If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, I guess you’ve been tested this last year. If you are still here, it’s amazing – cheers to your great spirit. We’ve had to build some serious emotional and psychological muscle over this time; often these are our best lessons, if we can appreciate them as such. No one learns from things going swimmingly well.
Last year, not long after the first lockdown, I ran a course called Mind Your Business with Hypnosis – the fear and uncertainty in people were palpable. To add a little context, in 2016 researchers recruited 45 volunteers to play a computer game in which they had to guess if a snake would be under a rock. If they were wrong, they received a mild electric shock. When facing outcomes imbued with uncertainty, it is the fact that something terrible might happen that affects us. Stress levels go up with the maybe, which causes anxious thoughts, such as:
- What’s going to happen?
- Should I be doing more/less?
- What if my business collapses?
- What if my livelihood is threatened?
The lack of answers can lead to anger, frustration, panic and anxiety. But there are things we can do to lessen the effects of uncertainty, such as being super aware of feelings and emotions, and changing them if necessary. Try following the 3 ‘A’s:
- Acknowledge the thought you’re having. Do this as if you were talking to yourself across the room (disassociated). This gives you space to see it outside of yourself.
- Allow – never try to suppress an anxious thought, let it happen, e.g. “well, if X were to happen I’d deal with it then, but right now…”
- Action – Do something, especially physical, and smile – it brings positivity to the body. By doing this you’re learning a pattern of acknowledging and then letting go, knowing what you are and aren’t in control of.
However, one of the best things you can do to change how you feel is to imagine how you would like your business to be – everything happens in the imagination before it becomes a reality, so only imagine what you want!
It’s worth remembering that during any crisis in history – wars, the Great Depression in America – some people made more money than ever; in fact, some became millionaires because they used their imagination and got into certainty rather than fear!
Denise Bosque, Therapist, Coach, Trainer
07958 341 475