Someone recently told me that in everything you encounter in life can be approached in one of two mentalities: fear or hope. At first thought, this seems like an oversimplified absolute that can’t actually exist. Sure there are things that create fear, and there are things that you must approach with feelings of hope. But what about the middle ground? Aren’t there other ways to think about life besides fear or hope?
So it has stayed with me for about the last 5 weeks, and I find myself applying this question on a regular basis, and I challenge you to do the same. It works across the board!
In any company, we all know how fear can affect decisions. Investing in growth by adding to your sales team is frightening. Deciding to say “no” to small or low-margin customers and to focus only on the best type of customer is a scary thing. We all know that we have to overcome these fears. But what about using the four-letter word “hope” in business? Does that really sound like a good idea? Only if you apply it in the proper context.
In my last company when we were doing sales projections and budgets, we made a rule that the “h” word is a four-letter word that we would never use in a budget discussion! Forecasts would not, and could not be based on “hoping” that something would come true. We could not survive if our sales rep success was based on our “hope” that they worked out. But this is a different context– hope as it applies to your mindset and energy means focusing on the positive energy to accomplish amazing things: It means determination. Perseverance. Smart decision making. True grit. So when you are starting each day, each meeting, each quarter, each year, try stepping back and telling yourself:
I can either approach this next phase with fear or with hope . . . and my decision on this dilemma is going to drive everything else I do.
It’s amazing how often a low energy or a bad day in general day can be traced back to fear. Since I have overlaid this dichotomy to my daily living, I have found that stress, anxiety, and even ager are all the result of an underlying fear of something. Figuring out that something and finding the proper application of hope is the key to getting the energy flowing in the right direction.