Don’t you love when you’re “in the zone” with your business?
If only every day were that!
But there are other days where you’re stuck in a funk. You struggle to make decisions, you get sidetracked easily, or you feel generally pessimistic about the future of your business.
Those mentally tough days can bring your business to a screeching halt!
Because you don’t want to spend hours and hours on your business, you must make every minute count.
So how do you take back control when you’re feeling distracted, stuck, and overwhelmed in your business?
Keep reading for my go-to strategy to get out of a funk and get back on track.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Before I share how you can snap out of your funk, it’s important to understand what’s really causing your bad day.
We often see our outside circumstances as the cause for our distress. Things like…
Our email inbox is overflowing, so we work late into the night.
The dishwasher stopped working, so we snap at our partner.
A client needs more of our time than we’re willing to give, so we give in and feel resentful.
While your outside experiences play into your mood, it’s what’s going on inside of you—your thoughts, physical sensations, and emotions—that truly directs your feelings and next actions.
Let’s take the email inbox example I just mentioned.
When you see all those unread emails, you might have the thought, “I should be better at managing my inbox.”
That thought creates a chain reaction in your body. Your stomach tightens, your jaw clenches, and you feel completely overwhelmed.
You tell yourself you must get your inbox under control, and you work later than you want to make it happen.
So… when we get honest with ourselves, it’s not the messy inbox that’s making us work late. It’s everything that happens inside our heads when we look at the messy inbox.
I’m going to repeat that because it’s important:
Let me explain…
3 Internal Experiences That Are Keeping You Stuck
If your inner world (your mind) is the cause of your mood, the way to stop the cycle of a bad day is to start paying attention to what’s going on inside of your head.
When you start to notice your internal patterns, you can take back control of your reactions and make better choices for yourself and your business.
Here are the three things you should start to notice.
Notice your crappy, limited thinking
Start to pay attention to your thoughts, especially the crappy ones.
This sounds simple enough but “catching” your thoughts can be challenging! We often assume that what we’re thinking is true, so we don’t question our thoughts or give them much attention.
But that’s where the trouble comes in. A thought like, “I’ll never get this business off the ground” is similar to computer malware. You might not notice it’s there but it’s doing harm.
So how can you start to notice your crappy thinking? Here is a list of specific words to be on the lookout for: Should, shouldn’t, have to, don’t want to, want to but can’t.
I should be further along in my business by now.
I shouldn’t hate writing so much.
I have to make more time for social media.
I don’t want to send a newsletter this week.
I want to raise my prices but I can’t.
For now, don’t worry about changing your thoughts or judging yourself for having them (we all do!). Simply notice your thoughts with gentle awareness.
Notice your internal physical discomfort
If it’s challenging for you to notice your thinking, you might notice your discomfort instead.
Here’s what I mean.
Years ago, every time I would head to a networking event, I felt full of dread. Driving to the event, I would have a tension headache and my muscles would be tight. The discomfort wasn’t something I could ignore.
Pay attention to when your body feels uncomfortable, and make note of what you’re doing when it happens.
Notice your symptoms
Sometimes you might readily notice your thoughts. Other times, you might notice your discomfort.
Here’s how this might show up for you with work:
You might notice that you suddenly feel like taking a walk instead of sitting down at your computer.
Or you might get sidetracked looking at testimonial plugins for your website instead of actually reaching out to collect testimonials.
Again, notice your symptoms with gentle awareness.
Listen here for more about noticing your thoughts, discomfort, and symptoms and how all of these work together.
Don’t skip this. It’s a game-changer for your business.
Taking Back Control
The awesome thing is, as you get better at noticing your own patterns, you can start to actively choose a different response to your thoughts, discomfort, and symptoms.
For example, a business owner who sat down to write a blog post had the persistent thought, “I’m not a good writer.”
So she would usually go do something else instead of writing her post. This was obviously quite frustrating to her and detrimental to her business growth!
A coach worked with her and told her to start writing. He asked that every time she had the thought, “I’m not a good writer,” to say it outloud then get back at writing.
She would write a few sentences, then say, “I’m not good at writing!”
So the coach would say, “Okay, get back to writing.”
This continued for about 20 minutes until she had completed a few pages of writing.
When she paid attention to the thought and chose to sit with the discomfort, she was finally able to get over her writing block.
Of course, you might not always notice the thought first.
Here’s an example of what it might look like if you notice the symptoms first:
Here’s an example of what it might look like if you notice the discomfort first:
This Changes Everything
Once you learn to catch yourself (via your thoughts, emotions, or symptoms), you’ll be unstoppable.
You’ll no longer be controlled by external circumstances. Your business success will no longer be left to the whims of your emotions. And you’ll be in the driver’s seat.
No matter how you “catch yourself,” you’ll be so glad you did. Because everything changes after that.