Everyone has bad days but not everyone responds the same way to them. Some people wrestle well with a bad day and come out on top, while others let it consume them until their bad mood takes over.
We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council for their best mind hacks to facilitate a more positive mindset when things get rough. Try out some of these the next time you’re in a funk.
Q. Every entrepreneur faces the occasional day of problems, frustrations, and negative news. What’s one mental hack you have found to be successful for harnessing a positive mindset?
Their best answers are below:
Have A Morning Routine
Don’t let the events of the day dictate your mindset. Start the day with a simple routine to get your head in the right place. For example, drink a huge glass of water to rehydrate after a good sleep, do 10 pushups to get your blood flowing, read a series of positive affirmations to get your head thinking right, meditate for five minutes, then go crush the day! – Scott Yewell, Purpose Built Software
Think Bigger and Have Gratitude
There is a bigger picture outside of your business. Focus on what is going right and the higher purpose for your business and your calling. You still have health, family, friends, etc., even when you have rough patches in business. Thinking about how good life is as a whole helps you be thankful for all the stuff that’s going right. Every challenge is meant to make you better and stronger. – Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting Group
Ask Yourself, ‘Will It Matter?’
When I get rattled, I try to step back and ask myself whether or not this will matter in the future. It’s a great way to level-set and remind yourself that it’s likely not as big a deal as you may be thinking at that moment, and then you can shift to problem-solving, as well as gratitude. – Darrah Brustein, darrah.co
You are bound to have those days when everything seems to be going wrong. The best hack I learned was to lock yourself in your office or a quiet space and meditate for 10 minutes. Your mind will clear and you will be able to attack the rest of the day in a calm manner. – Sunny Desai, Desai Hotel Group
Focus on What Matters
Every single day is filled with positives and negatives. I have found it very helpful to be very intentional on a daily basis about my time and goals, which increases the chance that the things that matter go well and allows me to shake off the things that don’t. – John Berkowitz, Yodle
Count Your Wins
Internalizing stress and conflict only leads to more negativity. Rather, my team and I meet to share our wins and ‘bottlenecks’ on a daily basis. This open reflection on the work we’ve accomplished and challenges we need to overcome motivates us to work harder and be better for the next day. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
Remember Your Worst Day
Remember your worst day, and the rest of your current problems get put into perspective. I bet if you think about your worst time and compare your current situation, you’ll shift from stress to gratitude. By knowing where the ‘bottom’ is, you’re able to control your emotions and get perspective on current issues. Once you have a good baseline, you can work to solve the problems in front of you. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Every night, I write down five ‘wins’ from that day. These can be small or large wins; however, they should be things that made you feel good about yourself. I’ve found that writing down these accomplishments with a pen and paper helps restore my confidence, even after a hard day. This, then, helps me sleep better, which allows me to wake up with more energy the next day. – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
Keeping Your Long-Term Goals in Mind
The best way to avoid the daily emotional rollercoaster is to stay focused and harness a positive mindset. Always keep your long-term goals in mind. Instead of stressing out on the success or failure of smaller, short-term goals, focus your energy on moving forward and keeping your eyes on the bigger picture. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
Accept the Negative Experience
While it might seem counterintuitive, don’t try to avoid the negative emotion that results from bad events; instead, accept and experience the negative emotion so you can acknowledge and absorb it. Once you accept the truth of the situation, it will be easier to move on from it and turn your mind to more productive and positive uses. – Roger Lee, Human Interest 401(k)
Focus on What You Can Control
Daily frustrations, problems, and negative news are ever-present in the day of an entrepreneur. When I’m aware that something is pulling me down, I always repeat to myself that I shouldn’t focus on what I can’t change as well as things that don’t directly hurt me or my business. This helps me stay focused and not contemplate inconsequential things that ultimately just put me in a bad headspace. – Jared Ross Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
Do Small Acts of Kindness
When you do something nice, it makes you happy. I try to stay positive by doing something nice for at least one person every day. Sometimes, I give a pat on the back, buy a stranger a cup of coffee, or do something special for the team. Doing something good takes my focus off whatever negative thing was weighing on my mind. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
Detach from Your Thoughts
I believe any problem is an opportunity if approached properly, but what really helps me is that I learned how to detach myself from my thoughts. How you engage with your thoughts defines you. I truly understand and treat my thoughts as not part of me. Instead, I observe them and choose a way to respond that suits me the most, based on the situation. So, if you’re not in the position to address something, push that thought aside until you can deal with it. – Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders, Inc
Take a Walk
As simple as it sounds, a walk around the block without my phone does wonders for stress relief. It’s important to take a step back and remember that this industry isn’t life or death and that there’s always bound to be something good around the corner. I also like to chat with my mentor, who always brings me back to center and helps me refocus and recharge. – Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media
Inevitably, we will all encounter problems and frustrations as entrepreneurs, but the one thing that helps keep me in a positive frame of mind is keeping perspective. I always consider how this will impact my business in the future. Most of the time, it’s a small hiccup that can be resolved quickly. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.