“What? NEGATIVE visualisation? Are you serious?”
‘Be Positive’ ‘Stay Positive’… positivity has become such a buzz phrase today. ‘You have to visualise what you want’ well, it’s time to get negative. But before you freak out about the prospect of creating a negative future for yourself, read on… you may be surprised!
Time to admit it, I am feeling negative.
I have had this thing that is taking up a lot of unnecessary space in my mind, and that thing is the fear that my mortgage business will fail. This is because I am below my yearly targets in a big way. In retrospect, it is good to set targets low for the first year in business because so much time and effort goes into business set up: marketing plans and streamlining of the back office. But, right now, I am freaking out.
I can’t sleep at night because I have only completed one loan refinance. Having said that it’s a cracker: I will save a client over $60,000 in interest payments for the rest of their loan. Then I have another two more difficult loans that are taking their time due to the complexity. Then I have another 5 which are in the pipeline. Then I have had about 30 enquiries for home, car and business loans that have closed for various reasons. All of these enquiries have served as excellent learning exercises.
I know that probably sounds ok to you, but still… I spend time freaking out about my future, in a state of panic. So it’s time to do some Negative Visualisation. Negative Visualisation is like taking your fears and allowing them to play out. Seeing if it is really so bad. This exercise is an adaption of an idea that I got from Tim Ferris. Tim got it from Roman Stoic Philosopher, Seneca. For Tim’s full take on it, check out his presentation at Google IO.
Here is my simpler, briefer version of Seneca’s Negative Visualisation exercise. It is an excellent exercise for anyone running their own business. Because generally speaking, you will find out that the stuff that is eating you up inside really doesn’t matter.
So here goes:
The Power Of Negative Visualisation
What Is My Biggest Fear: That my Loans Company will fail.
What Are The 3 Worst Possible Outcomes From My Failure?
1. I will have to exit from my business and go back to my admin position at the Accountancy Office.
- Actual discomfort level if this becomes reality: 3/10
- Why? Because I can have my life back, just show up for work and do it, I can work 9-5 and be a wage monkey and spend my time thinking about cool adventures to have, instead of whether the targeted info-graphic campaign I am about to undertake will get any traction.
2. My salary potential will be much lower
- Actual discomfort level if this becomes reality: 2/10
- Why? Because as a former musician I have lived my adult life on the poverty line, and I was quite comfortable. I know I have a family and kids now to support, but I will still have a job, and my partner is fine with this because she takes enjoyment out of being thrifty, she is a thrifty person. So we will be fine.
3. …. Well I can’t really find a third worst possible outcome. Chances are I will just bounce back with a new business, as is my nature, and sooner or later one of them has to get traction.
so…. I’ll be fine!!!! What won’t be fine is if I spent the next 5 years in a state of panic. Negative Visualisation saves the day! ✓
What about you? Ready to do some negative visualisation? Have a think about it: what is your biggest fear in business? And is it really as big as you think it is? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it and further learn from this experience.
Also, I am not sure if negative visualisation works for relationships, but try it out and let me know how you go.