Updated: Jan 13
Friends, it’s time to play a fun roleplaying game entitled, “HOW DID I GET HERE??”.
Join me on this adventure by closing your eyes (just kidding, don’t do that because then you can’t read what I’m writing unless you CAN read what I’m writing with your eyes closed in which case what the hell are you doing here? You have a magical gift that you can use to exploit people at traveling circuses and magic shows for the rest of your life.)
Ok so anyway, keep your eyes open but also imagine that you’ve had a great idea, turned that great idea into a business and now the idea has unfolded upon itself into a product or service and all of a sudden, this great idea OWNS YOU and you have lost control of what it is or where it’s going. You feel overwhelmed, exhausted and quite frankly, slightly scared of the future for both yourself and your business.
… Sound familiar? Not a role-play? Actually your current situation?
And if I were to be a superhero dressed in latex and a cape, THIS would be the moment I appeared gallantly in your life. Please note, you do not need to imagine me in tights.
For most of my clients, they come to me in a place of distress not because their business isn’t going well, but because it is and they’re afraid of what that means. So let’s start by really analyzing that fear and determining just what it is you’re afraid of.
The most common issues I see with my clients are usually one of two things:
Fear of failure. You’ve put everything into this. It’s your can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, world series THING. So failing is… not an option. But yet, you’re stuck. You feel like you’re failing constantly! This idea has morphed into something you don’t enjoy, you aren’t good at, and you have no idea how to find success when you feel so powerless to take action.
Fear of success. And then there's instances where above is actually fear of success masquerading as fear of failure. And while I hate to go all therapy on you, very often this is because your view of success is skewed from your own childhood role models. For example, as a child you may have seen success being equated to complaining about money and time. Or perhaps your role model was very successful but also an emotionless jerk. Sometimes, we react poorly to authority and then create this “leadership model” we detest. As we get older, we start to internalize that this is what success looks and feels like. I see this a lot with my clients as I’ve found that a lot of creatives had caretakers who were also small business owners. So they grow up with these negative feelings attributed to success and find themselves afraid of finding it because they think this is the only reality that exists.
The good news here is that the solution for both of these fears are the same. It starts with the confrontation and accepting of what it is you’re really afraid of. The reality is that success can look exactly the way you want it to. There’s no RIGHT way to find it. It doesn’t have to be your parent’s success. It’s never static. The bar is constantly changing. And that failure too, is just a matter of appearances. So write down what it is you’re afraid of and then write down what you want success looks like. Marinate.
Now, take a giant step back from your business.
Celebrate everything that’s happened, the good and the bad.
Really relax and celebrate both your failures and successes in a place that you can connect with those feels.
I mean that. Go on a hike. Take a bath. Head to the spa.
Where do you feel those wins (and losses) in your body?
Then, ask yourself what does the next ideal version of my business look like?
Give yourself free reign to imagine what that next level is.
This is not a three year strategy plan; this is merely a vision exercise. It’s about taking yourself out of a place of fear and shifting your energy into what your business’s future COULD look like.
Working to change what success looks and feels like whenever you need to will help remove the fear of failing in order to get there. Create strategies/meditations/mantras to combat those old fears and let go of old versions of success. Regularly practicing this shift of thinking will ensure that regardless of failure or success, you’ll recapture control and see both as opportunities to move keep growing.