At some point, when I work with a client, they want to know the big secret, the one last thing they need to know to achieve ultimate success.
So, here it is.
The one last thing is that there is no one last thing.
Once you’ve accepted that, you’ll be much better off.
I know. It’s disappointing, isn’t it? Just one last thing. We’ll only have to deal with this negative situation once. Once we figure it all out, we’ll be done with it. We’ll only have that one time where we’re stuck.
Unfortunately, this expectation leads to more stress. “When X happens, everything will get better” isn’t a realistic expectation — and neither is “X will never happen after this.”
When you get to a certain point in your plan, and everything is falling into place in one way, it’s only going to get challenging in another way because your brain will find a new challenge rooted in your present success. That’s how your brain works.
And this is the secret successful businesswomen get.
They realize they’re never actually going to be finished. There’s always another set of challenges that come from solving the ones they’re working on now…and that’s OK. Even if challenges don’t arise in their current businesses, their next set of dreams and ambitions will create new ones.
Embrace a spiral thinking mindset
It can be easy to see the appearance of new challenges as a negative when in reality, it’s just a part of your evolution. You’re creating your own challenges just as you’re solving them. With this mindset, you can embrace the process, with all its ups and downs — and when you do that, you’ll experience the world in a completely different way.
When you make this mindset shift, you’re not on a roundabout. The circle is much larger, and in fact, the circle isn’t a circle anymore. It’s become something else entirely — it’s an upward spiral of growth and change. You’re not getting nowhere. You’re expanding in many new directions all at once around a central focus. Your thinking expands as your knowledge, skill, experience, and confidence expand.
In the spiral, as your business scales up, so do your capabilities and possibilities. You’ll keep growing, and so will the spiral — and all the opportunities it brings to you, your family, your community, and your world. Each time you travel around another bend of the spiral, your knowledge, capabilities, and experience grow. The messy middle is always the same size, but proportionally, it feels smaller and less overwhelming each time.
Organizational psychologist and author Adam Grant has this to say about this type of progress and growth: “Progress rarely happens in a straight line. It typically unfolds in loops. Day by day, it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels. If you look back on your trajectory over months or years, you can see forward movement. Major growth is the result of many seemingly minor turns.”
Go beyond either/or thinking
Past You, who was overwhelmed and dreading the next problem that could arrive on her doorstep, didn’t know how to handle the next set of challenges. But the Future You does.
You have a plan. Does that mean the world will work according to it? Probably not.
You already know you’re going to face setbacks and situations you didn’t anticipate. However, unlike Past You, the current version of you, the version who is an extraordinary achiever, is tuned into the future and knows what Future You would do.
Future You knows you’re either winning or learning. You’re never a failure with that mindset. You’re just a work in progress like everyone else.
Labeling everything as either “good” or “bad” and any kind of conflict or stress bad. Sometimes things are good AND bad at the same time. For instance, hiring people is good and bad. It creates more conflict, stress, and complexity but may be necessary to solve specific capacity problems. In some situations, it may not be the right answer. But in others, it’s worth taking on the challenge.
As they reach this realization and experience this mindset shift, my clients invariably tell me some version of the same thing.
“How do you feel?” I ask.
“Relieved,” they say at first.
It is a relief. Because the “right/wrong” mentality is a huge source of Stuck Stress. It keeps you paralyzed from moving toward opportunity. But relief is only a short-term change of feeling from realizing something isn’t bad like you thought it was. Over the long term, they have a different answer.
“I feel like I have power,” they tell me.
Empowerment is a long-term answer. Suddenly, there’s not a right and wrong way to do everything. Each situation has multiple right ways and you can make lemonade out of lemons.
Create your next big opportunity
If you’ve ever struggled with feeling unfulfilled on your journey as a female entrepreneur my book, She Thinks Big: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Guide to Moving Past the Messy Middle and into the Extraordinary, is for you. The best part? I’ll show you exactly how to identify what’s holding you back so you can elevate your entire life to the next level.
Join the community of entrepreneurial women who are dedicated to moving the needle in their personal lives and in their businesses to achieve big, audacious goals and go beyond what they thought was possible to live an extraordinary life.
For MUST-HAVE planning tools that work seamlessly with the book to help you stop overthinking and make confident, quick decisions to get what you want — every single time, download my Think Big Toolkit. (I couldn’t fit everything in the book!)