We all have times when we’re up and times when we’re not. But one skill of successful people is their ability to control their moods and to quickly switch off a negative state of mind. When you are in a bad mood, you tend to look at the world from a pessimistic perspective. You then lose your drive to move ahead and be productive.
Your mood also influences your business relationships in a way you may never have considered. Every time you meet another person, two states of mind exist: yours and theirs. What generally happens after a few minutes of talking is that one of you will change the other person’s mood. So if you are in a bad mood when talking to someone about a business issue, one of two things will happen. Your negative state of mind will infect the other person and this will make him or her feel bad—not conducive for them wanting to do business with you. Or in some cases the other person will change your mood. Now you feel better but you are not in control of the conversation since the other person has determined the mood of the encounter.
Here are some points that will help you stay in a positive state of mind or get out of a negative one quickly.
Accept the fact that you are in a down mood
Just accepting the fact that you don’t feel good will make it easier to get out of this state of mind. Mood swings are a part of life—in fact, they are part of what makes life interesting. If we didn’t have bad moods, we wouldn’t appreciate the good ones. Everyone feels down sometimes, so it’s okay for you to do so as well. Just don’t stay in there for too long.
It’s your mood and you can change it. The big breakthrough comes when you realize and admit that you are the one who created the bad mood in the first place. Most people have a hard time admitting this. Instead they’ll spend a lot of time and energy convincing themselves that their bad mood just happened or it’s someone else’s fault. Since they believe they didn’t create the mood, they feel that they can’t do anything about it.
But in reality a bad mood is internally created. You may need some help in dealing with your moods but they don’t fall from the sky. They’re generated by the negative thoughts created by your mind and these thoughts then affect your physiology. Think about it. If you’re in a bad mood, are your shoulders down and relaxed or up and tense? Is your breathing deep or shallow? Can you smile and be depressed at the same time? The answers are clear because in order to feel down, you have to think certain thoughts and maintain certain body positions. Change any one of these elements and your state of mind will change.
Let’s say that your day started badly. You woke up late, you got stuck in traffic, and someone took your parking space right in front of your eyes. By the time you walk into your office, your thoughts are turning negative: “Today is just not my day. Let’s see what else is going to go bad. Why does stuff like this always happen to me? Things always go wrong. Business will probably be lousy today. I’m never going to make enough money. I’m such a loser. I just can’t make it.”
By the time you get to your desk, you feel like you’ve already worked a ten-hour day but you haven’t even started. And now you have to make all those business calls and go to all those meetings and impress all your clients. No wonder you’re exhausted!
Now let’s say that five minutes later you get a call about a big deal that you’ve worked on for months. The deal just went into contract and all your hard work has paid off. What mood are you in when you put down the phone? In less than the minute that the call lasted you went from being down to being happy, and why? Because in that minute your thought process went something like this: “What!? The deal went through? Yes! This is so great. I knew I was going to get it! A few more deals like this and I am going to be number one! I’m really good at what I do! What a great day this is.”
Fine, you may think, but what happens if that call does not come? How do I change my mood in that case? The answer is that you can create the mood change in your own head by substituting positive thoughts for all the negative language. Then get to work making the deal happen, and if that deal falls apart you will get another one, because when you are in a great state of mind people want to work with you.
Above all, don’t wait till tomorrow to start a new day. Chances are you often tell yourself that today is a bad day and tomorrow will be better. But if you let your bad state of mind continue for an entire day, it will build up steam and you have a very good chance of waking up tomorrow morning with your same bad mood. If you go to sleep as a loser, you will find a loser in bed when you get up.
You can always take a walk around the block and start a new day.
See you tomorrow.
EXERCISE OF THE WEEK
Pay close attention to your state of mind and as soon as you find yourself in a negative mood, check both your thoughts and your body. See how you can adjust both. Try smiling for no good reason and see what happens or call up a positive memory from the past and see if your mood changes.
It takes practice in the beginning, but it’s well worth it.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Certainly there are good times and bad times, but our mood changes more often than our fortune. Jules Renard
© 2008 – 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.