As a small business owner life can get a bit rocky. Some days you wake up and bound out of bed happily knowing that you are doing exactly what you’re meant to do and get to business doing it. Other days you sit, staring at your computer screen and find yourself asking, to no one in particular, “What the HELL am I DOING?!”
Last week I had such a day and I just couldn’t shake it. I was stuck on something and for one split second I allowed a negative thought to enter my brain. It was “I can’t do this.” And in that simple statement, I was done for the rest of the day. Once said, I didn’t try anything to correct my thoughts, I just let it unravel me and throughout the course of the day I bombarded myself with negativity. I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t a “real” business owner (whatever that means), I wasn’t experienced enough and then things took a turn for the worse (if it could have gotten worse) when it snowballed into other negative thoughts about my body, the rest of my competency and then silly things like my clothes and the way I cooked. It got seriously ridiculous.
Thankfully, the next day I woke up a new woman and got my head out of my butt but it really made me think about just how seriously I took EVERYTHING that day. I over-analyzed every action which not only took up a heck of a lot of time but also got in the way of actually getting things done! Instead of questioning my business savvy I could have just reached out for help and in the meantime did the best I could with what I had and the knowledge I actually did know. Instead of lamenting about flabby arms I could have just picked up some weights or just reminded myself that they aren’t nearly as flabby as they used to be!
Conversely, I sometimes find myself working to the point of burnout when I take myself too seriously. Sometimes when I train for races I compare myself to other runners I know and then when my own running doesn’t compare, I end up feeling like I’m not working hard enough and then go overboard. I’m currently on a running hiatus because I realized that in the three years I’ve been running, I’ve been putting such constant pressure on myself to live up to my own impossible expectations that I burned myself out so running and I are seeing other people for a while until I can relax a bit!
This is a nasty habit I’ve had for many, many years and I do believe it is one of the contributors to my past weight gain. I expected myself to be perfect in every way but, subconsciously I knew it wasn’t possible and the stress of this constant pressure came out through my eating.
When we find ourselves taking every little thing so seriously, it really undermines our capabilities. We are NOT perfect beings, it’s impossible to be perfect and although I encourage each and every one of you to push yourself behind your own perceived limits, when you take everything seriously, you lose sight of who you really are. One slip-up with a carton of ice cream does not mean you’re a failure or that you can’t do anything right, it just means you had a bad day and for that one moment, or that one day, you slipped back to your old habits. The important part here is to recognize that you slipped back into your old habits and then decide at that very moment to get back to your new, healthy habits. Learn from the slip-up and then move on! Don’t make it so complicated on yourself! Begin to learn how to forgive yourself and be okay with yourself. There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not broken! You don’t need to be “fixed!” You’re you. Wonderful you. Amazingly you. You with all of your unique imperfections are just fine! And you can still be okay with yourself while changing those habits that don’t serve you well.
Learn to let go. Learn to let go of these impossible pressures. Ask yourself where the proof is. What proof do you have that you must do everything perfectly? Where’s the proof that you can’t do something at all? Yes I was stressed that day and worried about the risk I had taken in starting a business but I had absolutely no proof that I couldn’t make it a success. I have the passion and the drive to succeed, I may not have a lot of business experience but that’s okay, this is something I’ll learn through experience and doesn’t sacrifice the service I give to others. No big deal! It’s completely unrealistic to think that I’ll have an overflowing Fortune 500 business in the first few months, this is my learning curve and that’s to be expected.
When I stopped and looked at these negative statements with detached eyes, I was able to calm myself down and come backc to reality. No, not everything is perfect but it never will be, I never will be so why worry about it? All we can do is our best. We can poke at our limits and see where they stretch, see what we’re capable of and that is a much better goal to have than one of perfection. Why? Because it’s so much more FUN! When we drop the heavy burden of perfection we open ourselves up to receiving life for what it is and that’s a life of great experiences! I may never have a perfect business, a perfect body, a perfect house but I have a business that I love, a body I respect and a house that is a home which, to me, is a LOT more valuable!
The next time you find yourself taking life too seriously, stop and reframe the situation. Ask yourself what in the situation is amazing and why. Focus on that!
How to create effective goals – a workshop for regular people!
Are you tired of making goals but never carrying through with them? Do you have a lot of plans for the future but can’t seem to get anywhere with them? Is your business floundering because you’re not organized? Do you feel as if you keep taking one step forward but two steps back?
The issue isn’t with you or how you’re handling it, it’s simply a matter of having ineffective goals that aren’t serving your lifestyle needs. On October 27th, 2011 at 8pm EST I will be hosting an interactive workshop that will teach you how to create effective goals that are clear to understand and give you action steps that you can immediately begin to use to create the life that you’ve been dreaming about!
For more information and where to register, check out my classes page!