It is amazing how success rarely looks like you expect. Case in point: I just successfully launched a huge new training program. And then almost shut down completely.
Yep. It’s the ugly truth coming at you here. It’s so important to me to pull back the curtain on the reality of owning your own business. So here it is…
After weeks of preparation for my virtual workshop, “What to do When Everything Seems Urgent” – writing a sales page, working with a sales coach, a business coach and a web designer, preparing course content, and administrative systems galore… here is what the day of the workshop looked like:
1. I gave the workshop while sitting on my couch, very prepared, but nervous as hell.
2. Results: great attendance, great feedback, great enrollments for my Boot Camp.
3. EUPHORIA!!! People enrolled! I’m profitable!!!!!
4. I’m REALLY tired (I was so excited I didn’t sleep the night before!)
5. Now I have to put the finishing touches on the materials. I’m even more tired.
6. Why didn’t more people enroll?
7. I still need to promote this to have a few more people enroll.
8. I’m exhausted… what was I thinking?
I went from nervous to euphoric to exhausted self-doubt in a matter of an hour. You know what I call this?
Whenever you make a BIG stretch outside your comfort zone, your comfort zone wants to snap back to its original dimensions. And it’s a sneaky little sucker. It will use all the tricks in the book to get you to believe that this discomfort is harmful as opposed to what it really is: growth.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of thoughts that will creep in, “compliments” of your comfort zone:
1.Exaggeration: “I’m tired. I don’t want to be tired ALL the time. I better stop this.”
2.Diminishment: “You only had 16 people sign up? You should have had 50. That wasn’t worth it.”
3.Judgment: “You’re a fraud. Everyone is going to find out that you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
4.Pure self- doubt: “Who do you think you are?”
I honestly spent a rough few days with these kinds of thoughts myself. I talked to colleagues and friends, ate some chocolate, worked out, and watched mindless television. Whatever I needed to do to get through the latest expansion of my comfort zone.
What is your best strategy for dealing with this sneaky little sucker?
Joan Lubar-Alvarez says
Can I relate? OH YES!! Especially the chocolate, mindless tv, getting with friends, mindless tv, chocolate! I even resorted to breaking a bone in my right arm while roller skating with my grandson….And guess what! Breaking my arm did the trick (please don’t try this!!) It forced me to stay home, rest more, and feel refreshed and ready to start anew. I was amazed how much I can get done – even while holding my cast up so it doesn’t b bang on the computer while I write.
So, what I have learned is to set aside blocks of time to be consistent and not fill my calendar up with so many non-essentials. I still watch my favorite tv shows but they are now limited.
AND, Mary, I have learned some simple strategies from you that I now am implementing!! As an ADHD (self-diagnosed) person, I need to take short breaks to keep my sanity and to choose a few things to accomplish rather than bog myself down in a long list.
Mary Cravets says
Gabriel Morales says
Thank’s for this article! I really needed to hear what this had to say. I am in the processing of growing into a bigger market and investing more money, and I was feeling some of the self-doubt that you mention. This made me snap out of it and realign my goals, and strategy!
Mary Cravets says
Glad it hit home, Gabriel! Business ownership is not for the faint of heart, is it?
Mary — Thanks so much for sharing this with us. It’s so helpful to hear you talk about these normal responses to becoming more successful. My reactions to growth in my business have been identical to yours. Now I know it’s normal, and can see the normalcy in my desire to take some breathing time when new and wonderful things are happening in my business.
How I deal with it: I tend to spend some extra time in bed sometimes, watch trash tv, talk my head off, and spend some time just appreciating my surroundings. Long drives are another favorite way for me to readjust. The music on the stereo, focusing on the road, looking at the beautiful scenery — it all helps.
Thanks again for the excellent article!
Mary Cravets says
Michaela – thanks for the big confession about trash TV… I do the same! I sometimes feel like I should say that I shake off bad feelings by walking in nature and drinking a green smoothie and munching on a handful of nuts while making daisy head wreaths. Some days I just don’t have the fortitude for the “right” and healthy ways to recover. We do the best we can.
I’m glad my article reminded you that you’re not alone. Your response reminds me that I’m not alone, either.
Blue Russ says
Love this post! (I also love that the link didn’t work in the first email because I sent an email last week, announcing my new program only to find out it was the exact moment the email went out, my website was down!!) I’m sure that was stressful for you, but it helped me feel more normal!
And today I got to read the entire post and all I can say is THANK YOU! My newest program starts next week and I am all tense and crazy right now – the self-talk is very unlike me. “This is the wrong time.” “It shouldn’t feel this stressful if it’s the right thing.” “My marketing reach isn’t big enough to pull this off.” “Why did this feel like a good idea 2 months ago?” … Ironically, one of the goals of the program is to help women relax and live in more balance!!
Here’s what I’ve learned – let go. There is this yin-yang/ feminine-masculine/ expansion-contraction thing that is necessary. Yes, I need the drive to expand and do the work but I equally need to relax, take a bath, go for a walk, laugh, sing, meditate and LET GO. It is in the letting go after all of the intense work that the magic can flow in.
Am I there yet? Nope! But you just reminded me. Thank you!
Mary Cravets says
You’re welcome! You sound like me in some ways – teaching others what I remind myself to do!