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5 ways Discomfort Shows Up in Entrepreneurship {Episode 7}

May 04, 2023
Woman wondering about business idea

We're all familiar with the discomfort of trying something that's new and unfamiliar. For me, the most common uncomfortable emotions that come up as an entrepreneur are insecurity, overwhelm, boredom, frustration and confusion.

When these emotions show up, we can be tempted to think that this means we're doing something wrong or that God is trying to tell us something.

In truth, it just means we're doing something new!

If we can learn to not only allow but welcome these emotions, there's no limit to what we can build and accomplish. Let me teach you how to do this. 

Last week we talked about opposition in all things, in other words, the fact that we will never be able to create a life full of joy and goodness without hard, and sadness, and how this is a wonderful balance!

There are an infinite number of negative and uncomfortable feelings that will come up as we go on this entrepreneurial journey, but we're just going to tackle 5 of them today.

We'll learn how to manage the discomfort of insecurity, boredom, overwhelm, frustration and confusion. All of these are emotions that come up almost daily for me and if you can learn how to embrace them instead of escape them you'll be well on your way to fulfilling your dreams.

First of all, let's talk about escaping emotions for a bit. Negative emotions (like we mentioned last week) feel crummy inside our bodies and our primitive brain wants us to escape this discomfort.

The word we use as life coaches to describe the actions we take to escape emotion is "buffering". We want to create a buffer between us and boredom or frustration or confusion and so we do so by scrolling social media, eating food we don't need, sleeping, zoning out with tv, etc.

When we get an urge to buffer, we can learn to sit with the urge and NOT give in to it. This is the equivalent of letting your toddler brain have a meltdown on the grocery store floor without giving it candy! And, just like a toddler, every time we give in, we're reinforcing the bad behavior or urge. Sit with it, let it run its course and it will get easier and easier

In fact for most of us, this desire to escape is so ingrained in us that we don't even notice we're doing it, until we see the negative outcome of it, like the fact that we've gained 20 pounds from our overeating habit or are exhausted the next day from staying up all night watching netflix.

One of my favorite quotes regarding mind management is by Victor Frankl: “Between stimulus and response there is a space, In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. in our response lies our growth and our happiness.”

What that means is that to find our greatest growth and happiness, we need to tap into our power to choose. We need to elongate that space between stimulus (i.e. I'm bored) and response (i.e. hop on Instagram).

A few ways to stretch out this space and give our rational brains power to choose include: locking the pantry and putting the key in another room, moving social media apps to a hidden folder, uninstalling Netflix, etc

So back to the discomfort that building a business requires! Let's dive in:

1. Insecurity

This one is so common, especially for women! We like to forget that God is calling us to this thing or we think that promoting ourselves is icky or that we can't possibly have enough talent or skill that someone would want our offer.

The solution for insecurity is to discover the thought that is causing it (I just gave you some examples!) and then ask "so what?"

So what if promoting ourselves is icky? So what if we don't have "enough talent" (whatever that means). So what? If you're feeling called to do this thing, or even just curious about it, you have everything you need to go out and get it.

Please know this: the insecurity may never fully go away. It hasn't for me yet! It just morphs and manifests itself in different ways as you progress along your entrepreneurial journey.

Get comfortable with it, learn to feel it and then go out and build your business anyway. The power that comes from doing something you don't feel qualified to do is unparalled. Try it!

2. Boredom

This might not be a super obvious negative emotion that comes up for entrepreneurs but the cold, hard truth is, being your own boss involves doing things that are boring and lame. For example: Taxes. Need I go on? Legal structures, choosing the right email service provider, packaging your 4,000th product. Your journey will surely be filled with tasks that do not feel inspiring or creative or magical. Do them anyway. 

Those boring tasks are the currency of creating the life of your dreams. I will happily choose boring software and package products and do taxes if it means I get to build the business of my dreams and help other moms do the same.

You will be able to outsource some of the boring stuff as you grow, but accept up front that some of your tasks will be lame and have the integrity to do them anyway. Set a timer and go!!

3. Overwhelm

In case you've forgotten, let me remind you that all emotions are choices. Overwhelm is not one that I choose to feel very often.  For me, it makes me impatient and feel like I have to hustle and not make time for my family. So when I feel it coming up, I analyze my thoughts and figure out how to flip it on its head.

Some common thoughts that produce overwhelm for me are "I'll never get all this done", "there's only one of me", "I just can't balance motherhood and this business", or "why did I sign up for all this?"

Once I identify this thought, I then get to work creating the thoughts that will take me out of overwhelm or victim mentality and into empowerment.

Some more helpful thoughts include: "I don't have to get any of this done; what do I CHOOSE to do?", "I can recruit help all around me, What can I ask my family to do or outsource for payment?" "God called me to this business, and if He has faith in me, so do I." 

Try some of those on and step back into your power.

4. Frustration

For me this one comes when things don't go as expected. So the main solution? Change your expectations.

Let me show you how this works with an example. I recently tried out a new software that seemed amazing and had the potential to do what 3-4 separate programs were currently doing for my business. I signed up for it and paid for a year in advance, to the tune of about $1500.

The software was a bit of a train wreck. There were bugs everywhere and it suddenly made my business tasks so much harder and more complicated. I was flooded with frustration stemming from thoughts like "this wasn't supposed to be like this!" "I'm wasting so much time" "I wanted this to be an easy solution and trying it was such a mistake."

I even lost a few potential clients because my website wasn't working as expected.

I finally decided that I could beat my head against the wall or I could decide that this was always supposed to happen. I decided that instead of expecting this software to be perfect, I could just expect it to be a train wreck. I decided I didn't have time for the bugs and I went back to my previous software. It wasn't my favorite experience but quickly learned that fighting against what is will always yield frustration.

5. Confusion

This one is hands down the most common negative emotion that new business owners face. “I don't know how” is the rallying cry for those first few months (or even years) of business. 

But what if you could believe this: You're not supposed to know how. Being a newbie comes with LOTS of learning. How exciting that you get to develop yourself and grow in such a way that you're learning new skills and talents every day!

I've spent the last 8 years building businesses and encountered frustration aplenty! But I have learned so much that just thinking about it makes my head spin. I know how to build a website on 3 different platforms, how to create email automations and marketing funnels. I know how to manufacture a product internationally and domestically, I know how to pay taxes! I know how to open a business account and create an LLC and make and edit videos and podcasts and on and on.

That future you will be so proud of all you've done and learned so do her a favor and do not allow yourself to stay in confusion. You can choose to be confused or you can just choose to decide.

As a final thought, let me remind you that there's nothing wrong with these emotions. They don't feel great but they'll come and go. Allow them to be there but do not indulge in them.

Indulging in emotions fuels inaction. Processing emotions fuels progress. Move through them and let's go.

Are you tired of figuring everythingĀ out on your own?
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