Get consistent: 4 mindsets hurting your business

Consistency can make or break you. It communicates authenticity, thoughtfulness, and make you trustworthy. It can lead to genuine connections with your audience. And it shows people that you are here and ready to help them. When you struggle with major dips in your ability to be consistent due to burnout, you risk the survival of your business. Don’t let your business fizzle out. Read on to learn more about the effects your thinking has on your business + make an action plan for how to respond.

 

The way we think about our work impacts the way we work on + in our businesses. In a previous post I’ve highlighted the importance of developing self-awareness and practicing throughout the day. Today I’m going to point out 4 mindsets that are making your life way harder than it needs to be. Plus I’m giving you a workbook full of questions for understanding your own mindset struggles + developing a plan so you stop wasting time and energy in your business.

Is your lack of consistency hurting your ability to grow + thrive in business? It takes more than discipline - you have to look at the way you THINK about your business + your life. Here are 4 common mindsets that could be killing your consistency plus tips for how to deal. Amp up your creativity + productivity through greater self-awareness and an action plan using the FREE WORKBOOK. More at http://alisanelson.co

 

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First, let’s get a look a little more at the problem:

Does this sequence sound familiar?

 

You’re working on a new offering and you’re struggling to make progress. Most nights, when you finally go to bed, you are frustrated by your performance and vow to push through and stay focused tomorrow. You might start to notice behaviors like:

 

  • always working but unable to account for all the time you spent on a single graphic design
  • often changing directions on new projects
  • getting easily distracted by other, perhaps relevant, tasks
  • ignoring important maintenance tasks
  • always thinking about your project but without much action taken
  • comparing your results with others in a non-constructive way

 

What’s the result of these behaviors? Anxiety + stuck-ness + poor self talk

 

You keep trying to force your work because you’ve got a long list of vital tasks plus you are working to expand your business. You start to think once I get this project done, then I will be able to relax a little more. But I just gotta push through this now. I gotta make it happen!
 
So you start to work even more. You cancel your usual evening phone call with your sister and stay home all weekend. You are on your computer or your phone at every opportunity because there’s work to do! When someone questions you you get angry, defensive, and have thoughts like they don’t understand!
 
You try to use that frustration as motivation so you work even more until you suddenly crash.

 

  • You start sleeping through all your alarms
  • There is very, very short bursts of focus time throughout the day
  • You can’t muster the energy to do more than watch Netflix in the evening
  • The way you talk to yourself is largely negative
  • You might even get sick or develop constant headaches
  • Everything feels hard
  • You are easily frustrated by problems + people

 

It’s like you’re an airplane pilot and your engine just started on fire.
And it’s a cycle. The more you force yourself, the worse it gets.
So what’s going on?
 
I’m going to start with the way you think about yourself, your work, and the world around you. Your mental game has a huge impact on your creativity + your ability to focus on the important stuff and be productive. A mind that cultivates creativity + productivity will lead to consistency.

 

4 mindsets that could be killing your consistency:

 

Mindset 1: FOMO

The Fear Of Missing Out is a real thing. In fact, based on what I’ve seen in my kids, it starts around 2 years old when you suddenly start to emotionally experience the countless trade offs in life. My daughter went from quickly picking a shirt in the morning to wanting to wear all the things and getting weirdly upset when she only wore one shirt. Now at that age, she couldn’t actually understand the concept of a trade off. But you, my lovely + creative friend, CAN.

 

You can look at your unfinished list and walk away peacefully. The list will always be there – it will never just be “1 more thing and then I’m done!” Even when you launch a product, there will be last minute things you forgot and things you never even think of. That’s part of the adventure! You won’t miss out on the joy + full life you are working so hard for. In fact, you’ll realize you already have it when you untie your to-do list from your personal identity.

 

I know you want to be on all the social media apps and you want all the people to read your posts and you want to build an empire while also having the prettiest home ever. But running a business has trade offs. And you’re running a business – so you have to honor that. No, no. You get to honor that.

 

In a world where we are all over saturated and stretched thin, you get to say no to things. And even that can be flipped on its head. You get to say yes to your passion for creating something new that will make people happy. Say yes! And let that be a not right now to all those other things (or in the case of more social media, say no. I promise it’s ok).

 

Some trade offs are really hard. There’s a reason moms who return to work struggle with guilt. (And why some moms who stay home struggle with resentment + judgment). So let’s not downplay the mental + emotional struggle of missing out. But you get to choose for yourself – and you can thrive in that decision.

 

What do I do?

 
  • Acknowledge the trade off you’re making. If it’s the kind of heavy decision like go back to work or stay with your kids, remember that both are good things.
  • Compare each option to the vision you have for your business + your life. What is actually going to help you move forward in business, in relationships, in your influence on people’s hearts?
  • And finally, remember that saying yes does not mean you will always say no to the other thing. Instead, you are recognizing that this is not likely to be the only opportunity ever. You can reassess again later.

 

Mindset 2: Perfectionism

 

You know that the quality of your work is important – of course it is! It’s your brand! It’s your reputation! But all the details can keep you from moving forward.

 

There are certainly gradients here. Having an eye for the details and being straight up gifted at strategy are beautiful strengths that I wish I had. In this case, however, I’m talking about the kind of perfectionism that is driven by fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of looking like an amateur. Fear of failing.

 

 
Remember — fear makes sense. Your brain is trying to protect you from what it is interpreting as danger. Failure, looking foolish, etc. are all potentially harmful to your social standing – your brain is programmed to discourage such behavior. But it gets a little off track in our day-and-age. Your brain doesn’t know what’s most important all by itself. You have to tell it.

 

What do I do?

 
  • Notice that you are getting hung up on the unimportant.
  • Tell yourself “this is not important” – out loud.
  • Remember: you are developing in every area of life. As an adult, a business owner, a creative, a leader – everything! In some areas you will have reached a proficient level. In other areas you might still be an advanced beginner. That’s ok! That isn’t failure or foolishness. Trying to pretend you’re an expert when diy-designing your first ebook? That’s foolish.
  • Before you start a project, write down the outcome you are looking for — where is your business going? Then write down, starting with the end in mind, the steps you need to take. If you know details, write them down too. Everything you do should be lining up with that outcome and should move you forward to making it happen. If it doesn’t, leave it. You have an airplane to fly.

Related: 5 benefits of self-awareness

Mindset 3: Victim

 
A victim mentality involves various “woe is me” thought patterns. It’s a refusal to step up and take responsibility for your life and therefore shifting blame onto the circumstances and people around you. A person with a victim mentality will respond with “nobody understands!” when questioned on their work habits. In contrast there is what some call “creator mindset” in which a person takes responsibility for their life.
When you’re running a business there is always a long list of things to do. And because it’s your livelihood AND your baby, it takes diligent self-discipline to focus on a single task at a time and shut down the computer in order to enjoy the rest of your life.
A victim will never have enough time and always feel helpless when it comes to getting their business where they want it to be. This is where effective goal-setting and project management come into play. Having an effective plan in place for getting from A to B gives you a place to go when you start to see yourself playing the victim card.

What do I do?

 
  • Acknowledge that you are playing the victim
  • Practice gratitude – acknowledging all the unmerited awesomeness of your life is essential to snapping out of “woe is me.”
  • Remind yourself that you are not helpless – you might have a problem but problems can be solved. And you are strong, brave, and clever. You will figure it out or be able to find someone else who has handled it before.
  • Go back to your plan – what outcomes are you pursuing and what are the essential tasks? If you don’t have a plan, that’s your first essential task.
  • Let people in on your plan. Let them help you stay accountable to your plan. A victim uses “no one understands.” A leader + creator gets support.
 

Mindset 4: Just do something

 
Some of you might get a little feisty with me on this one but I see it all the time – in myself and in others. It’s this compulsion to charge ahead and “just DO something!!” because we know where we want to go but aren’t sure what the best step is to get there. “Just do something” often stems from a couple of beliefs: 1. If I don’t do something right this second I will miss my chance; and 2. It doesn’t really matter where I start because if I just push hard enough I will be successful.  

 

There are valid circumstances when this approach can be useful. Analysis paralysis can keep us standing still for a very long time. But for most business-related situations, you need a plan that you know will work. I’m not just talking from a “professional” standpoint. I’m talking mentally + emotionally you can’t afford to do things that don’t work. Applying force on the wrong part of the lever just leaves you tired and irritated. Will you meet up with failure? Yes, of course. You’re on a road toward expertise, remember? That means you won’t do everything perfectly the first time.

 

This blog is a pretty good example of what I mean. I knew generally the kind of business I wanted to build but I was struggling with what steps to take first. The ones that get me to making money aren’t necessarily best for my family (where my husband is in start-up phase with his software development + training company, Augment). I knew I needed an easy first step that would help me grow my skills, interact with people, and keep me engaged in my whole life. So I decided to begin with building up content and applying all that I know about stress + high performance to the audience I want to serve – creatives, bloggers, + business owners. In some ways I’m just doing something to get myself started. But it’s purposeful and on track with where I want to be headed.

 

The “just do something” mindset often leaves us spinning our wheels because we have no real confirmation that what we’re doing is going to get us where we want to go — and when we meet failure, we don’t know how to respond to it.

 

In contrast, planned out steps give you an anchor for when you come up against a difficult problem or you don’t get the intended results. You can go back and assess whether you missed a key piece of information or not. And you can remind yourself that building a long-lasting business does not happen overnight. When you have confidence in your path you can leave space for how long the journey actually takes and how much energy it requires.

 

 

What do I do?

 
  • Take notice – are you blindly jumping from task to task hoping it all leads up to a long-lasting business?
  • Remind yourself of your why + your goals
  • Remind yourself that you are capable of building a consistent + successful business.
  • Start researching the big ideas of a successful business. You’ve reached some level of success because you’ve got skills in your niche area but if you want to expand the strategy.
  • Consider hiring a business coach or strategist to help you get familiar with the principles of business + apply them to your direct context.

CONTACT Alisa

I would love to hear more about you and what you're working on. You can fill out the form below or contact me directly at alisa@alisanelson.co

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©2019 Alisa Nelson | All rights reserved | All content, layouts, designs, and graphics are my own unless otherwise noted.

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