There can be so much talk online about the importance of self-care and yet, 9 times out of 10, when I speak to entrepreneurs and business owners who are feeling disillusioned with their businesses, it’s the key thing missing.  

We know we need to prioritise it, but all too often we don’t know how.

So here are my top 5 tips to help you get back on track with self-care and start loving your business like never before!

  1. Listen for your inner voice

Don’t panic, we aren’t getting too ‘woo’ about this just yet!  But you know that inner voice? The one that yells at you for making a mistake, or notices how tired you look these days, or points out the many reasons you’re no good at what you do?  Start taking notice of what it is saying to you.

Is it mean?  Is it angry?  Is it always slightly disappointed?

Be aware of what it is saying to you, because this voice is you. This is the story you are telling yourself every hour of every day, and it has an impact.  So, the next thing to do is:

2) Start being kind to yourself

So often, self-care slips off our agenda because we are inhabiting a world of ‘can’ts’.  

  • I can’t say no to this client.
  • I can’t slow down because I need this money.
  • I can’t make a success of this business.
  • I can’t do this!

Once you’ve listened to what your inner voice is saying, get intentional about being kinder to yourself.  Every time you hear the voice telling you something negative, replace it with something positive.  The chat may go something like this:

‘You’re such an idiot, you forgot to attach the proposal!’

‘But I realised and I put it right.  And I met the deadline. The client was really pleased with the outcome.’

Practise pointing out the positives and the things you have done really well.  Over time this makes a huge difference to how you feel about your business, and more than that, about yourself.

3) Celebrate successes

Don’t roll your eyes!  This is vital to implementing self-care.  We can be so good at taking stock of the negatives (such as missed deadlines, feeling like a failure and money worries) because of the strong emotions attached to them.  As well as righting that balance with our inner voice, we need to start getting intentional about celebrating the things that HAVE worked out.

  • Your proposal was accepted?  Open up the bubbly!
  • You received payment for that huge invoice?  Take the day off and go to the spa!
  • You got a glowing testimonial from a client?  Make sure you really pore over it and take in every word. Stick it on your website, tell everyone! Record it in a success journal and refer back to it when you need a mood boost. But most importantly – believe it!

Once you start absorbing the positives instead of ONLY the negatives, you will find it much easier to enjoy your business.

4) Challenge fear-based statements

One of the biggest reasons we skimp on self-care is FEAR.  Fear that we’ll run out of money.  Fear that we won’t get any new clients.  Fear that if we step away from our businesses for 5 minutes everything will come grinding to a halt, and we’ll lose all that momentum.

But we have to see how limiting this is.  And one of the biggest problems with fear is that it so often involves worrying about things that NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPEN.  Meanwhile we are continually living through all these imaginary worst-case scenarios and feeling stressed, unhappy and trapped.  So instead of believing your fear, try challenging it instead.

Face the thing you are scared might happen and make a plan for what you’ll do if it does. This is project management at its most basic level, and it makes a huge difference!

  • You might run out of money… so make a budget and work out what you actually need to survive.
  • You might not get any new clients… so get sorted with a marketing and lead generation plan.
  • You might lose some momentum if you take time off… so plan your workload and tell your clients you’ll be taking a break.

So many of us make limiting choices because of fear, and we are running ourselves into the ground because of it.

5) Start planning out the life you actually want, instead of the life you think you have to have.

The majority of my clients really struggle to describe their dream life.  Their narrative is all about hard work and late nights and it can be very hard for them to visualise anything different.  So to get past this, you have to start planning out the life you actually want. Take a sheet of paper and write down your thoughts.  What does your dream life look like? What would your business be like if you could wave that magic wand?

Amazing things start to happen in our businesses and our lives when we realise that we always have options.  We can stay stuck for years because we feel powerless and trapped, but the problem isn’t our circumstances, it’s that we refuse to choose anything better!