Do you ever look at someone that's out in the world, making a living doing what they love and think "if they can be successful living out their dreams, why can't I do it too"? And once you get up the courage to go out and actually start something creating that dream, you realize just how much work there is and how stressful it can be.
I've been absolutely blessed to be able to do what I love for the last 17 years of my life, but there has always been something missing. A feeling that I was meant to do more, be more. A desire to build my very own creative business.
But I can't do that, I'm just me. Who am I to think that I can create an amazing business like moms and women all over the world are doing. I'm too old, not enough skills, I've never done this before, blah … blah … blah.
That's what we tell ourselves, right? That we are not good enough, or talented enough, or creative enough, but that's just plain wrong. Wrong I tell ya!
Because you know what, I am awesome and creative and talented, and you are too! You just have to keep telling yourself that, because hey, we women can be downright stubborn and hard-headed, right?
Unfortunately, we all have these pesky little things called "thoughts" that run through our heads all day and take us on a never-ending emotional roller coaster of "I can do this" to "What on earth am I thinking" to "Nope, I got this" to "OMG, I've lost my ever lovin mind".
You have those thoughts too, don't ya?
You know what, it's totally normal and ok to have all those thoughts fly through your mind. Those thoughts are meant to protect us, but you don't have to listen to them because they are just that, thoughts. And you have way more control over your thoughts thank you probably think.
When I find myself feeling crushed under a blanket of anxiety and feeling like I should just give up on my dreams, I've found that if I can simply take a step back, refocus, and let the feelings pass, I can get back to making my dreams into realities.
Here are a few of my favorite tips on how to handle stress when starting a new business. If you find yourself in a struggle to keep going, maybe try one of these suggestions, heck, why not try them all.
I'm also including a set of printable journaling pages that are great for helping you get out all the stressful, negative thoughts that sometimes hold us back from reaching for our goals. You can find them at the bottom of this post.
This is one of my faves!
Practicing daily gratitude is amazing for keeping your mind in a positive place. How can you think negative thoughts when you are busy being grateful for all the goodness in your life?
Do you ever stop and think about just how much you have to be grateful for? We all have tremendous struggles in our lives, and sometimes it can seem like the weight of the world is sitting on your shoulders, but even during the most difficult times, I bet you still have so much awesomeness in your life.
Thinking about everything I am thankful for in my life brings me back to a positive mindset and helps me to get my "I can do this" attitude back.
When I feel my energy shifting to a negative place, one of fear and frustration, I like to just stop the negative thoughts and immediately start thinking of everything I am thankful for. Before long, the bad thoughts are no more.
Here are a few ways you can practice gratitude:
- Say what you are grateful for out loud (or in your head if talking out loud is too weird).
- Keep a daily gratitude journal and write down everything you are thankful for.
- Tell someone how much they mean to you. Every day!
- Frame an art print on gratitude and place it on your desk for a daily reminder to be thankful.
- Keep a Pinterest board of motivational quotes and ways you can be thankful and look at it often.
Don't have a journal or a notebook? Here are a few of my favorites from Amazon, or you can print of a set of free journaling pages found at the bottom of this post.
Ok, I'm no expert at meditation. As a matter of fact, I'm very new at the practice of meditation. I actually have a hard time sitting still long enough to try and quiet my mind.
But I find meditation fascinating. How some people can completely clear their mind of all the "noise" is amazing.
As I travel on this journey of building a creative business, I feel like I have more thoughts cluttering my mind than ever. And sometimes I just want to shut my brain off, if only for a moment.
So I try to take some time when I can and sit in a quiet room and clear my mind. It's hard, really hard. But when I can clear my thoughts, even for a brief time, I can really tell the difference.
What has worked for me is to visualize a gorgeous beach with crystal clear water. It's my happy place. It's quiet, and peaceful and helps me to clear my mind of all the hectic thoughts.
Now, if only I could transport myself there.
Where is your happy place?
Visualize yourself doing what you love
I truly believe in the power of visualizing what you want in order for it to become a reality. I've read so many books on the Law of Attraction and how powerful our thoughts can be. Most of us don't realize that our thoughts control our subconscious mind which in turn creates our reality.
Deep, I know!
But seriously, if you want to do what you love for a living, then see yourself as if you are already doing it. Visualize yourself running a successful company, or building an amazing blog, or working in a job that you love.
You may not know exactly how you are going to get there, and that's ok. You just need to believe with everything inside that you can do it. See yourself doing it. Live like you are already doing it. Know without a doubt that you can achieve it.
I walked into a friend's house almost a year ago and said that I would eventually create the design business of my dreams and would work to help other women build their businesses. I had no idea how or when that would happen, but I knew deep down that it would.
Here I am a year later, and I am working to turn that dream into a reality. I have a long way to go, but I've come so far, and it all started with a simple vision.
Write your dreams down on paper, say them out loud, tell the universe or God or whatever you believe in what you want for your life. Know that great things are waiting for you and believe that you will achieve them.
Make a plan and stick to it
I have a bit of trouble with plans. I'm one of those people that have 20 thoughts going on in my head at any given time, and I feel like I should be working on at least 15 of them simultaneously. This gets me absolutely nowhere but spinning my wheels.
As I work to build my business and learn new skills, one of the areas I have really tried to focus on is planning and productivity.
I'm fantastic at making to-do lists but not so great at making a plan and then focusing on ONE thing at a time. But I'm getting better. And I find that when I can really narrow down my plan to only focus on one or two things at a time, I can accomplish so much more.
So when you are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed with all you have to do, grab a notebook and a pen and get to creating a plan. Figure out what is most important to help you reach your goals and plan out the best way to get there. Let go of the little things and focus on what matters most.
Stress happens, but you can handle it
Creating a new business has been one of the most amazing and exciting times in my life, but has also brought crushing stress and anxiety. There are days I feel utterly invincible and even more days I'm terrified of failure. It's uncomfortable and a tad bit scary, but I know that those feelings will pass and be replaced with feelings of unstoppableness.
If you are experiencing anything similar, just know that "this too shall pass," and it always does. You have to stay strong and keep going because you deserve a wonderfully successful life and a job that you love.
When times get tough, simply stop and take a breath, and tell yourself over and over and over that you really can do this. The only person who can stop you is you!
Now go create a life you love.