How POPs have shown up in my business, and what I've learned to do about them.
After one year of rewiring, I came to the realization that I wanted to do something more than just work in corporate America. I wanted to use the knowledge I had gained around limiting beliefs and rewiring your brain to help other people change their lives. That’s why I got certified as a life coach in early 2020. It’s been a journey of self-reflection and transformation for me working with other peer coaches and then starting to work one-on-one with clients. I don’t yet know where my business will take me, but for now it’s something I do on the side to help me give back to the world and feel more purpose in my day-to-day life.
It’s been really eye-opening to me to see that many people, even those without limbic system impairment, live their lives believing one limiting belief or the other. When I’m on calls with people, I can hear these strong, sometimes surprising, statements pop up as if they are FACTS. And I get the feeling that most people don’t even realize how stuck they are in this mindset of lack. It’s only when I repeat their words back to them verbatim or rephrase what they just said, that they go: “Huh, did I really say that?” And then they may start back-tracking a bit, but it’s always eye-opening for them to see what they actually believe to be true.
I mention this because it has normalized limiting beliefs and core beliefs for me. I used to think it was only those of us with limbic system impairment that have to work to change our beliefs, but it’s really everyone. We just don’t always have a window into people’s minds and what they really think, so we assume it’s just us that have to “peel the layers of the onion.”
That being said, it’s still really important for us to change those limiting beliefs and work on our POPs on a daily basis. I’ve done this for the last two years, but it’s been interesting to see that while I’ve mostly rewired the POPs in my personal life, there have been new ones that have come to the surface now that I’ve started a business. It’s that sneaky limbic system: You think you rewire one thing, but then it pops up somewhere else, in another form!
I didn’t really expect this when I started, but I think it has to do with being an entrepreneur:
You have to learn how to be resilient and stay focused on what you’re trying to create, no matter what anyone else says. And it takes a lot of grit, just like the daily dedication us retainers have to have in order to be successful. And on top of that, you're shifting your identity as well. You're going from being told what to do (at work), to making all the rules, and also being responsible for your own success (or failure). And that's a lot of things coming at you, all at once. Not to mention having to be more visible and market yourself, which doesn't really come naturally for many of us.
Here’s a few of the POPs that have resurfaced as I work on my business:
1) Not worrying what other people think
This one comes up when I’m marketing myself and some people don’t understand what I’m doing (life coaching isn’t the easiest thing for people to grasp) or have differing opinions on how things should be done. Putting myself out there has caused many more people to reach out to me, and not all of it is good, or wanted. So, I’ve learned that I need to keep moving forward in the ways I want to, since after all it’s my business, not theirs. And I've learned to not judge my self-worth on things like my business because that's separate to me. Yes, it's a reflection of me, but my self-worth is inherent and I don't create it, like I do my business and the things I work on.
Before I sign on a new client, there’s a few interactions and calls that happen. And in between, there may be a few days (or sometimes even weeks) of very little communication, depending on the person’s schedule and what else is going on for them.
In the beginning, I would wonder whether someone would want to work with me, or overanalyze things like what I said, whether that call went well, etc. I’ve learned it’s not healthy to keep doing this, and I just send my good intentions into the Universe instead. There are so many factors outside of my control, so I have to trust that the right people will come to me and let go of the rest.
This is related to the above POP as far as wondering whether people will want to work with me, but it’s also around my business as a whole. Of course, I need to make certain plans for the future, but I don’t have to control every aspect of what may or may not happen. So, again, it’s about letting go of exactly what happens and still moving forward one step at a time. And it’s about trusting that my path will unfold in front of me, even if I don’t see it now.
I’ve dealt with perfectionism at work, and also in my business. Coming from a marketing and project management background, a lot of times it actually is very important for the words and graphics to be just right. So, it’s a hard pattern to break.
While it’s important for me to do things just so at work, in my business, I’ve tried to cut myself some slack. Because if I don’t, it leads to a lot of re-work, changing things over and over again. I think it can also stem from a lack of confidence since I’m still new and testing a lot of things. So, when I notice the pattern, I take a step back and tell myself that it’s better to put something out there that is slightly imperfect than not do anything at all. Because progress (and action) is better than perfection.
5) Over responsibility for others
As a service-based business owner, you have to care about other people, because whatever you’re doing is serving others. But, as someone actively retraining your brain, you also have to protect yourself and your energy. This is why I have to uphold my boundaries and also be clear that I will not do the actual work for my clients.
Of course, I will guide them on their journey as a coach, but worrying about whether or not they’re doing their follow up homework in between sessions isn’t something I can realistically do--and still stay sane. They are adults, and if they want to move forward, that's a decision they have to make on their own to be accountable to themselves. It’s also the reason I ask my clients to take their own notes in our sessions, because it’s up to them to take responsibility for themselves and their growth. It actually serves them more because they’re learning to be more self-sufficient in the process.
There are other things that I’ve had to work on, but these are the main POPs that I think are relevant. And seeing them all as opportunities for rewiring has been a good way of viewing them.
While I think starting a business and rewiring at the same time can be challenging, I think it’s really how you frame it and your reasons for why you want to have this business in the first place that matter most.
I’ve heard from other retrainers that they may want to go back to work full-time, but are afraid of whether they could handle it while retraining. The same thing applies here.
It’s really a question you have to ask yourself, and only YOU know the answer to:
Will pursuing this job/business/[insert thing here] be helpful on my journey to recovery? Or will it cause me to be in a constant state of stress instead?
For me, it’s about living in my purpose and helping others do the same. And the satisfaction I get from coaching other people is palpable. It’s my mood elevation for the day, especially during the last year when I haven’t been able to see many people in person. I get to see my clients’ smiling faces over Zoom instead! And I know I’m making a real difference in their lives, and that makes me happy.
And while there are new POPs that I’ve had to deal with, going through them has helped me establish better boundaries and learn to stand up for myself. Which is the point of retraining really--to get to the core version of you, the one that is beautiful, genuine, strong and capable of doing anything you want to.
If you're looking to start a business and would like some support, schedule a free 1:1 consultation with me. I'm also taking applications for my LAUNCH WITH EASE program that starts soon, for new entrepreneurs who want to get more clarity on their strategy and the confidence to actually implement their ideas in the world.
Agatha Brewer is the founder of Agatha Brewer Coaching where she works with new entrepreneurs who want to launch and grow businesses that give them freedom and flexibility while also making a bigger impact on the world. She uses her 15+ years of corporate marketing experience and her coach training (Whole Person Certified Coach®) to help new business owners move their ideas out of their heads and into reality--getting them clarity around what they want to create, helping them set the right strategic foundations, and starting to unravel any mindset blocks that are standing in their way.
Over two years ago, she discovered the power of neuroplasticity and has (almost!) cured herself of over ten years of mysterious chronic illness. She tried numerous different protocols and treatments to heal, but nothing touched her symptoms until she learned of a program called DNRS.