Recently, a client asked me how I overcame one of the worst periods of my life more than a decade ago, when I battled anxiety and depression so severe that, some days, it took all my energy to get out of bed. At times, leaving the house and interacting with people seemed insurmountable.
My answer: 15 minutes of courage.
You see, I still had responsibilities—bills to pay, mouths to feed, obligations and commitments to be honored. The only way I could do it was to focus on staying present. I would think about what needed to be done that day, or sometimes just that hour, or that moment.
And then, as often as I could, I would assert myself. I’d muster up 15 minutes of courage—anyone can do anything for 15 minutes, right?—and I’d push myself beyond my comfort zone.
My goal? To progress. To grow. To move forward. To move away and out of the stuck place, I felt I was in at that time.
Here are some of the actions I took during my 15 minutes of courage:
1. I made phone calls and scheduled appointments with strangers.
2. I asked for help.
3. I made decisions.
4. I made commitments.
5. I signed on dotted lines.
6. I left my house.
7. I talked to people.
8. I asked questions.
9. I got out of my own head.
10. I created new relationships.
11. I asked for what I needed.
12. I let go of what no longer served me.
13. I listened.
14. I spoke up for myself where once I would have been silent.
15. I took risks.
16. I wrote, and I published what I wrote.
These actions changed my life, and they put me on the path I walk today.
Oftentimes, when I speak with clients or prospective clients, I hear stories of anxiety, fear, and depression. Women and men tell me their fears around not feeling good enough, or being “found out” a/k/an ‘imposter syndrome,’ or about never having enough or being able to create enough. These fears keep them feeling stagnant, stuck and feeling disappointed about both their businesses and their lives.
In fact, I think these are very common thoughts among entrepreneurs simply because creating, owning and growing a business is, well, risky business! There’s bound to be some anxiety around it and fear of making mistakes. Particularly if you are in it alone—a true solo.
Here’s what I’ve learned after speaking with countless entrepreneurs and business owners over the years:
1. You can do this or you would not have had the thought to do it.
2. You likely don’t need another degree or certification or credential for a seat at the table. You are already competent and enough just as you are.
3. You might need to learn some new business skills if you want to own and operate your own business. That’s called growth, and it’s perfectly normal.
4. Feeling fearful and anxious about growing, expanding and evolving is normal.
5. You get to choose what you want for your business and your life.
6. If you want something different than what you have, then you must first decide to act in ways that are different than the current actions you are taking.
7. Fifteen minutes of courage a day can change your life for the better. If you are fearful and anxious about making changes, making decisions and making commitments, but you really want something more, are you willing, at least, to muster up 15 minutes of courage a day to do something you otherwise would be afraid to do?
I encourage you now to write your own list of “What I would do with 15 minutes of courage” and then to give it a try for the next 30 days. At the end of 30 days, please email me with your results, I would love to hear how it worked for you!
P.S. If you are finally ready to release the fear and anxiety around owning, operating and growing your business; and you are excited about learning new business skills and creating a more joyful business growth experience, schedule a conversation with me today. I’d love to help!
P.P.S. Attorneys: Be sure to sign-up for my latest free training if you have not already. It’s good stuff you are not going to want to miss How to Create a 7-Figure Law Firm You Love (without Killing Yourself in the Process).