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You have goals that you want to accomplish in your business. We often think that it means we need to learn new skills or observe how others have achieved similar goals.
This can be part of the process but it’s not all. In order to hit the next level of growth, you must grow your identity as well as your skill set. Becoming a person who believes that they are capable of solving problems, getting clients and achieving impossible goals is foundational.
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I was thinking about how important it is to be in growth mode throughout the different stages of your business. Next level growth happens as a result of what you choose to do from a proactive and intentional way of thinking. Next level growth is going from where you are now to a future level of accomplishment.
But even if you want to maintain what you have, effort is required to maintain current income and clients. We cannot escape the work of effort: it does takes marketing and sales to keep your business afloat, whatever that looks like for you; even if what you want is to stay at your current level in terms of income and clients, you must grow.
That’s why the saying if you aren’t growing you are dying exists. That’s probably one of the first concepts to get comfortable with because it’s possible to create a business and watch it disintegrate.
Next level growth is the result you get from being proactive and intentional. Being proactive and intentional happens when you see yourself as a person who has the capacity to grow. What this means that you must create the identity and expectation of a business owner. So if you want to have a coaching business, you must be ready to do the work of growing your business for either maintenance or next level goals.
Because growth is proactive and intentional, a lack of growth is the opposite and can create reactive energy. If you find yourself feeling frustrated and out of control in your business, this is how it feels to be in reactive energy. It’s made of thought errors. Reactive energy happens because you are not focused on what you are actually in control of and what happens is that you are at the mercy of the current results, limiting beliefs or even a mood.
Chances are that you want to create a profitable business and you are riding out the emotional ebbs and flows of the entrepreneurial journey. You probably experience days or moments when you aren’t in the mood to deal with the obstacles in front of you but you know you don’t want to quit, either. How you think about those moments will help determine your capacity to achieve that next level of growth. It will determine how your journey feels, emotionally and mentally. Your emotional management on this journey is totally up to you and it depends on what you focus on and what you believe about yourself.
In challenging moments, you may feel frustrated or defeated. The more skill we can use to navigate the challenging moments, the less power they have over us. We all have those moments but I think we can agree we would like to create stability and certainty. The more we can create that, the more likely we are to grow and achieve our business goals.
Today’s podcast is about how to think about yourself within your specific challenges so that you can rebound more quickly and grow. I know you are ready to hit that next level of growth or you wouldn’t be listening. So let’s do this.
The most thing to remember is that hitting that next level of growth means that you must grow your identity as an individual and as an entrepreneur. It’s very tempting to think that you can primarily focus on the skill set of learning how to do the things that will grow your business and believing that your confidence and identity will grow from that experience. That is partially true. This type of growth is about learning how to do something for your business: create a freebie, email funnel or a sales consult.
Learning how to do things will absolutely help build your confidence and that is why I say it’s partially true. But here’s the problem with relying solely on your skill set or knowledge acquisition: how often do we learn things seamlessly, without obstacles? Practically never. That’s why learning new things is not always the answer so if you find yourself researching or doing things without desired results, you want to take a closer look to see what’s standing in your way.
The bigger the results you want, the more it requires not just the ability to learn new things, but the ability to create an identity shift. Your identity is the other critical part of the equation. That is why the thing that precedes learning is developing your core beliefs about who you are. What do you believe about yourself? If you believe supporting thoughts that allow you to see yourself as a person that can do whatever it takes to create success, you will have mental stamina. You will continue exploring options even when you feel uncertain about how things will turn out. Without strong core beliefs and identity, it will be a struggle because you will be sending yourself mixed messages of wanting to do it but not believing you can, but then partially believing it at times when you find ways to motivate yourself. Overall, you will frustrate your mind and momentum with this divided mindset. It’s possible to move forward, it’s definitely more emotionally taxing and most likely takes longer.
The process of growth requires us to change, and therefore is not supposed to be easy, but it is made much easier when you are solid in the identity of who you are now and who you want to be. This identity growth, paired with the practical skills, creates stability and makes momentum possible. Learning to do what we need to do is made possible when we believe we CAN learn and we CAN do whatever it is that we need to do. Otherwise, it’s easy to believe that it’s too hard, taking too long, you’re behind, or that it’s only possible for other people.
Your internalized beliefs are everything because it’s the space in which you are creating your reality. Your inner world of beliefs and emotions are your foundation. Your ability to affect your outer world of actions and results depend on them. The sum total of your inner world and outer world creates the story you have about yourself, which is your identity.
Hitting that next level of growth depends on your identity. So let’s focus on how to think about who you are now, who you want to be in the future. This is an investment of your time and energy that will pay you back in huge dividends.
What you believe about your present self or your future self, and what’s getting in your way right now? Let’s explore these thoughts, starting with your present self.
When you think about your present self, what happens for you? What emotions come up?
Thinking about your present self, right now, as you are, reveals a lot about the thoughts that you are practicing. If you aren’t engaging in regular self-coaching, you may find that there are plenty of thoughts that lean toward a negative bias. Self coaching can help to pull out the bias and allow you to see the naked truth. If you tend toward the negative, this is definitely your starting point. I am actually really excited for you because learning to think differently about yourself is SO powerful. You can create your own motivation just by looking at what you believe about yourself, separating fact from fiction, and building on the positives. This is critical when it comes to expanding your growth.
Self coaching is also a momentum builder. If you are practicing thoughts that enable and empower you, the work that you do in self coaching is like fertilizer for your growth.
Think about where you are in your business right now.
I want to suggest that you can be thankful and practice gratitude for what you have accomplished to this point. Look at the evidence of what you have created so far, look at the power of your desires and how you have taken action on them up to now. It has brought you to the exact place you are right now, ready for that next level of growth. You are in the right place. Not having the things that you want only means that you don’t have them yet. Think about your present self as a person that has had the ability to figure things out.
I have found that what you choose to think is not dependent on how far along in your business, but on your identity. It’s more powerful than evidence and yet we tend to think that if we have evidence that we will feel better about ourselves. Funny enough, I have seen coaches who had evidence of income and clients still feel terribly about their ability to get to their next level. It’s their thoughts about themselves or their ability, not evidence. This is true for coaches that had an income of a couple hundred a month to 5 figures a month or 1 client up to 17 clients.
So what does this mean? It is never the evidence that convinces us, and as tempting as it is to think that when you accomplish a certain goal you will feel better, it’s not necessarily true if your default thinking is filled with a negative bias about yourself. What matters is how you think of yourself and the things that you have accomplished so far. Do you fully credit yourself for being the person that has come along and made the decision to create a business and to do something that hasn’t been done yet? If you have not, it is time to start. Do this daily.
Here’s what happens when you don’t give yourself the proper credit: you allow yourself to believe that you haven’t done enough. You believe that everyone else is getting it and that you aren’t. This means you have now taken on the identity of someone who isn’t enough. You look at this vacuum of what you aren’t, what you haven’t done yet, and what you haven’t created yet and you look at the lack in between. It doesn’t even mean that you cannot or will not create the vision that you want, but when you say “see, I haven’t created it yet”, then you are using premature judgement in a way that can only sabotage you and your efforts.
When you decide that you are enough, you open up new options that move you away from self-sabotage. You can choose to be excited and acknowledge that what you want is still to be created and that you want to have fun figuring it out. You will love having a business much more when you honor and take pleasure in the creative process.
Make this part of the experience for your present self.
Who you want to be (future self):
What do you believe about your future and your future self?
Your future self is who you want to become in order to create things that you want and have the experiences you crave. Your future self can also be your advisor for making present day decisions. You imagine this person has the answers that you are looking for right now, because they are on the other side of what you are trying to figure out right now. This is another way to build up your identity: when you think about your present self, you are the person that has figured things out up to this point and now, when you think about your future self, you can think of yourself as the person that has figured things out to get where you want to be. These are the most powerful beliefs to achieve the growth you want and need.
Thinking about the identity of the future version of you allows you to tap into a clearer vision of who you need to be to get what you want. You can also get clearer on what you want. All the choices and possibilities can become distracting but if you know where you want to land, you get clarity. Your future self can help direct your present self to the desired results. Your future self has different perspectives and preferences and can actually guard against the temptations to indulge in catastrophic thinking. It helps you to see the big picture view of what you truly want and not believe the evidence in the moment.
You want to be intentional about the way you think about your future self. If the tendency that we have is toward thoughts that point out our perceived inadequacies, then this must be considered when you dream about who you will be. When you dream, do you feel that you really can become who you want to be? Borrow beliefs from your future self to create that identity and capability now.
It might be tempting to focus on the gap that lies between where you are and where you want to be, but think about what this does: it continuously reinforces what you do not have. The “not having” creates a scarcity mindset of never being satisfied nor believing that you CAN have what you want. How can you truly feel motivated when you believe this?
“I need” becomes “I don’t have ” rather than “I want to develop”. Watch out for this way of thinking. It’s nuanced but important, because imagine rehearsing and feeling the effect of every single thing you thought.
Your future self helps you to create a clearer vision of who you want to be and what you want in your business.
Hitting the next level of growth means adopting a growing identity.
What is stopping you from becoming the person you need to be to get what you want?
You want to have a flexible idea of who you are now and a strong attachment to who you need to become to be the next iteration.
It’s the same way for your business success. Be less attached to the immediate outcome and become more attached to the process of how you create outcomes. Otherwise, you can create results and hate the way you do it. It’s truly not about a means to an end. Loosening your grip on forcing an outcome with whatever efforts you are making right now will allow you to find a better pathway for you to get the result you want.
When you have a strong identity and you are flexible but committed to the entrepreneurial journey of discovery then even the blocks won’t keep you in doubt. Frustration even feels different. You can genuinely be annoyed, upset, or frustrated because you haven’t reached a goal yet. I don’t think you can stop that emotion from occurring because you will likely have competing thoughts between what you want and what you don’t have yet; the critical difference is whether or not you believe it means there is something wrong with you or not.
So even when you feel like it’s taking too long or it’s too hard, the more painful that is that YOU are taking too long, that YOU are failing in some way. Again, that is why your identity and the way you think about what you are feeling makes all the difference.
The key to hitting your next level of growth is believing that you are a person that can figure it out. Borrow thoughts and perspectives from your future self and appreciate what your present self has done to bring you this far.
Finally, one last thought I want to share with you today.
If you have some thoughts that really feel true and keep you stuck despite wanting to think differently, you are not actually stuck. You just need to approach it differently than you are right now.
Sometimes you will really feel like you cannot change your thoughts because they feel so true. There are two things: first, just because something is true doesn’t mean that it is helpful. If you believe something and you are convinced that it is so true for you, and it keeps you stuck, you may want to consider allowing it and moving on. This brings me to my second thought, which is that genuine self inquiry can be very helpful when you are stuck. This comes back to the practice of self coaching. The more objectively you can look at how you are thinking and the way in which your thoughts are optional, the more choice you create for how you want to think and feel about yourself and your business.
In order for genuine and authentic change to happen, you have to be on board with yourself, emotionally, intellectually and philosophically. When you can’t get out of a thought spiral, you haven’t made peace with what you want and why you think you can’t have it. Getting out of a downward thought spiral just means that there is more work to be done before moving forward. Getting impatient will not move the needle, your subconscious does not lie or play games or try to manipulate you. It just is.
So if you want to hit that next level of growth, think about who you are now and who you want to be. How do you think about yourself and your abilities? Consider how you want to think about challenges in a way that empowers you to believe you can create solutions.
You’ve got this, my friend. Talk to you next week. Until then, don’t forget your self coaching and creating an identity that allows you to hit that next level of growth you want personally and professionally.