You wish it was ‘one of those days’, only because it’s been weeks and months of feeling like you’re going nowhere in your business. You feel like things will never get better. In fact, there are times you find yourself opening up the job websites and searching for a 9-5 because it will never get better.
I understand. I had big plans for 2016, it was going to be my year! I had had a run of successful workshops in 2015 and I was ready to go big. Except that before we even hit the end of January, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Bam! I thought, “My life will never get better”. In fact, I couldn’t even look for a job because I knew my parents needed me and I just had to tread water and do the best I could.
It may never get better
Here’s the thing. My Dad did die. After 10 months and many admissions to hospital, cancer got the better of him and my life changed forever.
But that’s the thing. My life as I knew it never got better, it got different. There was now a new normal for my life.
Think of it this way, if you’re old enough. Remember borrowing a library book and grabbing the card, having it date stamped? Now we download books straight to our phone. Remember dial-up internet & waiting for someone to get off the phone or a phone call coming through and booting your connection? Now even our fridge is connected to the internet & phone calls only interrupt us if we’re live-streaming on our mobile phones. We have a new normal. And boy don’t we know it when it’s taken away. We thought it would never get better than dial-up & now we wait overnight for the latest phone.
You will adapt to this new normal, even though it may not get better per your ‘old’ normal or look like you’d planned.
What to do when you realise it may never get better
People say, “This too shall pass” and it does but how do you actually get through the passing time?
When it comes to business, while you do it for you, you also do it for others. So take some time and get off self. In business, your business is so much more about other people than it is yourself. Go volunteer. Go do something nice for a long-standing client. Turn your focus outwards. Did you know that it’s been shown that people who volunteer their time or do a good deed for someone will feel happy long after the overthinking is complete?
When we feel that things will never get better, we are looking inwards. Now there’s nothing wrong with a little internal navel-gazing so long as we are using it to move forward and grow. But that’s generally not the mindset we are in when we are wading through this space.
Turning your energy outwards is a pattern interrupt and it’s a 180 on your mindset. I’m all in favour of doing these things when you’re stuck.
Pattern interrupts, like Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule, can break a spiral and move us to a new place – fast. It also removes any thinking or overthinking, we might be doing. It cuts one thing off and replaces it with another.
Doing a 180, moving from self to others, is no normal distraction technique.
You can also do a 180 and write it all down. I’ve suggested taking a common practice or belief in your industry and writing something in direct opposition to it. This flipped thinking forces you to take a different perspective and gets you looking at a situation for a whole other viewpoint. (And sometimes we need to take a new perspective)
The final word when you think it’s never going to get better
If you find that time is dragging on and you don’t feel any better. Please seek help.
Talk to your/an accountant to check your financials.
Talk to your/a lawyer about any legal complications.
Talk to a friend in business.
Talk to a friend who has your back.
Too often in business, especially in small, micro, or family businesses, we feel like we are all alone and we have to do it all. We’re not and we don’t.
When my Dad was sick, I saw a psychologist. When I was lost in my business last year, I spoke with a messaging expert. When I was ready to grow my business in 2017, I hired a business coach.
Gather people around you. The people who support you. The people who will hold your faith in you until you can do it alone. The people who will tell you the truth because you need to hear it and not because they need to feel good saying it. I know I now have a different type of better, one I never imagined, and it’s growing on me.