Hi there, wellness entrepreneur! Welcome back. Today I’m honored to bring on special guest, Olga Lacroix to talk about how to stop overworking.
The information that she brings to this blog is so important. It’s all of the behind-the-scenes work, the inner work, that’s really needed as an ambitious entrepreneur. Not that you need to shoot yourself, but I highly recommend giving this blog a good read in its entirety. You’ll learn so many golden nuggets as to why you might be overworking or over actioning or overdoing a lot of work in your wellness business or freezing.
We get to the root cause of some of that procrastination or overdoing, and that awareness is huge in terms of preventing burnout, and creating sustainability in your business, and so much more.
Let’s get started and I hope you enjoy!
Question to Olga: Can you please tell us a little bit about what you do and who you help?
Olga: Hi, Alison, I’m so happy to be here. I have a podcast, too, called “Be The CEO of Your Life,” and you guys can catch it anywhere. I am a former therapist, and I am also a life coach. And I help ambitious women stop overthinking, quiet their mean inner voice, and reset their mindset to finally be the CEO of their lives.
So the podcast has a lot of tools and strategies as well as guest speakers coming in to talk about their specialties to help women who are really ambitious to ease their mind and utilize their inner gifts and powers to better our world and their lives. That’s essentially it.
Question To Olga: Tell us a little bit about the results that they experience in their life when they do that?
Olga: I know I attract a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, and high-achieving corporate women. So women in leadership. I will say the majority of my clients are of that demographic because of exactly the kind of results that they will get. So I am used to working with women who are not afraid of hard work, who are actually quite motivated to do a lot of work, who love doing a lot of work, or used to be doers, believers.
I would almost say that they’re in the overs. Over giving, overdoing, overthinking, and they achieve great success, but at a really high cost. Their mental health, their emotional well-being, sometimes relationships suffer because the level by which or the tools they’re using to achieve are not sustainable. So the over doing and overoworking will end up costing you something.
And so the main result is that they get to confidently say “no” without feeling guilty. They get to confidently choose to go with what’s best for them, and not just prioritize everyone else. And they learn that it’s not white or black, there’s a lot of gray in life, and they don’t have to sacrifice success.
They’re even more successful throughout this work. Because they really let go of the barriers that are built by your overthinking and over-stretching yourself that really actually get in the way of you showing up as the most brilliant version of yourself, also the most authentic version of yourself. So they’re more authentic, they’re happier, less stressed, way better health, physical health, emotional health, and their husbands love me, I swear to God, their husbands love me. They’re like, “Thank you.” It’s one of my objectives to have husbands love me so that, you know, it’s never like an issue that they have this coach, as well as their business or whatever other coaches they have.
Alison: Right. Husbands know, because happy wife happy life.
Olga: That’s it. Yeah. I’ve actually had husbands e-mail me and say, “I’ve never met you. But I want to tell you, you’ve changed my life by virtue of just allowing my wife or guiding my wife to be happier and more confident.” This past Christmas, one of the husbands was like, “She loves everything you suggest. I want to get her a really good book for her stocking. What do you suggest?”
Question To Olga: So you mentioned barriers of overthinking leading to overworking, or how overthinking puts up barriers. So can you tell us a little bit more about that? Because I’ve definitely found that to be true for myself.
Olga: Yeah. And actually, you and I have been coached by the same coach. And I’ve observed that, right? Within our group, how many of us are stuck in overthinking? Oh, for me, overthinking is a symptom of something, it is not the problem, but we often treat it as the problem, and we go at it like I’ve must stop overthinking.
One of the first things I do is try and understand the entire context in which my client exists. So that I understand what is the actual root cause of overthinking. I think overthinking is one of our strategies to be safe in life. And so we’re like, “If I just think of all the possible things, maybe I’ll be covered.”
Learn how to handle your emotions as an ambitious entrepreneur with this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/how-to-improve-emotional-intelligence-as-entrepreneur/
And in so many ways, yes, that could be helpful, but in so many other ways, especially talking with entrepreneurs, that could slow you down and drain you because what you do is you start procrastinating from actually getting your beautiful work into the world, because you’re overthinking.
So some of us might hide behind the idea of being perfectionists, right? And so thinking, until I get this other training, until the slides look perfect, until I can afford to – you name it – yeah, until the website is done. And the business cards. Like raise your hand if you started your business with the best business cards that you’re not using and you’ve made a lot of money for.
I was like I had the most beautiful business cards. I had thrown them in my recycling bin because who am I giving them business cards to? Nobody. So yeah. So I think overthinking is, it’s a thinking habit that we get into initially, thinking it is going to help us succeed in life. And then it becomes just a really disruptive, distracting habit that we don’t know how to get out of. And again, we address it as the problem, not the symptom, so we don’t look deep enough to know, so what’s causing this? What’s causing me to behave in this overthinking mode?
Alison: Hmm, yeah, 100%. And I love that. And I love how you mentioned that. It’s a habit. That just highlights like, oh, at some point, our patterning for whatever reason, whether it’s our nervous system, or brain or unconscious mind, whatever you want to label it, is decided to choose that to be efficient, and keep ourselves safe, for example, in the world somehow. But if it’s a habit, that also means it can be changed.
Olga: Right, right. And like, so what I see clients come to me is that they’ve tried everything to change that habit. But if you address it on its own without the context, or without understanding the root cause, it’s like trying to change an addiction without going into what cost it, to begin with. Like, what are you trying to run away from? Or what is it that is causing you to drink?
Like, for example, addictions and trauma are interconnected often, because there’s a trauma that leads to the addiction, but people through the addiction and not the trauma, so you continue to have an addiction, you know, like, you might change it. So you might change this subject, the forward thinking, today might be about your job. Tomorrow might be about your child. But as you kind of easy overthinking in one area, your brain will find a new one because it is a habit.
So getting to the root cause will be the key.
Read this blog on how to heal burnout; https://igniteurwellness.com/how-to-heal-from-burnout/
Question To Olga: In the context, I guess you could say of ambitious adults or entrepreneurs, what is often the root cause of overthinking? Like in some generals, or I should say the common root causes that you see?
Olga: The main one is the belief of not being good enough. We all do to some degree. We all think that it’s going to be powerful to think that I have space to grow, and yes, it is, but it’s so different to grow from a place of I am enough, I am worthy. And so we make our worthiness be valued or in accordance with what we produce and how we were perceived, and so nothing is ever enough.
So that’s why the reason to over eating, over drinking over over over anything that’s over, you’re compensating for what you think is not enough.
Alison: And so when someone becomes aware, okay, like I’m overdoing this thing, like so for me, if I do not believe that I’m not enough, for example, in my business, I see it, I overdo the A-line. Meaning, I just take a lot of action action action. I’m a doer. So thinking that, you know, if I do all this stuff, that something’s got to work. And eventually it’ll click, but I don’t necessarily get to the root cause.
Olga: So what you’re doing, just grab that, because I know you’re not alone in that example. When you jump into doing, which is so tempting because now we’re fixing. And so many of us are fixers, right? Like, we’re just problem solvers fixing most. Give me a problem, and I’ll do do do all that I can. That’s a great skill, but if you know actually the cause, then the doing will be so much more purposeful.
Otherwise, you’re doing without the connection to where that’s coming from, that behavior, is just a distraction. So it’s actually, is that you will feel probably, at the end, exhausted, because you’ve literally would have said, “I did everything, and I still don’t have results.”
Alison: And I see a lot of people, they want to give up at that point, they want to quit or they feel that having a business is not for them, or they’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur. And it’s none of those things. It’s just that, and like you said before, it’s not sustainable.
So they might have exhausted themselves at that point, and they don’t have the energy to carry on. And they’ve never gotten to that root cause of learning how to tap into the enoughness.
And I’ve found personally, if I just show up as my innate self, and believe that that is enough, that’s the work I’ve been doing, is that I don’t have to do as much work because whatever I put out is more impactful. And the energy behind it is different. And I feel more rested and more energized.
Olga: Yeah, so you become more intentional, and, therefore more connected. Right? Like so, you said, you don’t have to do as much work. What do you think that is, because now you’re seeing sufficiency in what you’re doing, because you are operating from a place of enough.
Enough, therefore, I don’t have to create 20 e-mails. One super powerful, heartfelt email or not heartfelt, but like I’m really passionate about this subject, could create a lot more impact. And even if it doesn’t, at least, it doesn’t have the impact on you that, “Shit, I did all this work and nothing, nobody answered, nobody bought it.”
It’s such a beautiful approach, especially to business. And to just for all the women who might be ambitious, to those who are not in business, just getting to that promotion, or doing that project really well done. And if you do it from a place of not enoughness, you’re always going to have in the back of your mind, that karma that shouldn’t have gone there. The extra steps you could have taken that you didn’t. It always leaves you with like, “I didn’t do it right, I didn’t do enough,” like you are inadequate, essentially. Your work was inadequate.
To become more confident be sure to read this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/confident-practitoner/
Question To Olga: So when someone does become aware, what are some things, steps that they can take? Not that they have to go into the action line, but how do they begin to work with this?
Olga: So I think, I think the most common approach to solving problems is action. But it makes sense, right? How do we mobilize action the opposite way or the right way? But how do you be, how do you action anything that makes you feel enough? It’s like, you come back to the doing and then trying to justify that you’re enough.
And so one of the things I work with my clients is, I call this stage seating in the mud, you know, where you’re like, you have the awareness where you’re like, “Shit, I think I’m not good enough.” And that sucks. That a word is almost like you don’t want to have it and for all my business owners, I know you would love to have like that cheat sheet of like a, b, and c and now boom. You know?
The most beautiful self-growth that I’ve ever done, and I’ve experienced with my clients do, is being in business. Is being in like leadership positions because you have to go inwards and kind of heal and process and sit in the mud for a long time or for some time to wait for your lotus to just bloom.
Read this blog to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset: https://igniteurwellness.com/entrepreneurial-mindset/
Alison: You’re speaking their language, lot of yoga teachers, mindfulness practitioners and healers definitely resonate with that phrase.
Olga: Okay, so I am a mindfulness teacher myself and a yoga teacher, although I don’t practice yoga. It took me 200-hour practice to realize I love practicing. Teaching, not my thing. So that’s where, in my studies of mindfulness where I got that analogy of sitting in the mud, and I’ve learned to really enjoy it.
So less than doing is just acknowledging, and you know it shows up in your body. So you might sense the energy like, I want everybody to just think of the, I call it that needy energy. When are you acting on your needy energy? Needy means you’re not enough. You think you’re not enough. So you’re going to needy energy.
We’re like, persecuting our potential clients, we like, “Hey, how’s it going? Did you think about me?” Or taking things personally. We’re like, reaching out to other entrepreneurs? How did you do it? What did you do exactly? Like as if they had this secret of this enoughness.
So this is an inner work. And maybe this is where I’ll lose some of you. But this is about you giving yourself permission in the time to be curious and explore the parts of your life that or the parts of yourself that you deem as not good enough. And how can you begin to improve that relationship? How can you begin to say like, “I no longer agree with that, that no longer serves me.” How do you fall in love with your greatness? How do you show up into your practice, from a place of love, truly, not just for yourself, but the actions that you love doing?
There’s this tiny little town in Japan that has a really incredible longevity rate. So people live long. So they’ve been studying what’s going on? What are they eating? What’s their lifestyle? So they’ve agreed that, yes, lifestyle, and food has an impact. But what is very particular about this town is that they work way into their 80s and 90s, because they are choosing intentionally to do work that really lights them up. And if it also helps the world, then it’s just it keeps them alive.
Alison: Yeah, purpose-driven.
Read this blog on how to have a purposeful wellness business: https://igniteurwellness.com/how-have-a-purposeful-business/
Olga: Right? Like, how powerful is that for all of us to hear? The more you’re in the doing, the more you disconnect from yourself, from this place called harm, and the more you start trying to see what is this business doing, this person is making money, what are they doing? And you begin to inform your doing, your practice, based on what’s successful elsewhere, not checking in with yourself. What do I love doing? What am I really good at? And that’s when your sense of enoughness grows.
So it’s a bit of a process because you have to feel the grief of like crap, I am not all that confident, all this work that I’ve done, and I still have a sense of not enoughness even though you might also truly believe in your ability to help others or to be good at whatever your business is. We can have those two things combined and still have the sensation of enough.
So I would really bring you home to you to feel like what’s moving me, what’s my intention behind my next business program, or signing up for this other thing, or hiring an ads person, like really come home and let you play the decision be made with your body. Essentially, like, do I feel sufficient? Am I operating from that place of authenticity?
Alison: Or is it fear, scarcity? Yeah, because you can, for me, that is part of my practice before I make decisions. I often empty my brain and get it on a paper like I have a matrix I use so I can more objectively see. But at the end of the day, I come down to it, and I was like okay, what am I basing this decision on? Is it what I am feeling in my body? Is it fear and scarcity? Or is it because I feel good where I am, sufficient where I am, and I know that this is the next logical step because there’s a big difference?
Olga: And there is a big difference, and I also think you’re not going to be good at everything. Not waiting for your sense of enoughness to come back or to come from a place of pleasing all areas, like really getting to know yourself and understand, like, “Okay, from all the things that I could be doing, which ones do I really master on my own?” Right? And start there, like start there.
It’s okay if you want to improve some skills you don’t have, we want to become better at something, that’s fine but I wouldn’t get started in my process of enoughness with the lacks. I will start with what I already know I am good at it, and how you know you’re good at that, is because you love doing it.
We inform our love for things based on feedback we get from our body or from others, right? So when others are like, “You’re a great artist,” then you’re going to paint a little bit more, because you feel like, “Oh, I must be good at this, people really like it.” Your body will give you the same kind of signals like, “Oh, you feel so energized when you’re coaching groups,” so do more of that, right? Your body will just inform you that you’re good at this because you enjoy it.
Alison: Okay, and there is a discernment, though, because a lot of people, let’s take marketing, for example, they feel it in their body that they don’t like marketing, it feels scary, they dislike it. And so what happens is they hire a marketing assistant may be too early, because it’s something that they don’t like. And I often equate this to, like, sometimes we crave doughnuts. And, you know, if I want a donut once in a while, I have one, not a big deal. But if I were to eat donuts every day, all day long, then that’s not so great for my body, because it’s not good for the overall picture of my heath. So there may be some things in business, like, where it’s learning how to discern, “Okay, this is not my strength, it doesn’t really benefit me to invest the time to learn it. It’s not a skill that maybe it will transfer into other areas of my business, and maybe I’ll hire a professional,” versus, “I’m hiring a professional because I’m running away from something that could potentially, if I stopped and learned it, help grow my business in the big picture.” How do you help people discern that?
Olga: I have, I’m going to teach you something my grandma taught me. But I didn’t meet my grandma. So I learned this from my mom. But my mom always talked about grandma. Here’s what she said, “Do it with love, or don’t do it at all.” And I’ve transformed this into business, into house chores, into so many things. So the dessert for me is if I do not like it, I will be exploring what person doesn’t want to do this, or what am I not liking about this process?
And Alison, I don’t know how it is for you. But for me, I used to not enjoy marketing. But I realized something because I thought marketing had to be exactly what my coach had told me it had to be. And I’m a generator, I just follow the lead. And I’m like, okay, and then I take it off, you know? And then I lose my own thing. My business is called Olga’s Way Coaching because I just turn everything into my own way of doing it. I will be my way of doing it. So if you dislike it, whether that’s laundry in your house, or marketing in your business, truly ask yourself what aspect of this I’m not liking, what’s in my control to maybe, what would it take for me to like this?
So for example, I love marketing now, I love writing my own copy. I hire somebody to write my copy for a long time, but I’m a great writer, and they put so much love into my writing. It is captivating to the right audience. So it’s not like I want everybody to like me, I want the right people to like me. And I’ve decided that because I wasn’t following anybody’s rules, but my own, it was enjoyable.
Now I know the brain will go, “But is your own way successful?” I truly believe if I do it from love and with intentionality, it is going, and it has so far, eight years in business, attracted the right people.
Alison: Yeah, yeah. 100% Yeah, me too. I used to dislike marketing. And for me, it was more based upon the enoughness, “Is what I’m saying right? Someone’s going to judge me.” I had all these thoughts about these critics that were out there that were going to heckle me.
Olga: When you think about it, who are these people? Just not your people.
Alison: Exactly. And then I realized, “Wait a minute, why do I care what they think? It doesn’t matter.” I switched my focus to, okay, because I got into the industry, whether when I first had my brick and mortar or now that I am coaching people with their business is, regardless, the bottom line is, I love to help people and that’s why I’m in the industry.
And marketing is just another version of that for me. I just think of the person that I’m going to serve and show up, and I can be creative, and I can be goofy, I can be fun. Like, I can explore different options, then, I actually look forward to marketing.
Olga: Yes. Because it has an intention. One that you’ve given meaning to. So it doesn’t matter what the task at hand is that you’re like, not loving for your business, you’ve lost heart in the task. So my question is, how do you bring your heart back into it?
And so that might require stepping away from how you’ve been doing it because that’s the successful way. You’re never going to succeed at copy-pasting somebody’s business plan that doesn’t resonate with you because people always tell that there’s something that’s not, I can’t read your energy always, and when you’re trying to be somebody else. You just become like a shadow of who you are. People want authenticity. So if you’re the kind of person who just writes two sentences, and that’s it, that’s going to be enough for your people. So that’s how I would do it.
But to answer your previous question a little bit more, not only sitting in the mud to feel those feelings, but many of us have totally lost connection with ourselves, which is why we have to realize we don’t feel enough. And it’s just coming back to any kind of practice that allows you to ask yourself. Is like the equivalency of sending yourself a text and be like, “How is this working for you?” Like, truly? How are you doing? How are you liking?
I asked all of my clients, especially my business owners, to write down their ideal day from beginning to end. I just want them to imagine if their dreams allow them because we have a lot of limitations in our dreaming capacity. Your ideal date, what time would it start? What would you have for breakfast? What? Who else will be there? How will your entering into your workspace look like? What will you first do? What will you love to do? And that starts dictating what’s in your heart.
Alison: I love this, because actually, I did this for years because I used to, some people know my story, I used to have a crazy schedule where I had raced out the door at 6am to teach a 7am yoga class. And then I’d see patients, and I teach a noon class and see patients and then teach an evening class and get home. Sometimes after my daughter went to bed, and I worked on really visualizing this ideal day and writing it down and thinking like how can I make this happen and exploring it and now I’m living it. So it really does work.
Olga: It really does. And what I love about that exercise, it shows you what matters to you. Right? And so like this sense of enoughness that you’re giving value to what matters to you, versus quieting your voice, because you don’t trust that or you don’t think is good enough and just giving power to your coach’s voice. That came from somewhere, not you. Yeah.
Read this blog on how to create your ideal schedule: https://igniteurwellness.com/burnout-prevention/
Question To Olga: And you’ve mentioned a couple of times this word intention. And so tell me a little bit more about that. Like, especially as the entrepreneur, how can they be an entrepreneur of living in intention or of intention, describe more of that?
Olga: Well, I teach this as a concept to my clients, as I am teaching why it’s important to let go of expectations. So I’ve discovered over my years as a therapist, especially and as a coach, that expectations, without a doubt, lead to disappointment.
So if you expect to make $10 and you make $8 or $9.9, you’re going to be disappointed. If you expect that you’re going to have 10 clients and you get eight you’re gonna be you know, like, there is a lot of disappointment created by a life of expectations.
And the thing about expectations is that we have them without knowing that we have them. Have you ever walked into a new space, a new restaurant, and you find yourself say something like, I didn’t expect it to look this way. But if I had asked you, “Hey, what’s your expectation of this place?” You’d be like, “I have no expectations.” Until you are there, you’re like, “I didn’t expect this to be white.” Right? Like so, we always have expectations.
So I don’t suggest that we can truly live a life without them because they happen even at the unconscious level. But in business, especially it’s such a good service to yourself and to your clients, to really be intentional to just love your why you do what you do. To really be centered on, “So what’s my business going to be? Who am I going to serve?” Obviously, all of us in business want to make a living, so we want to make money. And I consider myself a needy princess. So I want to have like a really good life. You know? But at the same time, I have a social worker at heart, and I also want to be accessible.
So I sometimes enter this moment of conflict where I want to charge a lot of money, and then I’m like, no way, because then a lot of people wouldn’t have access to this information. So I always come back to my intention to never really truly lose track of why I’m in this business to begin with, like what’s my core?
Before I write an e-mail, before I respond to a client, I always come home. You know? I check in with myself, and I’m like, to myself, what’s my intent? I’m going to write this for what purpose? What am I teaching here? Or what am I exposing here? What am I showing here? So many of us live on autopilot, right? We just get into the habit of writing e-mails for the heck of making sales, but forget about what am I here to give? If each piece of your work was really intentional, one, you will love it, and two, probably bring you much better results because you will be so clear on what I’m here for.
So intentionality is about asking yourself, why am I here again? What’s the purpose? Why did I break through this? Why did it come to this podcast? And so before entering the podcast, my intention was to be of service, may I be of service to whoever is listening. And so I do think that my intention carries power far more than if I didn’t have one.
Your intention could be, may I make the most amount of sales? Because by doing so, I am going to empower so many women. I don’t care what your intention is, but to be so clear on why you are where you are, why you do you do, and to like the reason, if you have reasons, If there is no clarity, you’re not being intentional, you’re not coming back hom, and you’re just listening to somebody else’s words.
Alison: And then I find often the energy is like a force or push energy, which again, leads to that unsustainability and exhaustion often.
Olga: Yeah. And if you face people like myself, I am a hypersensitive human. I feel everything, and I smell bullshit a mile away, you don’t have to tell me this is not you. I will be like, this is not you. I can sense it. So a person like me will repel those e-mails. We’ll be like, no, you’re not being real. You’re following somebody else’s process. Except that I wouldn’t know that. I’ll just know, like, this isn’t Alice. What’s off with this person?
I can’t read. I can’t trust you. I’m not going to open up to you. I’m not going to buy from you if I can’t trust.
For most of us in service-providing businesses, we want people to trust us and to connect. Many of us are not connected to ourselves, but we hope and wish for people to connect with ourselves, to be funny.
Alison: It comes like a paradoxical situation.
Olga: Almost. It’s like, well, trust me so that I can trust myself. That’s essentially what we’r saying. If you buy from me, I will then believe that I can help you.
Alison: When it’s the other way around.
Olga: It’s the other way around. And so it begins like this. I tell my clients to buy a journal and call it Project Me. And it’s a beautiful project, and you’re just building blocks of your inner wisdom. You’re not becoming a better version. You’re truly letting go of the things that separate you from who you were already and have always been, which is human of light and full of power and gifts to give. Right? We are enough. We’re born enough.
Alison: Yes. I love that.
Question To Olga: Well, thank you so much for sharing all these words of wisdom today. Any parting words?
Olga: I think for all the entrepreneurs who are reading, if you guys can place your hand on your heart and remember the why you went into business to begin with, you’re going to come back to a really noble, humbling, beautiful emotion that you had at some point in your life that you’re like, I’m going to do that. That’s going to be great. And know that feeling, tap into that feeling. And whenever you doubt yourself, come back to that feeling, because that’s what moved you. And that is just your inner wisdom saying, like, “Hey, you’ve got something to give to the world.”
And lastly, it’s not about you. The purpose is so much greater than you, so you postponing or delaying, doing your beautiful work in a confident way is not just impacting you, it’s impacting the hundreds of people that you could be serving and helping.
Alison: Yeah, truth right there. Well, thank you so much for everything.
Find Olga here:
Podcast: Be the CEO of your own Life
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