Success or Fail: The Middle Ground – Don’t Sit HERE!

Success or Fail: The Middle Ground – Don’t Sit HERE!

We covered the Positive and the Negative aspects of your attitude towards your current working condition and your future options. For this post let’s talk about the middle-ground. This is where many of us ‘sit’ in business. We work like crazy for many years with limited growth and intermittent short term success.

Four Quadrant analytics - Middle Ground

The Negative Optimist

When you have an optimistic view of the future but a negative outlook on your current situation, you may end up becoming your own taskmaster. Working hard with the hope that something good will eventually happen is not enough, you have to create the perfect situations right now. Jump on opportunities right now. You cannot manifest future success without accepting the current opportunities. The problem lies in that the negative person will always find an excuse to say ‘no’.

So a great exercise for you is that you are not allowed to say no. That doesn’t mean you accept everything but what it does is helps you start thinking of other ways to refuse or accept a situation.

For example, if a client says to you, ‘I really think you should be offering X’ and you would have normally returned, ‘we looked at that and it didn’t make sense’ then this is how you will change your response. Start by asking a question, listen carefully to the answer, and then acknowledge your client for wanting to see your business grow.

  • ‘Why do you think that would be good for us?’
  • Listen to the answer
  • ‘Hmmm, interesting point of view. Thank you for suggesting that. I will think about how that might fit with our current offering.’

Be genuine because after you leave this client you need to actually think about how that might work. After you have visited the concept you might find it does not fit, or maybe not now, or you might bounce the idea off of your support team and get something else that would also appeal to your client. The act of just engaging in the review of the possibility will change your outcome and open new doors.

The Positive Pessimist

This person is often living a lie. With a pessimistic view of the future it is not likely that the positive outlook on the current situation is genuine. Likely it is a facade of positive energy meant to let people believe things are OK. It is very easy to end up in the fourth quadrant (The Negative Pessimist) from here, so it is important that this be a very short lived attitude and that you focus on finding the future you want to work towards.

You can still be very successful when this attitude is short lived. You need to re-evaluate your future goals so that you can take action and start making changes to get there. If you cannot see yourself in that future being successful then seek the help of someone else that can help you look past the worst things that are challenging your point of view.

Let me give you an example. The current economic situation of the world is often not promising. If you were to focus on the fact that some economists are forecasting little growth and higher unemployment rates, which equates to less business, then it will be hard for you to look into the future and see your own business growth. But if you look at the people that have successfully launched a business or been able to increase their sales during this time, like 99 Designs or Success Magazine, then you will start thinking, ‘well, how did they do that’ and ‘ how can I replicate those results’. Changing your point of view will give you something different to focus on and more possibilities will become available to you.

Work towards being The Positive Optimist. It is true that you cannot always be in this quadrant in all aspects of your life at all times, so recognize when you are not, make your changes, and strive for something better.

Here is the full 4-Quadrant Evaluation

4-Quadrant Evaluation - Strive for the Positive Optimist

Article 1 – Succeed or Fail: Which Quadrant are You in?

Article 2 – Succeed or Fail: The Double Negative is NOT Positive

Article 3 – Success or Fail: The Middle Ground – Don’t Sit HERE! (this article)


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