To Go Forward You Have to Look Back

In order to carry positive action, we must develop positive vision – The Dalai Lama

It’s that time again: when practice owners take stock of another busy, demanding year running a small business. Reflecting on the year that’s now ending is essential for PT owners who want to grow in the new year.

One common problem with our year-end reflection? It focuses way too much on the negative. Practice owners are an ambitious, driven group, with big goals and big dreams. When we look back, we tend to minimize our accomplishments. Instead, we focus on what we haven’t done yet.  

This emphasis on the negative affects every aspect of how we run our businesses. We use it to grade our past. We apply it to how we see the future. It affects how we view and treat our staff (which in turn affects their motivation and drive). It influences how we evaluate risk and the choices we make in seeking to grow.

Here’s the thing: focusing on the negative isn’t your fault. We’re biologically hard-wired to overemphasize the negative and overlook the positive. It’s called negativity bias. The good news about negativity bias? We can transcend it. When we do, we can achieve more of those big goals and big dreams.  

Research shows positive thinking does more than make us feel better. It enables us to do more.

In his book The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor wrote:

“We can retrain the brain to scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels.”

Your year-end reflection is a prime opportunity to practice positive thinking and create new pathways in the brain. How? By celebrating your achievements from this year.

Celebrating wins isn’t about ignoring what went wrong. There’s a place for looking closely at missteps and milestones you have yet to reach.

Celebrating wins is the FIRST STEP in taking positive action toward next year. Acknowledging your achievements is a potent form of fuel. It’s energizing. It’s motivating. It keeps you moving forward. And there are powerful lessons embedded in these wins about the strengths of your practice that already exist and are waiting to be acknowledged and expanded.

3 benefits that come from focusing on your wins RIGHT NOW:

Taming your inner perfectionist

Perfectionism plagues a lot of high-achieving people.  A question for perfection and a negative mindset go hand in hand. Why? For perfectionists, nothing is ever good enough. Nobody in business ever has a perfect year. Ever. Celebrating wins shows you all the ways you succeeded without being flawless. Your inner PT perfectionist needs that feedback.

Building your confidence

PT owners wear so many hats. To run our practices well, we need to build mastery in many domains beyond our clinical expertise. You can’t grow into the business leader you want to be without a well of confidence.  Celebrating wins sends a powerful message to your brain: You’re on the right track. You’re capable of doing more.

Collecting objective data about what IS working

The truth is, we do learn a tremendous from our failures and missteps. They’re important to examine as closely and objectively as we can. But there’s gold buried in your successes, too. When you know what’s already working in your practice, you can make informed decisions about where else to put your attention. Celebrating wins illuminates the foundation on which you can build, stretch, and grow.

Want the peace of mind that comes having a full patient schedule, week after week?   

Get your FREE copy of my guide, the Patient Visit Multiplier, which gives you the fastest, easiest, most effective ways to reduce cancellations and drop outs.