Feeling stuck in your doula business? Here's how to get UNstuck!

Feeling stuck - get unstuck

I recently jumped on Facebook and did a live stream on what you can do when you are starting or growing your business, and you start having the FEELS, which causes you to stop in your tracks and not move forward, which means your business is not moving forward.

In this video, I'll give you some signs you're stuck along with tips you can implement to move past your fears and get moving again.


Video Transcript

Hi everyone! Good morning and thank you for joining me. Today I’m going to talking about feeling stuck in your birth business – why it happens and what to do to get UNstuck.

I’m going to take a moment to share this with my Facebook group and while you wait I’d love for you to let me know that you can see and hear me so say hi in the comments!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Darlene MacAuley and I help birth professionals start and grow their businesses with a focus on establishing systems and creating community, both on and offline.

Before I get into today’s topic, I’d like to ask you a question. Wherever you are in your birth business, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working on growing it for a while, do you struggle with a lack of confidence or moments of doubt that are so strong that you freeze or are tempted to run the other way?

Maybe you’ve tried positive affirmations or vision boarding, sought out support in an online group or talked it out with a buddy. Perhaps you decide to invest in yet another workshop or certification, because with that knowledge, you’re certain that THEN you will be confident and ready to put yourself out there.

If this is you, you’re going to learn some valuable tips today. And, if you know of any other new birth pros who might benefit from today’s topic, I invite you to share this video with them now!

At the end of this livestream, I’m going to invite you to sign up for the Savvy Doula Free Resource Library so you can grab a couple of worksheets to help you with what I’m going to discuss today. I’ll give you more details later, but for now, let’s get started!

So I’ve been coming across this running theme over the last month with coaching clients, students in my blog course, and most recently, myself. And that theme is an overwhelming feeling of resistance when trying something new in your business. What’s interesting to me is that I’ve found that resistance typically happens when someone is wanting to become more visible and put oneself out there.

For example, one could feel resistance about launching a new website or starting their Facebook page. It could be around starting a new blog, reaching out to other business people for networking, putting up a table at a baby fair, or in my case, going live on Facebook.

Today I want to talk about what being stuck, or feeling resistance looks like, why this happens, and what you can do about it.

#1 – Let’s talk about this feeling of being stuck.

What does resistance look like? Well, there’s the obvious of feeling that physical pushback and hearing those voices in your head screaming at you that you’re not good enough or you’re not ready. Then there are the more subtle defense mechanisms like…

  • Doing anything that lets you procrastinate and not deal with the fear at hand…
  • Getting lost in social media
  • Tending to everything on your ever-growing to-do list that doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re avoiding
  • Signing up for another training workshop
  • Saying yes to responsibilities that have nothing to do with what you’re avoiding
  • Staying up late playing video games
  • Declining invitations to do said thing you’re avoiding
  • All the research.
  • Make a list of all the things that need to happen to make doing __________ perfect.

Sound familiar? This happened most recently for me with my irrational fear of going live on Facebook. Last year I did go live a few times because doing so was part of a coaching program I was in. And then I signed up for another coaching program that also highly encouraged going live, and I didn’t for a myriad of reasons. And then I proceeded to do almost everything on the list I just gave you.

If you are in this place now, I’d love to hear what has you stuck and what activities you default to in order to keep you from just going for it. Yes, I want you to admit that you’re keeping success at bay…

So before I tell you what I did to get over it, let’s get to understanding why the heck we do this to ourselves.

#2 – Why we do this to ourselves??

Simply put, our brain wants to keep us safe. The status quo is comfortable. We always know what to expect, and for the most part, we go with the flow and move along smoothly in life.

When we are starting a new business, and every. Single. Time. we are upleveling and widening our circle of influence, our mind reacts with red lights and loud buzzers, and if you’re like me, jumping monkeys screeching EEK EEK EEK!

What???? Our minds say. They want to meet new people? She wants to share a unique idea that’s different than everyone else’s? He wants to ask for HOW much money? They want to go on camera?

Every time one part of us wants to grow, another part of our minds want to protect us… from disappointment, rejection, ridicule, the unknown and all the other awful reactions that might be stored in our memories over the years.

So to stop that discomfort, we get our minds and bodies busy doing other things. We make excuses and do whatever it takes to stay safe.

Are you in that place? How is that working for you in moving your business forward?

So… if you’re sick of being stuck, I’ve got some tips for you:

#3 Tips for getting unstuck

The worst thing you can do when you’re stuck is jump on the mental hamster wheel and listen to the neverending chaos inside your head. Your brain was on the right track when it substituted all those activities, but all that does is keep you in the same place and exhaust you through busywork and wasted time.

You want to action, but of a different kind.

Some people get past those incessant monkey mind thoughts by pressing forward and jumping in. And that can work, but just like an illness, if you don’t address the root issues, you’re going to see similar challenges come up again and again, and the resistance may become more intense in the future.

What I’m suggesting is that you take action to work on your mindset.

Now before I even give some practical tips, I think this is super important –

#1 Know your WHY

Why are you in business? Who are you here to serve? What’s your bigger mission?

I will admit that I tried to step away from Inspired Birth Pro numerous times in the last five years.

See, when I had this idea about helping birth pros with their businesses, the bigger WHY for me was about helping families during pregnancy, birth, and the fourth trimester, and I reach more families this way than I could help as a birth pro myself.

And every time I contemplated shutting down IBP, it would never fail that I’d make a sale of the Savvy Doula forms or I’d get an email from someone thanking me for creating such a resource for birth professionals. I’m reminded that what I set out to do is having an impact and the ripple effect is that more families are receiving support.

This bigger WHY is why I have renewed energy to do this work.

#2 – Mind-body support

So when we’re stressed out and avoiding growth in our business, one thing that’s usually happening is your brain is playing tricks on you and bringing up your insecurities or is just plain stressing you out. It’s a voice that’s trying to keep you safe by playing on your fear, and it’s the loudest voice in your head.

The only way to hear your calm, rational wise voice and get renewed perspective is to get your gremlin or monkeys or whatever is screaming at you to calm to heck down.

And that takes getting out of your head and into your body. So let’s talk briefly about self-care. What do you need most to feel calm? Do you need to move your body? Feed yourself nourishing foods? Get some bodywork done? Meditate?

Let yourself forget what you’re stressed about and take some time to take care of you.

For me, something that works extremely well when it comes to calming down enough to think straight is the Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. It’s easy enough to Google to learn what EFT is about, but basically, it’s about focusing on the stressor and tapping acupressure points on the face and torso while speaking some affirmations to help reprogram your mind. EFT helps to diffuse the strong emotions or eliminate negative feelings related to past events in order to help you be better able to overcome resistance, lessen fears and move forward.

For me, in the days that led up to my doing my first FB live after a year, I did EFT before bed to help calm me and think more clearly.

#3 – Journaling

Writing out your feelings can help you face your fears and resistance. It’s better, however, when you have journaling prompts that address what you’re facing.

For example, recently I was feeling overwhelmed because things are going well in my business and my efforts to increase visibility is helping. But because things are going really well, I was feeling scared about being able to keep up. One of my coaches gave me a number of journaling prompts that got me thinking more clearly so I could stop spinning out and get back to work.

See, those monkeys can’t keep screeching when you’re answering those journal prompts, so you can get some deeper insights and inspiration to help you move forward.

#4 – Working with an accountability partner or other support system

Having an accountability partner or support system like a mastermind group, coaching group, or even a supportive Facebook community can help you, but in a specific way. Instead of reaching out to ask HOW to do something, I want to challenge you to announce the next step in your action plan.

For example, one of my coaches asked me in our Facebook group WHEN I planned to go live, and I took the challenge and set a date and time and the steps I’d take. Getting encouragement back from her and the group members helped keep me going, and the fact that I made a commitment to do it moved me forward.

#5 – Take Action!

Let’s face it, all the EFT, journaling and asking for support in the world will not mean much if you don’t take that final step forward and JUST DO IT!

So last week, I planned to go live at 11 am. I hadn’t sent out an email announcement like I originally thought I would, so my brain was doing a good job of screaming at me that hey, I could just NOT do it. Wait another week. Wait until I’m good and ready.

But then another thought popped up, something my coach had said when she asked me to commit to going live. She said to let it be messy. People really want to content and are truly less concerned about how polished the video itself is.

In that moment I committed not being perfect, but being messy. At 9:50 am, I jumped into my free Facebook community and announced that before I chicken out, I was going to go live in 10 minutes.

Those monkeys screeched loud and proud in my head until 9:59. And I did it and went live. And as I told my coaching group afterwards – I didn’t DIE!

So, if you are stuck and can’t move forward in your business because you’ve got a huge wall of resistance built up, I encourage you to try these five tips. If NOTHING else, if you’re able to push through the resistance and go straight to #5, awesome. Most of the rest of us, however, need additional tools to help us with our mindset. Try these out or seek out other ways to get support so that you can take action.

I really believe the biggest obstacle small business owners face is their own mindset that keeps trying to set limits. We can only grow when we can bust through boundaries, and when you have a business, we move forward and find new boundaries to cross. Some will be easier than others, and there are times that your brain will want to completely shut down. It’s at those times that it’s in your best interest to have a toolkit you can rely on to help you make new breakthroughs.

So, what if you’re currently feeling resistance in your business, one action will you take to move your business forward? Go ahead and drop it in the comments.

I have created a journaling worksheet to help you explore resistance you might be feeling, and I’ve put it in the Savvy Doula Free Resource Library. If you already have access to it you just need to log in and it’s in a new lesson for you. And if you need your all-access pass, I’ll put the link in the description for you so you can sign up (link here).

And, if you found this livestream helpful, please be sure to share it with other birth pros that you know.

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