How To Deal With #allthefeels During A Pivot...

Katie Schwarz
April 11, 2019
How To Deal With #allthefeels During A Pivot...

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We all bring our "stuff" into our business. It's inevitable. It happens to some extent when we work for someone else. But our insecurities & personal struggles really come out to play when we start our own biz.

And it's normal! I promise. It happens to everyone of us.

Here's the deal. I already know that you're brave. You're an entrepreneur. It takes a lot of moxie and bravery to do that.

So take a breath. You can do this. Here are the steps that I find helpful.

Name it.

Recognize & name the feeling. This is so powerful.

Once we recognize the feeling it loses some of it's power.

It's no longer a mysterious thing simmering under the surface or boiling over. πŸ˜‰ So name that feeling or feelings.

Sit with it.

Give yourself time to feel the feels. Emotions take time to process. Again, this is normal. There isn't a set amount of time either. I usually try to rush this part. Take it from me, this isn't a good plan.

Your personality will come into play with how long this takes. It also makes a difference in how you process. You might be a person that processes things internally. Or, maybe you need to talk it out. There isn't a right or wrong answer here.

Either way, use some wisdom to find a safe person, or a few people to share your struggles with at this point. Finding a supportive someone is super important here. Also, someone who "gets it" is invaluable.

It's ok to take time to process things yourself, but still find someone to share your struggles. I am totally guilty of getting stuck in my own head instead of talking reaching out.

Evaluate it.

How is this emotion (or likely emotions) affecting your decision making & actions (or inaction)?

I tend to get stuck in prep mode. Learning all the things and "taking time" to set myself up for success is a safe place for me.

Don't get me wrong those are good things. But when I'm stuck there because I don't want to wade through my feelings, it's not healthy. And it certainly doesn't move my business forward.

The place you are stuck may look totally different. Maybe you've convinced yourself you're moving forward. But you are still playing small.

Maybe you're charging full speed ahead, but you aren't taking the time to lay a good foundation.

There are any number of ways to get stuck. So, take the time to evaluate how your emotions are affecting your actions.

Because here's the truth: our emotions do not have to dictate our actions.

Change the story.

We all have an internal narrative. What story are you telling yourself? Is it feeding those uncomfortable feelings? Then change it!

When you feel afraid, remind yourself that you are brave. When you feel impostor syndrome creeping in, remind yourself that you are capable.

Like many creatives, I've struggles with depression. And it's taught me something:

Our feelings do not determine truth. And reminding yourself of what is true over and over again is powerful. Even when you don't feel it.

Our feelings do not determine truth...reminding yourself of what is powerful. Even when you don't feel it.

We are not defined by feelings or struggles.

Find your focus.

My next step is always to find my focus. Identify the most important thing that you need to do and focus on moving the needle.

Once you have done the emotional work, it's so much easier to find the right focus. It's like a fog lifting. You can suddenly see the road again.

Side note: this isn't a one time process. Kinda like going to the gym. Working through all the feels is a practice. I promise it's worth it though.

Another side note: You know what's also normal? Needing some help with the process. Sometimes we need a good therapist or coach to help. And yes, I'm speaking from experience. I have been to counseling. More than once.

And one more side note: If you are struggling with depression or anxiety & taking some time to re-charge doesn't help, reach out for help. I realize that it can be So. Hard. I don't want to diminish how difficult it can be to ask for help. Or how difficult it can be to find or afford help. But it is getting easier. Thankfully.

What's next for me?

So, yes. I've been walking through these steps big time lately. Because it's time for a big pivot.

After 9 years, I'm limiting my graphic design work. Here's the deal: My fibromyalgia and autoimmune issues are making the design work too difficult. And I want to build a business that's sustainable. As in a business that doesn't totally use me up.

I love design. But I also love the strategy part of branding. And I really love helping people. So, I'm cutting back on one on one clients. And I'm leaning into brand strategy.

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Katie Schwarz
Katie Schwarz

Designer and branding mentor: helping you stand out with thoughtful design and human-friendly branding.

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