It’s easy to feel all the things you lack.
I’m not smart enough.
I don’t have a business degree.
I’m not as trendy as the other women.
My website needs help.
I don’t have the kinds of clients I want.
I haven’t made many sales from the project I spent lots of time on.
My list won’t grow.
All of these things are common as we grow in business. When we’re in our “low” season, it’s easy to see the lack so much more clearly. When we’re in a dry spell season, the not so great things pile on and feel like an overwhelming burden.
Rationally, you know that you will make sales or get more inquiries but when that fear pops up, everything is dark and dreary, making you doubt all the possibilities.
Jenna Kutcher talked about the life cycle of the entrepreneur and I think she couldn’t be more correct. Also, please see the graphic she created and chuckle along with me, because that’s everybody’s experience, right??
I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post about the benefits of cultivating gratitude and its relationship to success. It’s an essential skill (yep, I said skill) to nurture as you grow in business. Like any muscle, we have to flex it so it becomes stronger.
Every time I note myself in a “low spell” time emotionally, it might be true that I’m not doing as well as I’d like to be, I also notice that my gratitude practice isn’t in top form either. I notice myself skipping my daily Grateful Heart practice and I avoid writing in my 5 Minute Journal that also includes a gratitude reflection.
The Simple Grateful Heart Practice
It’s not perfect but I sit down to start my day and do my simple Grateful Heart Practice. Before I turn on my computer, before I look at my to do list, before I see what’s happening on Instagram or Facebook, I try to turn inward for 5 minutes.
The Grateful Heart Practice is an exercise to let go of the worry, concerns, fear, anxiety that you’re feeling. It allows you to release the negative obsessions so that you can turn and focus on what’s good.
ONE: Find a time where you can sit quietly for 3-5 minutes. Take a sheet of paper or the Grateful Heart printable (download it here) and a pen or pencil that will allow you to let it flow. This is your time so try to find one that isn’t riddled with obligation.
TWO: On the left side of your paper which we’ll call “worries,” dump out all of the worries, to-do list items that are swimming in your head, things that are making you anxious, the half-written instagram caption that’s bugging you, anything that you’re feeling forced to remember… dump it all out. Breathe deeply as you’re doing it (this is the part I often forget. If you have an Apple Watch, you can set you Breathe app on while this is happening).
THREE: After your timer goes off, fold your paper in half and go to the right side of the paper which we’ll call “Grateful Heart.” Here, dump out every small or big thing that you feel grateful for. On the days that it feels hard and the left side is fuller than the right side, dig deep and find things that might seem basic. I find that it allows me to realize how privileged I am and how much I have.
It’s simple and seems irrelevant to business; I believe that these small practices are what keep us emotionally fit to stay in business and that creates longevity and sustainability.
You are enough. You can do this. Business is tough, but you’re tougher.