How being able to keep your balance while drying your toes is a predictor of business success

Success requires focus and balance.The mere fact that you’ve read this far is an indicator that you’re willing to learn and consider new possibilities. That already puts you ahead in the game. Woohoo for you!

So why do I make this seemingly ridiculous claim about balanced toe-drying being a success predictor? Because it’s both an example and a metaphor of how focus on what you want rather than what you fear creates the outcomes you crave.

I noticed that I’d often find myself thinking, “I sure don’t want to lose my balance and fall” when drying my toes after a shower. It took a while, but I eventually also noticed that, the more I thought about “not losing my balance”, the more frequently I did just that. It was not a pretty sight.

Then I started focusing, not on my fear of toppling over, but on the task I wanted to complete, i.e., drying my toes. What I found fascinating was that, almost immediately after focusing on “dry toes” rather than “shaky balance”, my balance improved noticeably.

I believe the same thing is true when it comes to building a successful business. If you focus on what you don’t want to happen—prospects say no, clients want refunds, proposals are rejected—that unwanted outcome starts looming big and scary and intimidating. By focusing on that to the exclusion of what you do want, you chip away at your confidence, courage, and ability to be proactive. Add to that the metaphysical concept that “like attracts like”, and before you know it, your self-fulfilling prophecy of failure has come true. Yippee.

So what do you really want: to dry your toes or not to lose your balance? And how would you feel if, by focusing on the former, you achieved it and avoided the latter? How would your business success increase with that sort of no-lose focus?

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12 Responses to How being able to keep your balance while drying your toes is a predictor of business success

  1. I find that being an entrapaneur is definitely a balancing act. It’s a skill to be able to wear all of the different hats: Fertility Coach, Acupuncturist, Manager, etc, etc!

  2. Emily says:

    Oh my gosh – I have had the exact same experience. I was focusing on how wobbly I felt doing yoga and shifted my thoughts to being grounded and balanced instead. Worked like a charm! I love that you brought that into focus in our businesses, too – so perfect. Thank you!

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      Of course, Emily, now my question is this: Since I know how well it works to focus on the desired outcome rather than the feared consequence, when the heck am I going to do that consistently? I guess it’s yet another chance to remind myself that I’m a work in progress…

  3. Lilia Lee says:

    LOL Kathleen….What you fear (if you concentrate on it) manifests itself. It has something to do with the limbic system of the brain.

  4. Kelley says:

    I love how our balance often changes sometimes moment to moment. Thank you for encouraging us to focus on what’s right as a way of living in balance!

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      Boy, Kelley, if you could share with me how to actually love a change in balance, I’d be so grateful! Although I feel good when I manage it, I don’t think I’m yet at the stage where I love it!

  5. Cena says:

    I LOVE THIS idea! I do a relatively good part, but I do have these little fear gremlins that come out of nowhere… This is great!

  6. I can’t get over the fact that you dry your toes. Am I missing out on something?

    But yes, I agree that focusing on what we fear diminishes our abilities. Whenever I focus on what I dread, I’m miserable. It’s so much more freeing to focus on what you want.

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      Definitely missing out, Lori: Dry toes are happy toes. 🙂

      What drives me crazy is that, even though I know this stuff works, I sometimes find myself dwelling on the worst-case scenario instead of the best-case one. Just another example of how nobody can drive us crazy like we ourselves can.

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