This time last week I spoke at a women’s business networking event about bringing more of yourself to the table in your business. I was surprised how much meaning my message held not just for the audience but for myself.
In the week that has passed I have reflected on where I too am holding myself back from my business and have found myself engaging more deeply with my fears and stepping forward into parts of my business that I had been holding back from. It has been easy and natural and I have enjoyed it more that I imagined I would. My fears have taken a back seat to what I really want to achieve and I have been riding the high of taking on new challenges and nailing them!
But it wasnt always this easy, some days even thinking about doing some of these things caused me pain and anxiety.
Today I want to share with you some of the steps I have taken to change this and how to recognise if you too are holding parts of yourself back from fully engaging with your business.
So what does it mean to bring more of yourself to the table in your business? and why is it something that we need to consider?
As a business owner you have stepped into a world that asks many different things of you. You are the face of your business, you are the accounts person, the debt recovery specialist, the advertising guru, the marketing expert. You are responsible for strategic planning, cashflow forecasts, recruitment and the training and running of your team. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? In addition to this you may also be a Mum, wife, partner, lover, sister, daughter, friend etc etc. Are you starting to get the picture?
All of the roles we perform in business and in life ask different things of us and often things we havent had to do before or that we know arent our areas of strength, sometime it can even be hard to do the thinsg we know we are good at because we are afraid to really put ourselves “out there”. Our ability to step up and engage is directly affected by our fears and our self belief
I suspect like me you likely got into business because there is something you are passionate about, something that you love doing and your business allows this. However there will be other things that scare the living daylights out of you. It’s the scary places that we hold ourselves back from because we don’t feel our power and our passion in those parts of the job. We are afriad because we are holding on to old conditioning and beliefs that arent serving us.
For example when you pitch to a big client for a new contract you may come face to face with your fear of not being good enough and the part of you that doesn’t believe she can really pull it off.
When you have to sit down and get real about the numbers in the business or prepare your paper work for your accountant you may meet the part of you who is afraid she isn’t smart enough, who doesn’t believe she can do it and who carries the belief that she just isnt good at maths.
When things in your business start to really take off up comes your fear of success, or your belief that you don’t deserve it or that the higher you go the harder it will be when you fail.
When its your time to shine in your business you will feel your fear of rejection, your fear of being seen and your belief that you are not worthy.
This all translates into lost opportunities because you said no when you should have said yes. It puts the contract in your competitors hands because you really couldn’t bring yourself to the table. And it will see you procrastinate and procrastinate on jobs you know you need to get done because you just cant seem to make a start. It will have you watching others enjoying the success that you crave.
The good news is that you can change the effect your fears and negative beliefs have on your business and on your life. You can move forward and have what you want quickly and easily if you choose to and the rewards will be great. You will not only enjoy more success and growth in your business but you will feel more deeply satisfied, connected and engaged in what you are doing. You will have more joy, fun and freedom in what you do.
So how do you kick your fear to the kerb and up your self-belief? I’d love to tell you its easy but the truth is it will challenge you to do this. The good news is that over time it does get easier. A lot easier.
I woud encourage you, if it feels too hard to seek some support from a coach. Two heads are better than one and a good coach will be able to help you identify what the issue is faster and hold your hand as you work through it.
In the meantime here’s 3 strategies to get you started.
(1) IDENTIFY: make a note of what you are avoiding and putting off doing in your business. What tasks and activities fill you with dread? When we know where we are holding back it becomes easier to take action
(2) FEEL: engage with the feeling you have when you think about doing these things. Let the feeling tell you its story. Where does it sit in your body? How big is it, what colour is it, if it had a name what would you call it. What other tasks and activities make you feel this way. When was the first time you remember having this feeling? When we become familiar with our feelings we can identify when they are impacting on what we are doing and we are in a stronger place to work through them.
(3) AFFIRM and attempt: now that you are really familiar with the feeling, acknowledge it when it comes up for you. Using an affirmation may help such as “even though I am feeling not good enough it is safe for me to start writing this pitch” Even though I am afraid of not getting it right it is safe for me to start my paperwork” Then make a start. it can help to have a timer and set it for 5 mins even though you are feeling your fear you are going to work on it for just 5 mins. Once you make a start you will find that you are able to work on it for longer than you think!
By engaging with what holds us back we are empowered to move forward. By engaging with our fears we begin the process of healing the parts of ourselves that are wounded, afraid and holding on to beliefs that no longer serve us. You can let your fears and lack of self belief dictate the level of success you experience in your business or you can at any moment take back your power and choose a different way. Its really up to YOU
So take a moment to reflect on your business…..where are you holding yourself back? where are you not bringing yourself to the table.
And then decide to step up and engage. You can do this. I know you can 🙂
I’d love to support you with this process and to answer any questions you have along the way. Feel free to share or ask questions in the comments below or to send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org