How are you? It’s a breezy greeting we don’t think twice about before asking, but do you ever give an honest answer beyond “just fine?” Maybe. Maybe not.
Try to remember the last you checked in with yourself. Business owners go, go, go, often at the expense of our own well being. Don’t wait until you’re engulfed in stress and completely drained. The breaking point finds us at our most vulnerable. Unmet expectations can trigger a torrent of negative feelings, including self-doubt.
Sound familiar? Sometimes we suffer from a complete melt down professionally: That difficult client who criticizes and is impossible to please. The account you lost. The heated exchange with an arrogant associate. Not getting paid on time for a project you spent hours on….
Sometimes, it’s all too much. Then we just implode and find ourselves having a grown-up temper tantrum. Ugh.
But you know what? It’s okay – truly. You’re only human, and humans are wonderfully made to experience a range of complex emotions. Even though our culture sends the message that we should be Happy and Have It All Together ALL THE TIME….well, that’s just not reality.
So, go ahead. Melt down. Allow yourself some time and space to muddle in your muck. Cut yourself some slack. It may take a few days, but eventually, you’ll bounce back.
After your melt down, it’s time to put your big girl pants back on and move forward. Here are some suggestions for “melting up:”
- Take a day off. Really. Turn off your phone and power down your computer. Ignore the grocery shopping, laundry, and endless To Do list. Instead, spend a full day honestly indulging yourself with things and activities that bring you rejuvenation and fulfillment. You know what those are!
- Unload your burdens. To expunge the ick you’re ruminating over, try journaling. The physical act of handwriting can be cathartic. Imagine those worries exiting your being, through your fingertips, onto paper. Then shred the paper! Or save it. You’ll know what to do after you’ve finished writing.
- Sweat it out. No kidding – lace up your tennis shoes and head out for a long, vigorous walk (or jog.) Drink in the bright air and find some hills to climb. Your heartbeat will increase, releasing those feel-good endorphins. Robust exercise helps your frustrations evaporate and you’ll feel better. Period.
- Share with someone you trust. It could be your significant other, best friend, mom, or trusted mentor; perhaps a neutral party like a counselor or clergy person. It doesn’t really matter whom you share with, but talking it out with someone who listens is tremendously therapeutic. Processing an issue verbally and perhaps getting feedback is part of healing and recovering from your melt down.
- Get closure and move on. This is the final, most essential step. If you’re not sure how to gain closure, spend some time in meditation, prayer, and/or reflection to achieve clarity. And don’t forget to embrace the wonderful lessons that your melt down has to teach you.
Remember, melt downs are normal. How you melt back up shows what you’re made of. Adversity is inevitable along the pathway of the running a successful business and even though it’s dang hard at the time, these difficult experiences sharpen us for the future.
Try these strategies and see if they help you regroup and shore up your confidence. Soon you’ll be stronger than ever and your strength will radiate from within!
What’s worked for you? Feel free to share your own “melting up” strategies below.