We all have them.
Days when we feel adrift.
Floating, or even flailing.
When self-doubt trumps vision and possibilities.
When you feel small and insignificant, overwhelmed and over it. When you begin to suspect that the dream you’re nourishing will never see the light of day. Will never grow beyond the kernel of hope and promise that you hold in your heart.
You sigh, feeling the weight of disappointment settle in, tightening your chest and constricting your breathing. You feel heavy and flat.
And then she shows up. Your Inner Critic. Looking a little smug.
She reminds you that this was inevitable. She’d warned you – by providing you with ample snippets of fear and doubt along the way, that you were thinking too big and that you were bound for disappointment anyway. She holds hands with the Comparison Queen, highlighting the other women who seem to have it all together, achieving above and beyond what you have so far.
It’s moments and even days like this when chocolate and a “real job” can beckon!
But don’t allow them to.
Because you are needed!
So when you feel those emotions begin to surface, switch on your awareness take some, or all, of these steps.
First, break the circuit.
Get out of your seat. Stretch and B R E A T H E.
Reach up high and then throw your arms WIDE, palms upwards, head back and
B R E A T H E.
Hold there. Now relax and close your eyes.
Get present and grateful
Bring to mind at least three things you are grateful for in your life right now. Picture them clearly in your minds-eye. And feel the positive emotions associated with them. Delight, pride, contentment, joy – whatever they are for you, feel them deeply and strongly.
Remind yourself of your value
Dive into your Fabulous File. (Don’t have one yet? This is the PERFECT time to create one!).
Your Fabulous File is that collection of evidence of just how fabulous you are, your work is, your life is. Testimonials, thank you cards, snap shots of events, notes to yourself, notes from your kids, photographs that warm your heart and feed your soul.
Anything and everything that gives you a lift.
Dive right in.
Feeling a little better?
Turn on the music
Music often provides a great lift as it is so closely aligned with your emotions and heart.
I have several go-to tracks that never fail to make me feel better. I always listen to them in those times of disquiet and my body and mind associate them with positivity and so I start to feel a little better almost as soon as I hear the opening beats….
A starting list for you is the Inspiration for Your Next Chapter list we have on Spotify – I’d love you to add your favourite too.
Check your Joy List
Another essential item in the Entrepreneurs First Aid Kit is a Joy List. This is one of those “in case of emergencies break glass” moments and so is best to have one prepared before it’s needed.
It’s a simple case of taking the time to consider what brings you joy. What makes you happy. Diamonds from Tiffanys may not be an everyday occurrence but choosing to take a few minutes out with a cup of tea in the sun can do wonders for your spirits.
As can checking in with a Belief Buddy for a boost.
For me, one of my joyful treats are flowers and I but myself a bunch almost every week.
I asked the question “What brings you Joy” in a Facebook Forum recently and here are some of the replies I received:
What is it for you?
Watch out for the HALTS
Are you hungry, angry, lonely, tired, sad or stressed?
Any one of these can easily take you off the path of confidence and clarity and a combination of them can take you down like a swift chop at the knees.
That’s why self-awareness is so important. Check-in with yourself regularly and take action if you are feeling a little wobbly. Better to take care of errant emotions when they first show up rather than to soldier on and find yourself in a pool of tears!
Reconnect to your Why
Remind yourself that anything truly worth creating takes time to craft.
There are so many bright, shiny seemingly effortless and overnight success stories on social media these days that it is only too easy to think that you don’t have what “it” takes, that you’ve left it too late, that it’s all been done before yadda yadda yadda….
Too often the net result of being fed a steady diet of this bright and shiny feedback is self-doubt along with a sense of urgency tinged with fear.
Be aware of this and then release it.
Your goal, your dream, your vision is unique to you. Refocus on what you are here to deliver. Remember that you started this journey because you have a strong, strong desire to be of service and to make a difference,
There’s a lot of pieces to the business building puzzle, and I’ve found over the years that many of them just don’t fit me very well.
I’ve realised that to carve my own path forward and to make the difference I’m called to, I need to select my own marketing tools and actions with care.
Someone else’s will not necessarily work for me, no matter powerful the results may be that they promise to deliver.
And I have also realised I need to be pulled forward by my vision, not pushed by the should’s and must’s, the cookie-cutter blueprints.
My WHY is what energises me and pulls me forward.
When I get wobbly I remember and reconnect to WHY I am doing what I’m doing, the impact I want to have, the difference I want to make, supporting women creating the Next Chapter of their businesses and lives.
(It’s being in the grip of a wobbly day that’s prompted this very post, reminding myself that there is power in vulnerability, that is it a part of my core purpose to speak up and thus, inspire)
Once you have clarity, your vision acts as a filter for you, helping you to make the decisions that bring you ever closer to your version of success.
Once you have confidence, you can let go of the comparisonitis that has held you back in the past.
Once you know your strengths, your personal genius zones, you can create the programs that you love to deliver and the outcomes that allow your clients to bloom.
So it seems this entrepreneurial adventure is a balancing act, the art of letting go of what no longer calls you and replacing it with what you love and believe and stand for and want for your clients so you can shorten and enhance their journey with your experience.
It means peeling off layers of doubt and replacing them with self-worth and self-belief.
It involves first creating and anchoring yourself with your why, your message and then sharing that message with tenacity, perseverance and pride so you can be seen, heard and felt by the people who need you.
It means adopting wholehearted client attraction and having sales conversations that serve with ease and grace.
Ultimately, it means making a small piece of the world a better place because of your work, your contribution. And that takes time and care.
And remember, this too will pass…
If there is one key thing I have learned from looking back at over 8 years of regular journalling and gratitude list writing, it’s that whatever you feel today, it will pass, no matter how wobbly or disconnected you feel right now.
Trust me on this one.
And so there is a list of suggested anchors for you.
Simple but powerful actions and rituals that help you to navigate the often stormy seas that you, as an inspired action taker, as someone who doesn’t want to settle, needs to cross.
You’re someone who wants to make a difference and your someone who needs that difference is waiting for you.
So take a breath, adjust your sails and set off again.