Thought Leadership

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Dysmorphic Thinking: How To Avoid It

by | December 3, 2019

For the past two weeks I’ve struggled with a relapse of self doubt, perfectionism and impatience with my business. These “sky is falling” thoughts creep into my heart too easily. What set me off on this emotional spiral was a series of events: 1) a client not doing what I wanted them to do when I wanted them to do it with a contract renewal 2) a different client not praising our work the way I want it to be praised 3) another client not relying on our expertise the way I wish they would.

Thankfully this weekend, in the prepared foods section of Whole Foods, I ran into Erin Williams, founder of Erin’s Faces and guest on my podcast series WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™. We started talking about our businesses and I shared my destructive thinking. I was honest about my angst. She shared hers. She told me her products are not for everyone. She can’t make everyone in the world happy. In such a huge way this freed me.

While listening to Erin I realized that I was holding onto a false-reality, seeing my business through damaging dysmorphic lenses rooted in obsessing about what others thought of me and our work. These obsessions are really non-issues, and now I can easily see how my point-of-view here is totally self-centered and not at all client-centered.

Erin encouraged me to look in the mirror and see my true reality:

  • There is money in the bank! This is actually really important, because after 13 years of business I can recall the many times where there wasn’t money in the bank!
  • I cannot control others, I can only control myself. This is true everyday of the year.
  • I have many happy clients who value our collaboration.
  • My team is devoted to our vision, hard-workers, super passionate and nurturing of each other’s talents.
  • We need more people thanks to the above factors.

How can I avoid dysmorphic thinking in the future? The truth is that self-doubt is part of my story and the fear of financial insecurity is so wrapped up with entrepreneurship that I may never shake it. But in the future I can focus on myself, my agency, what we are great at and what we love doing, and take the focus off of reading into the actions (or non-action) of others. I can talk to an entrepreneur friend. I can talk to my team. And wander through Whole Foods.