Just got off a call with a business owner.

During the call, they shared that they’ve been in a habit of always saying “Yes”

  • “Can you maintain an additional website for me for free?”  …”Yes”
  • “Can we add this completely out of scope thing?” …”Yes”
  • “Can you build something you have no experience building?”  …”Yes”

Saying “Yes” to it all lead to a total breakdown. A breakdown so big, that it forced them to start saying “No”

Through saying “no,” they started to clear some space for themselves. 

They spent time with their family. Started going for hikes and spending time in nature. They experienced the relief of not having so much on their plate for the first time in a long time. 

During our call, they were in this place, this place of calm. 

Concerned, I asked them if they knew how they got into that place to begin with and how they’d prevent it in the future.

“Well,” they said, “I will run all of my ideas by my business coach and my partner so they can tell me if I should say yes or no.”

“I also have a system now to email my coach weekly and they follow up with me.”

They also shared that there was some deeper stuff going on.

They shared that they struggle with a fear of being rejected. They find it hard to pitch to clients. They get unmanageable amounts of anxiety if things ever go wrong. They have trouble firing clients or saying no to ones that are a bad fit. 

These are nervous-system-level regulation challenges, not business systems problems.

  • No amount of emailing with your coach will help you overcome feeling worthless.
  • Running ideas by your life partner won’t help you build your ability to say “No”
  • Feeling like the world is ending if things don’t go exactly as planned isn’t solved with writing emails
  • A fear of being rejected doesn’t get healed with a spreadsheet

How To Feel And Heal What You Need To:

  1. Pay attention to when you feel very emotional
  2. Try and feel your feelings, or, if it feels overwhelming to, have a talk with yourself about that. I usually say something like, “I feel angry right now but I also feel like it’s too much for me to feel. I acknowledge that I’m angry and I promise that I’ll take care of it later. For now, I need to focus on my work and I’ll take good care of my anger later today”
  3. Once you feel what you need to or contain it for later, you can evaluate the why the emotions came up for you:
    1. What triggered this?
    2. What did I feel? (Sad, Happy, Excited, Scared, Angry…)
    3. What do these feelings remind me of? What is the earliest memory I have of feeling that way?
  4. Journal this information and channel it into hyper effective therapy sessions to process and heal. (I started a “processing list” to track what bothers me and gave each item a SUDS rating – basically a rating of how much something distresses me on a scale of 1-10)

Going To Therapy: Best Thing You Can Do For Your Business

Taking care of your mental health will help you gradually change yourself into someone that can manage what business throws your way.

You deserve care. And space. And to lead a life that is present and intentional. Sometimes business systems aren’t the solution.


About the Author: Kat

Hi, I'm Kat. I'm the website designer who started Empathysites. As a childhood sexual abuse survivor that experienced amazing life-transformation with the help of therapists, I know first hand that therapists are superheros. I noticed that many therapists struggle to get themselves out there online so I decided to specialize in helping them. The best compliment I've been given: when therapists call me their "website therapist."