As an entrepreneur, most of us has something from our past that seems to creep up at inopportune times. It may show up in a burst of anger, crying, buying something new, or just leaving. If you are an entrepreneur, you have probably already discovered a few things about yourself. If not, just ask your spouse or your closest business partner.
The reason I am sharing this article is three-fold. A new client shared some struggles she is going through with fear. A person I am mentoring has found that the lack of money in his past is affecting how he operates his business. And personally, I have had a rough week of struggles with building stress in my life.
Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, nor a professional counselor. Anything I share in this article is simply from personal experience living in this big world as a ‘do-it-yourself’ entrepreneur.
What are mental roadblocks?
They are beliefs that have existed somewhere in your past. Here are some examples:
- “I will never be rich.”
- “I am not creative.”
- “I don’t know enough to be a success.”
- “If I make a mistake, everyone will think I am a fool.”
- “I am the entrepreneur and only I can make the right desicions.”
It would be great if all mental roadblocks were so easy to define. You may even catch yourself saying some of these things from time to time. Yet, a roadblock may not even have a label to it. It may be a self-sabotaging practice that keeps you from being the success you were created to be. It may be a feeling of fear, inadequacy or overwhelm.
So, what do you do when you feel the mental block affecting your life as an entrepreneur?
Revisit your purpose
I don’t want to get too deep into this one, but ask yourself, “Why am I really doing this business?”
What is the passion or events that drove you to be in the business that you are in? When you revisit what got you started in the first place, you may find enough energy from that thought to break through any road block that you have. Some people frame their first dollar, or take pictures of their grand opening. Find something tangible to remind you of those first exciting days as an entrepreneur.
Personally, I believe we are all created with a purpose. In business, our purpose is to help others. If you take your mind off of the problems you are facing and look to the people you are trying to help, you may just find yourself becoming the person you were created to be.
Take action anyway
Many people wait to be motivated before they take action. I want to clarify something: action comes before motivation! When you take action, you feel better, perform better and you get out of your mind into the world where you can accomplish amazing things.
Have an actionable plan
Action must be taken with a specific plan otherwise you are like a ‘wave tossed in the sea.’ Along with action and purpose is to create a plan. You should know the steps you need to take each and every day to bring you closer to your goals. Maybe you should skip emails, focus on building relationships and growing your business.
Ask yourself, what is the one thing that needs to be accomplished today in order for me to reach my goal?” Then, go do it, no matter how you feel.
Remember feelings are a choice
This one is a tough one. We think feelings are real, but in reality they are just the way we interpret them. Let me give a real life example:
I have a major problem with motion sickness. When I was young roller coasters were not a good thing for me. Then one day I decided to embrace my fear of the roller coaster. I was fearful in the line about losing my lunch on the ride and how I would look to everyone. I caught my fear and made a choice. I thought to myself, “This is gonna be fun!” I took the feeling of fear and told myself it is a feeling of excitement. I took on the largest roller coaster in the park and walked away like a champion.
Imagine what would happen if every time you felt fear about taking the next step in success, you chose to feel excitement instead!
Change your environment
Taking a new path to work. Walking in a park. Cleaning your desk. These are all little things you can do to change your environment. You don’t have to make drastic changes to make a difference in the way you feel. You could just buy a plant for your office or brighten up things with a new lamp. It will make you feel better, but don’t use those things as a distraction from actually accomplishing your work.
There are some environments that must be dealt with swiftly. If you have a ‘toxic’ relationship, avoid spending time with that person at all costs. If you have a customer or client that is causing undo stress, fire them. Be nice and refer them to the competition, but don’t allow one draining relationship to affect the rest of your entire business.
You can search online for hundreds of ways to overcome roadblocks in your life. You may need to seek professional counseling or talk to a trusted advisor like a life coach or a pastor. Just take action to overcome the road blocks a little at a time and that progress will build to a larger success. If you do the opposite of what you would normally do, soon you will see that fear subsiding. After all fear is just an illusion.