The Eeyore Effect

Once upon a time there was a donkey; a very sour, pessimistic, woe-is-me, black-cloud-hanging-over-his-head donkey. Do you ever feel like this Winnie the Pooh character, Eeyore? What sort of a load are you carrying? As entrepreneurs we may often feel like that load is very heavy. As a result, our productivity is stunted and our emotional state is negatively impacted.

Feeling the weight of the world can be triggered by so many things. And feeling the weight of the world can have a compounding effect and further escalate our woes. Perhaps we are experiencing a health challenge of some sort. What happens to our functionality when we don’t feel good? Our focus isn’t as sharp and we may be more prone to making mistakes. Realizing this, we try even harder to focus; end up having tunnel vision, and miss something important happening outside of our line of sight.

Maybe we’re having a relationship issue. A member of our team is causing severe problems in the office, and is making outrageous, false and highly personal statements that are very hurtful. We find ourselves dwelling on what is being said about us and become distracted to the point that we miss the signals of dissatisfaction from one of our clients. By the time we realize what is happening, things are spinning out of control and we become even more beaten down.

Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems. We make a clear choice about how we are going to deal with what may be perceived as “the load we carry.” We are most effective when we don’t accept the problems as our own. How can we say that we aren’t going to accept a situation that is ours and only ours? The previously mentioned health challenge isn’t someone else’s problem, is it? True enough. But the key word here is accept. We can view a challenge as a load that we must shoulder, or we can look at it as a problem we must solve. If our mindset is that a problem is a load to carry, then it’s likely that we’ll see all of our problems as loads to carry. If each problem represents a 50-pound weight, three problems are the equivalent of carrying 150-pounds on our back.

Rather than carry our challenges as weights on our back, we can choose to embrace them as opportunities to demonstrate our creativity; our resolve; our discipline, and our skill. In so doing, we refuse to “accept” our challenges as problems. We refuse to carry a load of any sort. Our mindset is that of clinical detachment. How many times have you seen someone appear to juggle a multitude of issues in an apparently effortless manner? And even more impressive is that while doing so they always maintain a sunny disposition. This ability is more than just resilience. It’s not allowing the load to be placed on our back in the first place.

We must draw a line in the sand with respect to whether or not we will allow our challenges to result in problems that accumulate as weights on our back. Seeing our challenges as golden opportunities is a sure-fire winning formula.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.


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