Running a small business can feel like juggling ten balls while balancing precariously on a unicycle. There are just so many things to do and lots of pressure. In turn, the chances of you being able to do them all without dropping a ball or two. Maybe you’re  feeling like you are just not succeeding or getting where you want to fast enough? Add in the responsibilities of looking after children or older relatives and animals, it’s no wonder we sometimes crash and collapse in a heap or burn out. 

Anxiety, stress and depression are frequently experienced by small business owners. There is a very good reason for that, given the pressures that they are under.  I also think that the ‘hustle’ culture which is sold to us, isn’t helping. There is a myth that entrepreneurs must be up incredibly early and work long hours at 100% energy all the time to be able to succeed and create these multi-7 figure businesses. Social media videos are full of people telling us what we ‘should’ do and it’s so easy to compare yourself and feel that you’re not succeeding, without knowing what or who you are comparing yourself to.

You can feel like you’re fighting on all fronts and not succeeding on any.  You can feel like quitting quite frequently. It’s completely normal to feel like this. If you ask entrepreneurs, I bet you will find the majority of them feel like this, even when they are making big money and apparently succeeding. 

Sound familiar?

You can feel like you’re fighting on all fronts and not succeeding on any.  You can feel like quitting quite frequently. It’s completely normal to feel like this. If you ask entrepreneurs, I bet you will find the majority of them feel like this, even when they are making big money and apparently succeeding. 

 

Sound familiar?

This form of anxiety actually arises from a sense of lack that we have inside us, where we feel not enough. We often feel like there is something missing within us or something wrong.  Where there is a strong feeling of not being enough or a subconscious belief that we are not good enough and we probably never will be, we see that played out in our businesses and work life too.  So the answer to this constant neverending treadmill, isn’t to do more, it’s to look inside and figure out why you are doing it. Is it to feel better about yourself. What if you felt like you were enough and everything you did was exactly as it should be? How would that feel for you?  When I work with clients who are anxious and stressed, I often focus first on creating that feeling of ‘being enough’.  Once that is in place, we can then work out some practical changes to how they run their days, which will make a massive difference and help them feel calm and in control.

I recently read The One Thing by Gary Keller which is a great reminder of how to focus on what you really want to achieve and how to keep working towards that goal and prioritise that over other things that vie for your attention. It also talks about simplifying, because once you are doing the things that actually make a difference to achieving your goals, actually a lot of the other things that you think are important to be doing aren’t really needed and you can let them go. That creates clarity and space in your mind for what you ‘should’ be focussing on.

Top tips – How to feel less overwhelmed

1. Stop, breathe, go for a short 5 minute walk to regain your perspective.

2. Revisit your goals. What is your main goal right now?

3. Write a list of everything that you need to do today.

4. Choose the one thing on the list that will make the biggest difference towards moving you towards your goal.

5. Do that one thing.

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