When You're Thinking About ALL The Things & Your Brain Might Explode...
I’m wondering if it’s any wonder that we’re getting anxious and overworked when we first start out as self-employed.
We have a lot of time spent alone. With our own thoughts. And it’s not something we’re used to.
From school, to college or University and then in the workplace - we’re often distracted most of the time - whether that’s gossip, or the crazy deadlines or pressure. Our minds don’t have much spare time to breathe. While I talk about the fact that this is so unhealthy, and is often the cause of getting swept away in a life you don’t really want because you haven’t had the time, space or energy to think about it - I also believe that coming out of that and into being self-employed is not just going to be OK straight away. There’s definitely a transition process that needs to happen.
When you become self-employed, you’re on your own a lot. You have you, your own thoughts, your worries on repeat, and often no-one to distract you from them - so you spiral into the depths of ‘what if’s’ and worry.
And we’ve never been taught how to manage that. We’ve never been taught to think any bigger than the work tasks on our to-do lists or our homework.
What if then, we’re distracted so much because the alternative would be existential crises and people waking up to the way of the world - realising their life is too short, or too long, to be doing something they don’t want to.
Or, what if we’re distracted so much to stop us realising that ‘huh, we’re not here forever, nothing actually matters - might as well go for my dreams!’
Either way, when you’ve been distracted for so long, it’s really no wonder that when all of a sudden you’re expected to handle your own thoughts all day every day with no prior training, it can feel scary as hell.
When you’re self-employed, you need to manage your own state on the daily. If you don’t feel good, things still need to get done - so your wellbeing is pretty much a priority. There’s no calling in sick, or spending the day making cups of tea cos’ you don’t feel like it, we’re required to be on top form in order to run things effectively.
Being self-employed is often cast as the best self development programme in the world - because there’s a constant quest for learning that comes with it - how to be better, how to plan better, how to make more money, how to manage your time, how to look after yourself, accounts, marketing, social media - oh my! It’s a constant journey of learning - and in the process it’s often a constant self-discovery exercise, too.
We’re invited to think for ourselves about what we want, rather than being told what’s next like ‘college’ or ‘the promotion.’
We’re required to manage our feelings and the way we respond to our clients all of the time.
We’re often meant to be ON a lot for social media and other forms of Marketing and working with out clients and keeping up with deadlines.
We’re in charge of the marketing, and the accounts, and the profits, and the losses, and emotional wellbeing, and client retention, customer service, delivery, logistics, and everything in between.
So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, can you give yourself a break?
It takes time to learn all of this. It takes time to be OK with it. It takes time to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Throughout school and University, we’ve mainly been taught how to work for someone else. There were certainly never any lessons or career advice on how to set up on your own.
So if you feel out of your depth sometimes, it’s OK to feel that way to begin with. If you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing sometimes, it’s OK and normal to feel that way. If you’re finding it hard to handle all of these thoughts you’re not used to sitting with or listening to, it’s OK to and expected to feel that way.
The fact that you are running a business, full stop, is a huge god damn deal. Stop beating yourself up that you’re not ‘over there’ yet. You’re here, right now, and that is no mean feat. You’re a bloody marvel, overcoming your demons to follow your dreams, and you deserve to celebrate yourself for doing *that* every day.
But then brings the point that: how do you start to handle all of these things?
Because it can be tough, and it can be scary. But you can absolutely get comfortable with riding this business rollercoaster.
1. FRAZZLED TO FREEDOM: I’ve put together a free 17-part email course to support you in going from Frazzled To Freedom! You’ll get a daily power-packed email with strategies and tools on mindset, marketing and making things happen that you can apply asap in your business and life - so you can stop feeling overwhelmed and overworked, and instead start taking back control and enjoying the freedom, finance and fun you started out for in the first place! You can get your hands on that HERE.
2. FIND MASTERMIND BUSINESS FRIENDS
Find people you click with who are at the same or similar level to you and make arrangements to check in with each other. It might be a weekly or monthly call to go through your top goals, it might be an accountability email you send to each other at the end of each week to share what you’ve achieved, or it might simply be a check in Whatsapp or Facebook message from time to time that you commit to sending. Surround yourself with people who know what you’re going through, and share the journey with them.
It doesn’t always have to be business goal focused, it could simply be committing to getting to that yoga class, or signing up for the gym, or meditating daily, or eating healthier food. Because, let’s face it, if you’re feeling your best, you’re on your way to achieving your business goals anyway.
Try these prompts out for size:
‘Here are the top 3 focuses I’m committed to this week.’
‘If I only get one thing completed this week, it’s going to be…’
‘A change I’m committed to making in my business this week is…’
‘This week, I’m going to try _________, because ___________’
‘I’ve been struggling with this ________, so this week I’m going to change this by ________.’
3. HIRE A COACH / MENTOR
Because basically, you never have to do this alone. There are many coaches and mentors out there who are there to challenge your self-doubts, to help you borrow their belief in you so you’ve always got someone in your corner, cheering you on, interested in what you’re working on, and there to help you work through what might no be going so well for you. You never have to do this alone.
If you'd like to find out about how you can hire me as your coach + business mentor and be by your side every step of the way, take a look over HERE.