Ok, we’ve all been there before. Feeling totally STUCK and STRESSED OUT in your business. Things are moving slower than molasses in January (as my dad loves to lament about grandma drivers on the road). And no matter how much effort and energy you pour into your business, sh*t ain’t going anywhere.
What Happens When We’re Stuck and Stressed
When we’re feeling stuck, our energy has no where to go. It spins, festers, and grows in magnitude. Specifically, we trap it within ourselves emotionally, mentally, and physically. Without a positive outlet, this raw energy quickly transmutes to stress.
We aren’t supposed to feel stressed as our norm (though our culture tends to glorify it). But truthfully, being stressed, anxious, fearful, and overwhelmed isn’t supposed to be the norm. Our bodies simply can’t take on that stress for extended periods of time.
Not to mention, when we’re stressed, we’re usually acting from fear. When we’re acting from fear, we usually aren’t creating our best work. And when we aren’t creating our best work, we aren’t of best service to the planet.
You were not created to be stressed the f*ck out.
Yet, our bodies were designed to increase adrenaline and cortisol when our survival and security are threatened. For our ancestors, this meant fight, flight, or freeze when you saw a mountain lion staring straight into your eyes.
But fortunately for us, we don’t have to worry about being attacked by mountain lions in our day-to-day lives. However, we do experience the same physical reaction when we feel unsafe. Like rent being due and not know how we’re going to pay it, having friction and pressure in client relationships, dealing with mommy issues (my signature go-to), or that new program not taking off like you hoped.
The Uniqueness of Entrepreneurial Stress
Even though our bodies weren’t designed to maintain stress for a long time, I also want to remind you that what you’re going through right now is also totally normal.
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of hearted. While I love to support my clients in accessing more ease and flow in their businesses (and lives), being an entrepreneur is hard f*cking work.
Not just because of the monsterous to-do lists (btw, we should also chat more about that because subconsciously creating more chaos is also totally a thing), but because entrepreneurship is a mirror for everything that’s going on inside YOU as a human.
So before we dive into the rest of this post, I invite you take three deep breaths. Seriously, I’ll wait just for you.
And I want to let you know that you’re doing great. Really. You’re showing up and doing work that most people would run screaming from because not only is running a business different than what our society says is “consistent and trustworthy”, but you’re also doing the inner work to allow yourself to do more and be more – as a human and a business owner.
That’s some badass sh*t. FOR REAL. So let’s give ourselves a break, right?
It’s ok that you don’t have your sh*t together all the time. It’s ok for you to be a mess. It’s ok for you to have no clue what the f*ck you’re doing or what’s coming next.
It’s ok for you to be imperfect, to be human, and to be YOU. In whatever state of being that is.
Also, I feel compelled to share that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Part of our job as entrepreneurs is to manage the unknown. We gotta be able to do trust falls with the Universe.
(I also recognize that when you’re stressed the f*ck out, the last thing you want to hear is “just trust that it’ll be ok”. So it’s totally cool if you want to punch me in the face for that one. Just please, don’t actually do it.)
How to Let Your Stress Actually SERVE You
(yes, it really can)
Ok, all of that to say that while stress SUCKS, it can also be a powerful tool for us. Since we’re NOT supposed to feel stressed out, we can use our stress to diagnose what the f*ck is actually going on, learn the reasons we feel threatened, heal some old wounds, and choose to love and accept ourselves even when we’re feeling like the biggest f*cking failures EVER.
Whenever I allowed myself to deeper understand what was happening on the inside (in times of high stress, doubt, fear, etc), my business FLOURISHED on the other side. Please, use me as evidence that that actually works. Not only in helping you feel better, but also in re-accessing your creativity, joy, expansion, and ability to receive.
Step One | Pump the Breaks
I know, I know. Slowing down (and actually stopping) can feel completely counter intuitive. But if you really want to figure out what’s happening and get to the root of the problem, you HAVE to do to this one.
And to help your over-active brain downshift from frazzled “gotta do more shit to fix the problem” to actually being able to create space to better understand yourself, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to allow yourself to slow down.
- Am I in any immediate danger? I.e. Am I about to get evicted this very second? Am I about to get throat punched by that client? Am I staring right into the eyes of a mountain lion?
- If yes, get out of immediate danger. Fortunately, your instinct will take over and take care of that one. If NO, then tell yourself that. Literally out loud, say “I’m not in any immediate danger. I am safe in this moment.”
- From there, choose to give yourself the space to deeper understand what’s happening. “Since I’m not in immediate danger and I am safe, I can afford (and DESERVE) to set aside some time, energy, and space to deeper understand why I feel threatened and scared. I’m worth it and my business is worth it.”
Because yes, yes you are. Also, it gets easier the more that you practice this.
Step Two | Open a Conversation With Your Inner World
There are three entities within that I encourage you to open conversations with in order to get the root of what’s happening. Get into a comfortable position. I recommend laying with your back to the ground to hack your nervous system and feel supported by the earth.
Remember: You are not in immediate danger. This takes 10-20 minutes. You can totally afford this investment (and yes, it’s an investment because it has a huge ROI when you do it and the more you do it).
Ask the Body
First, tune into your body by feeling your breath. Feel the refreshing stretch in your chest as you breath in fresh, clean air. Revel in the delight and release on your exhale.
Then, scan your body and evaluate where you physically feel the stress. As I mentioned in this post on feeling like a failure, your body holds the map as to what’s going on. Where your stress appears is unique to everyone.
Personally, I usually feel stress in my chest because it triggers something in my heart chakra (often about being enough). If you feel tightness in your throat, it could be triggering your voice and feeling heard. Or tension in your gut is a trigger around your ability to create and experience pleasure.
That information alone helps better understand what part of you is feeling denied, threatened, and unsafe.
Ask Your Stress
From there, take a few deep breaths. Thank your body for being here to support you and share more about what’s happening within.
Then, ask your stress what message it has for you. If you’re especially clairvoyant (ex. visualizations help you access intuition), visualize sitting down in a safe space with your stress and ask it what it’s here to show and tell you.
Now, here’s the important part…listen. This is your intuition, spirit guides, guardian angels, loved ones, and other divine guidance speaking right to you.
Listen openly and with love. Trust that what comes through is exactly what you’re meant to hear. Then, write it down (I truly recommend via pen and paper).
Ask Your Inner Child
Our subconscious mind is almost fully developed by the time we’re about 6 or 7 years old. This is the reptilian part of our brain (also where we store fight/flight/freeze).
This part of the mind has no capacity for language like the conscious mind. But does speak to us through our body and feelings.
This is exactly why you can say/think “I’m going to do this and follow through” but you never seem to make it happen. You can have a million and one reasons for why this new thing is a great strategy and it’s going to be totally awesome. But if your subconscious has a different story (it’s not safe for you show up consistently, it’s not safe for you to grow, etc.), that’s why you always seem to fall off the wagon.
(I use this as an example because showing up consistently is 100% something that I’m always working on and healing.)
Your subconscious mind has A LOT to say about what makes you feel safe and secure (again, stores where we activate fight/flight/freeze as a reaction to feeling threatened).
We learn much of this when we’re children. Our inner child is queen of the castle when it comes to what we allow for ourselves to feel safe and secure.
So, ask her what’s up. Ask her what’s threatening, what she’s afraid will happen, and why she’s feeling unsafe and insecure. Of course, do all of this exploration with so much love and compassion just as you would for an actual child who was in front of you, crying, scared, and feeling deeply unsafe.
I recommend doing this exercise through stream of conscious journaling. Because it will give you the opportunity to literally see common themes and patterns.
Making the Most of the Inner Work
Between your body, stress, and inner child, you’ll see so much more of what’s going on and the root cause of your stress (beyond the immediate circumstance). And it’s in witnessing, loving, and healing this part of you that’s going to actually make a MASSIVE difference in your life and business.
You’re doing the REAL work. This is the inner work that we’re always talking about. And by creating this space to better understand yourself and allow yourself to heal, you’re allowing yourself to expand – and your life and business will show for it.
Thanks for showing up for you. Because the more you show up for her, the more you allow yourself to show up for everyone and everything around you.
You’re so f*cking worthy of taking up more space, healing, and rising. You’re so incredibly worthy of the success that you desire for yourself, your business, and your life.
You’re so worthy regardless of how much you slayed your to-do list or how much money you made. Your worthiness is your birthright.
In this post, not only did I want to support you in better understanding yourself and your stress, but I also want to invite you to take back your power in this situation. There is nothing in this world that is greater than your power and your worthiness (unless you let them be).
You’ve got you. You really do. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
And you’ve got me, the Big U, your guides, and #teamotherside, here to support you every step of the way. If you’re lacking faith and trust in yourself, borrow our belief in you (while you continue to build your own).
This life is a gift. Everything in it. The more that we let it serve us, the more that we receive from it. Let this experience be a gift in loving and accepting yourself more. Let this be a testament to how powerful, capable, and magical you are.
You’re enough. So so so enough. Let yourself feel it.
With love and unwavering faith in you,