I often work with clients who come to me feeling stuck in their businesses. Over time, I’ve realized that their concerns fell into three categories, and within each category is a skillset issue and a mindset issue.
In this episode, I’m walking you through the three most common things keeping intuitive entrepreneurs and coaches stuck. Then, I’ll show you how to navigate your way through that stuck place.
Skillset issues are things that can be resolved through knowledge acquisition or practice. A mindset issue, on the other hand, addresses how we think about or approach a problem internally.
A skillset issue can be resolved by doing differently, a mindset issue by thinking differently.
“I Don’t Know What I'm Doing.”
(2:00) The most common thing keeping my clients stuck is, “I don't know what I'm doing.” I hear this all the time: from my private clients, my group coaching clients, and the members of my Facebook communities.
Deep down, they feel like they don’t know what they are doing, whether coaching and serving their clients powerfully or being a business owner and understanding how to grow and scale smartly.
First, let’s view this as a skillset issue. If, in fact, it's true that you don't know what you're doing, then from a skillset perspective, this is a knowledge deficit. There’s something that you need to learn or practice to feel more confident in your abilities.
Luckily, this is one of the easiest to address because if there's something you don't know, in this day and age, you have unlimited access to resources that can help you learn.
It starts with doing your homework. Get really clear about what it is you don't know, and then find your answers. You might self-study, reading books or listening to podcasts. You might take a course or complete a coach training program. Or, you might go to the source and find a powerful coach that you respect who can serve as a mentor or a coach. The point is, clarify what you want to know, and then obtain that knowledge to fill that deficit.
The “I don’t know what I am doing” feeling might be more of a mindset issue. It’s a manifestation of imposter syndrome, which I’ve talked about on this podcast before.
I’ve worked with many clients who really believed that they were a fraud, that they had no right to do what they were doing. They could only move forward once they’d addressed that voice telling them, “you can’t do this. Who do you think you are?” Once they were able to address that, that's when they really started taking off in their businesses.
Imposter syndrome is simply your fear made manifest. We’ve talked a lot about fear in the past (you can learn more about fear-based decision-making here and about ways to overcome our fear here). The bottom line is that fear serves a purpose – it keeps us safe, which is not a bad thing. Fear helps us, but it can show up in different ways, so we need to be aware of how it shows up and how we respond to it.
This is where honing your intuitive sense can be really helpful because when you know the fear is your intuition saying, “hold up, hit the brakes, this is not good,” then you can honor the fear. You can pause and can recognize it as something that is serving you and make decisions accordingly.
But often, as is the case of imposter syndrome fear, it’s mind-generated fear. Big risks, whether in life or business, feel unsafe. So your mind responds by doing everything it can to keep you safe, including pummeling you with self-doubt.
When you can stop and recognize what your mind is doing, it empowers you to decide if you want to listen to that fear or move forward boldly in spite of it. You are in full control here. Just because your mind is feeding you these messages doesn't mean you have to buy into them.
So if you hear the “I’m not good enough” voices, recognize that this is fear showing up. Your job is to notice the fear, recognize its role, and then decide how you want to respond. If it’s intuitive fear – if this is your intuition showing up and saying no – then that is worthy of being honored. However, if your mind is feeding you a slideshow of “what ifs,” it may not be serving you, and it may be time to take action anyway.
“I Am Not _________ Enough.”
(12:00) This is a fill in the blank exercise. My clients often tell me they’re not “smart enough,” “talented enough,” “gifted enough,” “good enough,” “thin enough.” Essentially, we’re saying, “I am not enough.”
First, let’s look at this problem through the lens of it being a skillset issue. Many times, if a client is saying they’re not enough, it’s because of an experience deficit. Maybe you’re feeling unsure because you don’t have enough practice yet to feel confident about your abilities.
How do you combat that? Well, the only way to get better at something is to do it. That's it. You have to take action. Clarity, confidence, and success come from action. You will not get better or feel more confident about yourself unless you are actually taking action
Start by taking small steps. If you simply take the next small step towards your goal, over time, those small steps are going to add up to significant progress. And yes, it is scary to do something new and put yourself out there. But give yourself permission to start small and to improve.
View this as your “before picture.” Your “after picture” is going to be amazing, but part of what makes an after picture so amazing is the transformation that occurs.
Finally, remember that you are not going to get better without some hiccups and failures along the way. FAIL stands for “First Attempt In Learning.” We do not have to be defined by the outcome. We can learn and grow through unexpected results.
Speaking of “failure,” that leads into the mindset piece of “I Am Not ______ Enough.” Typically, this comes from a case of “comparisonitis.” This is what happens when we look at where we are now and compare it to someone who is where we want to be. We look at what everyone else is doing, and we see ourselves as somehow deficient or unworthy. That comparison breeds the belief that we're not good enough to do something.
How do we resolve this? One word: attention.
Notice where you are directing your attention. When comparisonitis comes up, it's because our attention is focused on everyone else, not where it belongs: on the client and our own experience.
If social media is causing the comparisonitis, find ways to limit your exposure. Maybe it’s taking a social media hiatus, or surrounding yourself with people who are going to build you up and support you. It might mean taking a content vacation, where you don’t consume content until you have created your own.
However you do it, attention is about putting your eyes on your work and shutting out what other people are doing. It also means redirecting your attention back to the client, back to the people that you are serving because that's where it belongs. Too often, we forget that we are already serving people in our lives powerfully. When we fall into the trap of comparisonitis, then it pulls us away from showing up and serving those people powerfully.
“I’m Not Going to Be Successful”
(20:00) The third and final thing that keeps my clients stuck is the idea that there is the pressure to succeed and the fear that we won’t be successful. It’s the thought that if we don’t succeed right away, then it's not worth doing. Or if I'm not successful, that there's something wrong with me.
Whereas the other issues we talked about today were a knowledge deficit or an experience deficit, this is more of an “expectation deficit.” It's this idea that success will happen quickly when, in fact, success really happens over time. There are very few overnight successes.
Most small businesses need three to five years of runway before they're able to start generating consistent revenue and profit. All of those little actions that we talked about add up over time, but time is a part of the equation.
Give yourself the gift of patience and remind yourself that you are right on time for your life, and you are doing everything you need to do to be successful.
If you know in your soul that this is the work you’re meant to do, your job right now is to keep at it and persevere. If you're not sure that this is what you're meant to do, I'm going to refer you back to Episode 23, where I introduce my D.E.C.I.D.E. Framework. This process helps you harness your intuition to help you make decisions in your life.
What if the pressure to succeed is more of a mindset issue (and I’m guessing it is)? In that case, that voice telling us we have to succeed is just another manifestation of fear. It usually shows up as perfectionism. Many of us heard as children in school or from our parents that if it's not done well, if it's not done perfectly, then it's not worth doing at all. However, this could not be further from the truth.
I believe that our greatest lessons come from the things that don't go as planned. I don't call them mistakes because I don't believe in mistakes. We have unexpected outcomes, unanticipated outcomes, but that doesn't mean that they're mistakes; they are opportunities for growth.
When we don't face adversity, we don't strengthen ourselves. We need those unexpected outcomes to strengthen ourselves and to grow. From a mindset perspective, this means we need to redefine how we view failure.
We can take these unexpected or unwanted outcomes and find the lessons in them so that the next time, we're stronger and wiser for it. In doing so, we can release ourselves from the pressure of perfectionism and remind ourselves that success comes over time.
The Coach With Clarity® Membership
(27:00) We certainly tackled quite a lot today. I bring these three issues to your attention because they are common issues keeping talented coaches stuck.
That’s also why I created my membership site, Coach With Clarity®.
Keeping these three problems in mind, I based my membership site on three pillars:
Helping entrepreneurs address the skills deficits we talked about today: How do I coach someone? How do I get clients? It’s about addressing the “how-tos” through a content-oriented approach.
This pillar addresses the mindset piece because through connecting with ourselves and others, we build greater self-awareness. The Coach With Clarity site builds a supportive community so we can grow together faster.
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely experience. Many of us are sitting alone in our offices or our homes making our businesses work, and that can be isolating. There's so much benefit to having a supportive community behind you. If you are an intuitive coach who is looking to build your skillset as a coach and your mindset as an entrepreneur, then the Coach With Clarity membership is for you.
(29:20) Every month you will get access to a hot seat coaching Q and A calls, and access to training from guest experts. We also have a coworking session that helps keep you accountable and get stuff done. I’m also excited to introduce the partner match program, which links interested members together to create unity and accountability.
Plus, I'm also providing members with lifetime access to all of the videos and trainings from the 2019 clarity summit.
Coach With Clarity is perfect for the intuitive coach who seeks an aligned approach to the art of coaching, one that balances the craft of coaching and the practice and refining your coaching skills with the necessity of building your business, because you need both.
To learn more about the program and to take advantage of early-bird pricing through October 13, 2019, head over to CoachWithClarity.com.
Make It Work Moment
(35:00) This week’s Make It Work Moment has listeners examine the three ideas that keep us stuck. Choose the one that resonates most, and then decide if it’s a skillset issue for you or a mindset issue for you. Once you’ve determined your struggle, use the method I’ve outlined to get you back on track.
Thank you so much for joining me today. For more information and detailed discussion about today’s topic, sign up for my email list (don’t worry: I won't spam my contacts!) You can click here to sign up.
Until next week, remember to let your inner wisdom lead the way…
Mentioned in this episode:
- Work Your Inner Wisdom website
- Coach With Clarity® Membership Program
- Episode 17: The Four Fs of Fear-Based Action
- Episode 3: The Art and Science of Intuition
- Episode 6: Leading From Your Intuition
- Episode 9: What to Do When You’re Feeling Stuck
- Episode 23: The D.E.C.I.D.E. Framework
- Work Your Inner Wisdom Facebook Community
- Follow Lee on Instagram!