During tough times in business, many of us tend to grind harder, work longer, and make “I can sleep when I’m dead” their new motto.
Before long, we have completely abandoned any attempts at self-care: that morning walk, the phone-less coffee after lunch, or the two hours of brainstorming with your inbox put on pause.
This typically leads to burn-out and doesn’t do a thing to the bottom-line — nothing good anyway.
Once you set out to found your own business, it becomes a mirror of your soul, with all those wounds, limiting believes, and sabotaging behaviors you’ve picked up over time. If you’re not careful, before long your self-worth is in-toe with your net-worth.
My mom grew up in the former GDR, East Germany, and self-development and personal growth pretty much granted you a spot in jail at that time. If you weren’t careful, voicing judgments and claiming your own opinion would lead to the denouncement of the harshest kind. It could come from anywhere: your best friend, your neighbor, your colleague at school.
The forgiveness process I’m about to share would have been illegal in East Germany (it still is in some countries these days). This process is about freeing your mind from triggers and acknowledging when work triggers a private memory – and working through it.
Come to think of it: We have so much amazing liberty in our thinking nowadays, we’ve GOT TO make the most of it. See, thanks to the bravery of my mom’s generation, I’m no longer bound by these oppressive politics and borders. Much of my traveling, I do filled with gratitude for what they did – literally shatter the wall. Now, identifying and working through limiting believes no longer lands me in jail but it does shatter walls and limitations.
Nowadays, taking ownership over my thinking is freeing and can lead to a much more fulfilling life, love, and business and a balance of all three. With that pinch of gratitude in our hands, let’s look at business:
Historically, when the going got rough, we’d grind more – especially in business. But really, it’s never the outer work that leads to exponential transformation in the business. In my experience as a human, client of coaches, and a coach to my clients, it is always the inner work that unlocks that next level of growth. and might as well shoot you up exponentially.
Let’s say, for example, you feel exasperated by something a team member has just said to you, or a potential client didn’t show up, or you got into a conflict with a paying client. How do you react? Do you truly take the time to address your own baggage? Or do you just brush that nagging feeling off until it hits you again? See, the thing with triggers is that they are as insistent as a three-year-old. They’ll keep nagging at you until you address and deal with them.
I have a process for dealing with these situations that I both use myself and with my clients. I want to share with you a process I apply to myself and support my clients in working through constantly. It’s a process of identifying them, voicing the judgments you hold over the person that’s caused the trigger and against yourself, and engaging in forgiveness and self-forgiveness o that you can resolve your triggers. If leadership is about leading from the higher self, being evolved, or flat out being generous and kind, this process is not an option -– it’s mandatory.
- Identify the situation that caused you to be upset. You might know the situation immediately, but it could be further back in the past, and you’ll have to walk back until you’ve found the moment that’s caused you dismay.
- Write down all emotions you’re experiencing as a result of this situation. Don’t hold back. You don’t have to present that part to your board.
- Ask yourself: What limiting believes do I hold that are contributing to this situation? It could be something like “I’m only good enough if I get this client. I’m not worthy without the job title.”
- What is the complete, positive opposite of the above statements?
- What judgments are you holding over the other person? How are you judging yourself? Don’t skip this part. I used to get mad with my coach whenever she asked this question. Me? I’m not judgy. Certainly not judging me. The truth is, we’re all projecting all day long. If we admire a person for some particular trait, I bet you that you carry the same trait inside yourself to a lesser or greater extent. Similarly, anything that’s deemed as being negative, we only see that in others because we carry a piece of it inside ourselves. It’s called triggers, folks. So back to the questions: What are you judging yourself as? What are you judging the other (party, person, etc) as?
- Can you forgive yourself for judging yourself as [Insert your answer to question 4]? Can you forgive yourself for judging them for X?
- Fill in the blanks and say what you wrote seven times: “I judge them/myself as ______. I forgive myself for judging them as ______. Because the truth is that _______ [insert complete positive opposite].
- Now, go back to your business problem … oh. Where has it gone? Have you seen it walk out the door? No, because you were busy healing yourself (bravo). I sure did see your problems walk out the door and know what? They left the door wide open for solutions to walk right through and engage with you.
- So, how are you going to move forward with the business now? I don’t mean to sound snarky or anything. As I said, I used to get really angry with my coach whenever it took her less than one question to turn a business question I had into a self-forgiveness process. Similarly, my clients get impatient with this (or me) sometimes. But you know what? Whenever I get stuck in business, I now know there’s cleaning up to do on the inside. This process will move the bottom line into the black because, for a successful entrepreneur, these moments of introspection are mandatory. In other words: engaging in forgiveness work avoids burnout and attracts prosperity.