Self Discovery: How to Keep Going and Manage Your Emotions

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A couple weeks ago I talked about taking a break from your business to discover its true direction before you close it down for good.  This week I want to talk about some of the emotional hurdles you will face as you go through this process of self discovery.

Anytime you are digging in to deep self discovery work you will be overwhelmed, confused and left wondering if it is really worth the effort to work through all that is blocking you and get to know yourself better.

As you look back at the old you it just does not seem all that bad.

I myself have many times sat wondering why I was digging up all the crap and reminisced about how nice it was to be oblivious.

Change is hard.

Your brain is telling you to go back, because what is ahead is scary, stressful and full of the unknown.  Your brain does not like change, especially radical change, so it will fight you every step of the way.  Remember your brain’s job is to keep you alive and safe so if it feels threatened it will try to get you to go the other direction.

But there is hope, when I look at where I am today, I am elated that I worked through those moments where I wanted to turn back around.  Many of my typical worry points have disappeared and that relaxed feeling where there used to be anxiety is alone worth the work of self discovery.

Following are a couple tactics that will help you keep going on the road to self discovery.

Take Time Off

This time off it is not from your business but from the actual self discovery process. Your body and mind need time to process what you have uncovered, to adjust to the new reality.  After you have made a major (or even a minor) break through, write that down as a summary and take a couple days off.  Then go back at your work.

Give it Some Time

It takes time to build new neural pathways.  It can take anywhere from 21 to 66 days or more to create new paths in your brain. This is true if you are working on establishing a new workout plan or trying to adjust to a new way of dealing with customers. First you must break your old habits and then create new ones. So don’t try to rush the process.

Talk to Someone

It can feel very lonely as you are going through change.  You think you are the only one feeling this way and that no one could possibly know how you feel.  Working with someone who has been there or is an expert in change can make you feel like you are not abnormal.  Others have gone through the same process and you are not alone, so get some help so you don’t turn back around.

Long Term Vision

Remember this is not a one-time sprint to the change moment.  You will go through many phases in your life where you learn and change.  Don’t get overwhelmed and feel like it has to be done all at one time. I personally went through one major change and then little changes before doing another big change a decade later. Look at this as a new part of your life and not a one-time must be done the right way right now thing.  Growth and discovery is a lifetime practice.

Keep a List of Ideas

As a business owner you tend to have new ideas frequently, I completely understand!  It is easy to get entrepreneur A.D.D. and want to hit the ground running with every new idea that comes up.

Instead keep a list of everything and put those ideas aside. Give yourself the time to complete your journey and then go back to your ideas. Some of those ideas may work and some may have been developed too early in your break to be right for your company.  I keep mine list in Evernote, so I can access it anywhere at anytime a new idea pops in my mind.

It Builds On The Last Discovery

Keep in mind that some discoveries will uncover new problems.  Anytime you are working on self discovery you are going to find new issues, or old issues showing up in new ways.  As a person you don’t stop experiencing and interacting with the world, so new issues develop and old issues change.  This is why self discovery is a lifetime task and not a one time thing.

Ultimately remember that this is a process. It won’t happen overnight and it will have its ups and downs. If you stick with it, the rewards at the end will be worth the time, effort and emotional roller coaster.  You will be a better you.

Need help on your journey? Check out the Business Owners Sabbatical Package

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