How to Deal With Worrying As An Entrepreneur


Hi there, Wellness Entrepreneur! Welcome back.

Speaking of wellness, the McLean family worked themselves through whatever cold virus bug was in our area floating around. But not to worry, I’m on the other side, just some lingering congestion. And it’s funny, I just said not to worry because today we will talk about how to deal with worrying as an entrepreneur.

Initially, I titled this blog as worry is a decision, meaning you can decide to worry or not worry. And then following some coaching that I actually got this morning from one of my peers in 200K, I have been on a journey of getting to know myself more and deeper. And so I was just thinking about that because worrying truthfully is actually quite near and dear to my heart. It’s one of my patterns, my go-to responses, my brain, my limbic system, my nervous system likes to use to keep me safe.

As I thought about this story of my love affair, hate affair with worrying, I thought about how it actually has brought some good to my life. Maybe at times it’s a bit extreme, and I’ll give you a specific example, but I do have compassion for the Alison who does worry. And in some ways, I am extremely grateful for the worrying Allison.

So let me give you some examples to ponder on because if you’re a worrier like myself, then maybe you can relate. In this blog, I will also give you some tools, ideas, suggestions, processes that you can use so you can decide. You can actually choose if worrying in a moment serves you or not, because you’re a human being, and uncomfortable, sometimes labeled negative emotions, it’s part of life.

Sometimes we just can’t control how we’re wired, how we’re brought up, what happened in our youth so long ago that’s imprinted and has left a lingering imprint. And it’s okay. We can still evolve and grow and you can decide to embrace maybe something that you know is a little quirky and excessive at times. Maybe it masks your true personality and the goodness of your heart, but also it is there to serve you and look out for your highest good as well. Because really, life, it is a balance. It is 50-50. And so part of this ride, part of this journey, especially as an entrepreneur, is learning how to embrace it all.

Where Worrying Might Serve You And Where Worrying Doesn’t Serve You

Okay, I’ll give you two examples. The first example is where worrying might serve me and also how I want to be aware of it at the same time. And also, where worrying doesn’t serve me, and when I might choose to redirect my brain and feel and think something else.

When Worrying Served Me

So the first example, as a mom, we do a lot of weekend adventures, the McLeans, Sean, Kayley and I. Zoos, safari parks, the beach, sometimes trips within the state, out of state, we like to do it all. And they’re fun. I look forward to them, we love them. And sometimes, the simplest thing like driving to our next adventure, being in the car together, or being on the beach, playing in the ocean, I will have worrisome thoughts and I look around me and I’m like, “Do all moms worry about their child this way?” And to some extent, I believe that’s true, right? We have a mama bear ingrained within us when our children come into the world. And at the same time, my worrying might be a little bit more on anxiety, I guess you could call it that, it might be on the little bit more of the excessive side. Meaning I could hover, if I used the word towards the helicopter parenting side, not in the way that I want to control Kayley, her outcome, her behaviors, her choices, but I helicopter parent her in a way that I feel will keep her safe.

Meaning I might hold her back in her adventure taking by not venturing out too far into the ocean. Okay, it’s valid. You want to be careful of under toes and whatnot. But at the same time, there’s plenty of other children out a little bit deeper and the lifeguard is right there. So it might be okay. And I have to learn how to keep her safe, keep in a watchful eye, and also kind of quiet that voice just a little so she can just have some fun without me worrying over her literally.

So sometimes, worrying as a mom, it does serve us because it helps me to keep my family safe because weird things do happen at the same time. Here’s what I know to be true, all that worrying also does not guarantee my family’s safety because I can never predict or perceive what could happen, what kind of curve ball could happen in life. So at the same time, I have to be open, receptive, flexible, and trust – trust myself, trust my family, and just believe what be okay.

So when it comes down to it, and I’ll get more into this, for me, the work of releasing the worry is actually my work of embracing self-trust, self-love, which for me, it’s not my favorite type of work. Let’s just say give me an e-mail sequence or funnel and I’ll work on that stuff anytime over that. But this really is the work, truthfully.

Where Worrying Did Not Serve Me

In another example, more business-related, where worrying did not serve me was when I first joined Facebook several years ago, I would only post very sporadically. And if you follow me now you might not think that because I pretty much post every day. But back then I would post maybe once a week. It was because I worried about what other people might say or think in their own judgments of me and what was going on in my life. And truthfully, this doesn’t serve anyone because a post that could potentially touch someone, a post that could establish a connection, a deeper relationship with someone, often never saw the light of day, never left my fingertips into the keyboard, into Facebook because I just didn’t feel perfect enough, truthfully.

And sometimes, I wanted my life to seem perfect. And the truth of it is, is that’s the elusive goal, right? So I had to learn how to not resist the worry, not completely block it, but allow it to be there in my body. And even sometimes, fear, allow it to be there in my body, as well as the knowing and the certainty that if I did post, that I could reach the people that do want to read what I have to say, that do want to hear more about my life, whether it’s perfect or not. And those are the people that I’m talking to.

And that’s how I really worked past the worrying and the fear about posting on social media, so I could eventually. I worked up to this over the years, for some of you, maybe you’ll work much quicker or maybe you might not ever have the desire to post every day. Totally your call. But that’s personally how I worked up the courage to begin posting and sharing every day and more sneak peeks into my life, whether it was perfect or not, because you know what they say, the haters are going to hate anyways. And I have that song playing in my background in my head, and I’m not going to agonize you with by trying to sing it. My daughter has lots to say about my singing, so I’ll spare you. So for you, consider your life, your personal life, your business life. There might be some overlap here, your health, this is often how we live, one area of life, is how we live it all.

 You can worry less by reading this blog on ways to manage stress as an entrepreneur: https://igniteurwellness.com/stress-management/

Worrying Is A Choice

So what’s the common thread, the common emotion that shows up? And maybe it’s just always there in the background where it seems so familiar and so normal you don’t even realize that it could be different. That’s how my life was. I always woke up with a low level of anxiety or a low level chitter chatter of worrying going on in the background of my brain throughout the day. And now that I don’t have that all the time, I know that it is a choice. I can choose.

And sometimes, there might be times where I will choose to worry and I will like my reasons, especially if it involves my daughter, I might choose to worry and it’s okay. So for you, maybe it’s anxiety, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s stress, maybe it’s frustration or anger, maybe it’s jealousy, doubt, despair, a depression, sadness, guilt, shame, grief. Take a moment. What is it for you?

And if you’re in a safe space, feel it. Feel it in your body. Honor yourself, place a hand, your left hand, then your right, over your heart. Have compassion for yourself. That emotion, that feeling, it’s there to keep you safe. Have gratitude for yourself, for caring about yourself so much so to feel this, to care for your business in a way, to feel this. To care for your family, your health, your finances in a way, to feel this, allow it to be there.

And as you do this, notice the other thoughts that come up, the judgmental thoughts you have about this feeling that is kind of familiar and there frequently. What do you think about it? This is adding another layer. Maybe it’s something like I’m always doing things I don’t really want to do out of guilt. I’m always hustling and overworking because of fear and worry. Notice that judgment, that thought that you have with yourself. That’s truly what we can let go and release. That’s really what’s not needed. Not the initial feeling. Not the initial emotion that you felt.

 Learn about the 5 most common reasons an entrepreneur experiences stress in this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/entrepreneur-stress-reduction/

The Second Arrow To The Heart

Tara Broch calls this, and this is from the philosophy of Buddhism, the Second Arrow of the Heart, where the first arrow might be that situation that induces or triggers the uncomfortable motion in the first place. And the second arrow is our judgmental thoughts or critiques about ourself because of that first arrow.

So if you notice for yourself, you have a lot of judgmental thoughts about what you do feel day-to-day or how you should feel moment-to-moment, write them down, do a brain dump, get them all out of your head, the thoughts and those second layer feelings or second order consequence of just being human. And sometimes, by just releasing them, getting them out of our head, it’s enough to process them and you let them go. Other times, if they are ingrained, it’s helpful so you are aware in the moment.

Okay, for me personally, now if I’m at the beach or we’re in the car and I’m kind of worrying how my husband might be driving or worrying about my daughter playing in the ocean, getting deep, I can choose, is this a valid thought or not? Valid concern or not? Is she truly safe or unsafe? And is she safe? What might I choose to think instead? What are some other options? Is this worrying right now, taking away from my happiness, my ability to enjoy life, then yes, I want to let that go for the moment and embrace and feel the sun on my face and smile and laugh with my daughter as she flops down into the ocean as a wave crashes over her. I want to experience those other emotions of life as well.

Trusting And Believing In Yourself Is Key To Letting Go Of Your Worries

In my business, I want to experience the wins. I want to celebrate my clients’ wins and feel them fullheartedly in my body. I want to experience the joy of onboarding a new client and holding the space for the potential of what’s available to them instead of worrying if I’m enough, if my program’s enough. This comes back to the trust, trust, believing, knowing that it is. And how do I know? Because I care and I go through it myself over and over again, always looking to see how I can improve, refine, and make it better. And I inquire with my clients. I have feedback forms each month to check on progress and ensure that they are getting the results.

And so all these systems and structures, they’re in place to help care and guide for my clients. So the worry sometimes is just unnecessary  indulgent because I can choose something else and I’m just indulging in the worry because it’s familiar, it’s comfortable, and to let that go is a different pattern for me. It’s sometimes a different feeling for me.

What Can You Think, Do, Or Feel Aside From Fear, Doubt, and All Negative Feelings

So consider this for yourself, for your business. If your go-to is fear or doubt, or to try to hustle and do all the things, or maybe you freeze and hide out of fear or worry of judgment of others, what could you possibly think, do, or feel instead? Give yourself some options.

And how is it possible that you could actually feel both? You could hold the space for that emotion because it is trying to keep you safe and have another thought and feeling at the same time, which seems paradoxical, but our bodies are wondrous, amazing things and they have the ability to hold both. So you get to choose.

Do you allow the worry to be there or whatever emotion resonates with you? Acknowledge its presence? Understand it’s part of your primal brain, your nervous system there to keep you safe? Can you catch the second layer of judgment and let that go and allow that initial emotion and feeling to just be there?

And you have another option at this time. You can pause, take a few deep breaths, maybe even set yourself up in a restorative posture. Or if you do body work, get on your beautiful comfy table. I know some of you have the gemstone mats. Treat yourself as if you would treat your clients, set yourself up comfortably, luxuriously with all the blankets, the props, soothing essential oils, calming music, and just be, allow it to be there. Embrace it. Have compassion for yourself. Notice if there’s a message your body wants to send to you that maybe you weren’t quite hearing, slowing down enough to receive, but now you’re open. Or if you’re not in a space to do this, you have clients maybe or meetings, things to do, might even have to lead a webinar or a workshop. It’s possible for you to acknowledge that emotion and allow it to be there and go about your business, go on with your day. It doesn’t need to slow you down.

Worrying Doesn’t Make You Less Of A Wellness Practitioner

Just because maybe you’re not feeling a hundred percent happy, super perky, upbeat, it doesn’t make you less of a practitioner because your practitioner skills, your practitioner brain, it’s still there. And I know you. When you’re working with that client, when you’re showing up to teach the workshop or go to the meeting, you are present. You are focused on the task at hand or the person in front of you, so you’ll be present for that person or that activity. So I know that even if you were to still allow the worry to be in the car, in the passenger seat, or the fear or the guilt, that you could still show up and give such great value. The client right there in front of you can still get the win that they need for the day. They still have the ability to get that transformation. Whether you are completely happy and joyful right there in the moment.

How could that be true for yourself? I think that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through the years of entrepreneurship, and that’s what’s allowed me to show up consistently, whether it’s recording a podcast for you or showing up to my clients, is that I know I trust. This is one area that I do trust my practitioner skills, only because I’ve been a practitioner for so long, is that I know regardless if I’m super happy and upbeat, or maybe I am having a bit of a funky day, I can still show up and deliver you value and help you get results. And if I can do it, then you can too, because I promise, I’m not some special unicorn.

Releasing The Second Layer Of Judgement

So maybe by releasing that second layer of judgment and thoughts on that first emotion, and that will free you up to allow that emotion to be there. And so you can go about your business, go on with your day, and eventually you’ll notice, typically for me anyways, by the end of my day, it’s not there. Usually right into that first session, by the end of that first session, or if it’s come in the afternoon, whatever session is next, and I’m feeling that emotion, it’s gone by the time the session’s over. And if you notice that you are being indulgent, I guess, as Brooke Christina might say in this emotion, that it’s not serving you. Maybe you are like me at times, helicoptering your kids and you want to give them more freedom to explore and get it wrong with them being safe, of course. 

Or in your business, you notice that anxiety is holding you back or fear is holding you back because you’re not making as many offers, you’re not showing up and being your true self on social media or when you’re out at networking events, then maybe you want to create an evidence and a belief list just like I did for my program to help develop that trust and confidence in it that I can deliver on my promise, I do deliver results. My portal, the videos, are valuable.

How can this be true for you right now? No matter your experience, what might be helpful is to go back and listen to blog on branding. There are a bunch of questions that will help to unearth your own expertise and authority in a certain region of where you thrive, how you excel as a practitioner, and that might help you to be able to shift of emotion if you find that it doesn’t serve you. Of course, seeking out help of a therapist, a coach, a guide, a mentor during this time if you do feel stuck in emotion is always helpful. But as I was talking with my own coach, it’s from a place of interdependence.

Having the trust and the knowing that you can succeed by yourself with the knowledge and the wisdom that you do have at hand and you are choosing to work with a coach because you love their value and you know that they’re the person to possibly help you get there faster or easier or provide information or knowledge that you don’t know that you are awakened and curious and seeking out tune. Only you can make the best decision for yourself because only you know exactly what you’re feeling. Only you know what you’re thinking and how that relates to a specific situation and scenario in your business and or your life. You are the one who needs to decide and that should give you so much freedom because then you’re also in control. And again, it comes back to knowing you and trusting your own innate wisdom.

The Chakra Work

What I’ve also found very helpful with processing emotions and naming emotions and becoming more comfortable with feeling different emotions in my body and how it might show up in my business as an entrepreneur is the chakra work, the work of the chakras. So for me, it’s a lot of lower chakra work. The root chakra, feeling safe, sufficient; the second chakra, feeling creative, expressing my own authenticity; the third chakra, stepping into my power and my courage, and then allowing all that work to come up into the upper chakras so my heart is open to give more and receive. I can express my true voice. And again, that authenticity. I trust my intuition and the guidance and the nudges I receive, and also, I’m open and working and I’m collaborative with source. I understand my purpose here on earth. The gifts given to me just born innately into the world worthy to step into this work. I’m here for a reason. So are you.

Magical Things Happen When You Open Your Life to Feeling and Experiencing Life

So all of this might be a little different than the normal business strategy blog, but truthfully, it’s the work of being a human being. It’s the work of being an entrepreneur who is at heart and foremost, and first of all, a human being, not a human doer, a human being. And if you stick with it, magical things can happen. And I don’t say that lightly cause magic, you know, I can be a little woo at times, but I don’t throw that word real lightly. You don’t hear it too many times on the podcast, but truthfully, I’ve seen it in my own life. Magical things can happen when you open your life to really feeling and experiencing life. That’s why I love being an entrepreneur because truthfully, I don’t know if I would’ve gotten into this type work had I been an employee. Not to say if you are an employee working for someone else that that’s wrong. And for sure a hundred percent you can still do this work as an employee.

For me, my own path, how I showed up as an employee, I didn’t step into these uncomfortable waters, these swirling tights of emotions. I totally avoided them being an employee. But for me to show up as an entrepreneur, I had to get in deep. So it all comes together and works out for me, and that’s why I just love part of the work of being an entrepreneur is this self-growth, this self-evolution, and also this work of feeling and becoming comfortable with a broad spectrum range of emotions, handling them, feeling them in your body. It gives you a resilience so you know, whatever happens, because again, we just can’t always predict those curve balls. You’ll be able to handle it too, and you will be an inspiration to others even more so than you already are, right?

There you have it. A little bit more touchy-feely on the touchy-feely side today, but so, so important. Don’t let the strategies out. Shine this work. They’re both needed.

All right, I’ll see you next week. Bye for now!

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Alison McLean

"I help the Entrepreneur reduce stress and live a more fulfilled and balanced life."