Are you thinking your way to poor results?

are you thinking your way to poor results?

John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

Do you know that your brain can't do a don't?

The author focusing on the areas in between the trees

For example, let me ask you to focus on this request:

Don't think of an orange.

Now, don't think of a polar bear.

It's impossible.

The only way to avoid thinking of an orange is to think of an apple in its place. The only way to not think of a polar bear is to think of ANYTHING else instead.

I learned this lesson while powder skiing in the trees and forests of Whistler.

At first, I would focus on the trees; the thing I was trying to avoid.

With predictable results.

Then I had an aha moment.

Look at the openings and spaces between the trees!

After all, that is what I wanted. To ski all that beautiful powder in the forest.

In other words:

Focus on what you want. Not on what you don't want.

The same thing applies in golf.

If you are standing on the tee and you're telling yourself: "don't go in the water; don't go in the water."

I can promise that most of the time you will land in the water.

Our brains can't process the "don't".

So our mind interprets our self-talk as "go in the water".

The best way to avoid the water is to focus on a target that you do want, perhaps the left half of the fairway.

The next time you tell yourself "don't forget" replace it with "must remember" and see if that gets you a better result.

Is your self-talk affecting your business results?

Do you ever catch yourself thinking things like:

  • Don't blow this sale.
  • Don't forget to follow up with that client.
  • Don't miss this quarter's goals.

Your brain is interpreting your instructions as:

  • Blow this sale
  • Forget to follow up with the client
  • Miss this quarter's goals

Do you think you would get better results if you changed your thinking to:

Worry is another form of putting your focus in the wrong place.

The next time you are worried about something, ask yourself this question:

What are three things I can do that would make the cause of this worry to go away?

Instead of the feeling of dread that comes with worry, you will experience an energy that comes from possibilities and solutions.

Or, as Mark Twain put it:

Worry is a complete waste of imagination, most of my life's worst experiences never actually happened.

In all things focus on the outcome you want and not the thing you want to avoid

The brain can't do a don't, it can only do a do!

If you'd like your outcome to be a business that runs smoothly, profitably, and mostly without you - business coaching might be something you want ;-)

Do book a call with me to discuss! Book 15 minutes with John

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Business Owner

become a better owner

If an owner wants a better business, first the business needs a better owner.

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Business Owner. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you with:

  • Mindset. Thinking like an owner and seeing the big picture of your business.
  • Planning. Deciding what you want, setting a goal, and making plans to get after it.
  • Habits. Changing your behaviours to help you get what you want.
  • Learning. Getting new information and developing new skills.
  • Growth. Facing your fears, stepping outside your comfort zone, and doing what it necessary to create the business of your dreams.