Tracy Richardson is a Therapist (MSc.), Wellness Consultant and Author at Serendipity Wellness® and understands the role that self belief has played in their business journey so far. They took some time out to speak with The Industry Leaders about this powerful state of mind.
Firstly, can you give us a little bit of background about your business journey?
I grew up in the West Midlands, in England, though now live in Warwickshire with my husband and our dog. Before wellness was my life, I started out in the fitness industry 25 years ago, and my journey has taken me through 3 degrees and work in the healthcare and education sectors.
Although I am now fully immersed in the wellness space and supporting entrepreneurs and business owners with navigate their wellness journeys and make the most out of themselves, I’ve taken a roundabout route to this point. It took me time to find my voice, the authentic me and embody my gifts.
There is never a one size fits all solution, though through taking a whole person centred approach with clients I have been helping to inspire and educate them to care for and value themselves, through positive behavioural changes since 2018.
The goal is to facilitate healing and restoring wellness, with solutions that simultaneously enhance health, performance & business life. All so my clients become less reliant upon me and more trustful of themselves and their abilities to heal and optimise their wellness. ‘Wellness makes you a Well-being’.
What role has self-belief played in your journey as a business leader? How has it influenced your decision-making and overall success?
Without self belief I wouldn’t have got started.
My parents have instilled in me that I can trust in myself to make decisions. When I was 7 years old, my Dad advised me only to do things because I wanted to and not to do things just because other people were- I think this would’ve been solid advice at any age, though it has certainly helped me not to follow the crowd and to go with my gut feeling when making a decision.
More recently I will quote my Mum, “People make choices”, and this has helped even more with making decisions as I now weight up the pros and cons rather than rushing and going all in.
Believing in yourself means you need to be in tune with your inner guidance, and I also believe that nothing that is meant for you will pass you by, so trusting my gut has definitely helped me to move forward in the right direction.
Can you share a specific moment or challenge in your journey where your self-belief was tested? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from that experience?
As a recovering perfectionist, all through my younger years I tried so hard to be perfect, and my self belief was tested a lot. I have now surrendered to the fact that I am cool with being me and that my self belief is always there, though there have been many moments where this has been tested. I now do not dwell on these moments, it is just a part of riding the waves of life. Experience is the name that everyone gives to their mistakes, and so you could say I have my fair share of experience, but then who hasn’t? Making mistakes does test my self belief, but I think it comes down to your beliefs about mistakes, I tend to use them as learning experiences. It doesn’t mean that at the time things don’t hurt a little if they don’t work out, often because I lead from the heart and have invested myself, money and time into them, but reframing things and looking at what I can learn from them is definitely beneficial. When I first started I invested in a coach that may not have been as genuine and upfront as it first appeared, lets just say they were a great salesperson, but definitely underdelivered. It reinforced to me that firstly I should be more discerning and to trust my gut instinct, which was instinctively throwing up red flags that I ignored. Sometimes, the gamble won’t pay off, but you never know until you know. Just learn from and don’t keep repeating the same mistakes.
As the late, great Zig Ziglar said, ’Failure is an event, not a person’.
How do you cultivate and maintain a mindset of self-belief amidst the inevitable ups and downs of life?
It’s something that I have stepped into more so over the past couple of years, because sometimes we get caught up in the busyness of business and miss the moment chasing the next dopamine hit. So I now stop and make sure I acknowledge my achievements and am grateful to myself, the universe and all involved for the accomplishment. This helps to stop the negative thoughts and works as a patten interruption for the negative bias we have as humans. Negative thoughts are so draining to us, so being able to stem the flow is a great way to keep that self belief and positive mindset necessary to cultivate good business. By noticing my thoughts when they pop into my head and having that awareness means I can choose how to respond, rather than being reactive. No, I’m not perfect, we have 60,00- 100,000 thoughts a day, so it would be impossible to catch all of them, however this does help to reframe the experience. If I notice something negative, I stop and consider how I can rephrase it or how I can use it to create a neutral or positive. As an example when this sneaky thoughts creep in like “You can’t do anything right!” I try to reframe it with something like, “Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. I bet I can do better next time!” It helps to keep that brief and to learn from the mistake.
Are there any specific strategies or practices you follow to boost your self-confidence when facing uncertainties or setbacks in your business?
Honestly it’s checking in on my breathing. If I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed with something, I stop and take a time out and slowing down, even if only for a few minutes, can be enough to tune into my body and mind. Breathing is one of the key things I incorporate to help me tune into my body and relax my mind. I would suggest finding a quiet space where you can sit or lay comfortably, and begin focussing on your breathing. Breathe in and out through the nose and focus on how the breath feels as it moves in and out of the nostrils. If your mind wanders, come back to focussing on your breath. Try it for a few minutes and feel the sense of calm. I always make better decisions when I am calm.
How do you handle self-doubt or negative self-talk that may arise as a business leader? Do you have any specific techniques for reframing negative thoughts?
When I hear those negative narratives laying out, I use the pause as previously mentioned. But I also have something I use at night before bed that helps to reframe those negative thoughts. Being thankful and actively practising gratitude is an often overlooked way to tune into life and support overall wellness. It makes you aware of the things that are actually going well for you, rather than confirming that negative bias - your body’s cells are always listening. At the end of every day when I get into bed, before I go to sleep, I think of 3 things that I am grateful for and feel how grateful I am. It could be people, places, talents, the days events, or physical things. This causes an emotive response and e-motions are literally energy in motion. By having an emotional response there is more weight attached to the experience. So, ending the day on a high and practising this last thing at night not only helps to set the stage for restful sleep, but helps with reframing the negative. You can always think of one thing to be grateful for, even if it is this moment right now that you are alive, that is enough.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who struggle with self-belief? How can they start building a stronger sense of confidence and belief in themselves?
Self care has a profound effect upon your mental wellness and self belief. It is creating a self awareness and is you being conscious of your needs. It is not about being self-entered, or a luxury, it is you putting yourself first helps you in showing up for yourself and this means that you are better equipped to help others in your life. Prioritising you, is choosing you. Choosing a lifestyle that is in line with supporting your needs and well-being. It is the actions you take that are giving to yourself to create something better and to support the natural processes that should be prevalent in your life to maintain your optimal wellness. When your basic self care needs are taken care of, you can reach for self fulfilment and self actualisation. This may seem out of reach in the beginning of your business journey, but it is actually really simple to implement, the key is to keep it manageable. You are never going to complete a life overhaul in a day, but 5-10 minutes a day over 365 days can create sustainable and long lasting change. Self care for mental wellness is not about finding balance- it’s about priorities, and you should be your priority. When you make yourself a priority this builds your belief in yourself and motivation to prove yourself right. It demonstrates to yourself how valuable you are, and boosts your confidence in your abilities. When you are caring for yourself with your daily actions, routines, practices and thoughts, you are raising your cellular resonance and literally increasing your vibration. The better you know yourself, the more you are able to tune in to your needs and, the less anxious you become, because you trust yourself to make the best decisions for you. You begin to feel better, to feel great. Making the space to care for yourself creates a positive shift in your mental and physical wellness. By purposefully factoring in activity that enables you to relax, means that your energy can be recharged and you’ll feel ready to utilise this in your life. Self care promotes increased productivity, a positive mindset, increases your sense of calm and your energy in the longer term. If nothing changes, then nothing changes, so it is about recognising the need to make changes. Start by implementing something simple and is easily repeatable, then expand on this over time, once it’s become a habit. An easy way to start is to start asking- ‘Is this helpful?’. If something is proving to have an unhelpful influence on your mental wellness, then pause and consider an alternative.
Have you ever encountered external skepticism or negativity regarding your business ideas or decisions? How do you stay grounded in your self-belief despite external influences?
To be honest, no. Whenever I have voiced ideas to people they have always been quite receptive to them. Despite having a positive outlook and being an eternal optimist, I am also a realist, so pretty good at judging whether something would work out- I don’t always get to weight, but I also have some great sounding boards in the family.
Are there any books, podcasts, or people you'd recommend checking out for anyone who wants to change to a more self-confident and belief-rich mindset?
The Biology of Belief is an amazing paradigm shifting book that looks at your beliefs from a different perspective. The author was a geneticist and founding scientist in epigenetics, so he knows what he’s talking about when to comes to the influences your thoughts and beliefs have join your physiology. If you want to seriously cultivate your belief system and get to to work for you, this is the book I would recommend.
Finally, what are some practical tips or exercises you can recommend for entrepreneurs to strengthen their self-belief and mindset on a regular basis?
Setting boundaries - everyone needs an off switch. I highly recommend airplane mode on your phone. So for those of you that literally feel lost without your phone being with you at all times, it’s one of the easiest ways to disconnect, whilst still being connected. Use it at times when you absolutely must focus on work, at mealtimes, when you are with family and friends and at night so your sleep remains uninterrupted. By not being continually distracted and needing to be occupied or busy makes you more present. Being present can help move your body and mind into a state of flow and ease and still the the ‘busyness’ of life. This allows you to recharge and not fall into the trap of that negative narrative. I also love a good affirmation accompanied by tapping or Silent Counselling® breath work. My favourite affirmation is ‘I’m calm, I am confident, I am capable’. I say this three times outlaid whilst tapping on the outside of the hand. If I’m not really feeling it, I repeat it 3 times and sometimes I’ll say it whilst looking in the mirror- my Mum used to get me to talk to myself in the mirror and tell my self nice things as a teenager. Tuning into yourself and boosting your mindset is about finding what works for you, start small and if it works, then repeat it.
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us here! Where should people follow you to find out more about your work?
You can find me or connect with me at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracyrichardsonwellness/