Being authentic in business + life

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Photo by João Jesus on Pexels.com

I thought a lot today about what topic I wanted to cover in this week’s blog. The book I am currently reading, relevant discussions I’ve had with fellow business owners, or an instructional blog (never decided what to instruct) were all contenders.

The closer the time came to write, the less I wanted to write about those things. I opened the door to my home office and a soft, pattering rain sound drifted through my open window and something inside me softened. I felt comforted by the sound. Then I knew what I had to say today.

Because all the time, beyond what I considered the more useful, relevant ideas I mentioned previously, another idea hovered in the background. An idea that I’d been trying to ignore. But let me tell you, it refused to be ignored. This idea just wouldn’t pipe down, despite how I wanted to keep ignoring it – because it made me uncomfortable.

Dammit. That’s how I knew what to write about. The thing I do not want to write about. 

In my resolve to be authentic in my business, I acknowledge that also means being honest and candid about the struggles I am going through. At least, that is what authenticity is to me. I appreciate so much more when people are real about where they are than if they always try to appear as though they have all the answers in order to be an ‘authority’ in their field.

The truth for me right now is that I’m having a hard time. Despite the daily wins I earn building my health and wellness business, I struggle with focusing on the positive. 

Do you have one of those mean inner voices? Not everyone does. But I always have. In case you think I’m a little nuts because you’re lucky enough to have never had a vocal inner critic, allow me to explain using real examples.

  • When I hosted a Facebook Live on Halloween that didn’t have a large live audience, the voice said: “You’re not interesting enough to draw people and you ramble when you talk.” As though it couldn’t possibly have been that people have plans on Halloween, the critic insisted it was something I had done wrong.
  • I learned this week about the importance of a particular marketing and outreach technique that I haven’t used yet, and instead of “Sweet! Now I have a new tool to add to my arsenal.” the voice said: “How could you not have known that already? It’s so obvious. Now you’re way behind where you could have been if you’d started weeks ago.” So I felt disappointed in myself instead of excited about a possibility.
  • At my day job, when a manager took me aside to point out a weak point in my biggest responsibility in my new role, I took it close to heart. I even knew the talk was coming, because it is something we discussed once before as completely reasonable for my experience level. Instead of taking the direction and going on with my day,  the mean voice said, “You’re not cut out for this and you’re gonna epically fail” on repeat play for the rest of the day. And yes, if I’m honest, the rest of the week.

I wish I was kidding. 

The energy it takes to fight these thoughts is fucking exhausting. But they come so naturally and so well-disguised as the truth that I am halfway to pure belief in what they are saying before I realize, “Hey, wait a minute!” and stomp the brakes.

The more I think about it, the more it appears to be an upper limit problem, which, if you haven’t heard of is a pretty simple concept explained in a book called The Big Leap. Your subconscious has an ‘upper limit’ set for your success, and when you surpass that limit, your subconscious stirs up some sabotage to bring you back down to the level you’re used to. Picking a fight with your spouse after a wonderful experience together, or blowing your entire work bonus the day after you received it are good examples.

Or, you know, finally starting the business of your dreams but having such unreasonably negative thoughts that you can’t enjoy the amazing stuff you are creating…

Managing your thoughts is a huge part of the work you do as a human. I almost said ‘business owner’ there, but it applies to every person. It is part of the human experience. Your brain is your biggest asset and being aware of the thoughts in it is the most important thing you’ll ever do. 

Every belief and feeling you have comes from a thought. Take two different people that live the same exact day with the same exact occurrences in it and at the end, ask each of them about their day. They’ll report two totally different experiences. And that is not because of anything that externally happened, because remember, they each lived all the same things. The difference is internal because their experience is caused by their thoughts about what happened to them, not what actually took place.

Isn’t that amazeballs? It amazes me still and I’ve known about this concept for a few months now.

Now you can understand why I am working on getting on top of these limiting thoughts.

I’ve been learning and implementing so much new material in my business -and- my day-job that I think I’m a little overstimulated. There comes a point where the sponge that you have to sometimes embody just can’t absorb anything else until you get a good wringing out. I think I’m at the wring-out stage. I’m going to carry on with this thought-work and let you know what I find.

If you are going through a struggle where your thoughts are trying to tell you who’s boss, just remember, it’s your brain. You have the power.

If you want to go a little deeper to tackle your health and wellness roadblocks, I’d love to help. We can tackle the roadblocks together. Visit my coaching page and let me know what’s on your mind.

Have an amazing week, my friends.

 

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