You’ve heard me say countless times that you must put yourself out there to get more clients.
So you try.
You try to be of service on social media, but you second-guess everything you write. You see everyone else obnoxiously pitching, and you don’t want to be one of those people.
You research places to guest post, but when you sit down to write your pitch, you feel a knot in your stomach. You wonder exactly what to write and worry that this person you admire will respond with a big, fat “no.”
You sit down to write emails asking for referrals, but you can only think of a handful of people you feel comfortable contacting. You start a draft but never send anything.
How would it feel if the nervous energy, the knots in your stomach, and the fear of putting yourself out there totally disappeared? Evaporated? Were gone for good?
What steps, big and small, would you confidently take if you knew the outcome would be nothing less than perfect?
Your whole business would change forever, right?
Well… not so fast.
There’s a big hole in your theory. It’s one I have to constantly remind my clients about, because it’s so easily forgotten.
What’s wrong with this line of thinking? Keep reading to find out.
The Problem with “Waiting to Feel Confident”
I get it, you want to take the right steps in your business, the ones that will help you move forward, not backward. You don’t want to waste time on things that won’t pan out, and I love this about you!
The problem is that when you are facing something new or challenging—like being of service on social media, pitching yourself to bloggers or podcasters, and executing the 100 email strategy—you can get really uncomfortable, really fast.
You see this discomfort as a red flag, and you think that because you’re uncomfortable, you must be doing something wrong.
The nervous, squirmy, and tense feelings make you tell yourself all sorts of crazy bullshit like…
This is going to bomb!
People will see right through me and know I’m a fraud
There’s so much riding on this; it’s my only shot
If I mess this up, word will get around and no one will take me seriously
But here’s the kicker: You think that if you learn more, jump to a totally new strategy, or simply wait for the fear to go away, the discomfort will disappear and you’ll finally be able to do all those things you’ve been putting off.
The truth is…
Discomfort Never Goes Away—EVER!
Whether you’ve been following me for a few weeks or several years, you’ve heard me say that I’m uncomfortable pretty much all the time!
Discomfort is a part of business, plain and simple. So as long as you’re trying new strategies or reaching for new goals, discomfort will be right there with you.
(I know, I know. You wish I had something more cheerful or “easy” to say. You also know I can’t NOT tell you the straight up truth!)
“But, Jenny,” you might be thinking, “Lots of things that used to make me uncomfortable in my business are now like second nature.”
It’s true. What makes you uncomfortable now will likely not make you uncomfortable forever. But you’ll notice that discomfort still shows up when you’re doing new things.
Here’s a quick example.
Early on in my business, before every new client consult, I would be a nervous, sweaty, jittery mess. I would do everything from grounding my energy and visualizing a successful call to reading my script over and over while pacing the house.
After awhile, however, consults became second nature. I didn’t even bat an eye before doing one.
Discomfort itself never, ever goes away.
My personal recommendation for you: How to Stop Fear & Perfectionism from Holding You Back.
As you uplevel your business, you’re required to do new things that will make you uncomfortable. It’s a natural part of business success. You can’t escape it, you can only learn how to embrace it and deal with it.
So what’s the best way to do that?
Determine Your Discomfort “Default”
The first thing to do is understand what your default reaction is to discomfort.
I find that my clients typically fall into two camps:
- The Freezers: If you’re a Freezer, discomfort keeps you stuck. You overthink things and try to wait until everything is perfect before you act.
- The Tornadoes: If you’re a Tornado, you do the opposite. You barrel through your discomfort and make rash decisions in an effort to escape the uncomfortable feeling.
As you can probably guess, neither of these options will lead you to business success.
Freezers can get stuck for weeks, months, or even years, waiting to feel “ready”—at which time they believe the discomfort will go away (but it never does).
Tornadoes can end up in a worse situation than they started in, simply because they haven’t taken the time to assess their discomfort and their strategy to make sure they’re taking productive, focused action.
Whichever camp you fall in, I want you to know there are more effective ways to handle your discomfort, and they’re not hard!
My personal recommendation for you: The 3 A’s of Success: Increase Your Chance of Succeeding at Anything.
How to Manage Your Inevitable Discomfort
If freezing and tornadoing don’t work, what does?
Here are my go-to, tried-and-true tactics.
Tactic #1 – Do the opposite of your default.
If you tend to overthink things, try taking action instead. Even if you’re not ready. Even if where you’re going isn’t 100% clear.
If you act without much thought, try taking a timeout—both mentally and physically—before making your next move. At a minimum, try “sleeping on it” and see how you feel the next day.
Tactic #2 – Get a sounding board.
It’s easy to get caught up in fearful thoughts, especially when you’re trying to escape discomfort.
That’s why it’s imperative to talk to a colleague or expert who’s been where you are and understands your specific challenges. (And it’s why we offer so much opportunity for feedback and masterminding in Make It Work Online—because it works!)
You can also hire a life coach. I wouldn’t be where I am without them!
Tactic #3 – Reward yourself for taking action, even if you’re afraid.
This method can work wonders when you find the right reward.
Promise yourself something special after you do whatever’s making you uncomfortable. Your “prize” could be a long walk outside, a relaxing massage, or a pricey bottle of champagne—whatever will motivate you to take the next step.
Tactic #4 – Enlist help from friends.
Tell your closest friends what you’re struggling with and ask for their support. Maybe they can send you emoji-filled texts before a big call, or meet you for dinner after you pitch yourself to a big client. Allow your support system to support you.
Over to You
Now I’d love to hear from you. In the comments below, let me know…
What uncomfortable, new-to-you thing are you trying in your business right now?
How is that discomfort showing up?
How have you faced that kind of discomfort in the past, and what tactics are you going to try after reading today’s post?
Share your insights and ideas!
Love your business but wish you had more clients?
If you’re ready for your business to take off, join me for Make It Work Online Prep School and Workshop. You get a step-by-step plan and personal support (from me, for FREE!) so you can fill your roster with perfect clients and make a consistent income doing what you love. Learn more about Make It Work Online Prep School and Workshop.