Stress and anxiety can show up a lot when you go self-employed. If you’ve taken even a few steps along the path, this unfortunately won’t be news to you.
The sinking stomach when you think about going to a networking meeting; the sting of rejection when someone unsubscribes from your mailing list; the hurt when a client says they’re not coming back for more sessions; the sense of panic as your workshop date looms and your places aren’t filling.
This anxiety is horrible – physically, mentally and emotionally. It upsets your digestion, gives you headaches and makes you ratty. (I know – I’ve experienced more than enough along my own journey).
You may have noticed your own inner dialogue, something like: “Well, if this is what it’s like to go it alone, I’d rather stick with the day job, thank you, it feels safer. (Even though it’s toxic/deeply unsatisfying/draining the very life-force from me.)”
What I’ve discovered is that there’s a fundamental reason you feel all this stress and anxiety… and it has nothing to do with clients not showing up, or your savings running out. Not really. And knowing this reason can free you from the fear.
The real reason you’re scared is that you think you are responsible for outcomes. I’ll repeat that so you can check whether it’s true for you: You think you are responsible for outcomes. You feel you’re on your path alone, walking solo, having to figure everything out and make it happen. You feel you’ve been stranded in some crazy overwhelming jungle of SEO and opt-ins – and you’ve forgotten, just for a moment, that you have a walkie-talkie. You have ways of connecting in, on a daily basis, with the Divine – or whatever you call that benevolent presence.
You’ve forgetten that you were called to do this work and therefore whatever called you will keep on calling you and guiding you, day after day, without fail. You’re running scared because you missed the part of the story where you’re utterly supported by a power beyond your comprehension and that you are in every way loved and safe.
They didn’t tell you that at Business Link. Your careers advisor at school likely forgot to mention all that as well. Whoops!
Which is why I’m so glad you’re here, reading these words right now. If I had to sum up in one sentence what I care about, in my work, it’s helping you to build your business on the most safe and solid of foundations.
So what’s your own unique perception of the most safe and solid power in our world? In your own words, this might be the Universe, your higher self, Source, Spirit, your intuition, God, that small still voice within – or you might not have a name for it, you might just feel it when you’re walking in nature or running or dancing. It doesn’t matter what you call it or how you experience it, what matters is that you connect in with it because there are no foundations more safe and solid than that.
And so when you write your promotional email or give a talk, when you design your business cards or meet with a prospective client, ask for something greater than you to speak through you. Before you massage your client or teach your yoga class, ask that some other power is in charge. Get yourself out of the way and let it through.
You are not alone. You are not responsible for outcomes. Your job is to show up with a pure heart, eager to serve, and become a vehicle for a higher power to work through you. And when stress and anxiety show up, let them be nudges to remind you that you’re making up a funny story that you are all-powerful, all-responsible. Smile at yourself and give up that power.
And let us know: what’s your experience with stress and anxiety? What stories might you be telling about who’s responsible for outcomes? What happens when you let go of some of that burden of responsibility? Leave a comment below, let us know…
If you’d love to feel deeply safe and secure as you go self-employed, check out the Creating Safety Toolkit > >
© Corrina Gordon-Barnes, 2011