There’s a note on my desk that says, “Where’s the helpful external input?”
It’s from my notes about personality types for my upcoming course, Making Better Business Decisions. For introverts who shun external input, or for those of us struggling to use social media as a positive tool, rather than a massive time and energy suck, this question feels important.
And it is important to understand why we sometimes crave external input, and other times run from it. Sometimes we just want someone else to give us the answers, and other times we want everyone to back off.
For me, positive external input includes educating myself and receiving help and encouragement. It might be a book, a podcast, a coaching session, or a pep talk from a friend. Sometimes these things don’t work, but I have a list of the things I know usually help on my noticeboard.
When external stuff gets in the way, it’s usually because it’s triggering comparison or negativity in me. That’s when I need to go inside.
In the world of social media and an internet full of advice, opinions, and a million self-proclaimed experts, it’s really easy to get caught up in what other people think, do and decide. It’s easy to compare yourself, to think you “should” do it the same way other people do it (whatever “it” is).
It’s also easy to get totally distracted by world events, arguments, politics, and despair. Not that these things are always distractions – sometimes they need our urgent and active attention. But when you’re running a business and avoiding your good and necessary work, they can be distraction of the highest order.
So. Where’s the helpful input?
Who are your trusted advisors and guides? Why do you trust them? When do you seek them out?
Which areas of your business require external education or input?
Which areas of your business are 100% your realm?
Do you need to dial up your external input? Or do you need to dial it down?
Not all external guidance is intrinsically bad (hi, I guide people for a living), but when we give all our power away to other people on the internet or in our immediate vicinity, we’re not really living our dreams or building the business we really want.
To discover more about how you process internal vs external input and other decision-making processes, stay tuned! I’m working on something good for all of us.