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3 Common Thought Patterns That Keep Entrepreneurs Playing Small

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In recent years the topics of the power of our thoughts and human potential have been studied more and more, both in the lab and real world. These studies have shown undeniable proof of what thought leaders like Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay have always known – our thoughts are incredibly powerful and create the reality through which we experience our lives.

And while changing one’s thoughts to embrace more empowering thought patterns and beliefs can change one’s life in ways they never thought possible, we also know that entertaining the wrong thoughts can lead to self-sabotage, imposter syndrome and missed potential.

There are 3 common phrases that seem harmless on the surface, and yet their acceptance and belief only serve to keep people playing small. 

1. It’s lonely at the top

It’s no secret that human beings are tribal creatures. We were made to live within communities and support each other. In the mind, a community or a tribe means safety. And ultimately survival.

When we buy into the notion that it’s lonely at the top, we activate one of our most primal fears to work against us. This fear of being alone, of having to possibly be rejected and having to reject or let go of those that we love, leads to a fear that we won’t survive on our own. This sets the fear center of the mind (the amygdala) into a proverbial lockdown, where we sabotage our success to maintain the relationships and connections we rely on and need.

Instead: recognize that success is defined on our own terms. And while the journey to success will push us to grow and improve many aspects of ourselves, we can also choose to maintain the relationships that are most important to us in life. Afterall, how we spend every moment is a choice – just as making money and growing a business requires effort, so do the relationships that we care the most about bringing with us on the journey.

“Every thought we think is creating our future.” – Louise Hay

2. Be realistic

Being realistic is the enemy to entrepreneurship and innovation. To be realistic means to put a limitation or ceiling on what you are capable of achieving. And what is realistic depends completely on one’s belief systems about themselves and the world around them.

Society has never in history been moved forward towards the innovation and technological advances that are a standard in our world today by people being realistic. It was once scientifically believed that humans could not run a 4-minute mile. Roger Bannister, however, refused to believe this notion and since he broke the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954, thousands of others around the world have done it since.

It was unrealistic to think that humans could fly across oceans in a metal tube, until the Wright brothers invented the airplanes. Early computer sales people were told that computers were a phase, today you can find one in most every home and business.

When entrepreneurs buy into the notion of being “realistic” they let their fears and limiting beliefs tell them what’s possible. Instead: believe in the extraordinary and your potential to create it!

3. If I am grateful for what I have, I’ll lose motivation to achieve more

Experiencing gratitude for what you have and what you have achieved will not leads to complacency or a lack of motivation to continue to grow. In fact, gratitude does quite the opposite!

Our unconscious minds, specifically the Reticular Activating System, is designed to seek more of what we focus on. When we focus on making money, we are continually searching for more ways to make money. When we focus on gratitude, we unconsciously search for more ways to be grateful or more things to be grateful for. Therefore, the more gratitude we experience, the more motivation we’ll have to continue to grow and achieve.

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.” – Buddha

In fact, neuroscientist Andrew Huberman from Stanford University shares that by celebrating our wins and practicing gratitude leads to having more overall energy. When we are constantly in a hustle mode, always striving to achieve more and more, our bodies continue to produce cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline – a combination of hormones that is known to deplete our mental and physical energy in the body. If you’ve ever experienced a hit of adrenaline (whether jumping out of a plane or dealing with an emergency) you know this to be true – while you may experience an initial hit of clarity, focus, energy and strength, as soon as the adrenaline inducing event is over you find yourself exhausted.

Dopamine and serotonin on the other hand buffer the effects of these stress hormones so we can experience true limitlessness. Dopamine is released in the body when we celebrate our wins, both big and small. Serotonin is released when we experience and feel grateful for anything in life.

Moving forward, start celebrating your daily wins and find time to practice gratitude for what you already have so you can ride the wave of energy and motivation to your next win, and the one after that!

Tiffany Toombs is a mindset coach, trainer, and presenter that specializes in helping people rewire their brains to overcome self-sabotage and limiting beliefs that stop them from finding success. Tiffany runs courses and workshops all over the world to empower people to take control of their lives and their minds so they can achieve their true potential in life. She believes that everyone has a message to share and helps her clients reconnect with themselves to find their passion and purpose. Tiffany has a range of valuable resources for people to understand their minds and how to access the power of their unconscious minds on YouTube or in her eBook “Unlocking The Secrets To The Unconscious Mind.

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By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

Grow your business

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

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