- By Sara Lynn Brennan
- March 11, 2021
LuAnn’s most recent “solo” episode of the A Well-Designed Business® podcast hit home for a lot of people.
It was titled “Power Talk Friday, Giving Yourself Grace in Life and Business.” Why did it hit home? Because it was about mindset.
When I teach my course through LuAnn University, our first module isn’t about becoming more profitable. It’s also not about streamlining your processes or becoming more efficient. It’s about mindset because I truly believe that you will not be able to dream up, build or represent your business until you truly believe you can.
I say this because there are REAL things such as imposter syndrome, guilt, fear, doubt, negative self-talk, comparison, and jealousy and these evils will knock you flat on your butt if you aren’t mentally strong enough to tell them “not today” when they come knocking.
Those who have gone through my course with me will laugh, but it’s true. I literally teach my students to quiet that negative voice and find your “Casual Confidence”, a term I came up with and embody on a regular basis.
This Casual Confidence helps us to let that negative voice know that you ARE good enough and that we don’t have time for it today, nor will we be available tomorrow or the day after.
We literally throw our hands in the air, raise the roof, and celebrate what we are about to go do, which is build a kick-butt business that we KNOW we are capable of truly OWNING!
When I opened my LLC, I quickly learned that confidence was not my strong suit.
This may come as a surprise to you. I am so confident in the way I talk about my business today but it hasn’t always been that way.
I knew I needed confidence to run the type of business I was trying to create, so I found a therapist to teach me the skills to become a more confident person, which I knew would help me in both my business and personal life.
Through my time with my therapist, he helped me understand that all of my questions like What if I’m not good enough? What if I mess up? and What if they find out I don’t really know what I’m doing? could be flipped and turned into, What if I AM good enough? What if I do an amazing job? and What if they find out I really am a great designer and what if they LOVE my work?
In those therapy sessions with Dr. Atlas, I quickly realized that I was standing in my own way. My mindset was holding me back and my therapist helped me decide and acknowledge that I could do this.
Becoming more confident was not easy and believe me, I STILL struggle, but I had to learn to catch that negative thought, stop it in its tracks, and reprogram it.
In my brain I envision there being two paths: one tangled and difficult to navigate through and the other being clear and smooth. That clear and smooth path is the negative, self-conscious and insecure path that I was used to taking; paving the way on the overgrown “positive” path would take effort, commitment and dedication, but I was up for the challenge.
It took years of therapy, but now I’m pretty good at tuning out that negative voice,. Every single day I am intentional about it and choose not to let it in.
In LuAnn’s recent solo episode, she talked about some of the meaningful conversations she’d had with coaching clients, family members, and friends.
She found that many were apologizing for where they were in their journey. She saw them feeling bad for being who they genuinely are, feeling the need to compare themselves to others, and feeling the overwhelm of it all.
This was the universe telling her to talk about this subject, so she did and it was a great episode. The takeaway was that you should not compare where you are in your journey to anyone else. Listen to me, THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION.
Life, business, success—it’s not a race and nobody wins a gold metal for being the “best”.
So why do we compare ourselves to each other? Truthfully, we only get to see a glimpse into other’s lives—what we know to be online is not reality.
They say to never meet your idols, right? That’s because they often don’t measure up to what you’ve made them out to be in your mind. They are not perfect creatures that outdo you in every way.
Honestly, how does one square that has been highly edited and strategically placed somehow determine our own self worth? It doesn’t!
If you are going to own being a boss business owner, you have to own all of it. The happy times when confidence is easy and the crappy times when you feel like you want to quit.
There is both risk and reward in being an entrepreneur—you have to be prepared to face both. Like I always say from back when I was a middle school teacher, the test is only easy when you are prepared for it.
Every day our mindset is tested, so we must practice if we want to be good at this.
You must practice building your business skills through attending seminars and coaching events. Intentionally practice positive thinking, go to therapy, and acknowledge that you are good enough.
Practice believing in yourself every day, knowing that you can achieve anything you wish to as long as you are willing to put in the work. And when someone shakes you, see that as a blessing.
Find the silver lining in the situation. See this as an opportunity to acknowledge the gap and fill it. Don’t hide in that gap, fill it with learning, love and patience… and holy moly, give yourself some grace! Think about it, if we all knew everything, LuAnn would have no podcast!
Even the best of the best, our idols, listen too because there is always more to learn. There is always a way to improve and there are always ways to unapologetically show up and own where you are at in your journey.
The last thing I’ll say is that I believe that confidence looks different in every stage of life and it’s no different for your business.
Please keep this in mind as you watch others in different seasons of their journey. The mindset on the day you created your LLC is very different than your mindset on the day you make your first hire, lease your first space, or advocate for yourself when a client is questioning your worth.
As Erika Ward said in Episode 6, we all come to the table with different “transferrable skills” that can truly be a unique super power if you position them properly. The experiences and life lessons you bring to the table should EMPOWER you to build your design business. You should never feel shame for where you are at in your unique journey.
It takes so much courage to get where you are now—most don’t even take that first leap. So KNOW you are doing something truly amazing, even if it doesn’t quite feel that way right now.
I know you can do this. Your family knows you can do this. LuAnn knows you can do this. It’s time YOU start believing and knowing that you can and will do this.
And just like LuAnn says, every day we make a decision. I recommend you take her advice and decide to be excellent. It’s a lot more fun than deciding to be self-conscious, I can tell you that much! ☺
Sincerely, your fellow designer out there in the trenches with you,