The inaugural (trumpets are sounding!!) October 2006 issue of The Entrepreneurial MD Newsletter focuses on an attitude that can make or break a potential physician entrepreneur:
How can I take the optimistic but realistic approach to starting a new business, when I feel overwhelmed by all I see that I'd have to do to make that change?
Here are some hints from the article as to how you can approach a scary but exciting possible new venture (read more by clicking on the article link above):
1. Understand what it means to be a dynamic optimist versus a passive one: - Turn your positive thoughts into behaviors that help you attain your goals in career, finances, spirituality, health and leadership. Don't just sit and hope for the best.
2. Become aware of your attitude: - Look at how you selectively focus on events. Do you tend to imagine the worst case scenarios? Or do you tend to see the learning opportunities in your mistakes and even failures?
3. Examine your internal conversation then change what you tell yourself: - Pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Are you your own harshest critic ("you dumb idiot!!")? Or have you learned how to treat yourself decently and with humor and compassion ("oops - silly me. I don't plan to do that again")?
4. Do something pleasurable to distract yourself from bad events: - It's hard to focus on an uncomfortable sensation when you are enjoying something in the moment. Think of how you try to distract your patients from experiencing a painful procedure by engaging them in conversation about the latest movie they saw or book they read. Most patients enjoy your attention and interest in their lives sufficiently that the discomfort is somewhat relieved.
Figure out what brings you quick pleasure or relief, and engage in that activity or thought, to prevent yourself from ruminating and escalating your negative feelings.
5. Figure out your "explanatory style": - Learn how to pay attention to the ways you explain unpleasant or discomforting thoughts and experiences to yourself. The better the match between your explanation and reality, the freer you are to seize opportunities and live a more rewarding life. Reality is seldom as bad as our imaginations would have us believe!
Take a short quiz to discover whether you are more of an optimist or a pessimist.
What's your attitude? How does it hurt or help?