Everyone I’ve met in my coaching practice has something in common. They reach out to me for different reasons like starting or growing a business, improving productivity, or becoming more focused and healthy. But what ties them all together is that they’re eager to challenge the status quo, aka way things are. They’re ready for change and transformation, prepared to follow their own unique vision.
I know and acknowledge the fact that being in front of me and confiding in me is not easy.
Challenging the status quo means you’ll need the courage to test the unproven, dive deep in the unspoken, and challenge the unchallenged.
For some, this kind of approach might seem bold or reckless, just like Steve Jobs described in his famous speech: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.”
But in a way or another we’re all challenging the status quo in our lives or businesses.
Is it difficult? Always!
Here are a few reasons I discovered along my journey from corporate girl to yoga teacher turned business coach.
You afraid of rejection and being disregarded
When I made the decision to teach yoga (and later, coach), the loudest voices around me often warned me about the risks, telling me that my new activities were beyond me or even saying I’d never find clients. Some even made it clear they didn’t support my new path. It wasn’t easy, but I stuck to my decisions. I did lose some friends, but I got to discover who I am and the kind of life I want for myself.
As soon as you embark on your unique journey, you may notice a shift in the way people perceive you. It’s at this moment that you discover who’s truly in your corner and who might drift away. For some, you’ll find that you’re no longer as relatable. You’ve chosen a different path, one they can’t quite connect with anymore.
This transformation is a natural part of your journey, and it’s something beyond your control.
Bonus tip: Try to surround yourself with people who understand your goals and what you’re trying to achieve. It’s even better if you can find people who have already succeeded in the same way you want to.
You don’t trust your instincts
We often struggle to trust our own instincts because fear and self-doubt get in the way.
When we encounter inner conflicts, it’s common for many of us, including me, to look inward and start questioning ourselves instead of questioning what’s happening around us. We fear — what if I look stupid, or what if I don’t know enough to say something, or what if I am the real problem?
You know what? Everything I’ve mentioned is entirely valid. Yes, it’s challenging to begin trusting your instincts when we’ve never been taught how to do so. It’s uncharted territory, and it can be intimidating. Yet, as you begin to question the current way of doing things, you can’t help but feel that there must be an alternative path from the one you’ve followed thus far.
Bonus tip: Don’t feel pressured to make huge leaps right away. Start small, test your ideas, and build confidence gradually. Ask for help from a mentor or coach. They can assist you in building self-awareness by reflecting on your experiences, strengths, and the areas where you feel most passionate. What are your core values and beliefs? Knowing yourself is the foundation for trusting your instincts.
You think others know better
When I look back at my own journey, I can honestly say that I used to be really scared. I asked for advice from all sorts of people, which left me feeling discouraged and confused. I was all over the place, thinking that others were smarter than me.
What I needed to do was face the confusion and uncertainty around me. Instead of listening to people who had never been where I wanted to go, I had to trust my own instincts.
Bonus tip: Remind yourself why you wanted to start that thing in the first place. Your vision is what sets you apart. Believing in it is crucial to building self-confidence. You don’t have to revolutionize the entire industry overnight. Gradual, well-thought-out changes can be effective. Start by challenging smaller aspects of the status quo and expand from there.
You don’t know how to start
Remember that starting something new or starting living your life on your terms is a journey, and it’s okay not to have all the answers at the beginning. The most important thing is to take that first step and keep moving forward, learning from your experiences along the way.
I see three steps here:
- Idea generation and strengthening your skills – Start by reflecting on your interests, passions, and skills. What do you enjoy doing? What problems can you solve? Identify potential business ideas that align with your strengths and interests. Don’t worry about finding the perfect idea at this stage; just brainstorm.
- Research, planning and strategy – Do a market research. Explore the demand for your products or services, analyze the competition, and identify your target audience. Create a business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. This plan will serve as your roadmap.
- Taking action – Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis and take the first step. This could be as simple as registering a domain name for a website, creating a prototype, or starting to offer your services. The key is to begin, learn from your experiences, and adapt your approach as you go along.
You’re afraid of risk and accountability
I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t taken risks when trying to do something new and different. It could be money, time, resources, or even friendships – there’s always something at stake.
But here’s the thing: the people who succeed in such endeavors tend to be open-minded, open-hearted, and determined. They don’t just celebrate their wins; they also learn from their mistakes and figure out how to do better next time.
Bonus tip: Taking responsibility and being accountable is a lot of work, especially when you’re driven by a desire to make a positive impact and keep on learning. It’s like a journey inside yourself where you discover your strengths, your weak points, and how you can make things easier as you move forward. Challenging the status quo is a journey of personal growth.
You underestimate yourself and your influence
I’ve learned a valuable lesson over the years: to stop underestimating myself and my influence. Even though I’m someone who always strives to improve and learn, there was a time when I constantly doubted my abilities and accomplishments.
No matter what I achieved, I would often criticize myself, thinking I could have done better or differently. I was never satisfied, and I couldn’t even enjoy my own achievements.
To change this, I had to challenge my old way of thinking and how it was affecting my life. I realized my mindset was stuck in the past when teachers and family made me believe that my worth was solely determined by grades and not the effort I put in.
Bonus tip: I’m quite certain that you have more knowledge than you realize, and what you know can be really helpful to people who haven’t reached where you are yet. That’s why I advise my coaching clients to begin their day, projects, and anything they want to create by focusing on their mindset. It’s an ongoing process that you’ll keep coming back to. Your mindset will grow and change as you go through different phases in your life and business.