One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves is take inventory of our thoughts. Typically in the work that I do with my coaching clients, thought work is right up there with some of the most important work. It is essential and critical that as a small business owner, or as someone thinking about starting up your own business, to get into the habit now of noticing the sneaky thoughts that, if left undetected, could derail your success and overall growth in your passion work. Here are the top 4 thoughts I encourage you to start looking out for, and the thoughts to swap in their place instead!
1. [BLANK] is so hard.
Things that are so hard: Instagram. Blogging. Eating healthy. Marketing. Working out. Starting a podcast. Getting clients. Having time for fun. Taking time out for me.
You get the picture. What I want you to start noticing and paying attention to is what are you telling yourself is so hard in your own thought funnel? When we have a thought that something is so hard, the first thing we go to in our minds is that it is impossible and that we cannot do it. It takes too much energy so therefore we end up fulfilling the idea by not getting to work.
There was a time my thought reel contained many of these “so hard” statements and the moment I would have these thoughts, the first thing my defeated-feeling self would think is to go on and NOT post on Instagram, or add another day of not starting the podcast, or skip the workout. When we tell ourselves something is so hard and it is goes undetected, we believe it as our truth… and when we believe it as our truth we act accordingly by staying away from the hard thing.
THOUGHT SWAP: One foot in front of the other. I am someone who figures things out.
2. I am worried I won’t get enough clients.
Just starting out in any new endeavor can stir up a ton of pain points and fear. It is challenging initially to put yourself out there and trust the slow build of “building” a business. But this sneaky little thought is a FANTASTIC opportunity to practice some big self-love.
Somewhere underneath “I am worried I won’t get enough clients” is “I am worried I won’t be enough” and underneath that is “I am not enough.” This is an example of living in a scarcity mindset which translates to fear. The thought represents the fear of not enough-ness, and what a beautiful opportunity, the moment you notice the thought is present, to talk back to yourself with some major self-love. You are enough. There are enough people out there for me, and you, and her, and him.
THOUGHT SWAP: There are so many people out there who need what I am offering (really!).
3. There’s someone out there doing it already.
This one is very similar to #3. If we are thinking this thought, we can gently remind ourselves that it is rooted in the notion of scarcity- that everyone in the world’s needs are already being met by someone else and there is no need for me to jump in the mix and start to meddle. How ridiculous does that sound by the way??
I want to remind you that you have a unique voice worth sharing, so don’t let fear get in the way and tell you that you cannot do it because someone else is already doing it.
The same way there is a Starbucks on just about every corner with a variety of homegrown, boutique style coffee shops mixed in shows us that there is a unique flavor for us all. Each one of the coffee shops has their own mix of customers who are devout and love what they are selling. The same will be true for you when you decide enough is enough already and that you too, are going to get out there and share your own service AKA your passion work.
THOUGHT SWAP: There is only one me and that means I am the only person who can sell, serve and provide precisely what I offer.
4. I am so overwhelmed.
On First + Foremost | The Podcast I recently talked about why saying we need to be on the lookout for when we notice ourselves saying we feel overwhelmed (care to give the episode a listen? Check it out here). It is essentially a masking word for another deeper feeling. Overwhelmed is so general and big that it does not truly capture what is going on. However, I now love noticing when I catch myself feeling “overwhelmed” because it is a great opportunity to check in and see what is actually happening by asking what is coming up for me? What is really going on? How is my body feeling - are there signals that maybe I am mad, or angry, or frustrated? It is great practice to start noticing how often the word pops up for you to get in the habit of really checking in to see what underlying emotion is there. The game I play now is when I notice I am feeling overwhelmed, I stop and try to name another more specific emotion in place of it.
THOUGHT SWAP: I am feeling _____ right now.
A final word: As someone running a full coaching practice, it is vital that I take the very best care of myself daily so that I can show up fully for my clients. Back when I was teaching, I too needed self-care in place because in order to be my most effective self as an educator, I needed to tend to my mind, thoughts, energy, and daily routines. I feel this times a million now as an entrepreneur. It is very easy on a day where I may be listening to these thoughts to get carried away and believe them to be true… and when I do, I stall. I don’t get work done. I freeze so to speak. If I made a habit of that, I would not have gotten where I am today in my work, no way. I have to show up daily for me first (and that is not selfish) in order to show up fully for my clients. I am able to pour myself into my passion work, and also still have energy reserves for my husband, friends, family and hobbies.
It all starts here. It all starts with noticing how we are talking to ourselves quietly in our minds, and really exploring how we can take even more intentional care of ourselves, so that we can ultimately take care of our businesses too.