My wife is easily terrified by horror flicks. She even squeezes her eyes shut during the trailers.
That clenched-fist-eyes-shut-tight physical reaction that Debbie has to scary movies is how a lot of us respond when it comes to looking at our numbers.
Maybe if we turn away and don’t look, our worst fears won’t come true. Nothing will jump out and startle us that we weren’t prepared for or expecting.
The problem with that is we are assuming there’s something scary lurking inside those numbers.
Those fears are based on past experiences that we attached beliefs and emotions to.
Numbers are neutral. They don’t have emotional influence. We give them that power through the story we tell ourselves about what those numbers mean.
But if we stripped all that emotion away and just looked at the facts, we would have a very different reaction.
I mean, if we saw the behind-the-scenes stuff that’s required to turn the actor into the boogeyman, we wouldn’t be scared of him. We would just see him for his really awesome makeup and costume.
If we don’t choose to open our eyes to the reality of our numbers, we’ll continue to have tunnel vision.
That tunnel vision will prevent us from seeing opportunities that could exist, money that could be made, creative solutions that could be tried because we are so narrowly focused on what we perceive to be true.
Our numbers show us progress, but we have to have our eyes open so we can see the direction they’re heading. If we don’t have our eyes open, how are we going to face down the proverbial boogeyman keeping us up at night?
Here’s the 3-2-1 on really looking at your numbers.
- Numbers scare us because we are afraid of what happened in the past. But that previous experience was not actually good or bad, it’s how we labeled it. We attach our emotions to the numbers and then react the same way each time numbers come up.
- When we get tunnel vision around our numbers, we stop seeing ideas and different perspectives on how things could be because we have predetermined how things are going to be. Even if that’s not what the numbers tell us.
- Our numbers show us progress and room for improvement. Knowing what’s working and not working helps us make more informed and objective decisions about what to change to get the results we want. We need to make decisions based on facts, not fear.
- Choose a category of your numbers to study. These could be your social insights, your stocks, your monthly revenue, your expenses, etc.
- Write down the thoughts and feelings that come up as you review the numbers. Then take a break and go back later to reframe them into new perspectives.
- Which story around my numbers will I face this week with eyes wide open?
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To your impact and legacy,