My friend Howard Tullman tweeted out one his “truisms”. Howard is full of wisdom.
That is true. I know from experience. Once you let yourself get into the fear cycle, it is a never ending whirlwind to the bottom. The bottom is not fun. Doing a business is hard. It consistently pounds on your psyche. By consistent, I mean like a drumbeat to a song that has no end-it’s always there. Demons creep up, and hide in the corners always ready to pounce.
How do you keep them at bay? What if you try something and fail? That’s when the demons really go after you?
The answer is to take a deep breath. Go for a walk. Do something physical. Not something that is totally taxing to your body-but something low key and enjoyable. Even yard work is good. You get to see a nice finished product in the end.
That helps shake the cobwebs out. The sense of accomplishment you feel by completing an unrelated task can bleed over into your business.
When you approach work again, you need to focus on doing something small. If you have success, do another small thing. If you have success, keep doing it. Keep doing little things that propel you forward. For many businesses it means simply going and talking to a customer. Going and talking to a potential new customer. It might be finally changing a small line of code that makes things work a little smoother. Maybe it’s finally having a conversation with an employee that you have been putting off. Or, instead of being so intense around your employees, telling them how grateful you are for their presence.
Figure out ways to cut the pressure. Joke about it. “Gallows humor” is funny for a reason. I have spoken to POWs from WW2 and they tried to forget about their troubles by joking about it and even at times ignoring it.
Being grateful, laughing in the face of danger, these are all ways to change your attitude and change the way you feel physically. They help you get your confidence back.