Wouldn’t it be lovely if your mind were obedient?
You decide to be self-employed; you decide you’ll help people with your talents; you decide to start making your product or service available – and your mind just happily came along for the ride.
From my own experience of 10+ years of self-employment, plus hearing the experiences of thousands of other dedicated men and women, the reality is often entirely different.
You get an enquiry from a prospective client and immediately you hear the self-doubt thoughts popping up:
“I’m not worth paying for.”
“I’m not experienced enough.”
“I don’t really know what I’m doing.”
“I’ll get it wrong.”
“So many people are much better than me at this.”
On and on and on. Self-doubt after self-doubt, breaking in, disrupting your peace, scuppering your best intentions to make self-employment financially viable for yourself.
Is there any hope, with a mind like this?
Listening to the glitch
We were driving home from Wales recently and our sat-nav was playing up; the automated voice kept trying to take us on an alternative route: “Road ahead closed; take diversion”, “turn left”, “turn right”, “do a U-turn”.
I did pause to consider for a moment, but there were no signs that the road was closed, and because I knew the sat-nav was playing up, I just listened to the voice, my wife and I joked about it, and we ignored it. I knew that voice wasn’t on track to help me.
Don’t follow the diversion
What if the self-doubting voices in your head are like a glitchy sat-nav – trying to do the best for you, but actually entirely misguided?
Unquestioned thoughts, just part of being human, not to be believed.
Yes, perhaps going left would have led me somewhere interesting off the M6.
Yes, perhaps your prospective client won’t go for your price. Perhaps someone will say they were disappointed. Maybe they’ll ask for a refund, bad-mouth you to a friend, ignore your special offer or unsubscribe from your email list.
But what if we just accept that – and keep focused on the route?
What if we trusted ourselves and the positive, affirming evidence we see around us? – like: feedback from previous clients or from our trainers, times when we did get paid, acknowledgements received on Facebook or by email, that quiet voice in your heart that tells you that this is what you’re meant to be doing.
Eyes forward, thanking the thoughts for sharing with you, and keeping on keeping on.
Practise the focus
Byron Katie shares a beautiful meditation that really works for me – want to try it?
Get comfortable where you are and focus on your breathing. Breath in, breath out. Then notice what thought takes your attention from your breath, thank it for sharing its life with you, and watch as it returns to where it came from. Return your focus to your breath.
There might be a new thought every 10 seconds – no problem. Just acknowledge it, thank it, give that thought a name or a picture, and watch as it drifts back to where it came from. Bring your focus back to the breath.
Nothing to fight. You don’t need to make the thoughts wrong; you don’t need to feel despair when they show up. You don’t need to engage with them or even consider them; just notice, acknowledge, let them go.
On my drive home from Wales, I didn’t yell at the sat-nav. I didn’t accuse it of being wrong or interfering. I didn’t yank it off its holder and throw it out of the window. Lovingly and with a clear head, I thanked it for sharing its thoughts with me, and stayed focused on my path.
Over to you
As ever, I love to hear your thoughts – so add your comment below, join the conversation.
Want support with your glitchy inner sat-nav?
If you want to lovingly get to know the thoughts that cause your inner turmoil, The Work of Byron Katie is an amazing way in.
Leave your name and email in the boxes below to be first to hear if and when I start sharing The Work via 1-1 sessions, workshops, courses or retreats.
P.S. PASS IT ON
Loved this post? Then use the icons below to tweet it, share it on Facebook and send it to specific friends via email.
And leave your email at the top or bottom of this page to be first to hear about more articles like this.
© Corrina Gordon-Barnes