Entrepreneur, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or fairly new to this world, here are four simple hacks to help you shatter self-limiting beliefs.
There are many perks to being an entrepreneur, no doubt. For the most part, you get to set your own hours, make your own rules, work from wherever you choose, and be your own boss. Sounds amazing, right? Well, the truth is entrepreneurship can be a very rewarding, fulfilling, and lucrative endeavor, but it can also be a very frustrating, overwhelming, and isolating experience at times as well. The successful entrepreneur rarely, if ever, talks about the struggles that go on behind the scenes when no one is looking. To the public eye, she seems to have it altogether. Strikingly beautiful photos, a professionally designed website, and a fancy logo are all a part of the public persona of the successful entrepreneur. Pull back the curtain though, and you might very well see a different reality.
Regardless of how powerful, wealthy, or successful the entrepreneur appears to her audience, there’s a good possibility that she has faced her fair share of ups and downs, wins and losses, triumphs and hardships. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial for any entrepreneur to have in place a variety of healthy coping mechanisms she can turn to when times get tough and she feels like calling it quits altogether. To maintain an optimistic outlook and positive attitude during the times when business isn’t going quite as one expects, implementing one or more of the following strategies can be very beneficial:
1. Begin and end each day with an attitude of gratitude.
This can be as simple as saying, “Thank You” when you open your eyes each morning and both feet hit the ground and once again in the evening when you lay your head down and close your eyes for a restful night’s sleep. Remember, no matter what you’ve experienced during the course of the day there is always something to be grateful for. Even if you’re in the midst of a personal meltdown or experiencing difficulty in your business, take a deep breath and recognize that your ability to breathe is indeed something to be grateful for. Keeping a gratitude journal is also an excellent way of reminding yourself of just how blessed you are. Ideally, carving out a few minutes at the beginning or end of the day to sit and write down the people, things, and experiences you’re grateful for helps to keep things in perspective. If you’re short on time, don’t stress. Just jot down a few things that you’re grateful for each day. Another alternative to practicing gratitude each day is to simply say thank you throughout the course of the day each time you experience something that brings you joy or that you often take for granted. Taking a hot shower or a hot bath is a good example. For some, this is just a rote activity that happens daily; for others in other parts of the world it’s a luxury. Think about it. Truthfully. If you have running water that is both warm and clean, you’re pretty darn lucky. Again beginning and ending the day with a little gratitude has the ability to change your perspective immensely.
2. Create a positive mindset practice which includes one or more of the following techniques: prayer, mindfulness-based meditation, or visualization exercises.
Don’t worry if you’re not religious. One does not need to be religious to engage in mindful activities. Acknowledging that there is something greater than oneself that you can connect to, whether it be God, Mother Earth, Sacred Spirit, or something else is all that is needed. Sitting quietly with your eyes closed for five to ten minutes a day while breathing in and out deeply is a beautiful way to reconnect with yourself and your Higher Power. It’s also a beautiful way to recenter yourself and stay focused in the present moment. It gives you a chance to tune out the noise of the day. During this sacred time, if you’re natural tendency is to speak to God, by all means speak to God. If you find that you enjoy listening to uplifting music, listen to music. If you find inspiration through visual imagery, find a space in nature that brings you peace. The whole point is to create a sacred space for yourself each day that helps you to feel grounded.
3. Schedule time for self-care into your daily routine.
It is not selfish as one may have been lead to believe, but a responsibility you have to yourself and those around you. Self-care includes taking time to prepare and eat highly nutritious meals, getting adequate amounts of quality sleep and engaging in some sort of vigorous exercise that is enjoyable each day. It also includes time for fun and leisure activities. Many new entrepreneurs are afraid to take time away from working on their business and with good reason. In an effort to create their dream lifestyle, they get carried away and actually forget how to actually live. Wanting to escape the office cubicle and break free from ‘trading hours for dollars’ mentality, many new entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed and, if not aware, become slaves to their business. The first few months are the most vulnerable for the new entrepreneur as there are an infinite number of daily tasks to carry out and the determination to be successful no matter what sometimes overrides the sensibility to practice self-care. The best way to avoid this common pitfall is to literally schedule this time on your calendar each day and adhere to it as you would any other task.
4. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people who share the same hopes and dreams as you and who understand the spirit of entrepreneurship.
One of the biggest obstacles for many new entrepreneurs is learning how to cultivate new relationships with others who understand the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. It takes courage to venture out on your own and you may encounter your fair share of naysayers. It’s incredibly difficult to tune out the negativity, especially if it comes from your immediate family, spouse, or friends. Recognize that your decision to pursue your dreams and to live life on your terms may be misinterpreted by those you are closest to. Do not personalize or internalize their responses. More often than not, the same people who love you may actually feel threatened by your newly found freedom. Deep down, they may even feel envious; perhaps they lack the courage to leave the status quo behind and go after what they want most. Again, do not personalize their reactions. They are theirs to own, not yours. If you find yourself constantly having to explain yourself to others in your immediate circle, it’s a good indication you need to branch out and create a new support system. You can find extended support networks of entrepreneurs both online and in in-person networking events where you can engage in deep and meaningful conversations and cultivate strong and lasting bonds. Make sure the people you affiliate yourself with understand the struggles of entrepreneurship, too. Otherwise, you may find yourself more discouraged. When you find the right network, stay with it. No doubt these are the folks who will be there to support you every step of the way on your entrepreneurial journey.
In short, it takes an immense amount of courage to ditch the status quo, to leave the 9-5 behind, and take the deep dive into entrepreneurship. Congratulate yourself for at least giving it a shot and refusing to settle for an unfulfilling life of mediocrity working for someone else. That being said, as with life and business, recognize that challenges, self-doubt, and overwhelm are all par for the course of entrepreneurship. When you feel like giving up though, don’t. You owe it to yourself to give it your all and to see your dreams come to fruition. Remember that even the most successful entrepreneur you see has faced her fair share of ups and downs, wins and losses, triumphs and hardships. She is really not all that different from you. What separates her is simply the tenacity and strong will to stay the course and ride out the occasional entrepreneurial storm. Do what you must to keep your dreams alive, but DO. NOT. GIVE. UP. Practice gratitude, engage in a positive mindset practice, schedule routine self-care, and find or create a tribe of positive and uplifting people who will be there to support you along the way. At the end of a tough day, utilizing even just one of these strategies may be all that you need to refocus, regain your composure, and keep going.
What are some of your favorite entrepreneur hacks? I’d love for you to share by posting your responses in my Facebook group, The Confidence Hub for Heart-Centered Women Entrepreneurs. Also, if you’re feeling stuck and not sure which way to turn, let’s connect! Sign-up TODAY for a Complimentary Clarity Call by clicking on this link to my private calendar: Schedule Now