We all have an inner voice. We hear it when we do both good things and things we perceive as “bad”, when we’re about to make a major decision, and whether we’re struggling or succeeding too. Being an entrepreneur can be extremely lonely and challenging, with many sleepless nights and self-doubt that creeps in to make you question whether you’re doing enough. There are few things more stressful than starting a business, and that’s when your negative inner voices can really take over. How many great ideas have never seen the light because someone listened to a negative story they had about themselves and gave in to self-judgement, -criticism and -doubt? How many amazing services were never offered because someone couldn’t offer themselves self-compassion and love?
When you have self-compassion, you’re able to talk to yourself like you would a friend. A friend wouldn’t tell you that your ideas are stupid or that you’re unworthy of success. If you make a mistake, a friend will tell you that it’s all part of the learning process and you’ll be able to bounce back. Self-compassion allows you to look past your inner critic and see your accomplishments, and even perceived failures, more objectively, and even positively. It helps you more effectively and gently respond to your pain and anxiety and realize that the world absolutely needs your unique combination of perspective, values, talents and skills.
But how do you start practicing self-compassion, especially when you’re undertaking a huge project like starting a business? How do you let go of your self-doubt and learn to speak to yourself with kindness and love? Here are 4 ways you can use mindfulness to become more self compassionate and, ultimately, succeed in your business.
One helpful way you can put yourself in a compassionate mindset is by looking at yourself from the outside. A great way to do this is to write a letter to yourself as though you were a friend writing to yourself about the particular challenge you’re facing. Looking at your situation through the eyes of a friend will force your brain to look for the positive and help you sift through your situation from a place of gentleness. You’ll also become more aware of how your negative voice sounds, and writing from this perspective will help you learn to reframe your thoughts in a kinder way.
Many of us have negative inner critics who love to punish us for making even the smallest mistakes. You’re bound to make mistakes embarking on something new like starting a business, so it’s important to learn to be more forgiving of yourself so you don’t get stuck before you’ve even had a chance to start. When your mind wants to punish you for a mistake, think of positive feedback you’ve received from friends, family, and other people who love you no matter what your faults are. This will help you realize that you don’t have to be perfect in order to be valued and loved.
Practicing gratitude has many benefits, including improving your self-talk. When you practice gratitude, you’re encouraging yourself to pay attention to the little things around you and that are an extension of you. Gratitude doesn’t have to be big or complicated; there are so many things you already have that you can be grateful for. Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple method of practicing gratitude and providing yourself with concrete examples of positivity in your life to look back on when things seem rough.
When you start a business, it can become all too easy to put your clients and customers above everyone else, including yourself! As you’re embarking on this new adventure, remember to set aside time to be in your own space. This can mean meditation, journaling, or simply spending time doing whatever you find relaxing and enjoy. Make sure that when you plan your week, you schedule in time to spend away from your business so you can reconnect with yourself and recharge. If you’re not taking care of your emotional and physical health, you’ll soon find it even more challenging to do right by your business and that it doesn’t take much for you to feel overwhelmed. Taking time for yourself is not a luxury; it’s a necessity to keep yourself happy and remember that you are worthy of compassion and care.
Whether you’re starting a new business, relationship, or career, It will do you wonders to build your skills in self-compassion. Doing so will reduce your stress levels, soften your stance and help you achieve your goals, often in very creative, intuitive and powerfully aligned ways. Being more self-compassionate will help you recognize when you need to rest and disconnect and help you feel more confident and at ease when you go back to your daily responsibilities. Learning to be gentle with yourself will help you own your accomplishments and recover from setbacks more easily without unnecessary blows to your self-esteem. Self-compassion is a skill all entrepreneurs need, because things won’t always be smooth sailing. Luckily, if you master it, you’ll be able to keep your business, and yourself, happy, healthy, and fulfilled.