5 Signs Your Shit Is Busted & You Need To Take Immediate Action

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I wish someone had told me to watch out for these toxic symptoms when I started my business.

I would have saved myself years of unnecessary struggle. 

But, I was just 23 and a University dropout when I became self-employed. My confidence and determination far outweighed my skills & experience.

Now, I know when any of these symptoms crop up, it's a sign my shit is busted. 

It's a red flag, a giant stop sign, a fire alarm.

Something is seriously broken and I need to fix it if I have a hope of enjoying the kind of success I've come to expect from my career and life.

 

1. Comparing yourself to others.

According to instagram & facebook just about everyone is doing better than me in some capacity.

Shinier hair, cuter kids, tighter abs, more prestigious car, expensive handbags and holidays, flawless program launches and rave reviews. 

Just like anyone, I can get caught on the not good enough carousel. The fastest way there is on the comparison train.

As easy as it is to slip into, comparing myself to other business pros can have me turned inside out - crippled with doubt, paralyzed by perfectionism and unable to do the next effective thing in running my business.

In case you've forgotten: 

1. No one has what you do or can do what you do, the way you do it. You have a monopoly on you. As one of my favourite writers says, "Nothing I am saying is new, just no one is saying it in these fabulous shoes"

2. Quit comparing your insides to other people's insides. With a filter and the right angle anyone can make it look like they're doing better than they really are.

3. It's the internet - don't believe everything you see.

2. Complaining

Complaining is contagious. People love to do it, and spread it around.

Misery loves company after all. 

I'm guilty of it as much as the next gal, but when I find myself bemoaning the length of the line I need to wait in to get my overpriced coffee, I need to check myself.

The more I complain, the more I find things to complain about. What I focus on expands, after all.  And we don't want to be attracting the bad stuff into our lives - nope, definitely not. 

We want to be focusing on and generating more of the opposite - the good stuff. 

Mastering the mental game can be challenging. It requires constant maintenance and vigilance to stay positive, no matter how great our lives are.  This is because our brains treat negative thoughts to velcro and positive ones to teflon.

That means a gratitude practice is more important than ever.

1. Write down all the stuff you're grateful for. Starting with the basics like food and shelter, the right to vote, freedom of speech, etc.

2. Focus on what's working in your life 

3. Tell people you appreciate them.

3. Procrastination

Uh oh.

Procrastination is a form of self sabotage that's particularly vicious.

It makes it SEEM like you're not doing anything. Hanging out in stasis. Not committing to any action one way or another. 

Newsflash.

If you're procrastinating you have decided NOT to act.
You are probably feeling unsure about what decision to make or how to execute
You may even be waiting for things to feel "perfect" before they're done. 

Lemme remind you. Done is better than perfect. 

Doing something is better than nothing. At least with "something" you can get feedback.

All efforts consist of three parts Create, Feedback, Response. 

If you refuse to create, you rob yourself of the feedback and learning opportunity. 

Besides, your "good enough" may just be someone else's idea of perfect.

4. Being Busy

I know, I know. Simply EVERYONE is SO busy these days.

How could I THINK of putting this on the "your shit is broken" list???

Simple.

Busy is not necessarily productive or effective. 
Busy, in fact, connotes a lack of prioritization or understanding of how long things will take.
Worse, it is worn like a badge of honour - "not enough time to sleep, you understand."

It's victim behaviour. It absolves YOU from taking responsibility for your life and your choices and your day.

Maybe instead of saying you're busy we as a culture could be honest and say:

I spent 2 hours mindlessly scrolling through the internet when I could have been sleeping
I spent 3 hours watching netflix instead of reading that book. 

Instead.

You could say no to more.

You could delegate more. 

You could reorganize your schedule.

You could CHOOSE how you spend your time differently. 

You could STOP multitasking.

You could stop procrastinating.

I could too. We all could. We could all get off the pretentious "I am so important" busy train and start taking responsibility for our (often poor) choices.

5. Being Overwhelmed

These are all such cousins. 

Overwhelm is SO closely related to being busy and procrastinating. It's usually a smoke screen the mind throws up when you're getting close to a breakthrough.

It will try to obscure the fact you are PERFECTLY capable of discerning and prioritizing what to do, in what order.

It will try to convince you that the stack of laundry is just as important as meeting that important deadline.

Also known as RESISTANCE, it can manifest in the strangest ways. Dusting the house when you should have left to catch your flight is a classic example.

The fastest way out of the clutches of this mental fuckery is to WRITE ALL THE THINGS DOWN - Or dump them into a productivity app and then spend some time:

Prioritizing
Ignoring
Delegating
Deferring
 

Just staying in the present moment and start work on the most important thing can do wonders to bust overwhelm.

A disclaimer: I just got back from vacation and was experiencing ALL of these symptoms. So I STOPPED and wrote this blog post to remind myself and share my experience with you.

If you liked this foul mouthed rant, you might like some of the other stuff I get up to.

Namely, the 7 success principles of sustainable self employment, or what you need to know before your business makes you sick, broke and crazy 😳

 

 

 

 

 

Laurel Stark