As we start a new year, and may be making some new year’s resolutions, it’s a good time to ask ourselves what do we want for our practices over the coming year.
It’s a straightforward question which can have a complicated answer because often we want many things, and some of the things we want conflict with each other.
Take the example of wanting more clients, or more income. I can answer the “What should I do to find more clients or earn more income?” question quite literally with a list of things to do, but I know from long experience there’s usually a better question.
When we know what we want, and we’re not getting it, quite simply there’s something else that we want that is getting in the way. Such as safety or security.
We all know that we keep re-creating what we haven’t healed. If poverty or lack is familiar to us, we will keep creating it until we feel safe enough to create something different. If staying out of the limelight and keeping our heads below the parapet is familiar and comfortable for us, we will find a way to stay invisible until we feel safe enough to be seen. It’s not that we don’t know what to do, it’s that we have a hidden agenda. Sometimes the agenda is so well hidden we don’t even see it ourselves.
Recently I spoke to two groups of professionals about marketing their practices. The professions were very different, the issues were the same. Marketing can be over-simplified to a series of tasks, but it is not just a question of putting yourself out there. Of course, the action is important. But the action is not solely what will bring the clients to your door, or cause them to pass you by. There is always an inner component too.
I’m sure you know people who have struggled with their weight. I have done so in the past, and I know that there were times when I was eating the way I was supposed to be eating, and doing the appropriate exercise, but the weight would not budge.
It’s the same with marketing. Two people can appear to be marketing their practice in the same way, and one can get good results, the other not. The underlying reason for the differing results is the same for marketing and for weight loss, and just about anything else you like to think of. A hidden agenda will find a way to override the efficacy of any action you take.
What sort of hidden agenda might be getting in the way of you creating your practice?
Typically, our hidden agendas are driven by issues concerning safety or identity. So, I might unconsciously fear that
if I get what I want for my practice, such as more income, this will change how I see myself, or how others see me. Earning more income might contravene some deeply held value, such as poverty is worthier than plenty. Or I may have invested in a view of myself as always struggling, or unsupported or undervalued, and a change in my circumstances might mean I have to change how I see myself.
I might encounter fears about who or what I might become. If I like to see myself as the caring empathic helper, I may fear that a greater focus on money will mean I no longer care about others. If I believe that entrepreneurs or business people are heartless or greedy, I may fear becoming like that.
And then there are the fears about what it might mean in my relationships if I become more successful in my practice. Someone I care about might feel threatened by a change in my circumstances, or I might fear that they will resent me. If it is important to me to preserve a relationship in its present form, or if I relate to certain people in a fixed way, the prospect of changing that may evoke anxiety.
And finally, there are the fears about what might happen if my practice were to take off. I might fear not being able to cope with the increased client load, or the increased income. I might fear that my freedom might be restricted, or that more might be expected of me.
Hidden agendas can be hard to spot, but we can find clues in how we feel and in how our practice performs. So, if you are struggling to earn enough, or you are feeling a lot of resistance to taking the actions you need to take to grow your practice, this is good information for you. You’ve probably found a clue that’s telling you there’s some other objective going on under the surface.
I’d be glad to help you with your hidden agendas. Contact me here for a free 20 minute consultation.