This article was originally written for Good News Magazine.
Things always move much faster in my head than they do in real life, especially when working out the details of my startup company. I find myself often praying or in meditation to slow down my mind and remind myself that this is truly a journey not a race. Despite the hiccups, external circumstances, and eccentric working hours, I feel the battle starts and ends in my mind.
Take last week for example; I was second-guessing the concept for my marketing video. The inspiration for my company began over a year ago, and I have spent months mulling over every feature of my website. The video is the first tangible representation of the concept in my head; therefore it had to be just perfect. Entrepreneurs have a strong affinity for the things we create, but sometimes once our creation is passed into the hands of others or is finally released to the public we have a brief moment of doubt. We are haunted by questions such as “will this work?” or “will people like it?” As these thoughts flooded my mind when I saw the video for the first time I almost got to the point of scrapping the idea all together! After my miniature panic attack I realized my reason for doubt was because I had placed such high expectations on the video.
I recalled an article that talked about the psychological stresses most entrepreneurs face in the early stages of building their company. It takes a strong mental ability and courage to KEEP GOING past the obstacles created by the mind. It requires daily renewing to continue to press forward. Once I had a moment of reflection on that article I immediately begin to meditate to silence my worry and doubts.
The most effective way to remove roadblocks is to begin to become aware of when you’re approaching them. When you feel them on your radar, step back from whatever it is you’re doing and pause. Breathe. Ask yourself, what exactly is causing me to feel this way? By taking immediate action you’ll be better able to avoid the hazards of self-doubt and negativity. Giving yourself a little pep talk helps too!
Once I felt mentally focused again I revisited the task of editing the video and did exactly the opposite of what my mind was trying to tell me not to do. I let other people see and emailed out the unedited version and welcomed the critics. Then I walked away from my computer, went to lunch, and allowed my mind to relax while everyone replied back. Later that evening I read the reviews and was extremely excited about all the positive feedback and constructive criticism. I gathered everyone’s opinions and sent it off to the producers for the final production.
The biggest obstacles are not things that exist in the world or our circumstances; they’re not a lack of resources, or even errors we make. The biggest obstacles are most often our own thoughts, self-doubt, and negativity. We allow ourselves to stand in our own way. The roadblocks to success truly begin and end in the mind.
I’m reminded of a quote by Marianne Williamson, “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.”
Tamar Lucien is the CEO and Founder of CanUStart2Day, a revolutionary staffing movement that combines the concept of traditional job boards and recruiting techniques into one online cloud-based technology. Connect with Tamar on LinkedIn or follow her journey on Facebook and Twitter @CanUStart2Day.