3 Ways To Stay Positive In The Face Of Business Adversity

If you have been paying attention to the stock market lately, you have seen the power of negativity at work. While there is certainly plenty of grim economic data, a primary cause of recent stock market downturns has been pessimism about the future. This type of thinking may make sense for investors—but it is toxic for business owners. As a business owner or manager, it is up to you to set the tone. You need to keep yourself and your employees thinking positively—because study after study has demonstrated that individuals who believe they are going to succeed are more likely to do just that. But times are tough and setbacks happen—so below are three tips to help you stay positive in the face of adversity:

1) Recognize that setbacks are inevitable.  Ask any successful businessman or woman to describe their ride to the top, and I can promise you that none of them will say that it was easy.  More likely they will describe a roller coaster ride, full of emotional and financial ups and downs. The key to staying positive through the bad times is to understand that they are inevitable. It’s not a matter of if you will experience a setback—it is only a matter of when. So don’t get down on yourself or throw in the towel when times get tough.

2) Don’t bottle your frustration and disappointment.  You are emotionally invested into your business, so it is inevitable that, when things go wrong, you will experience strong feelings of anger, frustration, or despair. It’s important that you don’t alarm your employees or coworkers, but at the same time it is critical that you express your feelings. Talk to a friend or family member, outside of your workplace, who can listen and provide support.

3) Understand that failure represents an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson.  Failure isn’t fun, but it is valuable. Countless people, in business, politics, sports, and other walks of life, have experienced career breakthroughs as a result of failure. Don’t let failure bring you down—instead, focus on learning a lesson...and make sure you don’t repeat the same mistake. 

Nobody enjoys failure, particularly in regard to their business. But the truth is that failure is inevitable—so rather than letting it throw you off track, take it in stride and move on. Remember that positive thinking is the key to success, and don’t let the occasional setback keep you from achieving your dreams!   

[Image: Flickr user ex animo]

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  • Ethan Hale

    Thank you everyone for your readership!  Thanks for the comments Cedricj and others...keep them coming!

  • Cedricj

    Short-term failures do not necessarily negate a sound long-term strategy. That is where a leader needs to keep the focus and learn how to constantly re-set the vision.

    It is so important for the leader to stay optimistic because the rest of the organization watches him/her very closely. The leader's negative emotions can go viral with the rest of the employees.

    If the leader has negative emotions related to the failure he/she should process them in private with a trusted confidant. Not that the leader should deny the failure but rather recognize it openly and send the message "So we had a failure, what can we learn from it? and "Now back to our long-term strategy!"

    Inspiring leaders to inspire others