So you’ve started or about to start an environmental business or organisation? Or perhaps you are already running one…and starting to notice there are challenges that make you feel ‘uncomfortable’? It might be making those cold calls, pitching to prospects, hiring (or firing) a staff member, tackling financials or other aspects of business that are not your forte. My advice? Embrace it and get used to it. It ain’t going away. Uncomfortable times are as guaranteed as taxes.
Learn to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
As Glen Carlson, co-founder of the Key Person of Influence program, explains it…if you think about every achievement you have ever had in life they are ALL proceeded by one thing…a period of uncomfortableness…including our birth.
I think we can lean too heavily on trying to REMOVE or AVOID that uncomfortable feeling.
Quite natural as we are wired to avoid pain.
So what to do about it? How can you feel more comfortable?
I’ve borrowed the following from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), made popular by Dr Russ Harris and his books such as ‘The Happiness Trap’ and ‘The Reality Slap’.
DON’T TRY TO GET RID OF THE UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING!
Counter intuitive but instead of fighting it, accept it.
When we come from the position of needing to get rid of something, we set ourselves up for failure because invariably we can’t make the feeling magically disappear, it’s still there and this inability to get rid of it increases its power and hold over us and reinforces the feeling we are powerless. And so we give in to it and don’t act. And our business can suffer.
Succeeding in business has challenging moments and fearful moments.
Unavoidable…but not something to fear. By accepting this and accepting we are feeling uncomfortable we can diffuse its power and move forward.
Sit quietly with your feeling and do not suppress it. Sit with it, actually feel into it, give it a colour, a shape even. Think of yourself as a scientist studying a new organism.
Don’t try to get rid of it. Accept it in a non-judgemental way. Just observe it as you would a picture, a statue, a garden, an organism.
This might be starting to sound abit woo-woo but its a scientifically proven technique.
Notice what happens to the feeling. In many cases it calms down and becomes less uncomfortable.
Keep this feeling and become familiar with it. It is strengthening your action muscle to act even when feeling uncomfortable. As business owners we need to act and we become more effective and successful when we can act even with fear inside us. I guess you could say this technique helps us become immune to that feeling of uncomfortableness. Fighting it does the opposite.
You can go a step further and visualise expanding the space around the feeling you have visualised so that you see how small it actually is in the scheme of things.
When you zoom out and look at it from the bigger picture of your life, your business, next year, your suburb, your country…it’s very, very small.
So small that you don’t need to hide it or bury it somewhere or banish it…there is oodles of room for it in your life and it can sit there as long as it likes but it’s not going to hold you back or slow you down from doing what you need to do in your business.
Let me know how you go. I admire you for starting or running an environmental business/organisation and wish you all the best with it. Now go get uncomfortable and love it! 🙂