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four methods to search out alternatives in adversity

July
31, 2020

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The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

In his self-help classic Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill proclaims: "Never before has there been a more favorable time for pioneers than today." And yet when Hill wrote these words, America was at the end of the worst economic downturn in history. Think and Grow Rich was published in March 1937, just before the nation went into recession, while still in the midst of recovery efforts after the Great Depression. To put it in perspective: the unemployment rate was 14.3 percent in May 1937 and would continue to rise to 20 percent in 1938. In comparison, the unemployment rate peaked at 14.7 percent in April 2020 and has dropped to a remarkable 11.1 percent by June.

Despite the bleak prospects in the 1930s, Hill emphasized the potential for incredible success for those who re-formulated their view of challenges and took consistent action to achieve their ultimate goal. In fact, in Think and Grow Rich, he goes so far as to say that "depression" was a blessing in disguise "because it" reduced the whole world to a new starting point that gave everyone a new chance. " In other words, it has leveled the competitive environment and cleared the way for entrepreneurs who lacked the resources of the corporate giants to build their businesses. Similarly, we can approach the “new normal” created by the global pandemic as an opportunity for entrepreneurs, organizations, and society as a whole to regroup, reset, and create better ways to succeed. The following four strategies will help you locate opportunities in difficult situations.

Related: April Job Report: Unemployment Reaches 14.7%, US Economy Loses 20.5 …

Update your view of obstacles

Obstacles often hide the seeds of success. As Hill writes in Think and Grow Rich, the opportunity “has the sly habit of slipping through the back door, and is often disguised as bad luck or temporary defeat.” This is probably why so many people miss life-changing opportunities . As difficult as it may seem, we need to change our mindset so we can identify the opportunities that offer challenges. This is not a naive "silver lining" mentality: it is okay – even necessary – to recognize the weight of our feelings about adversity, but we should use these emotions to push us towards our dreams instead of allowing them to us to be stuck and grieved for a lost way. Remember there are many ways to succeed, and just because one happens to be our favorite doesn't mean that it was the right one for us. If we stick to our expectations of how our plans should have gone, our focus will be too narrow to identify the most valuable opportunities for originality, growth and connection. For example, an unexpected job loss gives you the opportunity to use your experience and expertise and start your own business as a freelancer. It really takes an open, broadened mindset to look at an obstacle from a new perspective – a perspective that often changes our perception.

Reduce your susceptibility to negative influences

It is impossible to completely remove all "noises" from your life, but you can choose how you filter, process, and respond to it – and it is extremely important that you do so because your subconscious processes these emotions regardless of whether you allow them active or passive to penetrate your psyche. Negative emotions to be particularly careful about include fear, worry, and self-doubt, as these emotions color our dominant thoughts so that our freedom of choice and confidence in our ability to persevere and succeed are diminished. Instead, we open ourselves to the helplessness that manifests itself in either inactivity or frenzy. To reduce your susceptibility to negative influences and emotions, you should be aware of which negative influences are most compatible with your weaknesses because you are most susceptible to them. Also, rate your inner circle to make sure it is made up of supportive individuals who encourage you to think and act for yourself. For the negative people in your personal and professional area with whom you have to interact regularly, set firm limits on the information they share in your presence.

Related: Recession Safe Your Career With These 3 Skills

Use the decision-making power

Because negative emotions and influences tend to put us in a state of inactivity, the greatest antidote to them is determination. If we make firm decisions, we can set impulses in a constructive direction. A principle similar to that behind exposure therapy plays a role here: If, despite our negative emotions, we consistently decide to take action against our dreams, we can disempower them by gradually confronting them. Self-discipline and willpower are crucial here. We must keep our main clear goal in the foreground of our mind and not allow negative influences, whether external or internal, to lead us away from the course. Admittedly, progress will not always be linear, but as Alyson Van Hooser suggests in Level Up, we will achieve results as long as we take correct, calculated and consistent measures to achieve our goals. If you have thought of becoming an entrepreneur, but fear that the current situation is not favorable, take courage. You can decide today to create the business opportunity that you imagine. As Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx, says, "If you have a good product, if you solve a problem, if you improve a product or service, it's always a good time to start a business."

Identify new opportunities for collaboration and innovation

Many companies are currently thriving because they have developed through building connections and cross-industry collaboration. How can you expand your network with different perspectives that complement and enrich your own? How can you "lean out" to use Letitia Frye's term by contributing to the success of others through mentoring and service? By creating new partnerships, particularly those that are designed to enhance the lives of others, we can find new ways to serve our customers and clients while creating new ways of prosperity for ourselves and the wider world. The pandemic has shown how we are dynamically connected. When viewed correctly, this interdependence is an opportunity for innovation that pays more attention to the complex, evolving needs of a global society.

As Hill encourages us in his 1952 speech "Maker of Miracle Men": "If there had ever been a time in this country when men and women would have to recognize the power of their own minds … this time is now … Each of us as Individual has committed to a specific goal that is so big and outstanding that we don't have time to think about those things that we don't want. “By redefining our view of adversity, we can use the current climate, as difficult as it is, as an opportunity for creativity and as a springboard for success.

Relatives: I refuse to participate in the recession!

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