Now that you’ve worked on your fear, what about your other beliefs that are holding you back? What do you need to believe in order to move towards your goals?
Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about what’s holding you back.
We’ve talked about how a lot of you say what’s holding you back is… YOU. Fear is at the heart of a lot of it. Another aspect of what’s holding you back is what you believe – about yourself, your business, and how the world works. This is your mindset, the set of beliefs that form your frame that you look at the world through.
Now, before you think, “yeah, yeah, I gotta have the right mindset. But what I really need is 5 steps to grow my Instagram!”…let’s take a minute, just like 10 minutes, to go deeper on this.
If your mindset and your beliefs are holding you back, it won’t matter how many tactics and tricks you learn for Instagram or Etsy or craft shows. It won’t matter because YOU will keep holding YOU back.
We’re going to talk about a few different ways your beliefs can hold you back. The first one is your mindset – what you believe you are capable of and how the world works. Over the years you’ve heard me talk about the research in the book Mindset, by Carol Dweck. As a researcher she looked across areas – school, business, sports – and found that people think of themselves and their challenges in one of two ways – with a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.
Fixed mindset = believing that you are the way you are and you’re not going to change.
Growth mindset = believing that you can grow and improve and learn to reach your challenges.
You’ve probably heard this before. And you’ve probably decided, I wanna have a growth mindset.
But this is actually WAY harder than a one time decision and it comes up again and again.
Here’s what I’ve noticed in the last few years of thinking about this and talking with makers about it:
- You probably have different mindsets in different areas.
You might have a very growth mindset when it comes to your relationship (We can figure it out!) but a very fixed mindset when it comes to your finances (we’ll never figure it out!)
- Time and experiences can change your mindset.
I’ve found that the more you become experienced in an area, the easier it is to become fixed in the belief that you’ve learned everything and figured it out. This is when you start to say “That won’t work for me.” “I tried that, it never works.”
Those are actually the two phrases that are red alarms when I’m talking to a business owner. I know that they’re coming at it from a fixed mindset and there’s not much I can help them with unless they shift their mindset from “I already know what I know” to “I can learn and keep trying”
But I’m guilty of this too! I started out my business with a growth mindset – I knew there was so much I didn’t know and I knew I could learn it.
Over time, I learned more, and my mindset became more fixed. I think I know what works, what doesn’t and what is worth my time. My challenge, all the time, is to try new things with the mindset of: I can learn how this works for me. I do this through trying new tools (TikTok!), trying new strategies (webinars) and even trying new business models.
So when we’re talking about how you’re in your way – the question is: Do you believe you can grow or change? What areas feel really “fixed” or stuck? What areas do you feel really open to learning?
To learn more:
- Failure as fuel: https://taraswiger.com/podcast263/
- Mindset: The key to success: https://taraswiger.com/podcast49/
Another aspect of your belief that affects your business is your expectations and flexibility – what do you expect will happen? In what timeline? Or else…what?
I am so surprised when people tell me that they’re quitting their business because it didn’t reach a really outsize goal in a short time frame.
It makes me wonder: did you really want a business (which is doing the work every day forever) or did you just want that goal (probably money)?
I’m going to say this really clearly – having a business is doing the work day in and day out, whether you reach one particular goal or not. It is learning, changing, experimenting and being flexible. If you don’t want to do that, you don’t want a business.
And hey – that’s ok!
If you want a for-sure amount of money for your amount of work, you’re going to need to get a job where you are paid a specific amount of money for a specific amount of work.
Owning a business is not like a job. AT ALL.
So what are your expectations of your business?
As you know if you’ve been listening for a while, I don’t believe in lowering your expectations – I believe in setting big goals and working hard towards them. But I believe in expecting your business to behave as a business – to need tending and changing and flexibility. And to adjust your expectations as you learn more about what your business is.
Having the wrong expectations of your business can hold you back from appreciating it for what it is and for putting in the work you’ll need to, to reach your goals.
Belief in yourself
So this last point is a little bit about growth mindset, but it’s also about confidence. The most important belief you hold in your business is your belief about yourself. The number one indicator of what your business will do is what you think is possible.
Yes, YOUR belief in what you think YOU can do is going to shape how far or fast your business goes.
Why? Because if you don’t think you can do it, you won’t. If you don’t think it’s possible, you won’t do the work.
Wait, what about realistic expectations? Yeah, you need to expect your business to act like a business. But how big you dream and what you think YOU are capable of is going to determine how hard you work at making it happen. So EXPECT that your business is going to have ups and downs, that it will take work and growth and challenge you. But BELIEVE that you can do it. You are capable. You can learn.
Here’s what I can tell you for sure: if you believe that you aren’t capable enough to make this happen, it won’t. NOT because you aren’t capable, but because you won’t do the work. You won’t put in the time to learn and grow.
This isn’t some “believe it and it will happen” stuff… this is the hard fact that if you don’t believe it, it won’t happen.
And listen, maintaining that belief is NOT easy. I shifted how my business works about six months ago and I believe it is absolutely the right thing and that it is absolutely going to allow my business to grow more than it would have… but it’s taking some time to see that change, as dollar bills. It is taking me learning and growing in a bunch of ways. If that belief wavers, I’m going to stop moving forward. I’m going to stop midway and try something else, which will kill my momentum and confuse customers and cost me money and sales.
But if I maintain the belief and keep moving forward (while being flexible), I’m going to see results because I believe in what I have to share is valuable, it transforms businesses and I want it to help as many people as possible.
Maintaining belief in yourself and your business direction is not going to be easy. But giving up or stopping halfway isn’t a better option. It may be easier to stop or to try something else, but when you do that too often, you start to feel scattered and confused and unfocused.
And hey, that’s where a LOT of makers are today. They have tried so many different directions, so many different marketing strategies, that they’re all turned around and confused. If that’s you, I’ve got a workshop that will help focus you. You can find it at TaraSwiger.com/foundations.
I hope this series about what’s standing in your own way and how to move past these blocks have helped you reach your goals! Next week I’m sharing my quarterly round-up of favorite books and in 4 weeks we’ll have the 300th episode SPECTACULAR. It’s going to involve YOU and YOUR questions, so be sure you’ve joined our private FB group to get all the details and be involved, at FB.com/groups/taraswiger
Have a confident, enthusiastic week.
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