Mindset Buster: Yes, You Are Smart Enough

Mindset Buster: Yes, You Are Smart Enough

As a business coach, I work with a lot of clients who hold particular mindsets that can be helpful or not so helpful in their businesses and in their lives. One of these mindsets that I see often is the “I’m not smart enough” mindset. If you’re a mompreneur who holds that mindset, it might be time to revisit that idea and think about busting up that negative notion once and for all.

Often, it’s difficult to call ourselves out on these mindsets. Many of us do not even see ourselves adopting a negative mindset at all. What I’ve found as a business coach, however, is once we start addressing some of these issues by talking about them, they become clear. And once the awareness is there, we can make decisions about what we want to do about those mindsets.

Some of you might resonate with the “I’m not smart enough” mindset. You might even hear yourself saying things like “that’s just beyond me” or “such-and-such is above my level”. Some of you others might not actually verbalize those words but instead, might have a quiet voice inside you that is whispering the same message. In fact, that voice might be so quiet, you might not even realize it’s there until you start thinking about the topic more deliberately.

Mindset example

One of my clients is a sole practitioner of a communications, marketing, and public relations firm. She’s been in the business for under two years, and she works really hard. Like many others, this mompreneur modeled her business on others she admired. She learned from colleagues and mentors before striking out on her own. After awhile, however, she started seeing her competition capturing bigger clients and more clients. She started seeing her competition being recognized within the larger industry. And she started adopting the mindset that she could not compete. She started believing that she was not smart enough to make it. Once that negativity sets in, it can be crippling to your business and to your life.

After we spent some time talking, we discovered that this practitioner really wasn’t making a fair comparison. She was comparing herself to all those whom she admired. What she failed to see was that her so-called competition was a seasoned veteran in the business with a decade of experience, employed a large team of freelancers and staff, and simply had more monetary resources than she did. She was a relative newcomer to the market, worked as a sole practitioner and had limited time and resources. She was comparing apples to oranges.

The problem with that comparison and the resulting mindset is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you decide to believe that you’re not smart enough and that your competition is better, you will automatically begin to look for evidence to confirm that belief. You’ll literally start searching for evidence to prove that you’re right. That’s exactly what my client did. She had a long list of examples to show me that her belief that she was not smart enough was true.

Challenge your mindset

My challenge to all of you is to think about what mindsets you have about work, your business, and your life. If you have a mindset that is anything less than believing you are doing your very best and that you will achieve your goals, then you might have something to work on. Consider whether you have that little negative voice that is pointing out negative experiences or whether you see positive things, can note your achievements and see your accomplishments. Take stock and consider how your mindset affects your work, your life and yourself.

Here’s a personal example to help illustrate my point. When I was growing up, I never flew anywhere so I had a mindset that I was not one of those people who got on an airplane and went anywhere. It was likely that I’d continue with that mindset, but I had this shift when I was 21 years old that I could be one of those people who flew to places. That mindset could have held me back from doing new things, having new positive experiences, and growing in exciting ways.

I had another client who had a mindset where she thought she didn’t deserve to be happy. She acquired this mindset because of some bad decisions she had made in her life but then held fast to those ideas. That mindset was not a healthy one, and once she worked through that, she discovered she was a person who deserved to be happy.

Today, I challenge you to think about the beliefs you hold about yourself, your business, your life, even your family. Write them down. Think about whether your mindset is helping you support and achieve your goals. If they are, keeping doing what you’re doing. If they are not, decide whether you want to change, whether you’re ready to change, whether it’s time to change. If the answer is yes, then you have some pretty exciting goals to work toward in upcoming months.

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Success Doesn’t Have to Be Hard, So Don’t Make it Harder!

Mindset makes such a difference. During my work with clients lately, I’ve noticed a mindset out there that success has to be hard. It has to hurt a little. It means that you have to be really busy all the time and sacrifice your health, your time, your children and your marriage in order to achieve success.

Are you hiding this sneaky mindset?

Now I know that most of you reading this are shaking your heads and can see how that idea is a ridiculous one. I know you are smart and savvy enough to know, at an intellectual level, that makes no sense. However, even if you think you agree with me, this article could be aimed at you. Why? Because this mindset is a sneaky one. You might not even realize you are holding this mindset, yet it can be affecting your life in a significant way.

Why am I unhappy?

I have this particular client who is an absolute powerhouse. She owns a fitness studio and has amazing willpower over her body and her health. She manages her time well and successfully manages a growing staff of half a dozen employees and teachers. I enjoy working with her, and over time, we’ve come up with many different ideas to increase her sales or improve her hiring or auditing processes. She is a ninja when it comes to executing her business assignments.

Recently she sounded different. When I asked what was going on, she started telling me about some of her family drama. Now, we all have family drama in our lives, whether it be with our own immediate families or with extended family members.

After I listened to her, I reminded her of business success. She had been on such an upward swing. She had reached an amazing level of success with more clients, increased profits, and decreased expenses. She said she knew that, and she knew she should be happy, but she wasn’t.

I started asking her some more questions, and after quite awhile, I finally got her to uncover the cause of her unhappiness. The bottom line was that her business was going so well that it was starting to freak her out. Things were suddenly easier. She was leaving earlier, working in the business less and on the business more. She wasn’t needed as much as she was in her start-up days, and that scared her.

She started telling me about her family. Her father worked in a high-stress job and wasn’t around much. After her father died, her mother worked two jobs in order to provide for her children. She learned from watching her parents that success meant busting your butt, working really hard all the time, and being stressed out. Since she was no longer working so hard, she felt lazy and that trouble was looming around the corner.

As a result of this mindset, she started looking for things to be stressed out about. All the family drama had been there all along, but that when she was focused on her business she didn’t notice. It wasn’t a priority, and it didn’t bother her. However, now that her business was going well, she noticed all these things and allowed them to bother her so she could be stressed about something.

Are you allowing stress in because it’s “supposed” to be there?

Now I want you to think about that. Have you ever focused on a problem where there wasn’t one? Do you have a mindset where things have to be hard? Does stress equal success? Do you believe that success looks only one way?

I want you to sit down with a piece of paper and write down what success looks like to you. What have you learned about success from your parents, your spouse, your friends, your business associates? What have they taught you about success? What instead should success be?

I hate the claim that success looks only one way. That unless you are working 70 or 80 hours per week, you can’t be successful. Unless you grow exponentially and sell your business for millions of dollars, you are not successful. Unless you have sacrificed everything else in your life, you can’t be successful.

I think that’s ridiculous. Yes, I believe in having a solid work ethic. However, I want you to enjoy the fruit of your labor and your hard-earned success. I want you to be able to relax and spend more time with your family. I want you to be happy.

Take some time to bring awareness to it. If you know what your mindset is you can invent a better, new mindset for the future.

Need help sorting out your mindset and expectations? Feeling stuck, but not sure why or how to fix it? It might be time for you to hire a coach! This is what I do with clients day in and day out. Contact me today to find out if I could be the right fit in helping you move forward.

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Permission to be Successful

We’re gearing up for a month of talking about success: defining and measuring our success, feeling successful, and more. Today, though, I want to give you something really special. It’s permission to be successful.

You have permission to be successful.

So often in our lives we get buried under negative self-talk and our own doubts and fears, not to mention the negativity and doubt of those around us. Sometimes, our own predictions of failure become self-fulfilling. But not anymore!

Everyone deserves success. You deserve success.

Sometimes, we have survivors guilt: our business and life is going well, but our close friend or even partner/spouse is having trouble in certain areas of their lives. This leads us to downplay or feel undeserving of what we’ve achieved. Baloney!

You earned your success.

Don’t let comparison steal your joy! Often we hear that in the context of giving yourself a pep talk when you feel less than about what you have, but it works the other way, too. Allow yourself to feel deserving of success. You are working for it, so let yourself have it!

You have permission to be successful.

Say it to yourself “I give myself permission to be successful.”

For more about success, check out my latest podcast: “Why is it so dang hard for mompreneurs to see themselves as successful?

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