Personally, I find moving forward with a big task or project in my business, to-do lists, schedulers, broad or even detailed plans VERY hard to implement if my mind isn’t along for the ride.
Which makes taking action when you’re not feeling like it very hard – especially when you can’t always tell why you’re not feeling ‘it’.
We can be told to get help with the plan and delegate or organise better or focus on one thing but if we’re feeling in a state of flux, uncertainty, foggy or unclear about the action or plan, very little about what more we should do, will help.
Even when we know our mind is the issue, it still takes a lot of self-awareness to identify what and know how to move past it.
Presuming we know what we need to do, and how we could or should do it, and we understand our mind is holding us back, this is the BIGGEST question I’ve found clients are asking, that puts them in decision paralysis and causes the difficulties in moving forwards:
Will it work?
Will this work if I send this email.
If I spend an hour now on this task.
If I talk to that old client and ask for a referral.
Will it work if I spend money on a coach. On a VA. On an FB ads person.
Will it work if I post this video.
Will it work if I ask people to send me DMs.
Will it work if I share a post on linkedin for the first time in forever.
Will it work if I reach out to those people I’d wanted to do testimonials for ages.
Will it work if I spend an hour meditating and hope to come back and bash out 12 blogs after.
Will this work?
It’s exhausting thinking like this and being in this mode for too long.
And it’s a waste of good energy, that helps and supports us through difficult moment or lack of clarity.
That’s not a judgment – it’s a fact. We waste our time and any energy we’ve got in overthinking whether it will work.
There are also related, and sub- categories, to the question too, that are equally debilitating:
If I focus on this now will it be wasted time?
What if I change my mind later?
What will people think?
Working to support this thinking isn’t just about trying to replace the thought with something more positive.
Because for many people we KNOW there’s another way to think, it’s just we’re finding it hard TO think that, and FEEL it in the long term.
You’ll have seen social media peeps claim that mindset is 60-90% of your business success (source – anyone?) but we also know that ‘mindset’ in general encompasses a LOT, and therefore breaking down which part of your mind, and what’s really happening is vital to work through this, frankly, insidious thought and feeling we can hold for too long.
Oh and the ‘just f*ing do it’ message?
Sure – brilliant, amazing, wonderful to just get on with the thing. BUT getting on with it and completing it won’t mask the underlying feeling that something’s wrong WITH doing it, and even if you do just do it, the FEELING of not being sure of whether it will work, and lacking clarity and confidence in it, will still be there if the underlying emotions and causes aren’t dealt with.
Here’s what I do with my clients.
It’s not necessarily in this order, and sometimes deeper work in areas over others are needed. But the theme is working with the mind (and often body) to support clarity and empowered action.
BECOME MORE SPECIFIC
Being far more specific in what ‘working’ looks like. In this discover we find what they’re doing already isn’t far off what working looks like to them at the moment. And if it is, we find the actions they’re planning to take are the ones they expect, and importantly, want, to take to get there
Yet they’ve gone back into questioning mode and worrying. This is normal, especially when you’re about to leap in some way. But too much of worry causes us to hold on too tightly to needing to know the exact outcome.
We also look at what we feel the need to know – to know it will work, and exactly how. Importantly, we don’t bat the query away as ‘just’ a mindset issue either – there’s levels to this question and knowing what level someone is effectively stuck at is important to help them move through and from it with ease.
I’ll use an example to highlight this: let’s say you’re about to create an email and content series for your next free email opt in, which leads people to your next programme launch. Ultimately you’re thinking about the programme launch right?
So ‘working’ for this email series might lead you to needing to know you’ll have 10/20/40 people sign up to your next programme.
Whilst this a positive thing to keep you motivated, it’s possible it will also stall you from being creative, free and in flow when writing a specific email, without it being broken down into smaller actions. You overthink every one of them, feeling forced to ensure every sentence leads to a sale – even though you know there’s a good few stages from email to sign up.
The answer to ‘will it work’ in this scenario feels like it’s too abstract, and unrelated from the specific task you need to carry out – focus on one email, with one specific outcome, and one specific reason for writing it. That’s it. Sure – when they’re ALL done, you can zoom out to the bigger picture again and check they’re coherent and lead people to the thing you’d love them to see, book or buy, but carrying the pressure of ‘this needs to lead to sign ups’ with each email task is just too much. So we work out what ‘working’ specifically means and hold onto that for each action you’re taking.
“IT’S THE TRUTH FOR ME”
When we’re asking ‘will this work’, and not moving forwards with an answer, we look at what might be happening in your subconscious to understand where it’s blocked or ‘murky’ (as I like to say).
Importantly, we don’t invalidate any of the feelings or thoughts you’re experiencing that are causing this to arise. We explore them as the truth that they are for you, rather than trying to show you they must be wrong and you need to get rid of them.
An example might be the pervasive thinking of: ‘in order for this system that I’m about to implement (and any action related to it) to work, I need to accept that I will come across as a different person, and to be OK with people seeing me differently. BUT this means I won’t be and feel authentic, I’ll be exposed and I won’t be able to keep up the system because of these doubts I’m having now and how I wouldn’t want to be inauthentic going forward’.
This is a valid set of thoughts which need exploring.
It’s currently a truth that they feel they’ll need to be different person to do this work. It’s currently a truth that they believe they won’t carry it on for long. It’s currently a truth that it won’t look great them doing it; that they’ll judge themselves and others them. It’s currently a truth that there’s no point in starting it.
No set of plans or focused tasks is going to get this person moving forwards when there’s layers of thinking that’s stopping them.
Yes yes, their brain is keeping them safe, they’re being guided to move in a different direction by their intuition. But each part almost needs its own set of release and adjustment to work through those layers.
We might look at the process(es) they’re using, to see if there are parts that don’t suit who they are, how they coach and what message they’re sharing.
Or we might look at who they think they need to be in order for this to work – often discovering they’ve taken onboard the message that they must be someone else, a fake them, to be successful at this and their whole business.
We may also look at how they need validation in what they’re doing in their business, and how this can be supportive but also hold them back from truly taking authentic steps that move them forward with ease.
We may, additionally, look at the overall ‘truth’ of all these messages, breaking them down into potential untruths (if they are) and creating powerful alternatives. This last step, by the way, is what a traditional coach may do first, and only cover. That’s not to say it’s wrong, but it’s not deep enough for the client to be powerfully examining their own processes and layers on their own in future.
YOU GET THE OUTCOME IN ANOTHER WAY
A lot of the coaching I do is breaking down the process of how we get to our desired outcome in a way that suits us. For coaches this desired outcome is often ‘income (so we have a business), with impact (so we’re reaching our true calling).
Finding a way that suits us first means we must bring compassion to ourselves. This comes in two ways:
1. Forgiveness for any past business failures or things that didn’t work out as expected and laying them to rest
2. Forward focus on the way that will be most easeful and in flow for US to get the outcome we want
The forgiveness part is about acknowledging what memories and feelings you may be holding onto that are preventing your focus from being present and future for your business. And for you to feel settled and focused on your business as it is now, and as it can be too. Not being weighed down by what didn’t happen, what hasn’t happened and what happened differently, but what could now be as a result of those past outcomes, and what’s even MORE possible too.
The forward focus is working out the best route to get to your income and impact.
A lot of my clients are on Instagram or LinkedIn but frankly don’t love either of them. If we discover in their client lead generation work (the work they do to get clients) that they’re most in flow when they’re in a certain part of this process, and that they love getting clients in a specific way that doesn’t involve as much social media, then we focus on that.
I’ve been coaching a few clients this past month specifically on this – to almost go back to basics and use more personal methods to talk to their ideal clients, because it lights them up, allows them to feel more in control and feels way more authentic and genuine than other often mass-approach methods.
I’m a big advocate of social media and using it to build our authority, but when it’s playing against us, holding us back and making business apparently harder, we’ve got to switch it up and find ways to use it that we enjoy and alternative routes to support our business too.
In this work, we also look at the sunk-cost amount of time, resource and effort someone has spent invested into something, and what they get FROM it that they’re not currently seeing. So they may feel they’re not being as successful as they could be, when indeed looking at industry standards or where they might otherwise be without the effort they’d taken in that one way, they’ve incredibly far ahead.
Unfortunately due to comparison and having access to so many other people’s information and apparent successes, we compare ourselves to arbitrary figures and amounts that really mean nothing to how great our own progress actually is!
EXPECTATION VERSUS REALITY
In addition, we weigh up the balance of someone doing things in one way, and working towards their goals, but not yet seeing the impact they would like. We discuss their expectations and often find they were mildly unrealistic – which isn’t their fault – it’s just we’ve been fed a lie about how quickly or big we should be by X amount of time. We then look at what they want to achieve on a soul, business, impact and numbers level so that we can really see whether this path they’re taking to get this IS going to ‘work’ for them on a number of levels.
We also decide what the cut off point is for them. Do you try this method for a few weeks, review then stop? Do you stop it now because it’s absolutely not right, and won’t ever be? Do you ‘give it another few shots’ e.g. a free challenge that didn’t work the first time, but change enough so it’s different and following your rules? Knowing when to carry on and when to cut the cord is a vital part of decision NON-paralysis, and allowing us to say we don’t know if this will work, but I’m putting criteria in place to help to manage that and assess.
Which bring me onto the final part of the work we do to help with this question…
FINALLY, WE LEARN TO ACKNOWLEDGE AN OBVIOUS TRUTH:
WE CAN QUESTION AT THE SAME TIME AS MOVING FORWARD
In addition to this work above, it’s vital we begin to being in another way of FEELING this feeling…the questioning, the lack of clarity, the fear of unknown (even when it’s exciting). That is truly embodying the idea that we can be in the state of questioning whether something will work AT THE SAME TIME as being confident enough to try it.
To coin a phrase – read that again (side note – that’s becoming annoying isn’t it?):
We can be questioning something at the same time as moving forward with it.
This makes everything more freeing. We’re freed up to move forwards with more ease, such that we put aside too much questioning and just do.
Specifically, we might look at what it would be like to go ahead with the system, and actions within it, and review and adapt as they go, checking in with themselves about what feels (perhaps unexpectedly) great, and what less so. Experiment, review, change, experiment, review, change, repeat.
This is acceptance, and very much part of compassionate, gentle coaching. Moving you forwards to achieve wild goals whilst being your true self with less struggle and hustle.
If you’re stuck in the ‘will it work’ cycle, with completely normal over-thinking that’s causing you to have a murky head and action paralysis, and know it’s deeper than ‘just’ having the right strategy, you and I will likely work really well together in my private coaching programme.
The outcomes are to have you moving forward with ease and flow, so that you work on the eco-system of your coaching business – with your energy and focus at the centre, consistently taking the right, curated actions that lead you to the right clients, with your excellent skills and programmes meeting their needs, to market with confidence, for greater income and impact.
It’s best for experienced coaches who have a good number of client examples and scenarios that we can draw up plans from. It’s also ideal if you already have a higher ticket (price) offer and want to dig deeper into that and sell it in a more personal, intimate and connected way to the exact right people.
The programme includes strategic support in the foundation of your business (which you may have worked on before, but never quite felt like it hit the mark, or as you continue to implement it you know it needs a more solid foundation), mindset support and development through coaching and EFT techniques, with a focus on clarity for action forwards.
Plus my private clients have access to the mastermind content that is only otherwise available within my group mastermind programme, whereby I guide you to the right modules, templates and step by step processes based on your coaching practice and business goals. We work together for 4 -5 months and it costs £7500 with a deposit and instalment payments available.
If you’re interested send me an email email@example.com. I’ll ask you a few questions and if it’s right to start, I have space in October.