I was having a conversation with one of my clients the other day. She was renewing for her second year of one-on-one work with me. She said to me, “Monica, I love having a plan. I know exactly what I need to do. But I don’t always follow through on it. And I’ve realized that when there is something that I don’t know how to do, my reaction is to stop all together, and then start worrying. I’m realizing now that this reaction is having an effect not only on my business but also on my health. And the worst part is that I’ve been doing it for years without even realizing it.”
I was so proud of her for realizing what her trigger was – what was causing her to stop. She stops when she is faced with something that she doesn’t know how to do. And her reaction is to freeze and not act at all.
These days, she is learning that when the need to freeze comes up, she just needs to ask for help from someone. Once she voices her problem, the solution usually appears and she can keep moving forward.
I learned my own trigger years ago. When I am confused about what to do next or when I start to doubt my plan, I start buying information. I’ll go on program buying sprees or buy tons of books. I know rationally that I can’t take in all the information, but somehow the buying makes me feel safer and more secure. In the end, when I get clear on my plan and my path – I realize how much time and money I’ve wasted in reading more books and taking more programs than I really needed.
These days I’ve started to realize that when the need to buy every learning tool on the market comes up, I just have to focus on what is really going on underneath the surface. I need to get clear and resolve my own doubts.
What makes you stop? What are your triggers? It seems like a simple question, but I ask you to go underneath the surface.
Use these steps to help you determine your own triggers:
1. Notice the patterns that are emerging in your business.
Do you regularly procrastinate? Do you skip the important things on your to-do list? Do you miss appointments? Once you’ve identified some patterns of habits that you’d like to shift, it’s time to go deeper.
2. What happens in your life before these patterns emerge?
For example, what is the last action that occurred in your life prior to you missing that appointment? Do you look at your bank account and notice it is empty (and that causes you to get depressed)? Does your partner say a snarky comment that causes you to lose focus for hours? Does that conversation with your mom totally drain you?
What is going on in your life on a consistent basis that triggers you to “stop”, to “procrastinate”, to “skip things”?
3. Once you’ve identified the triggers, see what you can do to get them out of your life or reduce them.
If your trigger is your mom’s phone calls, ask her to call only after 8 PM. If your trigger is when you don’t know how to do something, make sure you’ve got a great coach you can e-mail. If your trigger is fatigue, then get some sleep.
The biggest problem with entrepreneurs is that they just keep stopping themselves, and getting in their own way. If you can start to understand the triggers that cause this and your typical reaction, you’ll save yourself years of personal development and therapy work. And you’ll make quantum leaps in your business! Leave me a comment and let me know your triggers – I’ll be delighted to see them and how you work through them.
About the Author: Monica Shah founded Ideal Balance in 2006 to help busy professionals lose all the weight they want and keep it off forever. The IB approach is balanced, holistic and simple to implement for even the busiest people. Her clients are able to find peace and balance in their lives through sustained weight loss and healthy eating. She conducts nutrition and health coaching, live workshops and various events in New York City and San Francisco. Please go to http://www.idealbalanceinc.com/tips to get your free “Managing Overwhelm” kit and weekly tips.