insecurity business growth

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m insecure.  I was insecure when I first started growing my practice and only had a few clients come in the door.

It kept me from fully putting myself out there, which caused my practice to barely grow those first couple of years.

When I finally overcame my initial insecurities, I grew a full-time practice. But then I was worried that clients wouldn’t stay around.

Later, I was insecure when I created Higher Practice and I wasn’t sure if therapists were ready to receive my help in an entirely new way.

And I get insecure whenever I’m trying to meet a new business goal that seems insurmountable.

Can you relate?

Are you insecure that you’ll never be able to achieve your vision in private practice?

Are you stuck in a job that you hate and you’re insecure that you’ll never figure out how to make the financial transition?

Do you question whether you “have what it takes” to be a small business entrepreneur?

No one is immune to insecurity.  Whenever you’re attempting to create something that you’ve never created before, insecurity always creeps in.

It’s quite natural. We need evidence as humans to let us know that the thing that we set out to do is possible.

Insecurity is an important source of discomfort. We usually don’t make changes in our life unless we are uncomfortable with our present circumstance.

But when growing  a practice, I find that insecurity either motivates therapists to meet their goals quicker or it can sink you in quicksand where you can get stuck for months or years, feeling shaky and uncertain if it’s ever going to happen.

If insecurity has been a motivating factor for you and is helping you achieve your goals, there’s no problem. Let it fuel the fire. Don’t make the feeling wrong.  It’s working for you!

But what can you do when it’s working against you?

My guess is if you’re reading this you likely fit into this category.

First off, you’ll need to learn how to tolerate the feeling. The feeling isn’t truly a problem.  It’s the response to the feeling that is causing your issues in your practice.

When you learn to tolerate the feeling you have more space to respond however you want.

So, how do you learn how to tolerate feelings of insecurity?

Take a body-centered approach! What’s that? Well it’s a form of therapy that includes somatic practices.  And it’s quite powerful for what you’re facing.

Here’s a simple and transformative exercise to help you overcome the quicksand of insecurity:

Make it a habit to do the following practice for five minutes a day in the beginning and you will be amazed at how powerful this technique can help you.

Find a comfortable seated position in a quiet space without the distractions of facebook, instagram, twitter and whatever else you might be doing right now.

Close your eyes and take a moment to settle your breathe. I’m serious about this.  It works!

Draw your attention to the sensations in your body that you associate with insecurity. For me, it’s a pit in my stomach. Unfortunately, nobody likes a pit in their stomach. I know I don’t. But nonetheless, it’s not going to kill you to focus on it.

For you, it might be tension in your chest, a headache, tightness in your jaw. You get the picture.

Once you’ve located the sensations of insecurity simply allow yourself to explore these sensations with your attention. Pretend your attention is a microscope and you can feel even the most minute detail of the insecurity in your body.

Is the insecurity hot, cold, soft, or hard? Do the sensations constantly change or are they static? Do you get an image when you feel the sensation? How about a color?

Finally, try and relax all of the surrounding areas near the sensations of insecurity. And simply build your tolerance to feeling this discomfort by “being” with it.

As you take this body-centered journey into insecurity you’ll find that it’s much easier to tolerate the feelings, because you desensitize yourself to the initial charge that it has on you.

If you do this regularly, you will find that you can feel insecure and still take action in your practice to meet your goals.  Clients are literally waiting for you to help them so there is no better time then right now to face the obstacles in the way of building your practice. This world needs your gift!

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

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