Five ways you’re beating yourself up that are affecting your bottom line (and how to shift them!)
Five ways you’re beating yourself up that are affecting your bottom line (and how to shift them!)
I’ll never forget the day I had a mentor ask me, “But are you doing the RIGHT things to grow your business???”
I remember it as clear as yesterday because it practically knocked the wind out of me.
Because I was absolutely 100% sitting in a story that building a business is hard. I loved the struggle. I loved the chase. I loved my sea of excuses and I was very content to keep floating in them. Or was I?
I can see so clearly now that it was my mindset that was holding me back.
And quite frankly, I had engrained somewhere in my subconscious that if it wasn’t hard, it wasn’t worth as much. So it’s no wonder that’s exactly what was showing up for me.
Helllloooooo blind spots. We’ve all got ‘em.
In fact, I’d argue that one of the most amazing things about working with a coach is being able to finally recognize the ways that you’re holding yourself back in life and business so you can shift them.
Because chances are if you already knew why you’re keeping yourself stuck, wouldn’t you have shifted it already!?
But time and time again, I see clients that start my Future You program, sitting in a story about why they’re stuck, taking a ride on the hamster wheel of shame and excuses, beating themselves up without a second thought about how to actually break the cycle and step into the life and business they actually want. That is, until I get a hold of ‘em. 😉
So this week, I’m talking about the different ways you’re keeping yourself feeling stuck so you can stop beating yourself up and finally shift your mindset to generate more clients, more income, and more impact, all while living a life of freedom and fulfillment.
Always striving for perfection
My background in branding and design meant years of schooling where things were never good enough. I think people have varying perspectives on what it means to go to art school, but in the design field, it was ingrained in us that projects should be done and redone until they were perfect. Now it wasn’t all bad. It definitely pushed me to uplevel my skills and made me a killer designer, but it also instilled in me the belief that my work was never good enough unless I touched it multiple times and it took a great deal of time.
It’s taken me years to reprogram my brain around this and I’ve finally come to accept that done is better than perfect. In fact, I’ll take it one step further. I no longer believe in the idea of perfection and I think that reaching for it will always hold you back more so than putting work out in the world that may not be 100% there yet.
You see, so many of my clients start Future You caught up in the idea of perfection. They spend countless hours finessing their copy, tinkering with their website, researching other brands and business models, and not only is it exhausting, but it also holds them back from putting their work out into the world. They set unrealistic expectations for what “perfection” looks like and beat themselves up when they can’t achieve it.
But what if instead of striving for perfection, you looked at it as an evolution? What if you viewed every step of the messy middle as necessary to learn and grow? Well, you’d probably feel a whole hell of a lot lighter. You’d sleep easier at night. You wouldn’t rewrite that newsletter five times before you hit send. You’d stop caring quite as much what strangers on the internet think of you. So if you find yourself striving for perfection, it may be time to shift your mindset and look at what “good enough” looks like for you instead.
First things first. I want you to know that you are not the only person ever to scroll Instagram and feel that pang of jealousy about what she has that you don’t. I’d be willing to bet we’ve almost ALL been there at one point or another. But I do want to remind you that this is a choice. It’s so easy to get hung up on that passive income product she’s selling that’s making her millions or the seemingly perfect house/husband/kid/car/dog/[insert envy here]. But beating yourself up over those things will hardly ever bring you more of them. Consequently, it usually has the opposite effect.
I absolutely LOVE to help my Future You clients shift their mindset around what they see on social media. For some, that means reminding them that they’re only seeing a fragment of that person’s story. As someone who knows first-hand the effort that goes into creating styled photo shoots and the painstaking amount of time that goes into editing and retouching post-production (because it was part of my job for years!), I can safely say that much of what you see is not real life. I’ve even struggled with this personally in my own content, trying to strike a balance between valuing good design and keeping things real and relatable. ‘Cause if you guys think my hair is always that perfectly curled, I’ve got news for you: it’s not.
The other thing I like to shift their mindset around is viewing what they see as an example of what’s possible. If it exists SOMEWHERE it is almost certainly available to you as well, and shifting your mindset around that can be an absolute game-changer. It’s easy to approach what you see on social media from a place of scarcity (she has it, so now I can’t have it) whereas that couldn’t be further from the truth (she has it, so I can too). Just that mindset shift alone can help you hone in on what it is that you want so you can create more of it in your own life. So stop beating yourself up and judging strangers on the internet and start stepping into and embracing what it is that you want more of in your own story.
You’re full of excuses
Oh man, have I been there. Over here on team human-being, we love to have a reason to point to as to why things aren’t working. It’s as if placing the blame elsewhere relieves us of the pressure of having to actually figure our sh*t out. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way because the excuses can pile up and we’re often no closer to figuring out the underlying mindset challenge.
The thing is, excuses can be sneaky, making them hard to recognize in your own life and business (there are those blind spots kicking in again!). I’ve had Future You clients point the blame at not being good with tech, babysitters quitting, their partner being a slob, the list goes on. I’m not saying those aren’t real things that happen in life (they most certainly are!) but they’re hardly ever THE reason that their business isn’t growing or their life doesn’t look how they want it.
But it’s almost ALWAYS more comfortable to sit in that story and beat yourself up about it than it is to do the work to shift your mindset and move past it. For the longest time, I struggled to get newsletters out each week because “I was too busy” and then I’d wonder why it was I wasn’t cultivating consistent leads and was experiencing feast or famine in my business.
In actuality, I wasn’t too busy. I wasn’t 1) Making the time and 2) Clear enough on my messaging and marketing to know what the hell to talk about. So it’s no surprise that it didn’t come easily to me and I was always pushing another excuse. But when I was able to get to the root of my mindset challenges and work on THOSE (and let me tell you, that’s whole other post!), well that’s when marketing started to come more easily for me and I’ve seen more consistent leads because of it.
You’re hung up on past failures (or the fear of new ones!)
I think almost everyone in business has had a launch that was met by crickets or an offering that didn’t do as well as they had originally hoped. Yep, me too! But I see such a difference in the entrepreneurs that are able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and learn from it, rather than those who like to wallow in self-pity.
That’s why I like to help my Future You clients shift how they view failure or rather THE FEAR of failure. I believe you don’t fail until you quit, give up, or stop trying. So often we’re too quick to label those launches as “failures” when in actuality they’ve given us SO MUCH information about what’s working, what isn’t, and what to do differently next time. It’s almost always the exact experience we need to have to move forward. And while it hardly ever feels like fun at the time, it’s up to you as to what you do with that newfound knowledge and the mindset you take moving forward.
When it comes to failure, Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School uses the beautiful example of learning to walk. She explains how when babies are learning to walk they fall down all the time. But never once do we go, “Yeahhhh, I’m not sure about this one. She’s falling down an awful lot. I’m not sure she’s ever going to get it.” Absolutely not. We accept falling down as part of the process. It’s through that failure that she gets stronger. She learns. She tries again. And most importantly, we’re able to stand in belief that she’ll one day be walking around without a problem despite the current failure we’re witnessing.
So if you’re so hung up on past failures that it’s making it hard for you to move forward and try again, think of that baby that’s fallen down hundreds of times and gets back up anyway. We all get there in the end.
You’re always tired
I love the Banksy quote, “If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit.” Because the truth is, there are times when being a creative and entrepreneur can be downright exhausting. But rather than getting stuck in a story that you’re “always tired” or “too busy” it can be helpful to remember that sometimes you simply need a break to rest and recharge so you can do your best work moving forward.
Scott and Elise Grise over at Hey Sweet Pea suggest naming your seasons of life and business as you’re going through them as a way to remind yourself of your priorities. This is something I had been doing in my own life without even realizing it, and doing so has always helped me to remember during those seasons of hustle and seasons of rest, that they’re both intentional and temporary. I’ve been through a season of connection, where I put a special emphasis on getting out there and meeting new people to grow my business and a season of training, when much of my spare time and effort was put toward taking care of my body during marathon training, among others.
So the next time you find yourself working harder than you can sustain long-term, remember that it was by design and that doesn’t have to be your “new normal.” Gaining awareness around this can be a welcome reminder that all things do pass and to keep your mindset in check in the meantime, because it stops you snowballing into negative self-talk and burnout.
The bottom line:
All of this negative self-talk can have a serious effect on your mindset and consequently, your bottom line in business if you let it. By paying attention to the thoughts that are going through your mind in these instances, you’ll be able to stop beating yourself up and shift toward more productive thoughts instead so you can focus that energy on business-building efforts that lead to more money in the bank.
Tell me in the comments below:
What’s one affirmation you’ve used to snap out of a negative thought pattern? My favorite one is, “I am infinitely loved, guided, and protected.” Your turn!
Photography by Jennifer Morgan Photography