As a business and life coach, you’ll know that I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs like you find balance between their personal and professional lives. Being conscious of your sense of ‘self’, both personally and professionally, is key, as they are so interconnected.
This is why living and working holistically is so important for both your own health and the health of your business.
But what do I mean by this?
In this article, I want to talk about the importance of being conscious of how we think, what it means to live and work holistically, and how we can conquer those destructive thoughts that can all too often jeopardise our chances of success.
If you’ve seen the interview I did with entrepreneur Matt Quigley, you’ll remember that he talked about how feeling successful in business simply isn’t enough if you don’t feel good about yourself.
Ask yourself: “What sort of mindset am I in right now?”
It’s all well and good to feel like you’re doing the right things to achieve business success, but if that sense of optimism isn’t reflected in the way you feel about yourself, your business is likely to suffer in the face of challenges. You might find you’re less confident in certain situations, such as public speaking or pitching. Or you might find yourself feeling less-than-resilient when things don’t pan out quite the way you’d hoped.
Your sense of self in either your professional or personal life will have a knock-on effect on the other. The good news is that if you feel successful with yourself, business success will follow as a by-product – and there are things you can do today to start making that happen.
This is what I mean by working holistically.
A sense of personal success is key to achieving entrepreneurial success, which is why it’s so important to take care of yourself first…even if that doesn’t feel natural to you yet.
For the reasons above, I think entrepreneurs need to be so conscious of themselves. As an entrepreneur, you need to be self-aware and reflective if you want to identify what might be holding you back time after time.
Perhaps you feel too utterly consumed by responsibilities in your business to step back and think about yourself. You might think that you’re the only person within your business that can handle all those complex or creative tasks.
And you wouldn’t be alone – research by Alternative Board reveals that work-life balance is the biggest challenge faced by entrepreneurs today, with 30% of small business owners reporting that they work more than 50 hours a week. It’s no surprise then that a staggering 80% of small business owners feel like they work too much, putting them at risk of entrepreneurial burnout.
When so much of your sense of self is tied up in your business, every misstep or little failure can feel be felt personally. And that can have disastrous effects on your confidence.
Would you trust a business leader who had zero confidence in themselves? Would you buy from somebody who had no confidence in what they say?
Step back for a moment and reflect on how you’re feeling within yourself and what needs to change. By working on yourself first, you’re less likely to take it personally when things don’t work as planned. Instead, you can learn to value the lessons contained within that experience with the help of a more positive growth mindset.
It all starts with you.
We all have negative thoughts sometimes. You know the ones I’m talking about – they often go something like this:
Everyone finds themselves listening to this negative self-talk some days. Even the most successful entrepreneurs find themselves trying to fight against their inner critic. It can be particularly loud when we face challenges, such as public speaking or taking a risk.
For me, that critical voice might pop up when I’m about to go on stage to do a talk. All of a sudden my brain starts saying: “You’re gonna fuck up here, Jamie. The crowd’s gonna hate you. You’re gonna make a complete fool of yourself.”
It can be terrifying to listen to that sort of negative self-talk minutes before you’re about to do something important. The temptation is to hide away and avoid facing this terrible, make-believe scenario you’re running over and over in your head when in reality, avoiding the situation is often the worst thing you can do.
So, what can you do to overcome it? Here’s a trick that works for me every time.
I know it might sound crazy at first, but I promise it works. Any time I start noticing those negative thoughts creep in, I get up and stand in front of the mirror. I have a conversation with myself. I ask myself:
After reflecting on these thoughts, I then move the conversation to the following:
I then tell myself to “get on board” and that those negative thoughts aren’t going to be entertained any longer. During this process, I’m understanding, I’m kind to myself and I work to retrain myself to bring my thoughts into better alignment with where I want to be. I replace these negative thoughts with positive and more thought-out and encouraging ones.
It may sound odd, but it works.
Many of us feel that there’s always this inner fight between the stronger and the weaker sides within us. This technique has helped me give power to that stronger side of myself and has done wonders for my confidence over time.
The trick is not to take yourself too seriously when you’re doing this. You might even find yourself laughing – and that’s a good thing.
If you can learn to take things a little more lightly, the weight of fear simply won’t hold you back so much anymore and you’ll naturally become more confident in the face of challenges.
Living and working holistically, taking care of yourself and conquering destructive thoughts are all crucial to achieving a perfect balance in your personal and professional life. By following the tips I’ve shared today, you can start to work on your own wellbeing and contribute positively to business success long-term.
Give my mirror technique a try and let me know how it works for you. And if you need any further help to achieve a better work-life balance, that’s what I’m here for – reach out to me and let’s see what we can achieve.
Together, we can conquer those inner demons and build a more confident, successful future for both ourselves and the businesses we care about.
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