The lizard brain.
There are many labels for what I’m about to cover, but for now, let’s refer to it as the ego.
It’s that part of you that holds you back. It has good intentions, but it makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
It makes you feel like you can’t build a lifestyle business around your passion.
The solution is to realize what’s really going on.
Those thoughts of insecurity and negativity are merely thoughts. And you are not your thoughts. You are the awareness behind your thoughts.
You make the drama of life possible.
You are the dance floor, not the dance.
Let’s dive into how your ego sabotages your business and life, so you can become more aware of what’s going on.
Comparing yourself to others will make you miserable.
It made me miserable. I looked at fellow change-makers, and I saw how much more subscribers they had.
I thought I would never reach the same level.
But the truth is that I don’t have to reach any level, because all of this is going on in my head. All I have to do is follow my excitement.
I can only do what I can do.
If I try to follow someone else, I’ll end up even more miserable.
Stop comparing yourself to anyone, and start following that inner voice of wisdom that’s always been there waiting for you.
I’ve written a lot about excuses.
Thoughts will pop into your head for why you can’t do this.
Whether you give those thoughts authority or not is up to you.
No one can stand in your way if you’re determined enough to take action. It’s now or never. You can make excuses, or you can take action.
Stop waiting for things to fall into place.
Stop waiting for that perfect business idea, and just start.
I held myself back with excuses for several years before I started. Don’t let that be you.
3. Intense Desire
Building a business takes time. If you’re constantly waiting for the future, you’ll suffer.
Instead, learn to be happy in the present moment.
How do you do that?
You stop living in your mind and reclaim your place in the present moment.
Notice your breathing going in and out.
Become aware of your whole body, and feel the aliveness that’s already here.
No external circumstances can give you happiness, because happiness comes from the inside. Even people who win the lottery eventually return to their normal state of happiness.
Intense desire not only leads to suffering, but it also makes you feel like you have to force success.
In the end, there is no rush, so learn to enjoy what you already have, then take steps from that state of positivity and your life will change.
4. Discomfort Avoidance
This too shall pass.
Everything will dissolve sooner or later.
I will die. You will die. Everything is in constant flux. Everything changes.
Security is an illusion. And discomfort is created in the mind. Life is not good or bad, but how you relate to it determines how you feel.
When you build a business, you will have to face your inner demons. You will have to put yourself out there and keep going when the going gets tough.
Life will throw challenges at you whether you start now or later, because that’s how we grow as human beings. We’re here to learn from the challenges we face.
Your ego will want to run away. It wants safety and comfort, which in reality doesn’t exist. When you stay present with the madness of the mind, everything changes.
5. Trying to Figure It Out
This is a big one.
Our mind wants to analyze, think, and then think some more.
But trying to figure out the perfect formula doesn’t work. Believe me, I’ve tried. If you’re just starting out, you don’t know what to expect. You have no experience, which means you can’t figure anything out, because you don’t know the variables.
Even now when I know what I’m doing, I still can’t figure things out. I can’t predict the future.
This used to drive me crazy. Now I breathe and say yes to the uncertainty. I still feel discomfort from time to time, but that’s okay.
All I can do is follow my heart and do my best.
Perfection is not required to do what you love.
I’m the happiest when I give freely.
And this is a moment in my life when I’m giving more than I have ever given in the past.
This doesn’t mean I give away all my products. It just means that I’m constantly thinking about how I can add value to the people I come in contact with.
I think about what’s best for my readers, customers and clients. I think about how I can give more without burning myself out.
When you shift your mindset to giving, even if you don’t have much, your life will change, because the more you give, the more you get.
Within reason, of course.
7. Freak Outs
Finally, we have freak outs.
Freak outs are to be expected when you’re doing something meaningful.
You’ll notice that you’re in a freak out because you think all hope is lost. It feels like your whole world is collapsing around you.
It feels like you’re not good enough.
It feels like all the work you’ve put into starting a lifestyle business is for naught.
When you notice what’s going on, all you can do is welcome it. Say yes to the negativity, but don’t take any action from this state.
If you take action when you feel negative, it’ll lead to more negativity. Break the cycle by becoming intensely present with what you are feeling.
Let go of the obsessive thoughts and breathe.
Transform Your Life, Transform Your Business
If you can really take in what you’ve just read, your life will change.
I know it has changed mine.
It takes time though, so be okay with however long it takes. There’s no rush. You might notice your ego popping up once a week, and that’s fine.
You’ll get better.
But above all, know that you already have what you need to get started.
There’s nothing holding you back from starting your lifestyle business except the thoughts you choose to believe in.
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Brilliant post once again. Isnt it amazing how i was just thinking about this stuff on my walk this morning and i come home log in and here are the answers 🙂
Yes, funny how that works, indeed 😉
You have such an empowering state of mind – I love it. I’m so glad you decided to say yes to your passion. You’re inspiring.
If I had not taken up mindfulness meditation around the same time that I decided to start a blog I would not still be here, I would have given up long ago.
Mindfulness has given me the courage to persist through the freakouts, not good enough and overwhelm stages.
That’s great, Priska. It’s so useful to realize that the thoughts we have are not the ultimate authority.
Thanks for all that! I have never heard anything like the “Freak Out” info, but I have experianced it too many times. I love how you described what this is when it overtakes one. Soo upbeat and positive. I need to read your stuff more regularly. And 2nd the “Trying To Figure It Out” is a real waker upper. Indeed stop with the excuses and reasons one cannot do. Just do cause I got it. Awesome Thankx
Awesome stuff. Thanks Gigi!
Hey Henri, awesome post.
I would say that Item No.5 is the one that is most detrimental to me. I am countering this tendency, but it is a work in progress.
I don’t know if you still keep up with poker literature but I see a lot of these obstacles as forms of Poker Tilt. Have you read Jared Tendler and Barry Carter’s “The mental game of poker”?
If not, I suggest it, a lot of the information relates to non poker performance and the poker terminology helps people with history with the game relate to the concepts/terminology.
I haven’t had anything to do with poker since I stopped playing. But I did read The Mental Game of Poker years ago, or I may be confusing it with another similar book. I completely agree, there is a form of business tilt, and even life tilt. It’s everywhere, and the only way through is to transcend it.
Henri, do you miss the game?
Not at all. The last few years of playing I lost interest, and that interest hasn’t come back since.
Phil Phoenix says
Who said we cant learn from the young? at 70 I’ve learnt a lot from reading your blogs. As a writer I have learnt that I have to treat my field as a business, and take it to the next level. Thankyou so much for your incredible insight.
I feel honored, Phil. Thank you so much for sharing what’s going on and being a reader.
Emmanuel Tei Dorgbey says
I have been reading your post for some couple of weeks know and this message have had a lot of change in my life and i have to say that am soo grateful for your good works your doing. I want to ask a question, does one need to acquire life experience before he writes a book relating to the tittle of the book he want to write?
Glad to hear that!
Your questions is difficult to answer, because it depends. It depends on if people are getting something from your book. It could be inspiration, motivation, education, or a good story. There needs to be value for the reader.