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This episode is part of the Smart Mindsets & Habits series.
It’s got to be said because it’s breaking my heart to see so many coaches bogged down and unable to move forward with clarity.
You know how they say that multi-tasking isn’t good for your brain? The best case scenario is that you do a lot but nothing well. It actually lowers your IQ!
Well, the same is true for your brain when you overload it with unnecessary ideas and future tasks for your coaching business.
I’ve talked about overwhelm before in Ep #20 – How to Stop Saying ‘Yes” to Bright Shiny Objects
In that episode the focus was mostly about wasting money, time and brain power on programs that you’re not developmentally ready for yet as a business owner. Advanced strategies and tactics that won’t work well for you until you have the business foundation in place.
In this episode I’m going to dig in deeper to what’s actually happening in your mind and your emotional body when you heap more and more information on yourself.
When new coaches reach out to work with me, they fill out a questionnaire on my website. I ask them to give me a snapshot of what they’re doing day to day to build their business.
Nearly every person tells me their head is spinning with all the research they’re doing.
- They are looking at other coach’s websites. Oh no! That really won’t be helpful because it’s hard to discern coaching website that work from those that are duds. It takes experience to know that.
- They also read everything they can about coaching and coaching business tips. They’re on loads of lists. And every day are force feeding themselves with information.
- They’re surfing for answers to BIG questions that really can’t be answered in a free blog or webinar … things like how do I choose my niche or where can I find paying clients or what do I need to do to earn well as a coach? There’s so much complexity in those questions.
- And, they’re signing up for every free webinar and download they can get. And sometimes investing in programs they aren’t ready for.
Here’s the truth. You can’t possibly consume a firehose of information and stay sane. It leaves you breathless with overwhelm and unable to move forward.
This is what I call the new coach swirl and spin. And those are the words that I hear coaches use. They say:
“My mind is swirling! My head is spinning! And I’m so confused that I’m paralyzed.”
I so know that place!
Thousands of bits of disconnected information have literally shut down your executive function, your creativity and intuition.
And that’s when fear and doubt surges up within you.
- Doubts about whether you can succeed in coaching.
- Doubts that anyone would pay you.
- Doubts about everything you’ve been working on.
- Fears that you’ve made the wrong decision, that you’ve wasted time and money.
And then your brain starts pulling up all the “evidence” to support those doubts.
Pretty soon you’re in a depression. Anxiety has you in its grips.
Everything slows to a dead stop. But it does not feel restful.
You start thinking about giving up. Part of you wants to give up. You think it would be so much easier.
Then your ever-helpful brain begins to justify that idea.
And shame surfaces.
That’s the new coach swirl and spin.
Of course, this doesn’t just happen to coaches. It happens to most new entrepreneurs. It happens to students and people who were unceremoniously dropped into a promotion without training.
But there’s one thing for sure and that is … you have to stop it before it gets to this point.
How to Stop the New Coach Depression from Setting In
There are mindsets and habits to address this.
By the way, there are nearly always mindsets and habits that will address nearly any mental or emotional challenge that comes up repeatedly.
First, let’s talk about good habits around this. Because these are preventative.
Wouldn’t it be great if you never got to that shame stage? To that place where you negotiate with yourself about quitting your dream of coaching.
Habit #1 Open to Bite Size and Specific Information
Reach out for specific information that will help you move forward on one specific bite-sized goal.
Habit #2 Take Action Immediately
Once you have the specific information you need, take action on the next immediate step. And pause.
Not too long ago I decided to start marketing in Instagram. And I’m not the most social media savvy person. But I found the app nearly useless in terms of how to actually use Instagram wisely. And I’m still learning. But I’m not loading myself up with all the how-tos. And, earlier in my life, I would have.
I held myself back from overwhelming myself on this goal to learn how to wisely use Instagram to get the word out about my podcast and my services. So, I learned how to set up a basic profile and then I learned how to post and started posting weekly.
Is that perfect? No. Have I learned it all. No. Will I? Eventually.
Sometimes the best training is observing and doing. Learning incrementally on a pace that your brain can support.
Habit #3 Schedule Learning Sessions
I’m a big fan of blocking time. Try blocking time for:
- client sessions
- client management
- marketing tasks
Also block time for learning. Put it in your calendar. Consider limiting it to one 1/2 hour at a time.
When I decided to start podcasting, I looked for a training program where I could go at my own pace but also be able to ask questions of an expert. I found the Podcast Host Academy. And I loved their lessons because they had them broken down into tiny steps. Brilliant!
And that way, if I had 1/2 hour, I could learn something new and test it out.
Habit #4 Set Up a Learning Community
Back in Episode #4 – How to Feel Less Isolated in Your Coaching Business I talked about the importance of community when you’re building a coaching business.
If you’re in learning mode around a particular task or strategy, see if there’s a Facebook group or an online forum or a meetup group you can join for knowledge sharing.
Okay, let’s talk about the mindset piece now.
Here’s one mindset to rule them all.
Slow Down and Think It Through
We live in a culture of speed. It’s not helping us. But it is the way of the collective.
You control your speed.
Slow down when you feel the first inkling of overwhelm. Breathe. Go outside.
Then, when you feel that you’ve averted the swirl and spin, go into first gear and ask yourself:
What is the next immediate, small step that I can take right now?
Then take it.
Set a timer for a reasonable amount of time and do that.
Then ask again.
Develop a range of speeds. When you’re ready, shift up to 2nd gear, then 3rd and eventually 4th and 5th gear.
Remember, you can always downshift. In your coaching business, you control your speed. You control your intake of information. You control your pace of work.
The Next Episode is: Getting into a Rhythm in Your Coaching Business