Let’s be honest. Running a business is challenging. And running a business as well as a family is even more challenging.
Every day, we must make choices about what to do to promote and sustain our business. And we must overcome fears of all kinds: fear of failure, success, change, stagnancy, feeling overwhelmed, and not being a good enough parent. This steady anxiety often clips our wings, professionally and personally, and leads many women to abandon their businesses, or some of the everyday practices that we know are good for us, like exercise and eating right.
So let’s re-focus our efforts to be loving to ourselves and practice self-care, because this is the best way to see yourself through challenging times.
To that end, I’m giving you a few assignments that will make a real difference – but YOU MUST DO THEM. Good intentions mean nothing unless you act on them, so immediately write these four “tasks” into your calendar. Your success, both personally and in business, depends on it!
Do Something Physical. I mean it. Anything. Even if you don’t normally exercise, you MUST do something physical. Do some gardening, play some basketball, turn on the music and dance until you’re out of breath, go for a run, or do a strenuous work-out or power walk. Take this seriously. When you do something physical, you instantly feel stronger and more capable. You feel like you can accomplish more. You feel powerful. And when you feel powerful, your thinking becomes more open, clear and creative. That’s precisely what you need during a crisis: a sense of confidence in your ability to get through it. You can’t arrive at that feeling by simply sitting with your fear/panic. Being physical will almost instantaneously shift your outlook on life, stimulate your creativity, and create a resourceful attitude and state of mind. This new outlook holds many of the answers to your existing challenges.
Change Your Environment. An environmental shift stimulates your creativity and broadens your perspective. But why does a simple change of scenery make a significant difference? Because when we’re experiencing anxiety, often we can only see what’s right in front of us: the challenge. We don’t see answers and solutions because of this tunnel vision. Yet when you change your environment, you automatically broaden your view, allowing new information to enter, and thus stimulating your creativity. This is where new ideas and solutions emerge. So get out of the house, or the office, or even the room you are used to sitting in, and go to a place that will bring you joy. Drive to see family or friends for the weekend; go to the beach; or just go to the coffeehouse down the street. The destination isn’t important, but the act of getting there is.
Use Your Resources. This includes people – family, friends, and coaches – you turn to in moments of crisis. Talk about your worries, and ask them for whatever advice, support, and help they might offer. Other resources include books, magazines, and other forms of media that are likely to stimulate your mind and help you feel more empowered. I find that reading or watching stories about people who have overcome serious challenges are an excellent way to shift your state of mind from panic to power.
Begin Daily Guided Meditation.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR ANXIETY:
Take a long, deep breath.
Keep taking long, deep breaths.
Allow all the tension to flow right out of you.
See any tension you have in your head, face, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, stomach, legs, feet. Feel it melt to the ground with each new breath.
I want you to now – in your calm, cool confident voice – repeat after me, either in your head or out loud:
- I take 100% responsibility for my thoughts and behaviors.
- I accept things and people as they are.
- I focus on what is happening in the present moment.
- I create solutions to problems in the present moment.
- I am calm and peaceful, even though I can’t predict the future.
- I have a say about my life, path and choices.
- I welcome each mistake because it brings me one step closer to my success.
- There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.
- If negative thoughts pop into my mind, I reframe them immediately.
- My happiness is NOT dependent on pleasing others.
Now, take one last deep breath and as you let the air fill your lungs, feel these commitments take hold and imagine them carrying you through your day.
Open your eyes.
Today will be an incredible day filled with peace and happiness!
ASSIGNMENTS FOR CHANGE:
Take these steps to begin living an anxiety-free life.
- Commit to daily exercise. Releasing endorphins, getting your blood pumping, and increasing your metabolism are all important parts of releasing anxiety in your body. Do something you enjoy – whether it’s dancing, swimming, or hiking with friends.
- Get support. Find a group or mentor who can work with you and talk you through anxieties you can’t deal with on your own, so that when a crisis arrives, you’re better prepared to face it.
- Prioritize nutrition and hydration. Eat healthy food, and make sure you drink half your bodyweight in ounces daily.
- Laugh and enjoy. One ingredient of a stress-free life involves regularly experiencing joy. To this end, watch some funny television shows and movies; spend time with people you love, who know you well; do an enjoyable activity – whatever makes you feel good and laugh will release good hormones in your body.
- Relax and meditate daily (or even twice daily). By going quiet and shutting off the world for a few minutes each day, ou can create the crucial foundation you need to live a more stress-free life.
- Always have your backup plan at-the-ready. When you do experience feelings of anxiety, follow these simple instructions:
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS OF “ANXIETY” IMMEDIATELY. Talk to yourself. Say something along the lines of, “I am anxious right now, and I am going to take a moment to acknowledge that I’m feeling this way.”
TAKE DEEP BREATHS & BEGIN TO ALLOW YOUR BODY TO SETTLE.
ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
- Why am I anxious?
- What belief do I have that is causing me to feel this anxiety? (“I believe X, and therefore, I am anxious.”)
- Is this belief true? Is it? How do you know? Make sure. Chances are it’s not. If it has to do with the past, then it isn’t and doesn’t need to be true moving forward.
- What can I do to shift my belief to one that gives me confidence?
- Who can support me if I’m having trouble?
- When will I call that person?
Remember to be forgiving and patient with yourself. Change is hard, and you will probably experience some stumbles along the way.
This is a whole new way of thinking and behaving, and habits must be practiced repeatedly until the muscles of both your mind and body grow strong.
So if you find yourself reverting to an old way of thinking or behaving, take a deep breath; recognize the old behavior and/or belief; and then immediately shift into the new behavior/belief. Practice will help you get really good at being this new YOU!
You can do this, without question. Just stay consistent, and you’ll get there.
To Your Peace and Happiness:)