Do have days when you just want to hide? Crawl under the duvet?
Draw the blinds and not speak to anyone?
OR You're OK speaking to people - but only if they're in your immediate safe circle of loved ones? Does the idea of talking to new people and telling them what you do make your stomach churn?
Going to the networking meeting seem akin to climbing a mountain in the energy it takes.
It does me some days. Putting yourself 'out there' in your business is knee knocking scary. It can feel exposed and vulnerable and obnoxious and ...urgh. And there are some days I will do almost anything to avoid that feeling.
Unfortunately the thing about a business is that you have to be putting yourself out there on a consistent basis. Often on a far more regular basis than your comfort zone allows.
I don't want people to see inside my head. Sometime my heart feels too fragile to be exposed. And often the temptation to sit in my office, with my cozy things, pottering about on Facebook and redesigning my logo feels really, REALLY good. But it's not growing my business.
And if you're doing the same, it's not growing yours. And generally businesses need to grow in order to become sustainable, and they need to become sustainable to survive. By sustainable I mean be generating enough income to pay your bills, feed yourself and your family and allow you to do the things in life that make it a rich and lovely experience.
Being sustainable means having consistent interest from potential clients. To have clients paying you money. To have created enough of an audience to not be hustling for rent every month. That's what I want for you - but I don't know any way of doing it without people knowing you're there.
The Old Way Sometimes opting for a 'Grrrrrr - Just F*cking Do It!' works - for a time. It IS possible to smash through your self imposed barriers. But it's not necessary, sustainable or effective long term. In my experience, white knuckling your way through your limiting beliefs, discomfort and fears is exhausting - and often leads you right back to the cocoon of safety sooner or later. Plus it's really f*cking hard work! Thankfully there's another way - one that's easier, more effective and a helluva lot more enjoyable.
Gently and kindly stretching your comfort zone
This involves progressively moving through your fears and stretching your comfort zone - rather than going all out and ending up in your panic zone (panic zones lead to our brains freezing up and that's NOT great for our well-being, creativity or coaching prowess).
Think of it as peeling off the protective layers slowly, letting yourself acclimatize to the new level of visibility. Get used to it and pretty soon you're ready to step it up again, peel off another layer and let yourself get used to that reality until it feels comfortable.
Make a list of things you could do to become more visible to your clients.
Write down the numbers 1 through 10 down one side of the paper.
1= not even a teeny tiny bit scary
10 = so scary I'm going vomit right here right now. Then pass out.
Next to each number write an activity on its scale of scariness. Don't worry - I'm NOT going to ask you to do all of them!
Over the next 5 days work your way up that list - starting at the low end and getting past the middle.
Remember - This is based on your own rating scale - what scares you the most will likely be slightly different to what scares me, or scares coach Julie, or Natasha or Mohamed. Want some company? Hop on over to my Facebook Mastermind (it's free and filled with other lovely coaches) and let's take the challenge together.