E16: Coaching Yourself Through Tough Times

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Affirmations don't work until you address the underlying beliefs that are holding you back."

- Asha Wilkerson, Esq.

Episode Summary:

We all know that there will be times when everything is going right and times when it feels like nothing is going right. It’s not about whether it feels like it’s going well or not; it’s about continuing to persevere and keep moving forward, working towards your goals. That’s where the importance of neuro coaching comes in. 

On today’s episode, we dive into the benefits of self-coaching: the importance of focusing on the practice instead of the outcome, being less critical of yourself and realizing that all situations are neutral. We talk about dealing with thoughts and emotions while on this bumpy road of entrepreneurship, flipping the coin on negative thoughts, and using your beliefs to lead your actions. For all this and more, stay tuned!

What You’ll Learn On This Episode:

  • [02:13] The importance of emphasizing the practice instead of the outcome
  • [06:00] Focusing on the little things: who you are being, and what you are doing
  • [06:16] How your thoughts about a situation dictate your emotions
  • [08:59] Slowing down your thoughts and taking inventory
  • [09:19] Emotions as the precursor for your beliefs
  • [10:06] Choosing your actions and taking action based on your beliefs
  • [11:17] How your actions determine your results
  • [13:22] Putting it all into practice when you’re struggling in business
 

Resources Mentioned:

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EPISODE 16

 

AW: So if I am not confident and don’t think that 10 people is a good thing in my webinar, and I have all of these emotions that are bringing me down, and I’m believing that I am not the right one, or it’s not going to happen for me, or I’m not good enough, what are my actions going to look like? Even if I choose to move forward? What kind of actions am I going to take? I’m going to take action that supports that belief. Even if I keep going, I’m going to do it in a way that’s not sure that I can actually make it.”

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

[0:00:34.8] AW: You’re listening to the Transcend Podcast. I’m your host, Asha Wilkerson, an attorney by training and an educator at heart. This podcast is all about empowering you to build a business and leave a legacy. Here’s the thing, the wealth gap in America is consistently increasing and while full-time entrepreneurship is not for everyone, even a side hustle could change your financial landscape if you’re intentional about using your business to build wealth. I’ve run my own law firm for over 10 years, and in that time, I’ve helped countless California businesses go from idea to six figures. On this podcast, we talk about what it truly takes to build a sustainable business and find financial freedom. Let’s dive in.

 

[0:01:21.0] AW: Welcome to this week’s podcast episode. Now, I never have a script, so I don’t even know why I’m apologizing to you right now for not having a script. But I want to talk about coaching yourself through the tough stuff. Self-coaching is super important. Also, outside coaching has its place as well. But what I have learned in my 11 years now as an attorney and 9 or 10 years as a business owner, myself is that you are going to have times where everything is going right. And you are also going to have times where it feels like nothing is going right. It’s not about whether it feels like it’s going right or not. It’s about continuing to persevere, and to keep moving and to keep working towards your goals.

 

So, one of the things that I have just started working on in the last seven days, maybe eight days, and it came to me through a meditation, but it’s really to start thinking about, who do I want to be, instead of thinking about and judging myself on the results that I produce, which is what I’ve done my entire life, right? High achieving, played sports, got to be an attorney. I’m very used to setting goals, and then telling myself I did a good job based on whether or not I hit those goals.

 

But sometimes in entrepreneurship, it’s not always like that, right? I can’t control how many people find my membership community. I can do things to influence it and that’s actually what I should be evaluating my work on, not actually on the number of people who enroll, let’s say. So, what does that look like? That looks like placing more emphasis and more energy and effort on the things that are going to get me to where I want to go as opposed to just the outcomes. So, if I want to be known as this top resource in California, what does somebody or a business that is the top resource in California do? How do you get there? What are the steps you take?

 

I can host a number of webinars, and I can say, “Alright, I’m only successful if I’ve got 100 people or 500 people or 1000 people per webinar.” But that’s not the best measure of success, in my opinion, right? Because someone reminded me the other day, if even one person shows up to your webinar, and they purchase, isn’t that a win? I said, “Yeah, it is.” But let me not focus on how many people show up. Let me focus on the practice of doing the webinars, to give people an opportunity to get to know me and see what I have to offer.

 

Let me focus on the practice of showing up regularly for my community via email. I’m not so much concerned about the open rate. I am, also, but not so much concerned about the open rate. Let me get into the habit and the practice of talking to my community regularly, and once I’ve got that, let me tweak it and fine tune it so I can be a better service.

 

So, the evaluation criteria is not on the outcome. It took me two times to pass the bar in California. The first time I knew exactly what I did wrong, because I got feedback. The second time when I passed, I didn’t get any feedback other than I passed. I have no idea what I did right, and I have no idea what I did wrong. So, I would tell people who were studying for the bar, talk to the people who didn’t pass the first time. They can give you better information than the people who did pass the first time. Because the people who passed right away don’t know what they did right.

 

Same thing if I’m just showing up for webinars, and I’m getting a bunch of people, I can speculate as to what I did right, but I don’t necessarily know. But if I’m doing webinars and I’m getting 10 people, 20 people and I’m taking the time to tweak and I’m seeing the results, now I can tell you exactly what I did to get to where I was trying to go.

 

Those things, those practices in between the end result are really where I think you should put your emphasis and your focus, because then you also, not only get into the habit of doing things that are going to yield the result, but you also are going to be less critical of yourself if you’re not getting the end result. Because you’re not putting so much focus on the end, you’re putting focus on the practice that is going to get you there. So even if you haven’t met it yet, you can still be proud of yourself and celebrate yourself for doing the things that you need to do to get you there.

 

This entrepreneurship road is long, and it’s windy, it’s got lots of hills. It feels like a roller coaster sometimes. Our emotions are so tied to our work, because our businesses are an extension of ourselves and of our passion and of our life work. It is important that when you’re feeling that emotion, because you will, even if you’re stoic, you are going to feel something when something goes your way or when it doesn’t. So, the best practice, in my opinion, again, is to focus on the little things. Focus on how you are being, who you are being, what are you doing to get you there, not just on the outcome.

 

Let me tell you something else that I’ve been learning about. I did not realize that our thoughts dictate our emotions, which then dictate our beliefs, which then dictate our actions. I didn’t realize that there was a separation between the thoughts and the beliefs and the emotions. I’m thinking that the emotion comes first and maybe I’m thinking about it. But what I have learned, in this neuro coaching program that I am in, is that all situations are neutral. That may be surprising to some of us, but all situations are neutral. It’s the thoughts that we have about those situations that make them feel like they’re not neutral, and then those thoughts lead to our emotions.

 

So, let’s say I have a webinar and only 10 people showed up. The situation is neutral. I had a webinar 10 people attended. What are my thoughts about that situation? Am I, “Oh, nobody wants to hear what I have to say. Nobody’s interested. I suck at doing this. I really shouldn’t do it.” Or could I look at it as 10 people are interested in what I have to say. Ten people are interested in the methodology that I’m talking about. There are people who are interested, and believe that my voice and what I’m giving them is valuable. How do you think I’m going to respond in the first situation, the first set of thoughts, versus the second set of thoughts?

 

The first set of thoughts is depressing. It’s frustrating, it’s sad. I get arduous like saying that to you all. I’m thinking like, “Oh, God, I feel it in my body that emotion that comes behind it.” I’m like, “Oh, I can’t do this.” Lack of confidence, frustration, tears want to come. Think about whether I should keep doing this or not. But even just saying in the second scenario, there are 10 people who valued my content to show up. There are people who are interested. I have something to say that people want to hear. I’m not focusing on the small, small is relative. Ten people in a room feels like 10 people, depending on the size of the room, right? So, I shouldn’t discount those 10 people.

 

But flipping that or choosing my thoughts to be in the positive gives me encouragement to go on. I’m thinking maybe I haven’t made it yet. But I’m on my way. I’m excited about this because there are people who are interested. I have some value to bring to the table. Your thoughts about a situation will then dictate your emotions. The thoughts beget your emotions. So, be really, really careful about the thoughts that you choose to think about a situation or about a problem, or challenge or even just the idea of entrepreneurship in general. If you’re having trouble slowing down your thoughts and taking inventory, I suggest that you either get some coaching around mindset, or really do a dive into maybe on YouTube University, or do some research about how our brains are wired, and how you can slow down and become aware and conscious of your thoughts.

 

After your thoughts, you have the emotions, and the emotions are the precursor for beliefs. Well, I’m excited now because yes, I got 10 people into my membership or into my webinar, I believe that 10 people want to hear from me. I believe that I have something valuable to give to the world. I believe that I should keep going, because I have gotten that confirmation that what I’m doing is on the right track. If I’m looking at it from the opposite perspective, only 10 people showed up. I’m so frustrated. I can’t believe this. Gosh, what a waste of time. I don’t even know if I should be doing this. Now, my belief is this might be a waste of time. Am I qualified to do this? Am I going to get to where I’m trying to go?

 

Once you have your beliefs, we choose our actions or we take action based on our beliefs. So, if I am not confident and don’t think that 10 people is a good thing in my webinar, and I have all of these emotions that are bringing me down, and I’m believing that I am not the right one, or it’s not going to happen for me, or I’m not good enough, what are my actions going to look like? Even if I choose to move forward, what kind of actions am I going to take? I’m going to take action that supports that belief. Even if I keep going, I’m going to do it in a way that’s not sure that I can actually make it. But if I’m on the other side, and I’m believing that I have something of value to bring, I’m believing that I can do this because I got those 10 people, now my action is inspired by the belief that I can do it and I’m going to present myself to the world, to my audience, in a way that believes I can get there as opposed to the way that believes that I can’t get there, even if I’m still moving forward, in the same way.

 

So, our beliefs are extremely important because they lead to our actions. And then our actions, of course, lead to our results, right? You get results from taking action. So, I’ll just walk you through it one more time. You have a situation that is always neutral. And then from that situation, you choose your thoughts. And right now, some of our thoughts are just on autopilot. We’re not taking the time to slow down and actually think about what we’re thinking, but you have the ability to choose a different thought about a situation. That thought leads to your emotion. How do you feel about it? How does your body feel? Are you excited? Are you nervous? Are you disappointed? Are you upset? Are you frustrated? Are you ready? Are you enthusiastic?

 

All of those will then choose how you form your beliefs around what you were trying to do. If you believe you can do it, if you believe it’s worthwhile, you will move forward. If you don’t, you’re going to fall back, right? Or you’re not going to take the actions in a way that move you forward because you’re not believing them. What do we do? We always confirm what we believe. It’s that confirmation bias, it’s that self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that it’s possible, you’re going to work in a way where you believe that it’s possible. After the beliefs, I don’t think I mentioned decisions, but then you have decisions and then you take action. So, you make a decision based on your belief. I believe I can do this. I’m deciding to put myself out there to do another webinar. I don’t believe that I can do this, I’m deciding that I’m not going to do another webinar, I’m just going to hide because it’s too painful. I’m embarrassed about what happened in the neutral situation beforehand. Whatever actions you take, then yield your results.

 

It is important, very, very, very important to understand how our brains work and how they are wired. Most of this stuff is new to me. I’ve heard people you just got to believe it, do some affirmations. But affirmations don’t work until you address the underlying beliefs that are holding you back. What are the thoughts that you were thinking that are then yielding the emotions that you are having?

 

So, this is really important when you’re struggling about something in business, when you get that rejection, try and look at it as a neutral situation. Take all of your emotion off of it, and actually write it down. I have done this before. Write it down, be neutral, write it down. And then recognize what you’re thinking about that. Write down your thoughts about it, and then look at how you’re feeling, the emotions behind it. And then I want you to pause and go back, read through those thoughts, read through those emotions and then ask yourself, “What else could be true about this situation?”

 

In the other column, or lower down on your paper, write down what else could be true? What are some other thoughts that you could have about this situation? What are you choosing to believe about yourself? What are you choosing to believe about this situation? And then from there, make a decision and take some action.

 

I have done this and learned this skill, combination from different people, but I have learned this skill, I don’t know, within the last year, year and a half. I want to say during COVID times probably. I’d listen to one part on a podcast a couple years ago. It was dealing with relationships and thought it was great. Those same triggers that we have in relationships, like I’m super sensitive if somebody shows up late. If somebody I’m dating, let’s say shows up late, super sensitive. It’s like a childhood trigger. My dad was always late. What happened to me and I was so upset. I had this like, out of body experience because I knew that I was going down that same line of thinking and I couldn’t pull myself out of it, even though I knew that something was going on.

 

So, I actually stepped back, found a piece of paper, found the cheat sheet that I downloaded online and said, “What is the situation? What are my thoughts about this situation? What am I believing right now?” And then I went back and said, “What else could be true?” This person could be late because they ran into traffic. They could be late because whatever. It actually deescalated the situation for me, and I was able to see it from a different perspective. It wasn’t so charged for me anymore. That’s the same thing that I do in business, when I’m like, “Okay, I’m putting this proposal out there.” And I’m met with a rejection. Or I’m working with a client and something doesn’t go the way that we want it to. Or I’m launching a new program, and I’m not getting the response that I want. Okay, what am I choosing to believe about? What is the situation? What’s the neutral situation? What are the thoughts about that situation? What are my beliefs about it? And what else could be true? What are some other thoughts that I could have that could also be true about that situation? What are the new beliefs I’m going to form? And now based on that new belief, what are the actions I’m going to take?

 

I’m here to tell you, this entrepreneurship journey is a roller coaster. But that’s it. So is life, right? It just is what it is. It doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it. Being an employee also can be a roller coaster, just living life, things happen, right? You cannot control for things happen. What we can control is developing our skills to deal with them so that we’re not held back. This kind of thinking also works for when you’re not just dealing with something retro actively, but when you are thinking about the future. Set your big, crazy, hairy, audacious goals, set it out there. And then what are you thinking about it? What are your beliefs about it? Do you need to go back and rewire some of those beliefs? Or are they serving you to get you to where you want to go? Good questions. Definitely, good questions.

 

All right. That’s where I’m going to leave it for right now. I do want to tell you, though, that I am launching one on one coaching within this Transcend community. So, I have never asked you all to do anything other than like and subscribe on this podcast. But I do want to let you know that I am offering one on one coaching. There’s a three-month commitment for this one on one coaching, and the unique thing about this coaching is that we will dive into your legal structure, we’ll set up your business practices, we’ll set some financial goals and give you a way to get there, and then we’ll also cover any other thing, any other topic that you have in your business that you want to work through.

 

So, there’s some framework that I provide but also, it’s what do you need, which means it’s uniquely tailored to what your needs are. If you are interested in that one on one coaching, definitely go to www.transcendthemembership.com/coaching. Now, because I chose to go with GoDaddy for my domain name, probably info you don’t actually need to know, you have to put that www in there. So, www.transcendthemembership.com/coaching and you will see what the coaching looks like and certainly feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions and are interested in joining the community.

 

If you do one on one coaching, you also get access to the Transcend membership community, which meets the first three Thursdays of the month, and we cover workshops, the first two Thursdays on business, legal or financial topics. And then the third Thursday of the month is your question and answer session with me, a licensed California attorney. That is group coaching.

 

Alright, I will see you back here in another week. Please like, subscribe and share this podcast. Thank you all and have a great week.

 

[END OF INTERVIEW]

 

[0:18:45.5] AW: If you want to learn more about how you could build a business and leave a legacy, check out our online community, where we dive deeper into these concepts and I literally pull back the curtain to show you how I help entrepreneurs just like you build a sustainable business that leads to financial freedom. You can find out more at the wiklersonlawoffice.com.

 

[END]

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