Battling the Naysayers – The power of Positive Thinking


National Geographic launched a TV series in 2011 that primarily covers facts about our Brain and how to best optimize this super computer given to us at birth.

While a lot of their episodes in general are pretty interesting and applicable to Marketing a business, we want to draw your attention to one particular episode they aired a few months ago as we found that episode particularly intriguing and relate-able to Entrepreneurs, and we promise if you spare us just 3mins of your reading time, this will help you in your business.

It was a small experiment that was split up into 3 parts that tests the effect of “Positivity” and the power of our Minds.

#1 Experiment – Effects of Positivity

In the first experiment, they took a random passerby and had her shoot 10 basketballs into the loop on her own. The result? Well, she scored 0/10.

They then brought in a group of people to watch and the host handed her a blindfold. He then proceeds to ask her to shoot the basketball into the loop with her blindfold on as the crowd cheered for her.

Despite being blind and unable to see, she gave her best throw but miss. However, the host and the crowd started to clap profusely telling her she scored and what a good job she did. The host then repeated the process and ask her to make another shot blindfolded. Again she missed, but the crowd applauded and cheered for her telling her she did it anyway.

Armed with the belief that she really did make both that shots blind folded, the host than removes her blindfold and now has her shooting another 10 balls, but this time, with the crowd in the background cheering her on.

The results? She scored 4/10 despite having not scored any prior to that.

#2 Experiment – Effects of Negativity

In the second part of the experiment, they took a guy who is good in basketball and again had him shoot loops on his own. He made an amazing 9/10 shots.

They then repeated the process and brought it a group of ppl, have him make two loops blindfolded. Only this time, instead of cheering for him, they jeered him each time he missed.

The host then requested for him to do his 10 throws again without the blindfold while the crowd “boo-ed” and laughed at him.

The end results? He dropped from 9/10 to scoring only 5/10!

*Watch experiment 1 and experiment 2 here:

#3 Experiment – Ignoring the Naysayers

In part 3 of the experiment, it was the exact same scenario as the #2 experiment, the only difference? This girl played college basketball when she was younger.

The results? She performed equally well regardless of the crowd jeering or not.

The results of this finding brings us to 2 of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 rules of success, “Trust yourself” and “Ignore the naysayers“.

This can’t be more true for entrepreneurs. Every Entrepreneur has once been there when you want to start a business and the people around you tell you how it can’t be done or that you would fail and you would be better off getting a job. Or you tell the world how you want to be rich and the world laughs it off as if it’s impossible.

Overtime, we naturally let these negative thoughts sink into our head and we soon start to believe that “hey, it might really be impossible“. We seek to conform into the belief of others.

But why live your life the way someone believe it to be?

Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

The thing is, when most people advice you about starting your own business, they talk about getting your goods moving, ability to forecast & drive sales, accounting, HR etc. But they often leave out one extremely important skill set every successful entrepreneur needs.

The ability to block out the negative thoughts, be it from naysayers or from your inner insecure monsters who keep telling you you can’t make it.

It’s that ability to trust yourself and ignore all the negativity around you that differentiates the good( experiment 2), and the great (experiment 3).

People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it.” – Chris Garner

You can watch the full episode here, however if you would like to fast forward to the aforementioned experiment, you can forward to 13:23

Share this article with your friends who are starting out in business or who you believe need a little positive encouragement themselves!

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