From Don: Today I’m excited to introduce you to a talented, brilliant and amazing business thought leader who will inspire your business to go to a completely different level by introducing some concepts to you that are sure to change the way you think.
Deborah Tutnauer, take it away…
How we think relates intimately to the outcome of our endeavors. One of my favorite authors and thought leader, John Maxwell, writes often about thinking and how successful people think. There is truly an art to this as much as a science. (*John Maxwell wrote a book with this Title)
When we take in information and decide on a course of action, the flow generally happens so quickly that we do not grasp all the parts of our unconscious and conscious mind that come into play. Yet it is all these parts which contribute to the end result. Thus business entrepreneurs will discover the ability to shift their bottom line results along with their contentment just by understanding how perception, thinking, feeling, action and outcome interrelate.
In 1955 Dr. Albert Ellis developed the theory of Rational Emotive Therapy, hypothesizing that behavior’s predecessor is feelings and feelings (though we believe they come first) are actually a response to the thought or meaning we ascribe to a situation.
“REBT is the pioneering form of cognitive behavior therapy developed by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955. REBT is an action-oriented approach to managing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disturbances.
According to REBT, it is largely our thinking about events that leads to emotional and behavioral upset. With an emphasis on the present, individuals are taught how to examine and challenge their unhelpful thinking which creates unhealthy emotions and self-defeating/self-sabotaging behaviors.”
Thus, every decision we make and every action we take is an outcome unfolding from a thought or a meaning we ascribe to the world as we perceive it. Before going further, let me share a few examples.
You walk into your morning coffee shop and order a latte. As you take your morning deliciousness over the counter to grab a lid, a man rushes past you way too fast and knocks the coffee all over the floor and a bit on your clothes as well. He doesn’t stop to apologize and just runs out the door.
Reaction? Thoughts? Feelings?
Think about how you would respond before reading on. Make a few notes about it so you remember.
Situation One: Assume someone else in the coffee shop saw what happened and said to you – “Oh that man – Every day he is such a rush, knocking into people, pushing, causing spills, and he just runs out every time without a backwards glance.”
Reaction? Thoughts? Feelings? (Write it down)
Situation Two: Assume someone else in the coffee shop saw what happened and said to you – “Oh my, poor Harry. I heard him on the phone just a moment before he knocked into you. He had just gotten word that his wife was in a really serious car accident.”
Reaction? Thoughts? Feelings? (Write it down)
Now you have three reactions to the exact same event to work with. In each of them, the situation is identical – a man rushes past you and knocks over your coffee. But my guess is that how you think about what happened and the feeling you have is quite different based on initially with no information, and the situation one and situation two. Yet nothing changed but the MEANING you gave the event.
It is the same in all walks of life. Imagine a business situation where you had been working diligently with a prospective client for many weeks. This deal could turn out to be quite lucrative and enjoyable as well. You’ve had many meetings, gathered much research and proposed the scope of work that will serve the prospects needs.
In the week you are supposed to close the deal, your calls are not returned. Neither are there any responses to your emails.
Reaction? Thoughts? Feelings?
Many entrepreneurs will jump right to a negative perception, fearing that the deal is lost. This leads to all sorts of feelings of rejection, anger, self-pity, etc…
Yet is it possible that the lack of communication has nothing whatsoever to do with you or your proposal? Is it possible that there is another reason that you know nothing about, for the lack of communication? Can you explore what these could be? How do your feelings change when you focus on alternative reasons?
More importantly – how do you react and behave differently when you don’t feel those angst creating emotions because the meaning you ascribed to the scenario is not personal and not negative?
We could dive deeply here into the law of attraction and how each time you land in a negative thought minefield you in fact attract that which you most fear, into your life. Thus learning how to control your thoughts is a very powerful tool for business success!
Thoughts → Feelings → Action/Behavior → Outcome
But there is another powerful missing piece to this equation that Dr. Ellis didn’t touch on back on 1955. Ellis wanted to keep his therapy focus in the here and now, in response to the great emphasis on Freudian psychoanalysis prevalent at the time. But now we know that the meaning you perceive in response to a situation does not appear out of thin air.
Meaning is given based on the filter through which you view your world. Your filter is like the lens on a pair of glasses. Blue lenses and the world is colored blue. Observe the same scene with rose lenses and everything changes. We create sub-conscious and unconscious filters throughout our lives based on the messages we learn from our environment. Parents, teachers, culture, experience all contribute to our filters – or stories – that in fact form the foundation from which we make meaning.
I’m sure by now you are wondering what all this has to do with you as an entrepreneur or business person aiming for a better bottom line. Business coaching clients usually arrive at my proverbial doorstep because they are stuck in some aspect of their business or the interaction between life and work. Many are in transition from the corporate world and cannot see their path, though they know it is time for change. Others are working immensely hard and yet no matter what they try, they are not seeing the expected fruits of their labor.
To help them, I often begin with uncovering their story. We explore the filters through which they view the world and make meaning. Many of these filters are useful and relevant. But some may be destructive or put road blocks that are unnecessary on the path to success. By digging down to those filters and stories, we clear the cobwebs out of the basement and allow a solid foundation to form that supports a growing meaningful, financially sustainable business.
The flow is actually not linear but a cycle.
At any point in the cycle you can create a shift which effects every other point in the cycle. But in general the place you have the most control and power is to examine your filters to release those that no longer serve you, and to consciously change the thought and meaning you ascribe to a situation.
Successful people work on the art and science of how they think. They realize that functioning in leadership roles requires deep growth of a personal nature. Creative business development is intimately connected with seeing possibility within every challenge, rather than just a few alternative solutions that initially come to mind. Working with the right coach on your stories, filters and thinking can be one of the best decisions you can make for your ongoing success as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Do you have a question, idea you would like to share or a comment? If so, please leave on below in the comments section and let’s get the conversation started!
About Deborah Tutnauer
Inspiring change in people for over 25 years, Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSW digs deep to help authentic entrepreneurs move away from the stories that no longer serve them while clarifying and solidifying those that really do! Deborah helps frustrated entrepreneurs get exquisitely clear about meaning, purpose and expertise, then facilitates the creation of a financially sustainable and joyfully structured framework in which business and business people thrive.
Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure” by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.