18 May Two Secrets to Becoming Financially Successful, Part 2
“I am an old man and have experienced many trials and tribulations, most of which never really happened!”
— Mark Twain
Thanks for reading this short article on becoming financially successful.
I am always grateful to those who read what I’ve written each week, and I hope this week will give you at least one nugget that steers you toward the financial success you’ve always wanted to achieve.
I just came from the annual conference of the California National Organization of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). I have always admired this group of dedicated members who want to see every woman entrepreneur attain whatever vision they have for their business. If you’re a woman business owner, check them out. You’ll be glad you did.
I was asked to be on a panel entitled Millionaire Moves and Mindsets, along with two brilliantly successful entrepreneurs: Anne Staines, owner of Sagent Marketing in Sacramento, and LaVada English, Owner and CEO of Bright Places in Los Angeles.
The best part of this meeting was the truthful sharing of what gets in the way of being successful with ease. Almost everyone in the audience agreed they experience negative self-talk when going for something important and meaningful in their business. This inner dialogue is called the Negativity Bias, and we encounter it whenever we stretch away from our comfort zone, be it a business goal or a personal one (like learning a new language or playing the guitar for the first time).
I’ve written about this experience a few times during the past year. It is normal and natural. It is the product of a brain that hasn’t changed much in 100,000 years. Scientists will tell you that our brain’s job back then was to keep us alive and from being eaten. We didn’t have fangs or fur. We couldn’t run very fast, but we had a brain that could keep us alert, looking for the nearest predator. That brain is with you and me today. It hasn’t changed.
By natural, I mean that we don’t have to be taught to be afraid of something new or different. We’re the progeny of naturally nervous people!
Look at it this way: Mother Nature knows that there are two mistakes we can make. One is relatively benign, and one is much more severe. We’ll call them mistakes #1 and #2.
Mistake #1 goes like this: You always leave the cave, being very anxious because you are positive there is a tiger outside waiting for you. So you creep cautiously toward the entrance, shaking all the while, but lo! There’s no tiger!
Mistake #2: You are convinced there is no tiger outside. You have this intuitive sense that you can walk right through the door and be perfectly safe. But uh, oh! There is a tiger, and you get eaten.
Mother Nature would like you to make Mistake #1 a million times because if you make Mistake #2 even once, you won’t be around to be fruitful and multiply!
What does this mean for us? We are the descendants of people who were naturally nervous about anything new. If they were wrong, it didn’t matter because they lived to see another day. We have inherited that Anxious Brain.
And when does this Anxious Brain kick into action? When we are presented with something new or different. Something that could threaten our survival, whether real or imaginary.
We’re looking at the heart of the second secret of becoming financially successful.
It goes like this: the only difference between financially successful people and those who aren’t is that those who are financially successful are…financially successful! And those who aren’t…aren’t!
Financially successful people have the same worries and doubts, the same fears as those who are not financially successful. They are no more intelligent or creative than people who aren’t financially successful. Instead, they don’t focus on the fears or worries about themselves that they experience. They don’t try to make the feelings go away. They focus instead on doing what’s before them with clarity, focus, ease, and grace. (Please read the previous article, Part 1, which explains in more detail what clarity, focus, ease, and grace are all about.)
This could be a game-changer for you. Many of us wait until we feel better before taking action, hoping those fears will disappear. Then we’ll go for it!
The truth is, these fears, doubts, and worries about yourself may never go away. They are the product of our inherited anxious brain! The only way through this experience is to take a step forward. If not, you’ll waste all of the six forms of energy that we’re here to use: the energies of money, time, physical vitality, creativity, enjoyment, and relationship/support.
This is what happened to me many years ago. It drove home what I’m talking about. Thirty years or so ago (yes, I’m 79 now, although I’d swear to you that inside, I’m 36 years old). I learned about crisis intervention during my clinical internship at the Benjamin Rush Crisis Intervention Center in Venice, California. After one year of working there and reading everything I could about my work, I was asked to give seminars on working with people in crisis. I traveled around the country and even wrote a section on crisis intervention as part of a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) grant.
I decided to write a book on crisis intervention. I had all my notes, examples, and exercises in a folder. However, whenever I sat down to write, I heard this internal voice warning me from doing it.
“You don’t know enough. Wait until you have more experience. Who do you think you are, anyway? No one will want to read this book.”
My arms would get heavy, and I’d feel anxious. And, I would stop writing.
Fast forward one year. I’m walking down Westwood Boulevard, just down the street from UCLA, where I received my PhD in psychology.
I see a book in the window of a bookstore. It was red with white lettering. The title was “Crisis Intervention: Theory and Techniques.” my heart stopped. I went into the store and picked up the book, thinking it would be different from the one I might have written.
It was almost the same! I said to myself, “He must have had years of experience to write this book.” Nope. He’d had even less experience!
The only difference between that author and me was that he had written that book, and I hadn’t! I’d waited for that inner voice and anxiety to disappear, then I’d write.
I bought that book and looked at it occasionally to remind myself what waiting for that inner dialogue to go away had cost me. You can imagine the money he’d received, the places he’d been invited to speak, and the ability he’d had to influence the field of psychotherapy. In short, that book had become a best seller! That missed opportunity has stayed with me ever since then.
Here’s my question for you: Have you waited long enough for that voice to get quiet before you take that next step toward a cherished goal?
- It doesn’t go away. We all have that Negativity Bias response.
- The point is: when you hear those self-deprecating inner phrases, you are experiencing what it is to be a human being with a 100,000-year-old brain that only wants to keep you safe.
- The next time that happens print a small card with the words “Nevertheless, I am willing.”
- To reiterate past articles, “To be willing” is your superpower. You can be willing to do something you don’t want to do, don’t think you can do, or don’t think you know how to do.
- Glance at that card when you hear your usual and customary inner dialogue or feel anxious or nervous about whatever you want to accomplish.
- Say the words out loud: Nevertheless, I am willing!
- Then turn back and complete that task, write that book, make that presentation. The world needs your contribution.
- Are you willing?
Until next week: go and be fabulous!