratitude. Being able to look at what we currently have and being thankful for those things allows us to appreciate the small parts of life we tend to overlook. A great tool that I have found not only reflective, but helpful in my journey is keeping a gratitude journal. Each daily entry prompts you to write down three things you are grateful for. This causes you to reflect on your day and examine what part of it stuck out the most and what you are grateful for. Another tool I used which is convenient and has the same effect of the journal is an app that is called “The Five Minute Journal”. It allows you to add pictures to your journal entries as well as three things you are grateful for. It sets a reminder on your phone to do a morning entry that asks what you’re grateful for, three things you will do to make that day great, and a prompt for you to write an affirmation for that day. The night entry prompts you to write three amazing things that happened that day and a question that asks, “how could I have made today better?” I highly recommend this app, it costs $5, but it is worth every single penny.
Nothing worth having will be easy to obtain, however, with these strategies, I believe our journey towards our dreams can be smoother. Discouragement will come, but don’t allow it to take you away from your focus. I hope these words encourage you to keep pushing towards your calling, someone out here needs you and every vision that you hold within you deserves an opportunity to flourish.
Be Blessed. Be Inspired. Be Encouraged.
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