Let’s talk about guilt! It’s not the only thing that can hold you back, but it’s a good place to start. There’s also fear of failure and fear of success.
Are you holding back because you have a fear of failing? You want to expand your business, but you’re not sure how to go about it. Or you want to hire employees, but you’ve never managed people before. You have good intentions, but then reality sets in and you find yourself doing nothing to reach your goal.
Fear of success? How can that be possible? You started a business for that very reason – to be successful. But then you sabotage yourself and prevent yourself from moving forward. You find reasons not to stay on task so your goal(s) never get implemented. Why is that? What do you fear would happen if you are successful?
Whatever is holding you back is not a great feeling, is it?
Table of Contents
Let’s Explore Guilt
We’re going to use guilt and fear as a starting point of moving you forward. Take everything in this challenge and look at it from different angles. Is it guilt – fear of failure – or is it a fear of success? Is guilt part of or the root cause of what’s holding you back?
By definition, guilt is a feeling of deserving blame for something. Often it’s a good check mechanism and a state of mind that we want to avoid. It moves us to action and gets us to do “the right thing.” Think back on your student days. Not doing your homework and lying about it made you feel guilty. That in turn ensured that you turned in your homework the next day and kept doing it going forward. Not a bad thing for your academic career.
But sometimes guilt can be a bad thing and something that holds us back from achieving the things we want out of life. We feel guilty about spending time and money on growing a business. We take away precious time from our loved ones to attend a live event. We don’t get to tuck the kids in at night because we’re going back to school. It’s easy to fall into the guilt trap even when we know what we’re doing is important and worthwhile.
In short, like so many other things in life, guilt can be a positive thing, something that motivates you and gets you to work towards your goals and things you want to get done, or it can be the thing that’s holding you back. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your feelings of guilt and ask yourself if it’s productive or if it’s holding you back.
Let’s Explore Fear
You have a growing business or you’re just getting your new business going. Suddenly you realize there may be more expected of you than you realized. Maybe you’re experiencing one or more of these:
- You don’t want the spotlight on you – You admire other people who succeed in the spotlight, but you don’t actually like it on you! Or maybe you become used to the spotlight and then it goes away. The thought of having people evaluating you is just plain scary.
- Your success brings out the trolls and mean people – Your clients will love and adore your service if you keep them happy. Your competition may be negative behind your back, but they would never come out in the open to do their dirty work. This is an unrealistic fear that you will need to overcome.
- What if I can’t deliver what I promise – This is an understandable fear, but one that can be overcome by just being aware of it. Start out slow, bid fairly for your experience and quality of work and slowly raise your rates as you become more confident. This is an exposure issue. You may think you’ll be identified as the fraud you think you are (for lack of experience). Experience will help to overcome this – in the meantime, do your best to deliver your service with a commitment to detail and customer service.
- Success will change me – You may have seen people who turned into snobs with their success. Believe me, this is rare, especially in the cleaning industry. You are providing a service that is needed and wanted. In addition, building a successful business means you are learning and growing as a person with your business. Serving people every day/week/month/year has little chance of you becoming a snob!
- Success means I’ll lose time for me and my family – Building a business, especially getting it off the ground takes a lot of time. The good news is, you’re in control of when you book clients. If you want to only work mornings, that’s what you schedule. You can invent a lot of reasons why you won’t have time for your family and friends, but we’ll work on that.
- You don’t actually want things to change – If you’re working a regular job now or are used to your current business routine, you may like your schedule because it’s familiar. Starting or growing a business involves a lot of new things, like learning how to sell your service, market successfully, learn new cleaning routines, etc. If you’re growing your business, you have more to learn at that stage, such as hiring qualified workers, tax and liability issues, etc. It’s easier to just stay with your current routine. Change is scary, but you can get over that.
Do any of these apply to you? Just being aware of these issues can start you on a path to work through them.
What to Expect Over the 7 Days
Over the course of the next seven days we’re going to dig deep and take a look at those feelings. We’ll examine them and identify those that are holding you back. We’re going to concentrate on those feelings that hold you back and keep you from loving yourself and doing what you really want to do.
Here’s the big problem with guilt and fear. Sometimes it stops you from doing what you really want to do, as we discussed already. At other times it’s causing you to hold back and not give it your all. If you feel bad about missing dinner with the family, you’re not going to be fully present and committed on that next in-home estimate with a new prospect or the class you’re taking. The guilt you’re feeling is keeping you from committing fully and giving it your all.
It’s also taking a lot of the joy out of whatever it is you are doing. This may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but it takes a lot of the positive energy and drive out of your sails. It’s that energy that makes you push a little harder, try a little longer, and do all the little, seemingly insignificant things that make all the difference in the end.
The guilt or fear also gives you an easy excuse to give up. Life isn’t easy and any goal worth reaching takes work and effort. Sometimes it’s easier to give up than to keep pushing hard, solve problems, or resolve conflicts we’d rather avoid. That guilt or fear may be just the excuse you were looking for to justify giving up. By addressing these feelings and working through them, you can greatly improve your chances of reaching your business goals and crafting the life you really want for yourself and your loved ones.
Finding the root cause – tools and strategies to pinpoint the issue.