While there are elements of life that are undoubtedly out of our control, we increasingly understand that our reactions to life events, our general mindsets, and our intentional habits can lead to more desirable outcomes, in business, as well as in our personal lives. What we envision as possible depends, largely, on perspective. What can we do to harness the power of possibility in our lives?
Engage Your Inner Optimist:
Longitudinal studies tell us that optimists live longer than their more pessimistic counterparts, and enjoy better health, overall. Though the reasons for these outcomes are still being studied, researchers recognize that optimists are more likely to face life with a solution-focused perspective. They are looking for possibilities, an inherently positive, stress-reducing mindset.
Positive outcomes for optimists extend to the world of work. An optimistic outlook has been linked to resiliency when business becomes challenging. It also translates into a contagious enthusiasm, which resonates with others, and, in turn, has been shown to attract clients, investors, and lenders.
If you're not naturally sunny, the good news is that optimism is not a fixed personality trait; it can be practiced and cultivated. Research suggests that envisioning our best selves can significantly impact our optimism, especially when we make the time to do so regularly.
Cultivate an Innovator's Mindset:
Just as optimism can be cultivated, so can the key characteristics of innovators. In 2009, the Harvard Business Review published a study that outlined the 5 most important habits of business innovators; people who grasp the power of possibility and utilize it to make creative leaps in their respective fields. These characteristics, while inherent in some, can be developed and honed, with regular practice.
These skills are:
- Associating: Finding meaningful links between seemingly disparate things, and joining them to make something new.
- Questioning: Asking, "Why?," and "Why not?" regularly. Envisioning specific constraints or imagining different outcomes can stimulate creativity.
- Observing: Paying attention to outcomes with honestly, without judgment, and without employing wishful thinking.
- Experimenting: Feeling free to float prototype ideas or products, and tinker with them, without preconceived notions. Embracing failure as part of the process, and seeing it as a means to an end, rather than a fixed roadblock.
- Networking: Seeking the input from respected others outside of our regular circle of influence. This could involve making connections with people from other fields or from different cultures. Experiencing fresh perspectives challenges our assumptions and encourages growth.
Invest in Yourself:
Successful people may make things look easy, but the best among us are never complacent. Even when the perfect scenario eludes us, we accept the notion that forward momentum represents real progress. We keep working hard to proactively address concerns and improve so that more of our ideas are realized. Famed business thinker, Warren Buffet, states that the best investment we can ever make is in ourselves, and he relates that as a young man, he addressed his fear of public speaking by taking a course. If we can define our goals, we can figure out what knowledge and skills we need to attain them.
Whether you need assistance mapping out ways to build your business at a pace that matches your vision for the future, or you want to take part in networking with other successful women with whom to share ideas, contact us to learn more about how we can help. We will partner with you in the process of realizing your full potential. Whatever your dreams, understanding that you have power over your own possibilities is a first step toward realizing your best future.