Want to know the secret to a thriving business? It’s all in your head.
Yes, you need a solid product and a marketing plan. Yes, you need to grow your list and reach the right audiences. You’ve got to get comfortable with money and price things right. And you need to take action to move your business forward.
But the thing that gets in the way of doing all of those things is so often all in your head.
Making a mindset shift can transform your business.
Whether it’s fear of putting yourself out there or wondering who am I to . . . , what we think makes a huge difference in our success. Even thoughts like I don’t have time to . . . or I can’t afford to . . ., any of those I can’ts get in the way.
I’ve worked with mamas to move from thinking about what they do as hobby to thinking about it as a business or to shift from a freelance to a CEO mindset.
“I never would have gotten here without you, Megan. It’s not that I “couldn’t,” because I had the skill set, but I didn’t have the mindset or the confidence until I worked with you.”
—Meg Casebolt, Casebolt Creative
Mindset and confidence. They’re really linked, so you need to work alongside the fear and doubt that comes with running your own business.
And no one is immune from fear and doubt. Not me. Not the 6-figure launcher or the best selling author or the mom whose podcast just went viral. We’re all afraid sometimes. We all doubt ourselves. We all have days when we wonder if we should just throw in the towel.
So how do we keep going? How do we turn it around and change our mindset?
Set Yourself Up to Succeed
When it comes to negative thoughts, we are our own worst enemy. How many times have you said, “I didn’t get anything done today” or “I’ll never be able to do this”? And how many times was what you set out to do impossible? Like try to cram 6 hours of work into a 2-hour nap (that turned into a 30-minute nap).
One way I set myself up for success is by planning out my week. I block out exactly how much time I have to work. I list the things I want to get done along with—and this is important—how long each task will take to do. By adding times, you can create a doable to do list rather than a wish list. Then slot your to do items into your blocks of work time.
Does it still go haywire sometimes, like when the school calls you to pick up your kid with pink eye or the baby wakes up early? Sure, but with a realistic plan, I get more days where I get the satisfaction of getting it done (and I know how I can shift things around).
Here’s another way to feel successful: pick one thing that will move your business forward each day. If you have a super busy day, keep it simple—email a potential collaborator or schedule the social media posts to promote your offer. You can do other things, but if you do that one thing, you’ve taken a step forward.
And celebrate your wins—whether it’s your first sale or a rave review or figuring out a technical glitch—take a moment every week to say, Look what I did! Troll tamer and mindset coach Kimberly Lin Pollard uses this advice to fight off the pesky voices in our heads too: “Keep all your testimonials, positive feedback, achievements and accomplishments in one place. When the trolls shove you in this tar pit, read through it all as many times as it takes.”
I asked coach Joanna Byrne about proactive ways to keep a positive mindset, and she told me that we have about 40 thoughts per minute (whoa—overwhelm!). Even though not all of them are true, we think they are. So to try to stay positive, she suggests:
“Always question your thoughts. Use your feelings as your guide. Feeling bad? Ask yourself, What am I thinking? And then, Is that true? Really?”
Kimberly agrees, “Just because you’re thinking it doesn’t make it true, and you’re allowed to call BS and disagree with your own thoughts.”
Joanna adds that “Most of the time you’ll find that what you’re thinking simply isn’t true, and you can immediately let it go. For trickier thoughts, consider what evidence there is to support that thought. None? Let it go. Just a little? Let it go.”
Get Out of a Funk
Even when when we are proactive about keeping a positive mindset, we all get down sometimes, whether it’s a full on I’m not good enough funk or the immediate reaction to a negative comment.
What do you do with a troll on your blog or somebody asking for a refund or trashing you on social media? What do you do when a friend suggest improvements to something you thought was fabulous (and done)?
Don’t take it personally.
Joanna said, “When you start to build up a little immunity to other people’s opinions (which they are always keen to offer!), life gets a whole lot easier.” She applies the second of Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements ‘Don’t take anything personally.’ Nothing anyone else says or does is because of you. It’s just a projection of their reality.
Mindset specialist, Laura Fragiacomo agrees, “Anything people say about you is just their opinion, and it reflects on what’s going on for them at that moment. It actually has very little to do with you. For example, how many times do we get both positive and negative feedback on the same thing? Feedback is relative!”
Here’s where their advice and my favorite office supply merge: Write “Don’t take it personally” on a Post-it and stick it on your mirror and over your desk and on the dash of your car to help you remember.
Quiet Your Own Negativity
But what if the negative comments are coming from you?
Kimberly reminds people “You are not the voice in your head” and offers this exercise:
Test these out and see which one feels better:
I’m too scared to put myself out there. Everyone will see what an utter failure I am.
I know what I’m doing, and I know there are people out there who need what I have to offer. My trolls are scared and kicking up a fuss in my head, but they aren’t making the decisions here.
You’ve had those moments of incredible clarity where you just know you can do it, you know you’re enough, you know you have purpose. That is the real you. Fear, worry, and doubt (the 3 main troll families), are a product of your brain. They are not you any more than your big toe is you.
This removes the “I am” from your negative thoughts and takes the power out of them.
3 Ways to Up Your Mindset
Kimberly suggests taking care of yourself. “That negative voice in your head—your trolls—gets louder and sounds more sure of itself when you are tired. Sleep, regular meals, and taking regular breaks help.”
Laura’s favorites are going for a walk, connecting with your body and your breath, connecting with nature, or doing something you know will put you in a good mood: play with your kids, treat yourself, take a break.
Joanna recommends EFT. “It is my go to. It’s a superb and super easy technique to learn and apply to get you out of this kind of funk. When it hits, take two minutes and tap it out. Even if you are in a busy place and there is nowhere private for you to go, just pick one of the pressure points, e.g. the side of your thumb/finger at the edge of your nail and discreetly tap it while quietly repeating your a mantra*. The energy will shift, for sure.” (*traditional EFT uses a negative thought, Joanna uses both a negative or a positive thought in her practice. Joanna is my EFT practitioner and her technique has worked for me time and time again!)
Yes! to all of this. I can’t tell you how often I’ve tapped myself out of being stuck or cleared my head by stepping outside or treating myself to a latte (alone) or turned things around by getting to bed early (or even on time).
Mindset can be the difference between dreaming about a business or building one. It can hold you back or keep you steadily moving forward.
If this sounds familiar: Usually I’m confident about I do. I know that what I do matters—to my clients and my family. But some days when the dog got into the garbage, my child got sent home with lice, and I got an angry email from a reader, I wonder why I’m doing it all and if it is all worth it.
Or this: If I’m being really honest, I worry it won’t work or that maybe I can’t do it.
You are not alone. I hear this all.the.time from women ready to uplevel. Fear tends to talk the loudest when we are on the verge of something big. But with the right tools, ongoing practice, and support we can shift our thinking to support our goals.
What’s your favorite tip for shifting your mindset or staying positive? I’d love to know in comments.
Are you ready to elevate your business?
Ready to get past the fear, get clear, use your time to the fullest, and make more money?
Elevate Your Business, an 8-week intensive mentorship and consulting program focused on getting serious results quickly. Let’s shift your mindset and move your business forward. I currently have a few spots remaining this summer, if you are interested in learning more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.