Stress Management for the Wellness Entrepreneur

Hi there, friend! Today we’re going to talk about expectations and subtle shift on why you might want to let them go because they can be a big source of stress and pressure that you feel day-to-day in your business. Stress is one of the main causes of exhaustion. Read this blog to learn how to manage stress as a wellness entrepreneur.

The mistake I often see is entrepreneurs equating the word expectation unconsciously with goal-setting or achieving certain dreams and visions, and they are very different things.

So first, we’re going to go over what the definition of expectation is when we view our goals from this place. It can create a lot of stress, anxiety, and pressure felt day-to-day in our business. And we’re also going to go over the definition of the word belief and how this will differ for you and your business, so you can decide what mindset, what philosophy, what value or decision or perspective is best for you to take in your business.

Definition of Expectation and Belief

When I Google-searched the definition of expectation, this is what came up: A strong belief that something will happen in the future, or belief that something will be the case.

Here is the definition of belief: An acceptance that something is true or exists. Corresponds with the words faith, trust, and confidence.

For me, belief is an experience. It’s a sensation. It’s a feeling deep in my bones, deep in my body. I also feel a grounded confidence. I know if I believe in something, I know it to be true, even if I haven’t created evidence for it, even if it’s not my current reality, I believe it to be true. Meaning, that it’ll happen at some time in the future. I might set a goal for a specific timeline. However, the difference with my belief is that I’m not attached to the timeline. I’m also not necessarily attached to how this belief will become a reality. I’m not necessarily attached to how the belief, what evidence I will create for it to become a reality.

Expectation Leading To Stress

This is different from expecting that a goal will happen in a certain way at a certain time, and when that expectation is not met, we consider that situation a failure. And then a lot of entrepreneurs make that failure they take it as something about their business capabilities, even something wrong about them as a person, their value, their worth. That’s where the stress comes in.

Because as a human being, you don’t want to fail. You don’t want to go through the discomfort of failure. And for sure, you don’t want to go through what happens on the backend of failure where you beat yourself up, you shame yourself, you tell yourself all the reasons why you didn’t hit your goal, and what’s wrong with you and what’s wrong with your business capabilities. No one wants to go through any of that.

So to prevent failure, your unconscious mind, your nervous system goes into a triggered response whenever you might go to work on this goal in this certain expectation container that you created for the goal. So there’s anxiety, there’s stress, there’s pressure. The feelings, the uncomfortable feelings, or even negative feelings you might view them are all coming from your thoughts about what failure would mean if you don’t achieve the goal within that certain expectation.

Changing Your Mindset Over Your Own Expectations To Reduce Stress

Just take a moment to think about that. Bring one of your goals to mind right now. What are the expectations you currently have on achieving this goal? It might be in a certain timeframe, you might have certain numbers, you might have certain parameters. And if you don’t hit that goal within those parameters within that timeframe, what will you feel? What will you make it mean? What would be different? Instead of inspecting this goal to be hit in a certain timeframe with these certain parameters, what if you just believed that it would happen, that you would make it a reality and you let go of the timeframe? You let go of the certain parameters?

Or what if you were able to set a timeframe but you weren’t attached to it? And if you didn’t hit your goal in that certain timeframe, instead of making it mean that you are a failure, your business capabilities are wrong, something is wrong, you just looked at it as an opportunity to learn and refine. How would that change things for you?

Let me give you a specific example from my world. A year ago, I had a certain revenue goal and I believed in my body that I could hit it. I knew it to be true. I also had faith in this goal. I had trust with myself and certainty, and this came from a lot of work, a lot of coaching, because in the past, I would put expectations on certain revenue goals or number of clients that I wanted to sign, people that I wanted to help, that sort of thing. And every time I fail, I beat myself up. I made it mean something was wrong with my business skills. I made it mean something was wrong with me and I shamed myself, and that would cause me to freeze and spin in confusion and doubt. But it slowed down me actually achieving that revenue goal in the first place.

Learning to Lean Into the Unknown, And Having Belief, Faith, and Trust For Stress Relief

So last year, I decided when I set my revenue goal, I would let go of the how I would do all that I could in my power to keep the belief in my body that I knew I could hit my revenue goals and I would have faith and trust. I would let go of the rigid structures I had in my brain and learned how to lean into the discomfort of not knowing the exact steps or knowing that I could plan the steps and they might change, which eventually led me to the 200K Mastermind.

And this really is the work of all the coaching that I’ve been doing through the years through a good percentage of my coaches. And in my first round of 200K, I received coaching on my revenue goal and the best and simplest way to hit my goal. This coaching was not what I wanted to hear. The coaching suggestion or recommendation to me was to put a pin in my radiant being on demand, yoga, and wellness teacher mentorship, and my group program, put a pin in them and to only focus and offer on my one-to-one until a specific criteria was met.

Now, this was very different than other coaching I received in the past from other masterminds, which was to put many offers out there all at the same time. And I really wanted to offer these on-demand and group programs for the reason that I was having difficulty. I had a lot of thoughts on my schedule and meeting my revenue with only one to ones. I didn’t see in my brain at the time how it could work.

But because I did not have the expectation that I would hit my revenue goal a certain way, instead I had belief that I could hit my revenue goal, I went in with an open mind. And instead of rejecting and ignoring the coaching, I decided, I made the choice to accept and implement this recommendation and advice I was given. Because I operated from belief. I also realized that if I knew the exact how, the exact steps to hit my revenue goal with the thoughts and feelings that would help me to get there, I would’ve already hit it. And that was the whole purpose of me being in the Mastermind in the first place. So I decided to go all in with the coaching that was given to me, not my expectation of how I originally thought I would hit my goal.

Let me give you another example. I have potential in existing clients tell me that they want to achieve a certain revenue goal, sign a certain number of clients, and they want to achieve it working in so many hours a week. And also via their on demand or group program, that is their expectation. However, often when they first come to me, they lack the belief. They also lack the foundation at the current moment to make that expectation a reality.

Now, I’m not saying that they should overwork or change or let go of their dream. What I’m saying is, to hit the goal that they want to prioritize. This is because you can’t prioritize sometimes too many things all at the same time because they’re in conflict of each other.

So for example, if they want to hit their revenue goal, then they might have to put a pin in their ideal schedule. Again, not over working schedule, but maybe an ideal schedule of working three days a week, let’s say, for example. Or they might need to put a pin in the container of the program. For example, if they really want to hit their revenue goal based on certain numbers, maybe one-to-one is more appropriate or relevant, or they can choose to prioritize a group program, for example, letting go of the revenue goal. And that fits in alignment with their schedule. There is no one right way.

Expectations Can Lead To Comparison and More Stress

Sometimes the expectation is to prioritize them all at the same time in a certain timeframe. And then when it doesn’t happen, the entrepreneur feels a lot of stress, frustration, and failure. And to get to the goal, there’s no enjoyment. There’s just a lot of anxiety, stress, and frustration with pressure.

Often that’s when you see the entrepreneur starting to compare themselves to someone else. They look in their social media feed and say, “Oh, that so and so wellness practitioner, she is launching a group, she’s launching an on-demand group, her on-demand program, it’s working for her. Something must be wrong with me. I must be a failure.” But here’s the thing, you don’t know their situation. You don’t know their numbers or what’s in the background of their business or all the work that they had to do leading up to their program.

For example, I have a lot of entrepreneurs come in and they look at my business, they look at my website, and they don’t realize that I’ve been in business for a number of years and they want their business to look like my business in year one. That’s a lot of pressure and stress. That’s an expectation that might cause you to really beat yourself up throughout all the failures. And because of that pressure,

because of that stress, you might actually give up. Or maybe you start switching things like your niche or completely changing your offer from the place of failure, which is different than planning and strategizing an offer change for the future because it’s part of your big picture plan.

Chose To Let Go Of The Expectation

So right now, look at one of your goals. What are the expectations you’re placing on this goal? Whether it’s the timeframe, whether it’s certain numbers, whether it’s the actual steps, write it all down and ask yourself, where can you just choose to believe that this goal and is inevitable? How can you believe that you accomplish it regardless of the timeline? Can you release the timeline? Can you release the steps?

Can you let go of the how and just commit to the goal where might you be avoiding just getting to work? What would happen if you fail? What feelings might you be avoiding if you fail? Can you choose to do the difficult thing?

It’s just like my coaching that I received in my first round of the 200K Mastermind. It wasn’t the easiest coaching, meaning it wasn’t the coaching I wanted to hear. It wasn’t necessarily the path that I ideally thought would get me to my goal. My hard or difficult work was actually the simplest. By focusing on the one-to-one, which actually I’ve been doing for almost the last year, and I’ve grown to love my one-to-one. I had to clean up my schedule, I had to clean up my boundaries, I had to clean up thoughts about my schedule. I really had to look at my energy leaks and all the things that were going on because of my schedule. So I wasn’t just in victim mentality that my schedule was just happening to me.

And because of all these work, my one-to-ones have gotten so much better. I’ve been able to fit in a lot more one-to-ones in one week with still doing the creative marketing work that I love, with still doing my healing work, my own coaching and journaling work, while still going to my Lynch syndrome appointments, my yoga classes, my walks. I have more time available to me now where I spend in the evenings and on the weekends with my family.

I actually enjoy the process of working to hit my revenue goal. And I’ve actually been hitting my revenue goal and I’m on track to even hit my big hairy audacious goal if I just keep going. And it’s all because I chose to let go of the expectation. I chose to let go of the how and find a little faith, trust and confidence in my belief that I will figure it out. I can handle anything myself. Capacity grew of what I thought I ever was capable of, and that created the room for my goal to become a reality.

And now, I also see my three-year plan bringing the group and my on-demand program into the picture. It’s simple, it’s doable. I know I’ll get there. I don’t know all the exact how steps now, but I have such belief in my body and my bones that I know I’ll get there. And I’m excited for that. I’m enjoying the journey, every step of the day. I wake up and yes, some mornings I still might feel a little anxiety or stress about some things, but I know how to shift back to this belief. I’m not forcing myself to work in a rigid box because of fear of failure, because of fear that I couldn’t handle the failure or what I might make it mean about myself.

I’m now open to trying anything. I’m open to exploring and refining. And this is expanding beyond just my business. It’s expanding in ways I never thought possible or could imagine into my personal life as well. And for my clients, I’m looking and I’ve been observing my clients who are the most successful, the ones who have doubled their revenue on, who are now launching groups and the on-demand programs, they’ve come to me as well without the expectation. We’ve worked on their ideal schedule. We’ve looked at their numbers and foundation and the baseline revenue they needed to achieve to stay profitable. We always kept that.

First and foremost, we looked at the programs and the containers they wanted to create and launch. Then from there, we created a simple plan, focusing on one step at a time and helping them to enjoy the journey in the process, helping them spend more time with family and care for themselves, observe and honor and work with their nervous system. We focused on maintaining belief the whole time.

So then, when stress and anxiety would come up for them, because that’s normal, they knew what to do. If they didn’t hit certain numbers along the way, they were able to shift the timeline. They were able to examine why and then go back and try again and get back into belief. And just last week, even for myself, I received a great reminder coaching what I was making the word failure mean in terms of consults, right? Sometimes I had done so much work on failure in terms of revenue goals or launches and all these various other things, but I hadn’t examined specifically what I was making the word failure mean in relationship to consultations. Isn’t that interesting? So you can use this work for big picture goals, and you can also use this work for specific day-to-day things happening in your business.

And the coaching was such a great reminder that I don’t even have to use the word failure in my business. I can just focus on the wins, celebrating the wins and learning and reminding myself all that I have learned. And when I look back, I can clearly see all the progress that I’ve made in really just short periods of time. This all comes from letting go of the expectations, letting go of specific timelines, letting go of specific steps. And when you’re noticing pressure and stress, anxiety, coming up in your business, get curious why? Why is this happening? Why are you feeling this way? What are you thinking?

The Expectation On A Client Renewing

One more example is the expectation you might have for a client to renew. You might think, “Well, they achieved their goals. We did so much. They will just re-up. They will just renew.” It’s an expectation. And then when they don’t, you’re surprised. It’s like getting hit, blindsided, then you feel all the shame and all the emotions. But ultimately, what you can do always is focus on what you have control over.

Continuing to bring in new clients. Continuously focusing on helping your existing clients hit their goals faster, easier, simpler. And knowing that even if a client does hit their goals in a very seamless and graceful way, and you guys celebrate all the wins, they still might not renew. It doesn’t mean anything’s gone wrong. It doesn’t mean that you’re a poor or bad practitioner. Sometimes these things just happen. They just might want to take a break or end because of certain life circumstances or what they’re choosing to prioritize in the moment. And that’s okay.

But if you place the expectation on it that they should renew just because they hit their goals, you run the risk of severing the relationship permanently. They will feel that pressure, they will feel that expectation, and they might decide not to come back, even though they were thinking originally that, Oh, I’ll just come back in a couple, two, three months when I figure out this life circumstance.

But if you’re putting pressure, an expectation on them and always reaching out to them from the place that they should keep going, then you’re not holding the space for them to make their own decision and they might choose to never come back. So for me personally, I always hold the space. If someone chooses not to renew at a certain period of time, I hold the door open, that they can come back anytime and I’ll support them in any decision that they make. When I have certain webinars or workshops or events coming up that I think they might like, I’ll reach out to them again without the expectation that they have to or they should sign-up. I’m just holding the space for them to make the best decisions for themselves. And if they decide to come back to me in the future, the door is open, I will happily open my arms for them.

And some of my clients have access to the portal during this time, depending on the program that they chose to work with me and for the length of time. So in their heads, they still view me as their coach. They still view the work that we’re doing as continuing on, and I know that either way, they will achieve results. And I also have belief in my container knowing that it is the fastest way to get to the results. All this, even though it may seem conflicting, can be held in my body without attachment to any of that. I can find flow and faith and trust. And while a client, an old client, does decide to work on their own for a time, I also have a strong belief that there’s new clients coming in, that there’s clients actively saving up to work with me right now, that there’s people excited to work with me right now.

And so there’s always flow, there’s always movement, there’s always momentum. That is why I never have to be graspy to one particular client. I’m always just letting go of the how. Letting go of the expectation, checking in, noticing where I might be graspy, working through coaching and journaling to release that every step along the way.

If you want to read more about other reasons why you experience stress as an entrepreneur head to this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/entrepreneur-stress-reduction/

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Alison McLean

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