Practice Balance, Part 5 of 6
“PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~ Unknown
How does one balance the fear, the things that can stop you from growing, moving forward, tackling a big project, with the vision, the clarity that comes with calm, like the still surface of a pond on a sunny day where you can see to great depths as if they were within reach?
I am currently involved with several people who are starting businesses. I observe similar behavior patterns in these entrepreneurs, all of which are part of the normal process. The key is to recognize them and prepare to counter them.
First, a person new to business feels as if they are the only ones ever encountering setbacks. It gnaws at their confidence, it isolates them, and it can sometimes lead them to give up prematurely. I can say with utmost authority – there is nothing stupid you can do, no mistake you can make, and no amount of ignorance you can display that hasn’t been exhibited by thousands of others before you. Even your screw-ups can’t make you unique!
Second, know that overwhelm and confusion are frequent sensations. Without clear definition and boundaries you may get stuck in the pit of knowing what you want to escape from – bad boss, feeling as if you’re not valued, not being in control of your own time, and financial constraints – without clearly defining how you’re going to escape or where you’re going to escape to or what life will look like once you stop running.
How do you write a business plan and confidently present it to an advisor for help when you change your mind daily about what business you want to start? At some point you must find a coach or mentor and implement without pushback what they tell you or you just have to focus and act as if you’re in control and let yourself catch up to that confidence.
Third, a big handicap to actually starting anything new, business or other, is resistance. Resistance can take the form of fear, or superiority – which is really fear disguised. Have you ever tried to reason with someone and every new explanation you offer gets answered with some form of “Yes, but…?” They know so much they can eat holes in anything you say, putting you on the defensive. They walk away feeling satisfied that they were right because they just successfully countered every argument you offered. Really? They may feel they narrowly escaped making a bad decision when in fact you walk away realizing they will never actually DO anything because in proving themselves right time and time again they avoid taking a chance.
Resistance entrenches you, isolates you, prevents you from receiving new information, information that may at first put you beyond your comfort zone, challenge you, uncover some weaknesses. Those sensations don’t mean the idea was bad – they mean you need to give it more focus and allow yourself to hear and integrate what your coach, your mentor, your sponsor, or your advisor is suggesting. They can’t do the work for you. You can’t succeed when your only goal is to prove them wrong, thus proving yourself right – in the short term. In this scenario you have to lose the act of superiority, the fear beneath the surface, and humbly be receptive to the idea that it’s OK to lean on and trust your guide even if you can’t see how this will turn out well.
Healthy skepticism is fine. Balance it with the willingness that you may not know as much as you think you do and that when you take a chance you really could come out better in the long run.
Exploring options is fine. Balance that with giving yourself a time limit to narrow your choices down to 2 or 3. Then commit to picking one and giving it your all for some amount of time before telling yourself you knew you should have picked something else. Make sure you squeeze out all the learning you can from even a ‘bad’ choice and you will go to your next effort in a stronger position.
Feeling stupid is normal. Balance that with the desire to learn. Keep working your plan, keep your appointment with your advisor, accept good enough even if it’s well below what you consider perfection.
Getting started is the key. Start over and over and over again if you have to! When you do you’ll find the balance you’ve been seeking and you’ll realize abundance is all around you. The strength you gain through learning will provide the quiet calm in the midst of all the noise. The peace will stay with you and radiate out to those around you and you will carry it forward to the next thing you do – and the next!
Beaufort resident Jamie Wolf is the author of “Start Over! Start Now! Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life” available on Amazon with 10 accompanying guidebooks. She has started over a number of times and now focuses on helping people who are ready to Start Over with their health
and wealth through getting fit, feeling fabulous, and becoming financially free. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org