When things don’t go to plan, it can feel like a real kick to the stomach.
A lot can go on internally.
We hear it in our noggin, and we feel it in our body.
Perhaps it shows up as that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Or perhaps it’s anxiety that you feel in your chest.
We beat ourselves up, we make it mean something about us and how we’re flawed. We can make all sorts of rubbish up in our heads that it makes it harder to take action again the next time.
It took a lot of mental energy to be able to do it in the first place, so your brain goes…hang on…it took all that energy AND it made you feel bad, so no way jose!
Why would we do that again?!
It wants to protect you from pain at the end of the day.
And you can easily find yourself in a pattern or it being hard to take action.
But here’s the thing. You have a LIFETIME of those experiences at play.
We have good old negativity bias too working for us which means we hold on to those negative experiences and perhaps ignore the times where it DIDN’T happen and went how you wanted it to.
If we have a belief that things have to go right the first time, why would we ever try again if it doesn’t?
This could be our first live, a training in someone’s group, a speaking gig, a social post that tanked, anything.
This is often at the heart of feeling like your business failed early on, or like something didn’t work before actually giving it a chance to. Or tweaking and experimenting to see what will work.
We need to reframe how we think about these things.
So much of running your own business is about experimenting. You don’t learn anything otherwise.
We have to be open to things not working. Importantly, we also need to remember that most people don’t talk about the things that go wrong. You don’t see people talking so much about the launches that didn’t go well. The posts that tanked. When they fell over in a room full of strangers at an event.
It’s less about these things happening, which they do. But more about what we make them mean.
What we make them mean about ourselves.
The reason I want to talk about this today is because things haven’t gone according to plan for me with something and I’m totally fine with it. And it’s certainly not the end of the road.
One of my goals this year was I really wanted to get the Positive Pants Planner out by Christmas.
It’s not going to happen.
Old Fran would have had a lot to say about it. Old Fran would have beaten herself up around all the many ways she’d ‘failed’ and was ‘useless’.
This Fran is fine. Yes it would have been amazing BUT, I knew I didn’t know what I was doing when I started creating it so the time frame was a hard one, a little bit finger in the air. AND covid hit.
I wanted it to be out within a few months and there have been areas where I‘ve really dragged my feet. I have to take responsibility for that.
I’ve procrastinated over the 2 final pieces of the puzzle I need to create because we’ve had a battle trying to get printers and cloth merchants to come back to us. We’ve had a battle trying to get realistic quotes.
It’s not a problem I have two final pieces of copy to do because we couldn’t be further along than we are right now, BUT it was interesting for me to notice it.
As soon as we get a printer quote i’m happy with and they give me a deadline I know i’ll be on it.
BUT, it’s all part of the journey and i’m embracing the lessons. I’m watching myself and observing my ego with curiosity.
I’ve laughed at myself more than once through the process.
It IS coming. So me being aware that I tend to put a lot of self imposed pressure on myself has been important for me to notice.
This is a year like nothing we’ve ever experienced.
We couldn’t predict any of it.
There have been a few existential crises along the way ha!
But it’s about embracing the messy.
I think a part of me knew i’d drag my feet a bit and made the decision early on that it would be undated. I want people to be able to start the habit of journaling at any point in the year, not just january so that was the main reason BUT, there was probably a tiny ego part of me involved in the benefits of that decision for me.
For example, I will never have to ‘run out’ of stock or discount past January. With a luxury product that was important too.
But doing it this way also allows for more ease and flow.
That’s something we take away when we don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to get things ‘wrong’ or for them to not work out how we planned. We put too much attachment on the outcome.
I remember when I had my jewellery business, I loved the fact that something not going to plan could turn out even better. It was something that allowed me to be creative.
It made me more open.
The trouble came when I started having to take commissions because it was our only source of income. I couldn’t afford to be choosy or say no to a potential customer.
I absolutely hated it.
That ‘need’ to be perfect made me fall out of love with my business.
The lack of creativity. The seriousness of it took away the flow. If I made a mistake it would have been hugely costly, in terms of my time and materials.
I always remember a commission that was about £500 cost. It was a stack ring and I had to work in 24ct gold. I could NOT afford to make a mistake. A huge amount of jewellers don’t work in gold these days. They work in sterling silver and plate thickly in gold, it’s called Gold Vermeil. I digress.
It took away all the joy. All the creativity. The flow I felt.
You don’t need to do this to your business.
It’s one of the many reasons I chose to keep my job alongside my business too.
I never wanted to be in a position of ‘need’. Needing something to go a certain way or make a certain amount of money. It’s not what I was crating for.
I wanted to run things a certain way. With more ease, flow, room to experiment, room to try things, room to say no to things that didn’t feel good. It takes a while to find your feet but it’s a very different energy allowing room for mistakes. The ‘lack’ mentality isn’t there.
Things not going exactly how you planned can be a beautiful thing that often leads you to a much better place than you would have found.
Allowing yourself the joy of experimentation without so much pressure is a beautiful thing.
My planner not being ready when I wanted it to be is not the end of the world. Yes I could have made tonnes of Christmas sales but that’s ok.
The world hasn’t ended.
I’m not ‘wrong’.
It doesn’t ‘mean’ anything about me. I haven’t failed. I don’t need to beat myself up like I would have in the past.
It’s about accepting where you are.
Where I am is absolutely fine.
It’s not a disaster.
You guys will just have to wait a little longer. You can sign up to the waitlist at https://bit.ly/pppimwaiting
So if you’re holding back on something because it may not work how you want it to. Or somethings already not gone how you wanted to and you’re beating yourself up and don’t want to try again, I hope this has given a little reframe for you.
Ask yourself, what’s the worst case scenario here? What am I making it mean and is that the truth?
When you can be open to things not going 100% according to plan you open yourself up to a lot more freedom.
You have more ease and flow because you’re ok with it. Knowing it will work out as it’s supposed to. Whatever that may look like.
So do the live, launch the course, programme, event, product. It’s going to work out how it’s supposed to. You’ll either get everything you wanted. Or a lesson you needed, which you can take, tweak and try again!
Check out The Positive Pants Podcast here
Follow me for more tips on Instagram @imfranexcell
Fran Excell, Mindset & Productivity Coach – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.com
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