We don’t live in a bubble.  We are exposed every day to the ups and down that come with life.  The more we dare to reach the “ups,” the more vulnerable we are to the “downs.”

Fear and anxiety about the “downs” is often what cripples us from achieving our dreams.  As entrepreneurs, we know this reality more so than most.  But whether you run your own business or not, the key to a successful life rests in how we embrace the lows and respond.

We often over-use the old saying, “it’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.”  However, I can’t help but realize that every time I’ve found myself knocked down I have learned something that has helped me later in life.

Regret teaches… If we are willing to listen.

Next time you are facing a dull point, there is a simple exercise that I like to perform that helps me focus on getting back up.

-Create two columns on a piece of paper.

-Head the First Column “What can I influence?”

-Head the Second Column “What can’t I influence?”

Examine the situation that is at hand and fill out each column accordingly.  Most people find they have more items listed in the first column rather than the second.  When we are fearful, we often tend to focus on the items that make us feel helpless (what we can’t influence).

People often start realizing they have more power over a situation than they initially believed.  I often take a second look at column 2 and question my reasoning.  “Am I completely powerless about this area?”  Sometimes even sharing with someone close to me helps me realize that there are actions I can take… and I’ve just allowed my fear to paralyze me into a state of feeling powerless.

I believe there are very few scenarios in life in which we are unable to improve some aspect.  Sometimes it just takes a little effort to realize it.


Doug Winegardner is the Founder & CEO of Radius Media Agency.  Follow him on twitter @RMA_Doug