What to Do When You Want to Play a Bigger Game but You Hit a Wall
It’s always amazing to me how owning a small business is the
best self growth program around (except perhaps for parenting). The problems we
experience growing a business are exactly the ones we experience in life.
One of those is what I call “hitting the wall”. This occurs when you are pushing and trying and doing and yet you feel like you’re on a treadmill, going no where and just plain stuck. Or you know what you should be doing but you’re not doing it. You aren’t sure why. Maybe you’re scared or maybe you’re unsure, but either way it doesn’t feel good. After all, you’ve got goals. You want a successful business, you want to work less, you want to have money in the bank and you want to actually make a life doing what you love. But something isn’t working.
At this point you may feel like you either need to push even harder, or you might feel like giving up. If you’re trying to decide in which direction you should take your business and time keeps passing with no clear decision, you start to wonder if there is something wrong with you. Why can’t you make a decision and move forward?
I’ve had clients who had achieved a certain level of success, but when I suggested it was time to step things up to a whole new level where they could dramatically increase their income and work less, they hit a wall. Fear of playing a bigger game and trying the unknown kicked in. Fear of stepping out on a limb and getting outside their comfort zone was palpable.
I can’t tell you how many times as an entrepreneur I’ve hit the wall. It sometimes took me months of wading through a lot of uncertainty and confusion until the answer to my dilemma appeared and became clear. Often this happens when you know you have to play a bigger game but you’re not sure what that should look like. You just know that you can’t stay stuck where you are. Here are a few thoughts to contemplate that might help you get unstuck and push past the wall.
Ask yourself: What’s the payoff I’m getting for staying stuck where I am?
Every time we chose to keep doing what we always did, even though we knew the result wouldn't change, it’s because we were getting some kind of payoff. It may be a negative pay-off. Have you ever met someone that keeps getting into relationships with the same dysfunctional type of person? Or someone who starts business after business but drops them before they succeed? These people are getting a negative payoff, but a payoff none the less. If you drop a business before you succeed you don’t have to take the responsibility and risk involved in making it succeed. You can always say it wasn’t right for you, or another great opportunity came along. Ask yourself why and if you are willing to settle for staying where you are.
Let go of outmoded belief systems
When you were growing up did you absorb messages and beliefs that are causing you to keep hitting a wall today? Maybe you are doing things the way others in your family always did them and you never examined why. Maybe you have negative beliefs about making money and being prosperous that it’s time you outgrew. I grew up being taught that you had to cling to every penny or there wouldn’t be enough and I had to work very, very hard to overcome that useless belief. What a feeling of freedom and an opening to abundance when I let it go!
Many outmoded beliefs create fear and allow us to progress only so far, before the belief causes us to run into a wall—again and again. If you’re stuck ask yourself, what do I believe will happen if I play a much bigger game?
Finally, if you’ve done the soul searching above and you’re still feeling stuck---well sometimes it’s okay to be temporarily stuck and unsure. Sometimes moving past the wall is a process that has to play itself out. Instead of pushing harder, relax and believe that you will know what to do when the time is right. Talk with mentors or people you trust who will not judge you or try to convince you that you’re just fine where you are. When I know in my gut that a decision just isn’t ready to be made, I empty my mind through meditation or I take a quiet walk. I just let go. I surrender. And amazingly, time after time, one day the decision I’ve been searching for becomes clear as a bell.
Remember that if you try to build your business holding back and hesitating because you’re afraid, you will stay stuck, you’ll keep hitting a wall, but if you resolve to get past the fear and get outside your comfort zone, you’ll be free to create something big---the life you want.