Business owners are out there having a go, and when it doesn’t work doubt and fear raise their ugly heads. Or, you see the heads, not as ugly but as teachers.
Elite sports people showcase their performances (good or poor) for all to see in public. At least us mere mortal business owners arent baring our all in public.
But in some respects we do. I remember starting a new job was far less anxious than starting a business. Statistically, you are more likely to succeed at a job than a business.
Think back to when you started your business. The ups and downs of those early years. It was exciting and that’s what got you through. The excitement is the same as fear, but with a different context.
Then the excitement wore off and fear started to take over, until you had success. Then excitement came back. And so on goes the business roller coaster. And if you’re not careful you burnout very quickly.
The challenges of starting a business
When I started Inspiring Business it was not a part of the immediate plan. COVID 19 had different plans for me.
It was exciting and uncertain all at the same time. The excitement made me smile and the uncertainty raised some fear. Even with all my years of experience, I’m the same as you.
It’s the same emotion, it’s just the meaning we give it. I know that that could be seen as a glib statement, but for me, it’s true.
Whenever I get attached to an outcome, when “I have to have that”, I lose my authenticity. I start doing things that are not in character with who I am.
A short story to illustrate the point is, a friend of mine is a professional golfer and he was leading a tournament worth a few hundred thousand dollars to the winner. He had played so well over 3 days and it looked like he was a shoe in.
What happened next was so uncharacteristic of him.
He couldn’t sleep worrying about tomorrow.
He changed his routine because of the Big Day.
This caused him to throw up 10 minutes before his first shot.
Needless to say, he was not in a great state on the first tee and didn’t recover until the 5th hole.
By then the damage had been done and he was unable to take back the lead.
He said later that all he wanted to do was crawl into a corner and hide.
The next week he came out and was again in contention.
So what can we, as business owners learn from our own ‘melt-down’ experiences?
They happen. We all suffer from them. Expect they will happen. You will be upset, angry or embarrassed. Be aware of the circumstances that have caused these feelings.
I’m not a psychologist, nor am I a Mindfulness or Life Coach, but what I can say is that it’s OK to have these feelings. It’s normal. It’s what you do with it next that is the important thing.
My golfer friend could have carried that melt-down feeling into the following week but he chose to use it as an experience. He hopes that he is placed in that same situation again, and next time he will overcome the fear and have a positive outcome.
But, there is no guarantee other than that unless he tries, it won’t happen.
Strategies to counter anxiety
So here are a few strategies that you could consider if you’re feeling anxious about a situation.
Slow down and take your time. Mistakes come from being frantic.
Let your frustration out. Go outside and scream or shout at a tree. Let it out. Do NOT take it out on others.
Ask for help. This requires vulnerability. Having someone who can listen and who is NOT trying to solve your problem.
Reset and start again. The Lion King Hakuna matata. No worries for the rest of your days.
Failure is another step towards success.
“Mistakes are decisions that are made with not enough information. More information, a different decision. Not better, just different.”
Steve Sandor circa 2020
Be kind to yourself and those around you.
There are plenty of people who are very prepared to be cruel to you, so let them lead that charge. You don’t need to be on their team.
I write about this because I struggle with being the best version of myself everyday. Why? Because I care.
Let me know if I can help you by listening.