Most of the time, I'm one of those annoyingly optimistic people who took Mr. Rogers way too seriously. I believe I—and anyone else—can be or do whatever I most want in life. I wake up every morning and write out lists of the things I'm happy about. I get tears in my eyes when I hear people encouraging each other to do great things.
But sometimes that version of myself feels like a lie. Maybe I didn't book as many sessions as I thought I would, or someone said they weren't interested in working with me. I start worrying if I made the wrong decision when I quit my job to do this full time. The idea of throwing in the towel and crawling back to my old job pops into my head. I start crying for a very different reason.
The thing is, these days, those low moments are nowhere near as intense as they used to be. I bounce back quickly and go back on my merry way. Want to know how?
I've accepted that my doubts and fears are along for the ride.
Not long ago, I came across this quote from author Elizabeth Gilbert (you know, the Eat, Pray, Love lady). She conceptualizes fear and creativity as passengers on a road trip. Here's what she has to say about fear's role in the car:
"You're allowed to have a seat, and you're allowed to have a voice. But you are not allowed to have a vote. You're not allowed to touch the road maps, or suggest detours. You're not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you're not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive."
The idea of fear being present in my journey was completely novel to me. I honestly believed that once I got going with my business, I'd never be afraid again. Naive, I know, but I thought that if I could just quit my job, nothing else would ever be as scary.
So now what? How do we small biz folk learn to live with this dark passenger? I've found that these have helped me a lot:
Listen to your inner voice
Tune in to yourself. There's a voice inside that's guiding you on the right path. It's the one that made you realize you could become an entrepreneur, and it's the one that's trying to keep you on course. When you're faced with fears, listen hard. Sometimes when those thoughts of getting another desk job creep in, I meditate and find that voice—and it tells me to keep going.
Stop Talking to Negative Nancy
You're really excited about owning your own business, and you know it was 1000% the right thing to do. That enthusiasm spills out into your conversations, but be careful who you're talking to. Be on the lookout for people who try to burst your bubble. They may mean well, but their negative attitude is not going to help you get in control of your doubts. Instead, surround yourself with people who really believe you're on the right track.
Seek Out Mindset Resources
One of the biggest things that has helped me with my business is getting my head on straight. If you don't believe you can make it, well, you won't. Plain and simple. In order to keep the good vibes flowing, I read a lot of personal development blog posts (I HIGHLY recommend this blog), and I'm in some Facebook groups with like-minded people. Educate yourself on how to develop a better mindset, and you will find that it makes a huge difference.
What about you? How do you work with your doubts and fears?
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