Practical Strategies for Shifting the
"I'm Not Enough" Gremlin

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It happens to all of us small business owners. Things are hopping along in our businesses: we are growing our lists, increasing our visibility and attracting new clients, and then suddenly… BAM! The gremlin inside you starts whispering sweet nothings, accompanied by a dull ache in your stomach or a tightening of your throat.

“You’re not really doing it right.” “What you’re doing isn’t enough…it’s not good enough, big enough, powerful enough or thorough enough.” “What are you thinking? Do you really know what you are doing?” and the “See what she’s doing…you’re just not doing it right/fast enough/making enough money”….

What starts out as a quiet question suddenly moves to a slow simmer, and then if not kept in check, it’ll rise to a full boil! The voice impacts our sleep, our creativity, our confidence, our ability to think clearly, and our willingness to take action. It’s usually thoughts running rampant through our minds, but it’s also accompanied by a variety of signals from our bodies: headaches, the inability to stay awake at our computer in the afternoon, upset stomachs, constriction in our throats, shallow breathing. And if not paid attention to, then it’ll go into the form of a cold, a sinus infection or some other physical symptom which finds a toe-hold in our bodies.

Everyone, business owner or not, has some versions of this destructive self-talk. From working with 1000’s of creative, heart-centered entrepreneurs, I know that we are often even more susceptible to this. We’re sensitive to the energy around us, we’re thoughtful and respectful of others, and we are often feelers. For passion-based business owners who want to transform lives, it’s important to acknowledge this mindset dance.

It’s even more critical to your success and business growth that you know how to deal with this common business ailment –before it gets out of control. Here are my seven favorite tools for creating awareness and shifting your energy quickly:

1. Morning and Evening Journaling – This doesn’t have to involve pages of witty writing. A simple list of what’s happening and how you feel will do. This reminds you to check in with your mindset, thoughts and emotions. Creating awareness of what’s going on for you twice a day will reinforce the importance of checking in with yourself. The awareness alone will create shifts in your energy and ability to shift into a more life-enhancing place if you need to. I journal every day (especially at Creative Bagel Time), and I find these journaling pages can be especially helpful reference tools for a check-in and attitude adjustment in the future.

2. Conscious Breathing – Whenever you notice that you feel anxious and the gremlin is having a chat party inside, just the simple act of breathing consciously can help shift your energy. Consciously and in a relaxed way (not forced) -- breathe in to receive, and breathe out to release. I do this with my clients quite often at the beginning of a teleclass to help them get present and be in our virtual space together.

3. Exercise – Ask your body what it really needs. My body needs exercise, stretching and movement every day. Just moving your body will move your energy and get you out of your mind and back into your body so you can access all of you – not just your relentless analytic side.

4. Guided Visualizations – I find sitting in quiet meditation difficult, so I’m a big fan of guided visualizations. I have all different types loaded on my iPod. I will often take a break in the middle of the afternoon and listen to my angels, take a guided imagery walk to my favorite peaceful location, or just relax listening to positive affirmations about my body. It’s enough to shift my energy and reconnect to my creativity and that possibility-energy.

5. Nap - Sometimes, especially when I’m going through a big growth phase in my business, I find I need more sleep. I’ll get sleepy in the afternoon, and my gremlin goes crazy with the thoughts that I’m procrastinating, and I need to do more, and…. And I’ve learned to trust that I often just need a 15- or 30-minute nap to recharge. It’s like my body needs to keep up with my new expanded sense of self.

6. Business Girlfriends – Science says that women connecting to other women releases oxytocin. This feels good! Know which business girlfriends you can give a “911-call” who will let you share your gremlin thoughts. You’ll feel good releasing, you get great chemicals to support a feel-good mood, and your friend will let you know how fabulous you really are. A true win-win. Just make sure it’s a supportive friend who understands you, and you can reciprocate!

7. What Would Your Business Goddess Say? This is one of my favorite exercises for women entrepreneurs. We don’t often relate to being the CEO of our business, but we can step into the identity of a Business Goddess – even if just for a moment. When you look at your business, project, or situation from the place of being a business Goddess – suddenly your perspective will shift and new ideas, new opportunities or new ways of looking at it will emerge.

Keep these Energy-Shifting and Gremlin-Busting strategies posted in your office so you can quickly refer to it and shift back into your graceful powerful and creative self!

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Laura West is an award-winning entrepreneur, and president and founder of the Center for Joyful Business. As a certified business coach, author and speaker, she helps thousands of women entrepreneurs create successful businesses filled with passion, purpose and prosperity. She is known for making marketing simple and fun for passion-based business owners. She is also the author and creator of Joyful Business Guide™ Home Study System, and she is author of the upcoming book, Awakening Your Inner Business Goddess. She is also the Fresh Entrepreneur Expert at Ladies Who and creator of their Fresh Entrepreneur workshop and workbook program.

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