Entrepreneurs walk different journeys, but they tend to be pretty good at redefinition. Whether innate, or learned, this is skill that allows us to take back control of our world.
Redefinition is a life approach which centres around our perception and language. Redefining our thoughts focuses on paying attention to the positives or neutrals as well as the negatives. This avoids the ‘lying to myself’ sensation that positive thinking can bring.
Our attention has more power over our feelings than we often realise.
In Psychology, there’s a phenomenon known as “negative bias.” To be aware of threats, humans are wired to give negatives more ‘power’ than positives. After all, if I notice a tiger in those nearby bushes, I don’t want to get distracted by a cool berry bush.
Shifting our attention to ‘balance’ this bias is helpful when there is no reason to focus on the negatives.
Disclaimer: If you do see a real tiger in the bush, feel free to focus on it!
The Inner Fire as a Toolkit
When I speak with dreamers following their purpose, there’s usually a situation they have chosen to define differently.
Where one person may see obstacles and express frustration, ‘redefiners’ choose another path.
Where one person hates their dayjob, they seek another traditional option. They wish a product existed, so try things already out there. If they are creative, they may make their own ‘product solution’, but keep it for their own use.
An entrepreneur tends to define that product as an opportunity: a gap in the market. Perhaps they look at hobbies and start taking steps to build on that foundation.
This is one form of redefinition. Seeing alternative paths ahead, and choosing to travel along them.
Accessing your Inner Skills
I talk a lot about ‘reframing’ events in my work because many people aren’t aware they hold such power. To some extent, many of us use these skills without thinking.
But where something is frustrating us; where it is causing us upset, and we can’t control it… I always look for an opportunity to redefine how I’m seeing the situation.
Most commonly I unlock this power when something negative has happened. If I find myself ruminating on the situation, that’s my hint to redefine.
Three Steps to Redefine the Past
- What’s the situation? Stick to the ‘facts.’ Would that description hold up in a court of law? Is it ‘provable?’
- How am I feeling? What emotions and physical sensations are fuelling my interpretation right now?
- What could I gain from this? Are there any neutrals or positives in this? What have I learned today?
Now the “lesson” might be “that person can be very rude.” It may focus on “this may not be the best next action to take in my plan,” or “this is clearly not personal towards me.”
I may learn that “I can deal with even more stuff going wrong.”
You won’t often find rainbows in a difficult experience, but sometimes we overlook moments of inner strength.
In the Real World
Last week, a stranger in the street yelled at me, and I learned I can be made speechless. I can stop myself shouting back. How silence can de-escalate an issue.
I won’t lie, I spent a lot of time, energy and anger on that incident. Re-playing it in my mind, or reciting other responses I could have said. Even though it had passed, I gave it a lot of my time and mental energy.
But when I came through that emotional space, and I journalled about it… that’s where I pulled out my power of redefinition.
In this incident, I learned I may need a better ‘battle armour’ for going into that situation again. A pair of kick-ass boots or a symbol necklace under your shirt all count. Consciously choosing ‘strength’ clothing can help us to feel more in control if we know .
I’ve learned I can be pretty polite when someone is being so rude and inappropriate. I can smile at how the power of my silence forced them to stop shouting at me. I wasn’t feeding it. Again, I took back a tiny part of control.
And when I focus on those ‘positives’, I feel stronger, more in control, prouder and less ‘victimised.’
Redefining does not Mean Lying to Yourself
At the end of the day, redefinition does not ‘change’ a situation.
I was yelled at. They were upset. I also felt upset. [Frustrated / angry / shocked / offended – Take your pick!]
But with redefinition, I bolstered my inner sense of strength and control. I could shift my mindset to stop wasting time and energy on something I cannot change. I was able to manage my emotions and return to my daily goals once the experience passed.
And for an entrepreneur, that power is priceless.
Guest blog by Katy-Rose
Katy-Rose works as a Resilience Mentor and Redefinition Alchemist, melding Psychology, Neuroscience and Coaching practises together. She supports wild creatives and practical dreamers to follow their Right Path (via passion projects or a sense-of-more) without the doubts, fear and overwhelm. You can follow her on Instagram [https://instagram.com/mapyourpotential], join her facebook group [https://www.facebook.com/groups/1524252700967558/] and sign up for her free resource library to switch dreaming for doing over at MapYourPotential.co.uk [https://mapyourpotential.co.uk/resources].