Worry About Your Business: It Would be Weird if You Weren’t
Immediately after my daughter was born and my doctor placed her on my chest he looked at my husband and I and said, “Mom, it’s your job to worry. You will probably never stop worrying from this day forward. Relax, it’s your job. Dad, it’s your job to remind Mom that it’s normal.” When I tell my friends and clients this little anecdote I get reactions from opposite ends of the spectrum. Some are shocked. “What do you mean it’s YOUR job to worry? Worry! That’s awful!” Some are relieved. “I love it! Worrying is normal. You will worry. Good to know, let’s move on.” Being a realist and a psych geek, I tend to fall in the latter camp. It was the perfect sentence at the perfect time and brought to mind one of the things I used to say to my patients in private practice and say to my consulting clients today,”It would be weird if you weren’t.”
In both business and in our personal lives I have found that we are constantly fighting some of the stronger trends of the human condition. Yes, worry, anxiety, grief, even excitement can be uncomfortable, but truth be told, when something major is going on and we feel intensely, there is usually good reason. All these uncomfortable feelings actually mean we are healthy and in pretty darn good mental standing. Stress should make us feel yucky, grief crummy, and anxiety, blah. Conflict with employees, last-minute orders, pulling all-nighters for a big event, yeah it’s going to take a couple of pots of coffee, some deep breathing and maybe even an ugly cry to pull us through. With our business, our sparkling little baby business that we have poured so much heart and soul into, yeah we are going to feel things pretty darn intensely. If we didn’t feel impacted by these things, we would be, well sociopaths, and trust me, this is not something to strive for. It’s a complicated life trying desperately to constantly up the ante of risk to feel anything, and who has time for that when there is a business to run. Anxious? Worried? Stressed about your business from time to time? Good. It would be weird if you weren’t.
I was reminded of all this at one of the Makeshift Society Success Squad meetings that I facilitate with my business partner Sarah Deragon. A member was presenting a business challenge and admitted that she had some serious self-doubt going forward and was wondering how to let go, get rid of it, and move on. Whenever I hear phrases like, “get rid of it,” I immediately chime in. Getting rid of? Gosh that can take years of hard-core analysis, being on the couch three times a week, and a ton of money. A good idea nonetheless, but waiting to get rid of feelings that impact us can totally freeze our business from moving forward. As business owners we always need to separate fact from feeling. Yeah, it would be weird to not have self-doubt when venturing into a new realm for your business. That totally makes sense. My suggestion is, feel it, have the self-doubt, and so what. Keep going. This is not to say do not reflect upon your feelings and have an awareness of your fears moving forward, but don’t let them stop you. We are all afraid and apprehensive when it comes to our business. We are because we care, and when we care about something deeply, guess what, if you are a healthy, mindful adult, chances are you will feel stuff that is going to be annoying to get through at times. It just means you are normal. Congratulations!!