This isn’t the article I was expecting to sit down and write today. I was planning to talk to you about ways to give your Facebook page CPR if it is feeling a little bit too quiet, but then the bottom fell out from under me and so this is where I am right now.
If you’ve been running your business for a while you’ve probably experienced what I’m about to describe.
Things are going great! You are enjoying working with your clients, running your business and, yes, you are even enjoying the marketing. Your clients are happy. You are happy until…well, until you are not.
It can happen for a lot of reasons.
Maybe all of a sudden it feels like nothing is working; you aren't getting new clients (though everyone around you seems to have clients coming out of the woodwork, thankyouverymuch). Every aspect of your business feels like it's more difficult than it needs to be. Everything seems to be a struggle.
Maybe you have decided it's time for a shift or a change in your business and while the idea of it is exciting and inspiring, the execution of it is overwhelming and the idea of putting your big new vision out there is just plain scary.
Maybe it's not even business related. Maybe you were head down in your business and when you came up for air you discovered your kids have completely wrecked the house (why are all these shoes in the living room? Why are there dirty dishes on the couch?). Maybe you had a disagreement with your spouse.
Maybe you are just flat out stressed.
This isn't what you signed up for!
It doesn't matter which one…or even if it is a big triple whammy. The bottom line is you are DONE.
I told you the bottom fell out on me this week, let me tell you what happened. That was me on Monday – the triple whammy. Feeling like everything was a challenge in my business, preparing for a big rebrand that has me excited and abso-freaking-lutely terrified at the same time and with kids home on fall break who seemed intent on destroying my house. Stressed. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. It wasn't much better on Tuesday.
And then, I got the phone call..
The one that starts with a beat of silence followed by “Mom…..mom….” and then tears. “I've been in a wreck. I'm so sorry. I don't know what happened.”
In that instant all of the other stuff I was worried about or frustrated about evaporated instantly. It was completely gone from my mind. All that mattered was making sure my 16 year old was OK…physically and emotionally.
Fortunately he's OK – a little banged up and a lot shaken up, but he's OK.
Once we got back home from having him checked it was like all of those frustrations and fears and everything else that had evaporated in that moment had multiplied and morphed into something much bigger than the sum of it's parts. It had formed a big black rain cloud and it came rolling back in with a vengeance.
That's when the voice in my head started.
I'll be honest, it's been a tough year for my family and while for the most part things have been going great in my business and I absolutely love working with my clients, it's felt like an uphill battle the last 30 days. Have you ever had one of those months where it feels like you can't catch a break? That's been my month.
When that “can't catch a break” feeling starts, it's easy to start to sink into self doubt and start listening and giving in to that voice.
That little voice starts to get louder and more insistent. It's like someone gave her a couple of glasses of wine and now her filter is set to OFF.
“Why bother,” she says. “Who are you kidding with this anyway? Do you really think you can accomplish that?”
Then she trades the wine for martinis and she's really on a roll…
“Who do you think you are anyway? What's wrong with you? It's not going to work. Come on, sweetie, isn't it obvious by now that you just don't have what it takes? Remember that time in high school…you know the one, let's revisit that, shall we?”
Seriously, someone needs to shut this bitch up!
Admit it. She lives in your head too, right? And if you don't shut her up, she invites all her little mean-girl friends to the party too and before you know it you are either curled up in a ball in bed crying or sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and some cookie dough stress eating and doubting your abilities as an entrepreneur.
A girl can only take so much, right?
It doesn't matter what your story is that brought you to this point. We've all had those moments where doubt, fear and negativity creep in and leave us feeling and wondering the same thing…
I'm done. I'm out.
I'm not cut out for this.
It's time to walk away.
Well, when you feel that way remember this. I've been there too and I've got the cookie dough stained tee shirt to prove it! We all have.
Any entrepreneur who tries to tell you that she has no idea what you are talking about is lying. Not only to you, but to herself too. I mean it when I say we've all been there. Even the big name “business famous” ladies. The ones you brand crush on, whose sales pages you dissect and whose business models you aspire too. They too have done their time on the couch (and I'm willing to bet they've all been there themselves at some point this year).
They don't stay there though. Here's what they know (and they want you to know too)…
You've got to get out of your funk and into your groove.
I know that can be easier said than done, but trust me, you can do it! Here are some of my tips for getting back up on the proverbial horse.
Having a group of business BFFs who will lend a sympathetic ear but will make sure you don't give in to that bitchy voice in your head makes all the difference in the world. Vent to them. Get it out. It's amazing how sometimes that's all you need, to speak it to someone else and have them say “That's not true. You've got this. You can do it.”
Release the pressure valve. Yes, this is about getting out of the funk but these feelings can be like a pressure cooker. If you don't vent the steam a bit it will blow up. Yell, scream, cry it out. Do whatever you need to do to let it out, but don't let yourself stay in that place.
Shut your laptop. Step away from the computer. Seriously. You aren't making progress when you are stuck in this funk. Even if it's just for an hour, walk away from work and do something else. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Watch a favorite movie. Anything but sitting there stewing as you try to work on, or in, your business.
Watch your highlight reel. Personally, I think we should all have an actual highlight reel complete with professional wardrobe, make up and hair and set to an inspirational sound track and everything, don't you? But until we can make that happen, do the next best thing. Read your testimonials. Mentally go over those amazing lightbulb moments with your clients that just light a fire inside you and leave you smiling ear to ear.
Journal. Just write. Don't think. Definitely don't edit! Just pick up the pen and start writing. You might be surprised at what comes out!
Do something that makes you laugh or cry tears of joy. I don't care if it is watching corny videos on YouTube or looking through your kids baby books. Do something that makes you tap into a happy emotion and starts to get you feeling positive again.
Start making a gratitude list. Start with the easy things you are thankful for…your family, your friends, your pets, your clients, great shoes, salted caramel (if this isn't on your list we might not be able to be friends)…and just work your way through as many as you can. Gratitude can be the ultimate reset button. Trust me on this.
When all else fails, turn on the music and dance! Put on your favorite song and sing along. Dance like no one is watching. It may sound silly, but it works. If i can find a shared work space with spontaneous dance breaks I am SO TOTALLY IN.
Once you can get back into that higher vibration, happy place THEN go back to work. Here's the thing…it doesn't matter what you are happy about, just being happy about something will guarantee whatever you are doing will turn out better than it would have when you were stuck in the funk.
Once you are out of the funk, look around and be sure none of your girlfriends is stuck her funk too!
If she is, take the cookie dough away from her (gently!) and pull her off the couch. She'll thank you for it later. No woman left behind, right?
Want to know what is behind these feelings?
Fear. Where there is resistance, there is fear. It may not be something you've articulated before, or even be aware of, but it's there. Fear comes from your ego…and your ego is there to keep you safe, and sometimes that means it's keeping you small. We don't want to let that happen.
Here's the good news…
These moments of extreme doubt often come just before a massive breakthrough.
It's true. You've heard of the concept of the “breakdown before the breakthrough?” It's a thing. For real. Google it!
Do you see what's happening here? Your ego knows that breakthrough is coming. It knows that you are about to be faced with a decision that puts you outside of your comfort zone and it's scared. It's worried that whatever lies on the other side of that big beautiful breakthrough might not be safe so it is reaching deep into it's bag of tricks and giving you all kinds of fear signals. It knows what you haven't seen coming yet…
Girlfriend, you are so close!
That breakthrough is closer than you think! In those moments where you feel like giving up, you are so very close to what you've been working towards. You've just got to keep going.
Figure out what that thing is that you've been resisting and JFDI (just freaking do it!). When I was in the middle of realizing what it was I needed to do and my “but I'm not ready” thoughts started again, I got my confirmation that it was the right thing to do. I noticed a little notification pop up on my computer screen and when I opened it up there were these words from my business mentor, Fabienne Fredrickson…
“In the end, it’s always about digging deep and fearlessly doing things you haven’t wanted to do before or believed you could.”
She had no idea I had been sitting at my desk near tears, stuck in indecision and doubt, but yet – from 4,367 miles away in Paris, she sent the exact words I needed to hear at the exact moment I needed them most. And you know what, as soon as I made the decision (a decision to do exactly what my business BFFs had been telling me all day I needed to go ahead and do), all those fears and doubts evaporated once again.
So as difficult as it might feel, you've got to bravely, and dare I say boldly make the decision to do whatever it is that you've been resisting and then stand up and say this loud and clear…
“Thank you, universe!
Thank you for the breakdown, but I'm done with that.
I'm ready for my break through now.”
And when you say it, we'll all be there behind you cheering you on…all of us, your fellow girl power entrepreneurs. Because we know…girlfriend, you've got this!
I believe in you!