Over the last few weeks, hundreds of women have registered for my Free 7-day Biz School. Many of these ladies are taking steps they have never taken before — sharing openly and honestly in the online space, creating business pages for their brand on Facebook and struggling along with technology that they’re not familiar with — all with the aim of creating something bigger than themselves.
And creating something bigger than yourself is not easy.
Which is why so many don’t try, or write it off as something for other people to do (start a business, ask for a promotion, leave a relationship they’re not happy in, confront a friend or relative over something that’s eating them, whatever) — stepping out of your comfort zone is incredibly scary and makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. Which again, is why it’s so rare.
The discussions I am having with my girls is something I want to share here because even if you are not starting your own fitness business, there are still always going to be things that you want to do but never feel like you can, because … well, IT’S SCARY. I get that.
But moving toward the things you fear the most is the only way to ever reach the next level in your success, and for me, fulfillment. My meaning and purpose is only real when I am doing something bigger than myself and sharing my passion with others in a relatable, educational way. Hence, JillFit :)
So, here are some of the thing I see pop up the most — I don’t want to say they’re ‘excuses’ because they’re not. They’re action-preventers. They’re mental aerobics that keep us from moving forward with the things we really want to accomplish.
1) You let the fears of others get in your way.
Last year, I enrolled 84 women for the 2015 Best of You class, including the JillFit Ambassadors. After the launch, I was talking to a friend telling her how excited I was about it and how stoked I was that the program was growing in both participation and value. And she looked at me with surprise and concern on her face and said, “Omg. Can you handle all that??” It was an off-hand comment, but ended up being a record-scratch moment for me because I’d never even considered that I couldn’t handle it. Besides, my mindset is always one of confidence and self-trust. But that comment brought me up short: “Could I handle it?” I had to check myself. My friend was certainly well-meaning and just concerned, but in that moment I was letting another’s fears and scarcity paradigm slither its way into my brain — and those fears didn’t serve me. Besides, beforehand, I was completely confident. So why would I start doubting myself just because someone else was scared for me? This is so, so common, but we have to remember that other people are always operating from their biases and mostly their fears. There’s no judgment, but the key for us is always remembering to ask, “Is that true for me?” Usually the answer is no. And if it’s not, it can be. Just decide!
2) You think you’re not ready.
I was at a Danielle LaPorte event last November, all about how to build your online platform. One gal raised her hand and asked, “How will I know if I’m authorized to speak about [this specific thing]?” Danielle, without blinking just said, “I just authorized you, go. Your life is your content. Next question.” I loved that so much because it takes away all excuses for taking action. We are constantly waiting for things to line up juuuuust right so that we can FINALLY do that thing we’ve been wanting to do. Ironically, they’ve actually shown in research that even though people say, “Oh, I’ll do that when things ‘settle down’,” THINGS ACTUALLY NEVER SETTLE DOWN. So taking action today is less ideal than waiting until next month or next year. There will always be something. And the people who are successful are the people who jump regardless of whether they *feel* ready or not. If you’re waiting to feel ready, you’re going to be waiting a long time.
3) You feel like you need more credentials.
This comes up a lot in the group, and while I understand the need to have certain credentials if you are going to be advising on certain things, there reaches a point at which you know enough to start helping others, and the phrase “oh, well once I get this certification, then I can start” becomes a excuse to procrastinate and because on some level you feel like a fraud. Here’s a tip: if you feel like a fraud on the inside, then no amount of certifications or credentials will be able to put you at ease. Those who get ahead simple declare their expertise and then start teaching what they know. You only have to be one step ahead of the people you are teaching, and your personal experience can never be wrong.
4) You’re worried about not doing it right.
Here’s a tip that will hopefully make you feel better: no one gets it right. Ever. I don’t. Metabolic Effect doesn’t. That person that you follow online over there doesn’t either. And the only way to ever get it close to right is to start getting it wrong! And you do that through action. You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. And done will always beat perfect. Seth Godin says, “Just make more decisions. I don’t care if you make the right ones, just make more.” Why? Because you always learn whenever you decide on something and take action. Because remember, not making a decision is a decision too!
5) You stress about something ten steps down the road.
I see this a lot with my girls, and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed with the thousand steps it is going to take you to get from here to where you want to be in 5 years. But it doesn’t serve you to focus on them. Why? Because the only way you get to the step #2 is through step #1. And huge successes are not made by leaps and bounds, they are made by small wins day in and day out FOR YEARS. So don’t stress about the huge things up ahead, but instead focus on the ONE THING you can do right now that will get you to the next thing. And once you get to the next thing, then you figure that out. And when you always focus just on what needs to be done TODAY, you wake up a year from now startled by just how far you’ve come.
6) You’re scared to ruffle feathers.
I don’t know anyone who is making an impact who is not drawing a line in the sand. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. In fact, if you try to be for everyone, you end up being for no one. People need to know what you stand for in order to care about what you are saying or doing. Can it be uncomfortable when people don’t agree with you? Of course, but that’s the beauty of the world, and especially the online space — there’s enough room for every single person’s perspective. Don’t be scared of “haters” or trolls or those who don’t get it. They’re not your audience anyway. Focus on the ones who do get it.
7) You’re too passionate.
Another word of passion can be overwhelm. I see a lot of passion, and sometimes very little purpose or direction. I went into the passion conundrum in my last blog, but remember, excitement is not the same as focus, and you need both to make strides. Don’t be scared to give up some of your interests to direct your attention to THE ONE INTEREST that can make the most impact for you. Because deliberateness is what separates the successful from the struggling. You can do anything, you just can’t do everything all at once!
8) You think being busy is the same as being productive.
We’ve had this conversation before, but you’re not listening ;) And I know because I was someone who was in the running for World’s Busiest Person, while not-so-surprisingly, also being someone who was constantly spinning their wheels, stressed all the time and had absolutely nothing to show for it except a packed day planner! No thanks! A long to-do list doesn’t equate to importance. Doing a thousand random things doesn’t necessarily equate to accomplishing … anything. In fact, the people who focus on a couple important things each day are the ones who are making the biggest strides.
9) You’d rather focus on the things that come easy than try something new.
Doing what you’re good at, what you could do with your eyes closed is, well, effortless. And when things are easy, we preferentially do them. Of course we do, it feels good to be good at something! And when we’re trying to do something new, something more difficult, or something outside our wheelhouse, it’s the easiest thing in the world to revert back to our safe place, our default, our sure thing, the thing we already have affirmation around. A don’t blame you! But the key to moving past your own limitations is persisting even when shit is hard. You don’t have to do it well, you just have to do it consistently. And have the experience. Expose yourself to the tough stuff. Get used to feeling uncomfortable. In fact, just start getting comfortable with discomfort. Because if you want to create something bigger, comfort is a rarity. And the better you get at discomfort, the better you get.
10) You ask too many people for their advice.
How many times has this happened to you: you are all set and ready to make a decision and then someone questions your choice and tries to advocate for an alternative and all of a sudden, you’re paralyzed. I HATE THIS. It’s the difference between going with your gut and taking on too many considerations. But we always ask others because we like to feel affirmed in our choice. However, more often than not, it ends up with us constantly second-guessing ourselves and then just not making any choices at all because we are too scared we’re going to mess it up. The best thing you can do for your productivity is quit asking so many people what they think. Go with your gut and then watch what happens. At least if it doesn’t pan out, it’s on you. My biggest regrets always come about when I don’t follow my intuition and it ends up being the wrong choice. Own your choices. Take 100% responsibility. Because who could possibly know what’s better for you than you?
11) You don’t want to quit stuff.
Is this counterintuitive? Yes, ha! “But Jill, you just told me I need tenacity!” Yes, I did. But ONLY when it comes to things you are super passionate about and feel a strong purpose for. I don’t want you wasting time, especially in these two ways: 1) On things you hate out of some kind of misplaced nobility or stubbornness or because you think if you quit, you’ll be a “quitter” — WHO CARES — there is nothing honorable in persisting in something that makes you miserable, and 2) continuing to do things out of obligation and guilt and because you are afraid to say no. Your entire life will be defined by what you have the courage to say no to. Saying no opens up the time and space to say yes to the things you actually want. Which brings me to …
12) You’re scared to disappoint other people.
No one reaches adulthood without disappointing someone. It’s part of becoming your own person, with your own desires, needs, ambitions and interests. Disappointment is simply a choice on behalf of someone else to not have done it the way you did it. And to think we can ever control that, at least in the long-term is not only impossible but entirely depressing. Trying to avoid disappointing others leaves you actually, literally living someone else’s life. No wonder you feel distracted, overwhelmed and miserable. So how do you overcome that fear? You start by doing for you, and then letting the chips fall in terms of other’s responses. That’s really all you can do. You can’t control other people’s emotions — they’re not your business. And just because you disappoint someone doesn’t mean you don’t love them (or they you). For me, the ability to allow people to experience their own responses as a result of me following my passion and purpose only creates more depth and connection in those relationships, otherwise it’s just a fake relationship built on placating and dishonesty and appeasing.
13) You’re terrified of failure because you attach too much meaning to it.
In the book, Nothing to Lose by Ryan Blair, he said early in his entrepreneurial career, when things didn’t go well, he would get extremely upset at himself, his team, the situation, etc — just get super emotional — until he realized that emotions didn’t actually create solutions. They were a distraction from getting things done, mental aerobics. Then he adopted the mantra, “The path is all math,” to remind himself that solving an issue in his business, when you take the emotion out of it, is just objective. This is so true when it comes to making mistakes. Because here’s the reality: you are going to mess-up. And how you handle that defines how successful you’ll be. Can you look at a struggle objectively and not make it all about how much you suck and how this will never work and how unfair everything is? That kind of clinical solution-generation is what it takes. Remember: just because you experience a failure doesn’t mean you *are* a failure. The most successful people are also the most resilient.
14) You don’t trust yourself fully.
This is the king of all mindset insights around success. It’s the ultimate in personal development IMO, because it rules everything else. When I trust myself to handle whatever comes up, no matter how scary or uncertain or inconvenient or bad, I know I will always have a move. I can never trust the situation or outcomes, there are too many variables. But what I can trust is me to handle any/all of those outcomes, no matter what. And that is liberating! You cultivate self-trust by being vulnerable. Showing up open and honest and putting yourself out there in ways that are not comfortable. And then you watch what happens. The more you do this, the more you can rely on YOU. And THAT is everything. It makes all 13 of these other considerations fall away :)
PHEW! Are you still with me? I wrote this blog like a madwoman because I love this stuff so much, thank you for being here and reading! And if this stuff resonates with you and you’ll like more education, add yourself to the free 7-day Biz School course. Super useful tools, insights, and plenty of stories from my experience and those of my clients. Enroll free here.