Is It True that Business is Hard? | Blog
Is It True that Business is Hard? | Blog
Over the last month as I’ve been preparing for the European Beyond Limits Business Summit, I have had some ups and downs. And at times it’s felt hard. The kind of hard that makes you wonder if you should just stop. The kind of hard that makes you wonder, “Maybe I have this all wrong.” or “Maybe I don’t have what it takes.”
Today, as I sit in Edinburgh after the event, I am filled with gratitude, excitement for the future, feeling connected, content and a lot of appreciation for all the people that were there with me.
So, what was all that “hard” stuff about? Is that just part of business? Is it true that sometimes business is just hard? Do we need to develop thick skin and grit and just get on with it? Are our feelings telling us something? Are they giving us information about our businesses or lives? Are they telling us what to do and not do?
I used to believe that my feelings were informing me about the world or about my business. I thought my feelings were a gauge for how it’s going and what I should do.
Today, I see a deeper truth. I know my feelings, in the moment, are a reflection of where my head is at in that moment. End of story.
My feelings of “hard” were not informing me about my project, my goals, my competency or my abilities. They were informing me about my state-of-mind. They were telling me about the quality of my mind.
Knowing this has given me access to new insights and has helped me navigate those ups and downs. It has helped me tap into more resiliency. I bounce back and see the experience for what it is and this allows me to go beyond the noise of my thinking and feelings to a deeper intelligence.
The ups and downs of our state-of-mind, our feelings, are a natural occurrence. We all do it. The problem occurs when we start to give meaning and significance to these feelings. It gets complicated when we start building strategies and making decisions about ourselves or our business when we’re reacting from our feelings.
When things looked hard to me, I can see that I was “suffering” from all the conclusions I was drawing. I had ideas about how it should look and how things should unfold. When it wasn’t happening the way, I thought it was going to, the first conclusion I drew was, “Things are off. Somethings wrong.” Then I took it personally and started wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”
I didn’t see I was doing this until I noticed that I was feeling discouraged, disappointed with a lot of self-doubt mixed in there too. My feelings woke me up to the fact that I was living in a stirred-up mind. When I took my conclusions about being “off” or that I wasn’t “doing enough” seriously, even momentarily, I experienced things as hard. Simply put, I bummed myself out! Then I started trying to fix it and to fix me. Which then led to more confusion and reactivity.
Knowing that our feelings are pointing to where our head is at and not a truth about ourselves or our business, is hugely helpful. It’s not fun to experience those feelings, but with this understanding, we are able to see them for what they are. They lose their grip and we understand that as they pass, we will have more clarity and perspective.
When we keep it simple and understand that feelings point to our internal state and not a truth about ourselves or our businesses, we are able to orient ourselves to our deeper nature. We are able to let our reactions and worried thinking pass and connect more powerfully to that deeper intelligence inside.
The ups and downs are less interesting or surprising because we know we will find our bearings.
We no longer look to our feelings for guidance or clarity but rather lean into the underlying intelligence within.
We see “hard” as a momentary experience and not a truth. We see struggle, self-doubt, confusion, etc. as temporary illusions of thought versus real issues that need to be addressed or fixed.
We become suspect of blanket statements or conclusions about how life and business work.
In its place, we begin to trust that our deeper nature has our back. That the way its unfolding is perfect. We are ok and our well-being is not dependent on anything looking a particular way.
We experience more confidence in the unfolding and in ourselves.
We naturally tap into our deeper knowing; our deeper intelligence.
When we use our underlying intelligence as our compass, we find our way. We experience new depths of connection, well-being and hopefulness.
These feelings exist within. They are not dependent on anything!
“We no longer look to our feelings for guidance or clarity but rather lean into the underlying intelligence within.”
Feelings are not informing us about our work or life; they are informing us about our state-of-mind.
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company bringing the insights of performance and fulfillment to clients around the world. She helps organizations, leaders, entrepreneurs and coaches access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of performance in work and life. Barb is the Founder of Beyond Limits in Business and host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. If you’d like to experience in-depth, robust and transformative mentoring for you and your business check out Barb’s 6-month Beyond Limits Small Group Mentoring Program. You can follow Barb on Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at barbarapatterson.com