Ep #213: The Creative Entrepreneur Series Part 3: Creatives and Their Minds

The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley | The Creative Entrepreneur Series Part 3: Creatives and Their Minds

Let’s be honest, our minds are unruly little suckers. Everybody’s mind can be, but the creative mind in itself is a unique place. We are amazing and innovative, and we think differently, but sometimes as creative entrepreneurs, we are holding ourselves back with certain mindsets without realizing it.

Creating new, effective patterns in our brains instead of being all over the place in our lives doesn’t mean that we have to become somebody different. But becoming aware of these common mindsets is key to seeing where you are holding yourself back, and how to stop it.

What I’m sharing with you today is a game-changer friends, so join me to hear some of the mindsets creatives have that are preventing them from creating the life and business they really want, and how these may be showing up for you. I’m showing you how to figure out which of these mindsets are holding you back and giving you a new way to think about your thinking that can help you create different results.

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • What imposter syndrome is and how it might show up in your life.
  • The problem with not being willing to repel clients that aren’t suitable for you.
  • Why you might be leaving money on the table, and how to stop it.
  • How these mindsets have shown up in my own life and business.
  • Some common thoughts that are in our minds as creatives.
  • How to tell you are a people-pleaser, the reason you are one, and how to stop doing things you don’t want to do.
  • Some of the biggest mental blocks I see happening for designers and creatives.

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 213.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy, here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey, hey friends. Every time I say that I laugh because people who know me well including my daughter just think that that is the epitome of my persona, hey friends because I say hey friends. Hey friend, hi friend, hey friends. But I mean it, I’m so happy you’re here, friends. So, hey friends and welcome to episode 213. This is part three of the Creative Entrepreneur series. And this one is about creatives and our minds. And let’s just be honest, our minds are really little suckers, everybody’s mind is.

But the creative mind is in itself a unique place. We are amazing. And we’re innovative. And we’re clever. And we think differently. And sometimes that can also look like we’re a freaking hot mess. And I don’t typically like using words like hot mess because I don’t like us getting stuck in unhelpful labels, or identities, or patterns. But I say it here just as the best way to describe how sometimes, depending on how we’re thinking we can be showing up, us creatives in disorganized, and scattered, and just, you know what I mean, just sort of all over the place kind of ways.

But we typically think of this hot mess-ness being part of our innate personality as in it’s just how we are, it’s just how we’re made, it’s who we are. And we also think there’s nothing we can do about it. But today I want to help you see that that is definitely not the case. So, let’s be clear about something really important.

For us creatives to create new effective patterns in our lives instead of being all over the place doesn’t mean that we have to become somebody different, or suddenly become super disciplined, or a morning person who always follows through on everything we should do no matter what. I’m not giving us a lobotomy today. I’m just giving us a new way to think about our thinking that can help us create different results.

So, let’s look at a few of the most common thoughts that are in our creatives minds, especially designers and all the different kinds of designers, I keep telling you, I work with all designers, event designers, interior designers, landscape designers, graphic designers, all us designers. Let’s look at some of the common thoughts that we tend to think and how they cause us to show up in our lives and our businesses in ways that don’t create the results that we’re hoping for, or looking for, or dreaming for.

So, the first one you will recognize, it’s called imposter syndrome. Or it might also just show up as why me thoughts. I hear this all the time from the talented and capable designers and creatives, just like you that I work with. And when you tell the story to me and you tell it to yourself, and to other people it sounds so true. You’re just like, “I just don’t know why they would want me, would want to hire me, would think I’m qualified, or capable, or the right person.”

You say it just like you’re reporting facts, reporting the news, that you just don’t know why someone would want you. And it’s like you’re convincing yourself and everyone else on purpose that you’re just not that amazing but I know that you are. And it’s so interesting because when you’re in one of these sort of imposter thought cycles, spirals, whatever you want to call it, you have all the evidence all lined up to back up why they definitely shouldn’t want you, or even trust you, that you’re not qualified.

It’s always something like you’re not experienced enough, and you haven’t been in business long enough, or maybe you’ve been in business too long. On one hand some of you are like, “I’m not old enough.” Others of you are like, “I’m too old.” Maybe you haven’t had a project this big or of this kind. There are so many other people in your area that are just so qualified so much more than you etc. etc. I love how in essence when we’re in imposter syndrome, we’re campaigning to convince other people to believe that we’re just not very good which is so interesting.

And most of you have no idea that these thoughts that you’re thinking about yourself are actually what’s causing the feeling of insecurity that makes you feel like an imposter. So, it’s this cycle that’s happening from your thoughts. And of course, when you’re thinking those thoughts on a loop you definitely feel unworthy and not good enough, or not qualified enough. If you spend a lot of time telling yourself that that’s the truth you’re probably going to believe it. And I get it, that it may sound kind of woo woo or hokey to think about these as just thoughts.

But it’s a 100% true that if on the other hand you spend all of your time telling yourself that you are totally qualified, or you have the exact right amount of experience, or that you’re the exact right age for the job you will be blown away by how your thoughts really do create how you show up. In other words, they start to create your results. Now, this is not just the power of positive thinking and that we should be thinking positive thoughts all the time. We’re humans.

We’re going to have plenty of negative thoughts and they all have a purpose. But what I’m trying to show you here is when you run negative thoughts about yourself on a loop, you are going to consistently be creating things that you might call imposter syndrome because you’re not going to feel sure of yourself because you’re constantly questioning yourself. So, thinking thoughts that create what we call imposter syndrome is really just us thinking those thoughts about ourselves and whether we’re the right person for the job or something similar to that.

And they create those feelings, the feelings might be insecurity. I mean we all have different feelings depending on our thoughts. So, you might feel insecurity, it might be fear, it might be anxiety, it might be nervousness, something around critical or criticism, disappointed, depressed. Something in that range is what you’re going to create as far as feelings go when you’re constantly thinking those kinds of thoughts.

And each of those, what we kind of call negative feelings, I always tend to question whether we should say negative because humans, we need both. We need the happy, what we would call positive feelings and we need negative feelings. They’re there for a reason. But when we have those negative feelings they lead to actions that are not usually the actions we’re looking for.

When we’re in imposter syndrome around our business constantly telling ourself these negative thoughts that create negative feelings, our actions are going to look like not asking for the amount of money we really want. Or that we think we deserve, or that we think our service is worth. It’s also going to look like things like not even putting out a proposal at all or pitching ourselves for a job because we’ve told ourselves we’re not qualified. Or maybe even getting inquiries where people are really interested but us deciding we’re not ready or why me?

So, then we might not even respond to those inquiries. Or a lot of times it leads us to saying yes to projects that we don’t really want to take. Maybe the scope of work is not what we want, or the timeline is too short and they’re going to be pressuring us all the time. But at some level because we feel like imposters, we think they have all the power. And if we don’t just agree we won’t get the job. And that’s not what in those moments we want.

We think getting the job will validate us and help us no longer feel like imposters. But the only thing that changes that is when we change our thinking. So usually, the results of imposter syndrome look a lot like people pleasing, underearning, overworking, or even just being stuck in procrastination or some of you may even call it paralyzed from taking action. These are not results, as if I don’t have to tell you this. These are not results that most of us want in our businesses or in our lives.

But it’s not the fact, I say that in air quotes, it’s not the fact that we aren’t qualified because let’s just be honest, lots of people are less qualified than us. But as long as they think they’re right for the job, they may go out and get it. So, it’s not that we’re actually not qualified, as if it’s a fact. It’s just that our thoughts about ourselves create feelings of this imposter syndrome. Notice also how labeling yourself as having imposter syndrome, I may have said this before in a previous podcast, I think it’s really important.

But when label ourselves as having these things, it can be so problematic. Because it gives us an excuse to stay in our comfort zone every time we don’t really want to be courageous and show up for ourselves or our business. And we can keep blaming the legitimate excuse of imposter syndrome. So, imposter syndrome is a fantastic scapegoat. It’s a catch all that excuses us from what we’re capable of and the discomfort that would come from fully showing up and being seen.

Now, let me let you in on a secret, imposter syndrome is not really a thing. I mean it is a thing and it’s not a thing. Here’s what I’m trying to say. It’s not an official diagnosis. It’s not like having a disease where a doctor says, “You have this condition.” And there is no imposter syndrome gene. It’s not something we’re born with. It’s just a human construct. It’s just a way, it’s language for describing how we feel when we’re thinking that we’re unqualified or inferior.

And when we try hard things, especially things we’ve never done before most of us naturally so, probably rightly so are going to feel unqualified and inferior until we do it a few times or a lot of times. So, it’s very normal and it’s very natural but because we don’t like it and don’t like how uncomfortable it feels we’ve given it a name. And even just that name, that label can often hold us a lot of us back.

So, in other words when there’s a label in the world that someone just made up, which is what happened with imposter syndrome, that label could be holding you back in ways you don’t even realize. So, I want you to take a hard look at your thoughts. And if you are always believing that you have imposter syndrome I want you to see what you find. Dig around and see what you discover that you’re thinking because you probably have a few things that you think consistently almost like they’re on a loop playing over and over again as if they were your favorite song.

And then think about what you’re making those thoughts mean about you. Alright, so that’s imposter syndrome and a lot of us have it, or very BFF’s with it, label ourselves as it and it’s very common especially for creatives.

Okay, next big mental block I see happening for designers and creatives all of the time is fear of rejection. And it’s actually also another way of saying fear of failure. Now, humans in general have a very strong or high fear of rejection. We are designed to belong. We want people to like us. But where I really see it happening for creatives and designers in business is in relation to selling and getting clients to say yes. So, it’s somewhere along the way we miss the memo that it’s important for businesses to make a profit. Did we forget that?

Because guess what? If businesses are not for profit, guess what they are? They’re non-profits. It’s called a charity. But we forgot, or didn’t remember, or instead we just get the idea that the entire reason for being in business is to have all clients and potential clients say yes. And it’s like we believe that no one ever should say no because when they do the feeling of rejection that comes with our thoughts about hearing a no makes us create this story, this narrative, this mind drama about what the no means about us.

So, do you see a pattern here already in this podcast? Almost all mindsets that cause issues for us humans and especially us creatives are our brain’s way of protecting us from feeling something that we don’t like, or feeling like someone doesn’t like us, or that we’re not good enough. So, I watch people over and over not be willing to repel all the clients that are not a fit for them either on style, or scope of project, or timeline, or because their personalities don’t mesh, or budget, and fees. There’s so many reasons why we often should say no to clients.

But I watch creatives over and over not be willing to repel clients. And when a potential client, or what I call a lead, or a prospect doesn’t convert into a paying client, so many of you think of it as if you’ve lost a client. But think about this. You don’t want everyone to say yes unless – well, let’s just be clear, if everybody’s saying yes, you’re really, really cheap. You’re like a commodity. If everyone is saying yes you are leaving so much money on the table. You are not interviewing your client.

They’re just interviewing you. And you’re likely in a people pleasing kind of status or frame of mind to make it work. Because it’s just not possible if you are aligning with your values and charging what you need to charge to really make a profit in your business, and holding boundaries strong, that you are going to have 100% or even 90, or 80, or 70% conversion. A lot of your leads or prospects should be saying no. For me, more people say no than yes. And that is what allows me to know that I’ve got my pricing right, and my boundary set because that’s exactly what should be happening.

More people are going to not be a fit than to be a fit. But when we tell ourselves that a prospect not converting means we ‘lost’ a client, I want you to think about that. You did not lose a client. They aren’t your client until they say yes and sign a contract, or even a verbal agreement and hopefully pay you a retainer. You have not moved them into being a client. You simply had a prospect that did not convert and you should have many of those. But we seem to not want that. It feels uncomfortable, we don’t like it.

So just putting out a proposal to a lead who says no is not losing anything. But most of you make it mean exactly that it’s losing something. And then you proceed to judge yourself terribly and you make the no mean all sorts of things about how good you are, and how good your work is, and how your prices must be too high, all the drama that comes up in our brains. And notice again these are typically not even things that the client even said.

Most of the stuff we’re saying in our brains and making mean about us are just the story, the narrative that we’ve created ourselves in our own minds when the feeling of discomfort or any of the feelings that are uncomfortable come up because a person said no. So why is it so hard for us creatives to hear no? Well, probably because pitching yourself or pitching your work to someone else feels very vulnerable. You’re standing there in all your eunice, if that’s a word. It’s probably not but we’re using it today. So, you’re you and you’re standing there in all your uniqueness and I’m calling that your eunice.

And you’re allowing someone to either say yes or no. And most of us have had very little practice (a) choosing to be vulnerable and (b) proving to ourselves that we can be vulnerable and we can get a no or something that we don’t like to hear can happen. And we still will survive. We’re not going to die. Vulnerability is a feeling and feelings don’t kill us but so many people think they will. We think it’s going to be so painful that we’re going to die.

And the way to get good at repelling all the wrong clients and being vulnerable enough to pitch yourself, and then be okay with getting either a yes or a no is by just practicing it, doing it more often. But if you spend all your energy trying to contort yourself, and your business, and your pricing, and your way of working in ways to get people to say yes, you’re never going to have any practice hearing a no. So, every time you hear it, it is going to feel terrible. And not that it feels good any time, depending on how you’re thinking about it.

Now, for me sometimes it does because I’m like, sweet, it means our pricing’s right. Actually, probably a lot of times it feels good to get a no, because our systems are working, our pricing is working. This is exactly what we expected to happen. But if you haven’t gotten that mindset about repelling people then it’s not going to feel good to you ever especially if you don’t practice it very often at all. And most of us rarely practice it because just the thought of being repelled, getting a no, repelling another client, being rejected is what I’m trying to say.

Just the thought of being rejected creates so much discomfort that we don’t ever practice vulnerability. And we keep ourselves believing that there’s almost nothing worse than being rejected. So how many of you have allowed the wrong clients to say yes and then soon learned that there’s a whole lot worse than being rejected? Getting a yes from the wrong client can be the most painful thing, far more painful than if just the band-aid had been ripped off early on and they were a no.

So, I want you to think about what you’re creating for yourself, both in the moment of being unwilling to hear no and then what you invite into your life and your business by having a lot of the wrong people say yes. This is what we do as creatives, this is what we struggle with. So, guess what else we struggle with? You probably already guessed it. We’ve talked about it a little bit already today. People pleasing.

So, this is the third thing we want to talk about. So, we’ve had imposter syndrome. We’ve had not being willing to repel people for that fear of rejection and now people pleasing. So, what is people pleasing? Well, typically it’s just really having trouble saying no. it’s being unwilling to disappoint people. So, this is sort of that other side of the coin of rejection because we don’t like people to tell us no and reject us but we also don’t like to say no.

And when I ask people why, I almost always hear something about how you don’t like confrontation. As if saying no and confrontation are the same thing. As if every time you say no to someone you’re going to get in a fist fight, which you’re not. But if you don’t bring up confrontation and how you don’t like confrontation, and I’m telling you, I hear this all the time. But the other thing you say, maybe even in tandem, most people say both is, “I don’t like confrontation and I don’t like to disappoint people or have people not like me.”

So again, if saying no means people will for sure be disappointed, which sometimes they will. Sometimes people feel relieved when we say no. Sometimes people respect us for saying no. But it often doesn’t mean someone’s not going to like you, at least long term. Now, my 16 year old and her whole life, whether she was two, eight or 16, when I say no there’s a minute she doesn’t like me but she comes back around. She doesn’t hate me forever most of the time. But that’s true for business too.

So, we have all this fear and worry that we’re going to disappoint people and they’re not going to like us anymore. And I hear these elaborate stories. “Well, I can’t say no to this person because I’ve known them since I was eight. And I can’t say no to this person because they go to church with my mom. And I can’t say no to this person because they work with my husband. And all of that is a load of BS. You can say no to anybody any time when it’s not right for you, but notice if you don’t regularly.

And if you are a people pleaser it’s because you don’t like the feeling that is created in you when you think other people are upset with you or disappointed with you. You don’t like it. You feel very uncomfortable. You feel very vulnerable. You’re taking responsibility for their emotions and believing that if you say yes it will make them happy. Now, we have lots of evidence to know it doesn’t even work. We can say yes all the time and still have people mad at us.

We can all think of times when that happens. We’re like, “I’ve done everything to make this person happy and they’re still not happy.” So, it doesn’t even work anyway. But it’s just interesting how we think this act of saying no is going to create confrontation, and disappointment, and someone not liking you. So, it’s really important I think.

And I always like to remind people, you have two choices. You can either disappoint if you call it this, create confrontation with them or you can create disappointment and conflict inside yourself. Because you just said yes to things you don’t even really want to do but you feel like you don’t have a choice. And I don’t know about you but believing I don’t have a choice is one of the worst thoughts that I can think. When I think I don’t have a choice and I said it for years, especially when I was hustling, “I don’t have a choice.”

I would say to my daughter, “I don’t have a choice, mommy has to work, or I have to go to this thing, or go out of town.” I got so sick of hearing myself say, “I don’t have a choice.” But every time I said it the feeling I created for myself was either obligation or what I typically called, I feel trapped. So, I didn’t feel like I had the option of making a different decision. And feeling trapped or obligated for me feels like the opposite of freedom. But freedom and agency over my own choices, my own self, my own body is one of the most important things I value in life.

So, people pleasing and struggling to say no consistently creates a lack of freedom, a lack of agency, a lack of independence. So, when you’re constantly people pleasing you are putting other people’s needs ahead of your own just to avoid the feeling that you feel in the moment you have to say no. Think about that really, really hard for a minute. Just for that one little moment because after you’ve said no, if you just allow yourself to feel that feeling and it’s over then you’re not obligated to all the shit you don’t want to do.

But you don’t want to feel that little 90 second or even two hours’ worth of ruminating over the fact that you said no to someone and it felt uncomfortable. So, then you give away your freedom. To me that seems like a huge price to pay for this little two letter word, N-O that takes less than a second to utter. And that really needs no explanation or justification. You may have heard the concept that no is a full sentence and it absolutely is. You can say no just because you decide to.

And it doesn’t mean you’re confrontational. You can say it with a smile. You can be kind or not, you don’t have to. But it doesn’t necessarily mean confrontation. And any time we are contorting ourselves to try to keep other people from feeling their own feelings, that in and of itself is kind of really a boundary violation. It’s none of our business to get in the middle of other people’s feelings.

Most of the people we’re dealing with most of the time when we don’t want to say no in business are grown adults. And they absolutely get to decide on their own how they’re going to think and feel about something. So, it’s really interesting what we’re doing with people pleasing. And I want you to take a hard look. That’s the third one. You’ve probably seen yourself in all of them at some level. We all have these. But maybe one or two of these mindsets are a bigger problem for you so really start to think about it.

Okay, so there’s just a couple of other, maybe a few other two or three mindsets or even some of them are just more like thoughts that I want you to be aware of that are likely getting in the way of the results that you really want to create as this creative entrepreneur.

So, there’s the thought, I work better at the last minute or on a tight deadline. I call this the deadline dependence thinking. And we believe it to be true. Again, we report it like it’s the truth. I always work better at the last minute or on a deadline. But here’s what I want you to see. It’s not a truth, it’s a thought. It’s a thought you’re thinking. Absolutely you think it’s a circumstance. It’s a thought. And it’s not really a thought that serves us typically. We think it does. We like it because it finally motivates us to stop procrastinating.

But since part of the experience or process of finally getting yourself in gear, because when there’s a deadline or you’re at the ninth hour as I call it, you’re at the last minute, you just can’t wait any longer, the deadline is here. It means that you typically do finally take action and that’s what you’re liking about it. Because if you’re a procrastinator, you use this as the means to move you to action. But what I want you to see is that you absolutely have the power to move yourself to action with your thoughts and feelings any time you want to.

But you’re thinking this last minute thing, it’s sort of involuntary. You’ve backed yourself in a corner. You think it’s a good thing. What you’re not noticing is that every time you do it, you create a lot of discomfort in that process because you are at the last minute. And you often get super stressed out and create a lot of drama either in your own mind, or even verbally with those around you.

When I used to work this way in my life, when I used to procrastinate and put things off to the last minute and use deadline dependence as I call it I would really not only keep my stressful thoughts to myself, I would verbalize them. And it would also take a toll on my family. And here’s the other thing about it, we’re like, “I work best at the last minute.” No, you just finally did what you were supposed to do. But it’s not your best work. It’s never your best work. You can’t really say it’s your best work because you always ran out of time to do your best work.

You’ve backed yourself in a corner and there’s always something that you’re like, well, screw it, it’s just going to have to be good enough. And I wish I had two more hours. Or we’ll have to tell them we didn’t get to that part and do it in the next meeting. I hope they’re not upset. There’s all these things we create but what we’re thinking is good about it is we finally took action.

So, I would love for you to really again take a hard look at yourself, decide, notice whether you really work best on that last minute deadline or might it be that you’re just in the habit of only doing the work in those moments. But if you might reconsider the word ‘best’, best work in a new way might you actually do better work if you could get yourself moving into action sooner and be able to stay calm and have enough time to do your work to the level that you would really be proud of and that you could probably charge a lot more money for?

Because if you still believe that deadline dependence is your best work you’re basically telling me that you are at your best when you’re frantic, and stressed out, and feeling like your hair is on fire, and losing sleep. And that you’re also at your best when you’re running out of time to finish things and feeling really unprepared. And I just don’t think that that’s really true for most of us.

So, if that is your best work or at least right now it is, I’m dying to see how good your work could be if you allowed yourself to stay calm, and work in advance, and give yourself plenty of time to actually feel successful. It’s a novel idea. So, do you notice that backing yourself in the corner may be much less your best way of working and it might be far more in the camp of self-sabotage and just a self-sabotaging pattern that you’ve been practicing for a long time?

Well, and here’s the other thing, when you’re not repelling clients like we talked about earlier, the ones that you should be repelling, of course you’re going to procrastinate on a lot of the work you don’t want to be doing. You’re like, “Oh, I have to do this job. They’re not even paying me enough. They’re not the right client. It’s not even aligned with my style. I’ll do that later.” And finally at the last second you’re doing your not best work for your not ideal client. And then you wonder why your business isn’t working for you. You feel burned out all the time and you’re really not happy.

So, it’s our thoughts that are creating this and you can start to see these thought patterns, these cycles, like self-sabotage, people pleasing, fear of rejection and imposter syndrome that we’re using to create suffering in our own life.

Okay, so just a couple of others. This one I call FOMO or shiny object syndrome. They both fit there together. They’re a little bit different but they’re in the same boat. Because as you likely know any kind of fear of missing out or shiny object syndrome are both coming from you constantly comparing yourself to other people. And so, when you compare you either start feeling like you’re missing out, because you’re not doing all the things they’re doing.

So that’s the FOMO, going all the places they’re going, getting all the accolades, or friendships, or awards, or whatever that they’re getting. And that is one way that this comes to light. And you’re looking at that glamorous highlight reel that these other people seem to be living as evidence on Instagram. It absolutely must mean if they have all that evidence in their Instagram that they are for sure a super legit designer or creative. And since your own life looks way more ordinary and boring, that must mean you’re not as legit.

So, they’re legit, you’re not. You have fear of missing out or you have shiny object syndrome because you look at what they’re doing and you’re like, “Oh, I need to be doing that. I need to be doing a showhouse. I need to be getting that hiring. I need to have that person in my business.” And maybe you do want to do some of those things. But looking at other people and compare which often creates compare and despair is usually not the way to go about that.

So, it’s better instead of constantly scanning the world, in particular social media to see what everybody else is doing to instead – well, and here’s the other thing. When you do that, here’s what it looks like for a lot of you. You see what everybody else is doing, especially if it’s the shiny object syndrome of I want to do this thing in my business. And you start a lot of that stuff but you don’t ever finish any of it, or you don’t ever maximize it.

Because by the time you finish or maximize whatever you started, somebody else is out on their Instagram showing you something else that you have FOMO or shiny object syndrome about and then you switch to that. So, here’s the thing, FOMO and shiny object syndrome keep us creatives always starting and getting excited about new things but rarely seeing any of them to fruition, rarely creating any real success from any of the ideas or the events because we stay in that cycle.

We see something new, we get real hypy and excited about it. We start it. This is going to be the best thing ever. It’s finally going to change my life and business. I’m finally going to get the clients and be rich, and the freedom, and all the stuff. Until we compare ourselves to the next person. And then we, wait, wait, wait, I thought that was going to be it but now I’m going to do this other thing. And then we wonder why we’re always telling ourselves that we’re hot messes who never follow through on anything and don’t finish anything.

But as you can imagine, as we’ve learned already today, this kind of self-talk works its way right back into imposter syndrome and all of these work together, these mindsets. They’re so related, they’re so intertwined. And that’s why we often believe they’re our personality, not our thoughts. We also believe that our personalities are permanent. And that’s not the truth either. In fact, there’s a great book called Personality Isn’t Permanent that tells you why most of it is just your thinking. But we think there’s nothing we can do about it.

So, there’s something you can do about all of this and notice if you’re prone to FOMO or shiny object syndrome, or if you want to call it comparing, compare and despair. It’s all there together and it’s not really helpful but we do it a lot as creatives unless we train ourselves to stop doing it.

And then finally the last one I want to talk about today, I mean gosh, there’s so many. We’re humans and this doesn’t mean we’re terrible or we’re a lost cause. Human brains think as we say in the coaching industry or life coaching industry, brains are going to brain. And this is our brain braining, all the comparing, the thinking and the fear of rejection. It’s normal but when we can become aware of it we can do something about it. We can start to think on purpose.

So, the last one I want you to think about today that I hear a lot is people getting ready to get ready. So, if I had a nickel or a dollar, that would even be better, for all the people who are getting ready to get ready to work with me, to join my programs, to come to one of my events, I would be so wealthy. I’d be helping all the people. And I’d be so excited because that feels like my life’s work. But what I really do a lot, I help a lot of people but I talk to way more people that I could be helping but they’re in their own way because at some level they’re thinking, I’m not ready yet.

They’re looking at me, they’re comparing themselves to me or my business, or something I’ve said. And they’re like, “I’m just not ready. Yeah, I’m going to work with you in the future. I’m going to get ready to get ready.” And y’all, this isn’t just about hiring a coach. This is about everything. Now, it’s interesting because when I hear this, I’m not judging you. You can take as long as you want to do anything. And you never have to hire me, or work on your business, or hire another coach, or raise your prices. You don’t have to do anything. You get to decide.

But as I’m watching this I’m more fascinated and curious than I am judgy because I know that this is the brain braining as we said. And that lets me know where it’s coming from. I know how our think, feel, do cycle works. We think a thought, and we feel a feeling, and then our action is to not start something, to not do it yet, to not take action.

But here’s what I do always think when I’m watching people get ready to get ready. And sometimes I even say it, and that is, no matter what you’re getting ready to get ready to start, whether it’s having a family, starting a business, going to college, hiring a coach, raising your prices, any of it. By the time you get ready to start you could have already created amazing results if you were just willing to feel the discomfort of starting something new and sitting with how uneasy it makes you feel.

Because any time we do something we haven’t done before, any time we take a risk, for a lot of us any time we spend money we feel uncomfortable. So, we make that mean I’m not ready yet, I’ve got to get ready. And we tell ourselves this all the time. We tell ourselves constantly all the things we’re not ready for. I’m not ready to charge more. I’m not ready to invest in a coach. I’m not ready to hire. I’m not ready to pitch myself to a dream client. I’m not ready to pitch myself to a magazine because I don’t have a giant portfolio or my website’s not done, or a million other reasons.

And I’m not saying we have to go out and do all of these things all the time. Sometimes we are not ready to hire, we don’t have the money or the time. But get real about the why that you think you’re not ready because most of the time we just don’t feel ready as if there is such a thing. And you can even notice this. When you finally do start something you’re like, “Well, I thought I would finally feel ready but I don’t and times are wasting so let’s just go.”

You end up leaping anyway, every time you leap it always feels like you’re not ready if it something that you haven’t done before. But we spend so much time waiting to feel ready that we really miss out on already creating financial results or other results that we could be experiencing that would really be helpful for a lot of us. And we hold money, and profits, and other things at arm’s length because we’re telling ourselves we’re not ready for some of the things that would help us create more money.

We can miss out on so many opportunities that we dream about the most. But we also miss out on, I think this is even more important, all the solutions that would fix the things that are creating the most suffering for us right now. So, this is what I think about when I hear people not ready to hire a coach. They tell me all the things, and they’re like, “It’s not the money really. I could get the money together. Maybe it’s because I think I don’t have time.” There’s these thoughts.

And I always think to myself, but then you get back up the next day and suffer with the same problems that you could be fixing if you would just invest in the solution. So, there’s so much prolonged suffering getting ready to get ready. If we would just stop getting ready to start and just start we would create a lot of difference in our lives.

So, my friends, which of these mindsets are you noticing that show up for you a lot? Is it imposter syndrome? Is it fear of rejection or getting told no? Is it people pleasing or saying no to other people? Is it that I work better at the last minute? Which I call deadline dependence. Is it FOMO or shiny object syndrome? Is it getting ready to get ready? And here’s the thing in what ways, big and small, are you seeing one or more of these preventing you from creating the life and business you really want? That’s the big question here, that’s why I’m telling you this.

Creative entrepreneurs are constantly and consistently holding ourselves back with these mindsets. And I bet it’s in far more ways than you even realize that you’re holding yourself back because that’s been true for me. I’ve done this to myself for years. I don’t beat myself up about it, I just like it when I find one of the ways. I’m like, “Ooh, I’m holding myself back. I have an opportunity now to change this.”

And in fact, this is the very reason why one of our pillars in Design You, in our program is manage your mindset. Because without doing thought work to become aware of and even be willing to change some of your mindset patterns it’s almost impossible to create the things that you’re really capable of in your life and your business. And don’t forget, if you want help, if you want help learning how to manage your mindset by creating more awareness around your thoughts and getting coached on these patterns, please come join us in Design You right now.

87% of our members say the mindset work is not only their favorite part of the program that we do in the coaching calls, but it’s also the most transformative. That’s absolutely true for me. It’s absolutely why I created this program. When I learned what life coaching and thought work did for me in my business, in my life, it was mega game changing. And I wanted it to be available to all of you.

We hear from almost every single client and member that we work with, “I came here for your business advice and the systems, or one of your courses. But what changed my entire life and business was the mindset work. So come join us, come on now. We coach every single Wednesday on our live calls. Think about that, every single Wednesday, me and our two other amazing coaches, Summer and Lauren, all three on every single call tackling your biggest mindset challenges.

What would change about your life and business if you showed up every week for – I mean gosh, even every other week, but every week? It’s so much easier when you just know it’s going to be every week and you just get in the habit of showing up. But what if you every single week for an hour or 90 minutes worked on your brain, worked on your thoughts, do you think your results would change? I can assure you they would. But think about what you think about that.

Because if you really want to create different results in your creative business and you join us for 90 minutes once a week and show yourself what’s possible, I think that you would create everything you’re longing for right this minute. It’s a gamechanger, friends. So, if you want to join us, head over to my website and join us in Design You, tobifairley.com. And sign up. We’re waiting for you.

I cannot wait to coach you but in the meantime if you’re still getting ready to get ready to join us, and I know some of you are. If you’re still getting ready to get ready, that’s okay, you get to decide. But in the meantime, really spend some time thinking about which ones of these mindsets are holding you back.

Okay friends, that’s what I have for you this week, creatives and our minds. Next week we’re talking about something equally juicy. It’s going to be a good one. It’s also going to point out a lot of things that you may or may not want to see. It’s called creatives and time. So, it’s great. It’s awesome content. It’s just lifechanging stuff again. Be there. I’ll see you next week, one week from today. I love this stuff y’all, it is my sweet spot. Mindset work and time work, wow, it is the game changing stuff that basically made my business who it is today.

So, I’ll be here to give you all the details next week. I’ll see you then. And if you’re ready to coach with me every Wednesday, I hope I see you before that in Design You. Alright, bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So, join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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