Do you sometimes feel like you have a love and hate relationship with your business?
As entrepreneurs we love what we do! The opportunity to serve our clients to make their life better in some way makes our mission deeply meaningful. Seeing the positive impact on their business or on their life is inspiring. Our work is truly our life work not just busy work.
Sometimes the frustrations over the slow progress can send you into a spin of doubt or frustration. All the enthusiasm drains away and the motivation levels drops to rock bottom. Next thing you find yourself walking down the street feeling like a storm cloud has parked itself in your chest.
Or, seething in frustration wishing that if your co-founder or team would do things more like you then surely results and progress would be so much quicker. As though they are finding great joy in getting busy with other things completely forgetting THE most important task. You feel the frustration, even anger, growing rapidly and you unleash on your team, co-founder or even your partner.
It happens right!
So what do we DO? Stop!
Our need for “doing” to fix things is the very thing that creates this negative cycle. It’s time for a different approach.
We are encouraged to be mindful, to meditate and shift our perspective. Those are useful techniques. But there is another key step that is even more helpful because it has the power to turn reactions into intentional actions where you are in the driver’s seat.
What’s the solution? Well if you are a compulsive “doer” then the answer is going to ask you to stretch a bit. So here it is.
How do we do self observation? Well you don’t. Instead, think back at the last time you found yourself in the above situation or similar circumstances.
- What was the sensation you felt just before you were about to unleash your frustration? Perhaps a tense jaw, a knot in the belly or an intense sense of needing to move.
- What was your next action? An argument with someone or beating up on yourself or going for a fast walk or just pushing back from the desk sitting there staring into the universe.
Whatever your answers to these questions are know that you’re not alone.
The new approach is to start to use our reactiveness as sign-posts for what our behaviours can be when stress hits. Using self observation to turn the reactiveness into a game of “how quickly can I notice”, and shift it to choosing your actions to stop the draining of your energy and messing up key relationships.
It’s a bit like playing tennis. Unless you are aware of how you hold the racket, the positioning of your feet and angle of your body in relation to the net you will not be able to control where the ball goes. Practice and you will intuitively know when you are in the right position to hit it perfectly.
Why would you want to do go to the trouble? Here is powerful reason why:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Author Viktor Frankl
Once you learn to become aware of the physical reactions there’s your weapon against being reactive and you have taken the first step towards creating intentional action.
What’s next? Here are 3 easy steps to take.
Let’s say you have a big week coming up. You know there are a number of situations that may challenge you.
Step 1: Prepare by simply recognising that OK this week is likely going to be a “trigger happy” week full of events that’s going to be frustrating.
Step 2: Set your intention by getting clear on how you want to show up when those situations arise. Will you listen more, ask more questions, drive harder, have more empathy? Pick one that’s relevant for each situation.
Step 3: How will you remember? To think that you will calmly remember is a little ambitious even for the most focused of us. Instead create a reminder system. Will it be a pop up on your phone 10min before the meeting or half way through the day to check in with how you are showing up so far?
Self-observation and knowing what our typical reactions are will only be useful if you have a way to remember in the pause BEFORE you react.
If you want to 10x your progress and maintain a steady momentum in your business then finish each week with reviewing how you went. Celebrate what you did well and set intention for how you can improve.
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