Alex’s story – running a business in an off mindset
Alex is a business person. Alex is also a human being. As such, Alex is subject to the same fluctuation in thoughts and feelings as you and me. Alex’s story is an interesting and very familiar one. See if you can identify with Alex’s experience, and whether what Alex learnt could be usual for you to understand too. (Alex could be either gender, and the business could just as easily be a career…)
Alex works hard in his business.
It’s really important to him that his business is successful. Alex believes that his own personal wellbeing and security depends on it. He believes that his security comes from having enough money, achievement and recognition from others. He lives in a Western culture where these things are considered key to your wellbeing.
Alex carries around a lot of thoughts like this. The content of Alex’s thoughts is not significant but he thinks it is (as do we all from time to time). Alex also believes that how successful his business is, is a reflection on him as an individual. He pins his self worth and validity to his business and believes that any failures in his business are his failures. He believes that he must work hard at all costs to ensure that the business is successful, because he is worried that otherwise people (himself included) will believe that he is not enough. When he really puts his mind to it, Alex can imagine a scenario where he is sleeping on a friend’s sofa without enough money to buy food, unable to get a job after his business has failed and feeling miserable and wondering what’s the point. I mean this is the worst he can imagine, but it does pop up from time to time. This scenario is unacceptable to Alex.
Alex’s beliefs affect his behaviour.
He gets up early and gets to the office early. He goes through his emails checking and double checking for anything that he might have missed. He goes through his order book, looking out for what could possibly go wrong, and worrying about it. He worries about where new business will come from. What his competitors are doing. Whether he will get seriously fined if he doesn’t get his GDPR quite right…
You see Alex has goals. He has deadlines to meet and milestones to check his progress against along the way. He beats himself up if he believes that he hasn’t been as proactive and efficient that day as he could have been. But Alex never lets anyone know how he’s feeling. He maintains the facade to the outside world that all is going well – he’s in control and on track. To Alex, doing anything else would be admitting failure, and he can’t do that. He can’t be seen to be not enough. He wouldn’t be okay.
That’s how things look to Alex. He runs his business in fear. He worries about potential disaster scenarios, he creates urgency where there is none. He gets a bit short with suppliers and colleagues. Sometimes Alex actually does very little. He still goes into the office and appears to be working, but he really isn’t very productive. His head is too busy for him to really be able to see clearly what he could get on with. He takes thoughts about his business home with him. Alex doesn’t really enjoy running his business like this. He’s exhausted, but he gets on with it. It has become a normal way of living to him.
One day Alex comes across a new understanding.
Alex learns that all the stress and worry and urgency are just thought. Thoughts that he is believing about his business which aren’t actually true. The thoughts are creating an illusion for Alex of how difficult running a business is and how stressful it is. His thoughts are all focused on the idea of him not being okay. His thoughts all come from fear. None of these thoughts are helpful. None of these thoughts are true.
Alex starts to see things differently. Firstly, he sees that, without these thoughts, he feels perfectly fine. Great, even! Without anything needing to be a particular way in his business. He realises that he IS okay and that there is nothing that could happen in his business which would mean otherwise. Without the fear of not being okay, with the knowledge that fundamentally Alex is perfectly fine, his stress and suffering disappear. The thoughts that created the illusion of how his business is have gone. Every so often they pop their heads up, but he doesn’t buy into them for as long anymore. Alex understands something that has changed his perception forever. With this change in perspective, he is free to run his business for the joy of running it. With curiosity about what he can create, with a desire to provide an excellent service and the compassion required to relate well to his colleagues, suppliers and customers.
Which do you think does better? A business which is run with joy, or with fear? That’s the topic for another article!
Want to know more about how I can help? Drop me a line or give me a call. A successful coaching relationship depends upon a great rapport, so it’s important to talk. I want to get to know you, see inside your world and we can assess how we’d go from there!