Oh, the life of a maker, creator, entrepreneur, small biz owner, passion-seeker, purpose follower and human. A human being and doing. It’s not always easy! In fact sometimes it’s really, really hard. Whoever uttered the phrase “When you do what you love you never work a day in your life” (okay, that was Confucius) was wrong. I’m serious. '
A friend was recently lamenting to me that she was feeling paralyzed by fear and self doubt while working on a project and she asked me if I thought other people - successful people - felt that way ever. My answer? HELL YES. They feel that way, and they probably have those feelings rear their heads more often than they may admit in public or in their Instagram feed.
Putting yourself and your business out there into the world, into the press, in front of others, that’s hard too. And scary. And intimidating. I’ll be completely candid with you, it’s scary for me too. Sometimes that fear and self-doubt can start to overtake you, permeating your work-flow and your confidence and you begin to do what I call “circling the drain”. Have you been there?
It’s a feeling marked by an increasing amount of any of symptoms below, all of which are tearing you away from the work you need to do - the work the world is waiting to get their hands on, because believe me you were put here for a purpose and when you’re swirling around in a negative place you’re not fulfilling your purpose.
YOU GET IT!
Because I’ve been down that road (and around that drain) enough times I’ve created an “in case of energy-sucking emergency break glass” type of list that helps pull me from the swirls of self doubt and put me back on the path to doing what I love, working hard, and doing it while pulsing with positive vibes. Even better? They are super simple and FREE!
So the next time you’re overcome with fear/doubt/overwhelm do this instead:
Turn to Your Personal Motivation Squad
“Tell me I don’t suck.”
Those were the words I was uttering, digitally, over text message one early morning at the beginning of the year while preparing a speech I was to give at a women entrepreneur’s group. I’m not telling you this because I’m proud of it, I’m telling you this because it’s important we all admit to having those moments. If you’re building something out of the ether: a business, a badass life, a relationship- these thoughts creep in from time to time.
But just because they creep in doesn’t mean they get to stay. It’s your job as a success story in the making to do what you need to shift your mind away from the self doubt and imposter syndrome voices that try to play in surround sound stereo in your head. One powerful way I combat this situation - and replaced them with voices that make me feel like the Queen of the World - is by turning immediately to my personal cheerleaders - your Motivation Squad.
These are the people who know me, know my worth and value, and have no problem reminding me about it and summoning my inner Power Sabina out when I’m feeling small and scared. When my ego is in overdrive. When I forget that my voice, ideas, and work are significant and are here to serve the world.
Who can this group be?
Anyone you choose, it matters not who they are specifically speaking, it matters that they “get you”, they believe in you and your mission, and they know how to remind you to do the same. Some of them do this for me via humor, some with positive pep talks, some with bold, strong statements and some with gentle reminders of my gifts. My Motivation Squad includes: My sister, my mom, my husband, my best friend, and my closest business colleagues. Sometimes I call them all, sometimes I know that the secret sauce that one of them provides is just what I need.
One last note but important note:
Finding and turning to your cheerleaders isn’t always easy because it requires you to be vulnerable and admit that you don’t have all the answer OR all the confidence. But you know what? No one does. When you allow yourself to ask for support, cheerleading and a reminder of how magical you are, you’re not only going to get encouragement from your tribe, you’re going to give others permission to do the same! That doesn’t just make for a more powerful business, it makes for a more authentic and full life!
Drop everything you’re doing and move
Get outside of your workspace which will help you get outside of your head. I used to resist this because my argument was “I’m not going to get anything done if I’m outside walking not inside typing. But the truth is, you aren’t getting anything done when in a frozen funk, and the best way to get your mind back in the game is to get your body outside of your workspace. So the next time you feel those feelings start swirling around in your head and your heart GET MOVING. Once you do, the ideas and the positive energy will get moving as well. Pinky swear.
Count Your Blessings & Imagine If You Didn’t Have Them
Keep Counting Them Until You Feel Better
I recently had a doozy of a day creation wise. My laptop keyboard stopped working, I had a head cold, and I felt like everything was conspiring against my ability to create. And so the swirling began. It felt like a domino effect of bad luck, one misstep or misfortune leading to another and before I knew it I was knee deep in feeling sorry for myself and sinking deeper, quickly. My “woe is me” vibe was in overdrive. While digging through my office in search of a portable keyboard I came across my gratitude journal (let’s just say it had been collecting dust) and paused. I opened it, took out a pen, and stared at it.
It’s funny how when a series of small challenges enter your life they can expand and begin to feel like big, impossible-to-overcome obstacles. You lose site of how incredibly blessed you are, and how many gifts you have that you simply take for granted. Sure I had a head cold but I have my health. I have four functioning limbs and a brain that is bursting with ideas. I may have been out a keyboard but I had a beautiful home office and a supporting cast of family, friends and colleagues cheering on my entrepreneurial adventures. Yes, I was having a bad day, but a bad day isn’t a bad life. Some days work flows from me effortlessly but other times it’s a struggle and that’s okay. I may not have loved the feeling of being stuck at that moment, but how blessed am I that the idea and seed of my professional purpose and passion had taken root in me and I was trying to make it work. That alone - the idea, the seed, the vision - that was something to be praised and honored.
Here’s one more note about counting your blessings: Whether you write in a gratitude journal or recite them in your head, this mood-boosting move isn’t a new idea, and I’m sure you’ve heard others say it to you in the past.
You may have rolled your eyes when I mentioned it to you, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” Sabina, I’ve heard that before.” But hearing it and doing it are two different things. There’s a reason highly successful people attest to it. It works. So say science! So says experience! So before you knock it, try it! If it doesn’t take on the first item you’re grateful for, just keep listing them until you begin to feel the mental darkness begin to fade. And don’t limit it to times of crisis. I challenge you to begin every day reflecting on things you’re grateful for - things that are going your way - and they’ll begin to go your way more and more!
One more way to ensure that you'll keep going and keep growing as an entrepreneur - and human - is to surround yourself with supportive, like-minded people, and experts who have "been there, done that", and can help you do it better!
That's what we've created over here at Sabina Knows and anytime you feel like giving up I urge you to turn to the community! Give a shout out into the Facebook group, read an article or watch an interview that nudges you back into action, come hang out on social media with us.
Don't worry. You've got this!
Hugs & high fives,