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Full Transcript

Sari Kimbell 
Welcome to your food business success. This podcast is for early stage entrepreneurs in the packaged food industry ready to finally turn that delicious idea into reality. I'm your host Sari Kimbell, I have guided hundreds of food brand founders to success as an industry expert and business coach. And it's gotta be fun. In this podcast, I share with you mindset tools to become a true entrepreneur and run your business like a boss, interviews with industry experts to help you understand the business you are actually in, and food founder journey so you can learn what worked and didn't work, and not feel so alone in your own journey. Now, let's jump in.

Welcome back to the podcast. All right, today, and next week, I'm doing a two parter, because I started to write it all out and it was a little much. It was gonna be a very long one so I'm gonna break this up into two parts. But I'm calling this tentatively Better Outcomes. And today's topic is I want you to be okay in there.

And by in there, I mean, you inside, feeling better. Because I know that so many of you are experiencing long time, like long lasting levels of anxiety, worry, fear, uncertainty, and even apathy. And that's partly just because of everything that's been going on. We also live in a world that, you know, it's a lot of like, right now, we have so much technology available to us, so many ways to make things happen immediately. But that can be very, very stressful. And then you combine starting or growing your packaged food business on top of what's already going on in the world, right? From pandemic that's just seemingly still ongoing to some extent, all of the inflation and all of the issues in our economy. And so yeah, it's no wonder that many of you are experiencing these long lasting emotions. And these are all just forms of stress, right? And stress, these kinds of stress live in our body, and they affect what we're able to do in the world. And so, I want to help you first, in this first episode to feel better, because we know scientifically that there is a major connection between our nervous system and our brain. And the way it works is that our nervous system is priority number one, right? When our nervous system is out of alignment, when it's heightened, when we're experiencing  these emotions, like anxiety, like worry, uncertainty, it really kicks our nervous system into high gear and our brain, our problem solving, decision making, high level brain, comes offline. It doesn't have, our body does not have the energy to support both. And so we end up resorting to this primitive, instinctual part of our brain. This is that fight, flight, or freeze. If you were live or got the replay of the hard times ahead training call I did a couple weeks ago, you saw an image of a tiger, right? It's like, even though we know a tiger isn't chasing after us that it was just an email or it was just something somebody said, or it was just a cloudy day. But when our nervous system is elevated, and we're interpreting that as anxiety, it feels the same to our body. Our body doesn't know the difference that we're not being chased by a tiger. And so it's really important that in order for us to get better outcomes, better results in our business, we have to first attend to our nervous system. And to go just a little bit deeper into the why just in case I haven't emphasized how important this is. We know that Harvard Business Review put out a study on decision making that shows our brains are wired to be much more reactionary under stress. I mean, think about the crazy things you have done when you feel stressful, right? When you feel cornered and anxious and full of worry. We make bad decisions. Our brains hyper focus and we switch to this black and white binary choice making where only, there's only two options, right? And one's terrible and one's great. And we're really limiting all of the options available to us. We're not being creative. We're not finding win-win solutions, and we reach for really premature conclusions rather than looking at more and better options. It's like, because we feel like we're running from a tiger, it's literally tunnel vision, we are like, really tightly focusing in and just, it's like, the example I heard from somebody was like, if somebody pulled the fire alarm, let's say you're listening to this podcast, and wherever you're at the fire alarm goes off, right? You are not going to be able to solve a math problem while you are escaping the building, right? When our anxiety goes up like that. So what we do is we just really simplify and what happens is that wrecking ball effect where we like, swing really high one way and we go all overboard, it's like all or nothing thinking, it all has to be this one way. And then that doesn't ever work all or nothing. And so then we like overcorrect and it swings really high the other way. So it becomes these extremes. And it's just not a good way to work in your business. That is not going to get you the results that you want as quickly as you want. It's going to be a really challenging, frustrating, long experience. And I don't want that for you. 

So we have to take care of our nervous system first. And there's really three ways and I'm going to give you three ways, but strategies under each of these that we need to work with ourselves to get into a better place to create better outcomes for our business. And we need all of them. So the first one is physical and then we're gonna talk about mental and then emotional strategies. Let's start with the physical. So what happens when we have an emotion? It is literally energy in motion. It's like there's vibrations, we describe it in coaching as vibrations in our body, right? So you can literally create anxiety with your mind. You can start right now thinking something that makes you feel anxious. So you create anxiety in your mind and notice what happens in your body. So if I just say something like your price is increase in your inputs, you might start feeling something in your body because you're starting to get anxious. So your stomach might feel like it's a knot. Your chest might get a little tight. Your heart rate might go up. Your throat might start feeling tight. Sometimes it's in our head where we feel like heat or like tension in our head. And it can be other places too. I don't, I am in no way describing all the ways that emotion shows up in our body. But the reality is we have to attend to this. So when you notice, the first thing, we do have to notice it. But when you notice your body tensing up, getting hot, heart rate getting a little faster. This is our nervous system, right? This is what we do when we get in fight, flight, or freeze. And so when we notice it, there's a couple of things I want to offer you to help physically. 

So box breathing is one of them. And I will just tell you guys, it's probably no coincidence that I'm recording this today. But I woke up today with a lot of anxiety. I've been sick for the last over a week and it's frustrating, and I just want to wake up feeling better, right? And so I get into anxiety. I start having some anxiety about performance and am I gonna let people down and my business and all these things, right, when I'm not feeling as good. And there was also a client issue, the client emailed me over the weekend and felt like something had gone wrong with their account. And so I woke up feeling a lot of anxiety. And as I was writing this script out, I practice these things that I'm going to tell you now and I will tell you that a 100%, it helped so much. Because I wasn't in a good place to make decisions, to problem solve. And so box breathing is one really great exercise. It's basically like you breathe in for four seconds, imagine a box, right? You breathe in for four seconds, you hold it for four seconds, you breathe out for four seconds, and then you hold it for four seconds. And you just continue. You kind of imagine this box, right, and you're breathing. And I don't know exactly how long you should do it for, I would say, go for at least 10 of those, right? Like a couple of minutes. I mean, I did probably five. And I noticed a big difference in my body calming down. Another trick, another tool. And actually, both of these come from Mel Robbins, who I love. She's kind of like a motivational speaker. And she's on a bunch of podcasts, highly recommend checking her out. But she talks about high fiving your heart, so putting your hand in the middle of your chest. So you're kind of almost and you're touching your heart. And just taking a deep breath in. And then saying I'm loved, I'm safe, I'm okay. I'm okay, I'm safe, I'm loved. Just repeat that, keep taking, again, that deep breath. Breath is really key in calming your nervous system down. But it does two things, right? It's the breath. But it's also like that physical connection. Like it's kind of like your, I mean, your vagus nerve is running up and down your body. And so you're kind of tapping into that physically. You're also just reassuring yourself. And there is that piece about physical touch, even if it's just us touching ourselves, right? That we're giving ourselves reassurance and care. The other thing that I love, and this is, this isn't really as much about calming you down as much about physically engaging, like changing your state. So she calls it the high five habit. I think I've talked about it a couple times on this podcast, but you look in the mirror, and you literally High Five yourself in the mirror. So you know, you wake up, you're in the bathroom, you're brushing your teeth, whatever, like look at yourself, and high five yourself. And we have an instinctual connection of high fives with celebration, with like, keep going, you got this. With also just reassuring ourselves, like when do we look at ourselves in the eye and say, you got this, you're doing amazing, keep going, right? So practicing that, doing that daily. And she has a whole book on it. And the science and the research that came from that is pretty amazing. But the transformation and in how people were feeling that day physically and emotionally was pretty staggering. And then the other things are pretty simple but very necessary. So the food that we eat, you know, maybe reducing your flour and sugar intake. So we're not setting off our blood sugar and things like that, we're eating great food for us. We're drinking lots of water and maybe reducing the caffeine. So we're not compiling, you know, adding on, compounding is the word I'm looking for, additional things that actually heighten our anxiety like caffeine can. And then that you're getting sleep. We cannot make good decisions. We are not physically and emotionally, mentally there as well when we are deprived of sleep. So definitely make sleep a part of this routine because we're just talking about you becoming a better you, we have to take care of ourselves. And you're asking your body and your brain to do so much more as an entrepreneur. And these are in, I would say more challenging times, right? This isn't an easy time, in quotes. Now I know a lot of it is your mindset and how you look at it. But we can look at the circumstances and say there are a lot of challenging things going on that do make it more difficult. Alright, so that's physical. 

Emotional. Here's the crazy thing. I want you to just stop for a second and whatever you're doing, and imagine yourself kind of almost as a witness to yourself listening to this podcast. Put yourself in the corner of your space like in your mind's eye, you can almost lift yourself out of your body and you look at yourself listening to this right now. We are the only species that we know of, that's pretty clear. We are the only species who can do this. Who can become a witness to our self. And this is why we're able to problem solve so well and why we're able to create and invent and reimagine. But when we talk about our emotional well being, I think so much of the time when emotions come up, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, all of those hard emotions, we feel like we are the emotion, that we're in it, and it's us, right? And it feels really terrible when it feels like it's so much of us. But using our brains to separate ourselves with a little, I would breathe first, do that some of that box breathing, and then try to be a witness to the emotion. Like I said, this is a vibration in your body, right? So if we can step back, and name it first. So just observe it, like what's going on? I noticed that I'm having, you know, my heart rates going a little faster, I'm spinning out my thoughts, or my stomach's getting a little tight. And just name it. I think this is anxiety, I'm feeling anxiety, I'm feeling overwhelmed. Feeling confusion, name it, describe it, say what's going on in your body. Like literally if you can out loud. This is where all of our power is to separate ourselves from our emotions. And it's really important. I think what often happens, and I am still learning this, and I've been using these tools for many years. I just want to jump to the mental part where I fix it, right? I don't want to actually feel the emotion. But here's what I've found and to be true, is that when I don't stop, I don't notice it, and don't pay attention. It's like a toddler asking for something. And if I don't do those things, if I don't recognize it, and say, "hey, little buddy, what's going on in their,right?" It just gets louder, and louder, and louder. And so we need to stop resisting our emotions like I'm just gonna pretend it's not there, I'm just gonna keep going along with my day. Like I said, I woke up with some anxiety today. And I was like, let me take care of myself. Let me notice it. I'm feeling anxious. Let me breathe, right? I didn't resist it. I also didn't react where I like, over, you know, reacting is like when you get angry and you go punch a wall, or you go yell at somebody because you're angry about something else. In anxiety, we can get ourselves into trouble by reacting when we're in anxiety, right? We, because we're going in that black and white thinking, we're really over dramatizing everything. And it's all very dramatic, very big deal. And so when we react oftentimes with those of the emails we look back on, and we're like, ohh, I wish I could undo that. And then the other way that we try to avoid our emotions is by numbing out. We can do this a lot of ways. Sometimes I call it buffering. But it could be with food, it could be with alcohol, it could be with other substances, it could be with shopping or exercise. It's even with like, listening to podcasts, you can overdo it, right? If it's something that you're using to avoid an emotion, that is numbing. And so when that toddler is thrown a fit, we need to notice it, we name it, hey, this is anxiety, I'm feeling some anxiety. And then we need to get curious with ourself. And we say, I wonder, I wonder, Sari, why I am feeling this anxiety? And like, let her answer. Let your inner self answer. And it's gonna be, you're gonna be like, oh, yeah, of course. Of course, you're feeling anxious. Yeah, you're still feeling sick. And you're worried about some of these things, right? And you're upset that your clients upset. Yeah, of course, you're feeling anxious. And what comes in is compassion. We don't have a lot of compassion for ourselves. It's a challenging thing to do. And everybody says, like have self compassion, but what does that really look like? It looks like getting curious. Yeah, I can see exactly why you are feeling anxiety.

And then ask yourself, what do I need from you right now? What do I need from me right now? And usually, it's something what I noticed when I asked myself this was reassurance, right? That I'm going to have my own back, no matter what. We're going to figure this out, I'm going to take ownership if it's something I did. We're going to problem solve. But no matter what, I'm not going to beat myself up because so much of that anxiety is like future anxiety. It's like, I'm spinning out because I don't know why this is happening. And so I'm sure that when I discover it, it's probably going to be my fault. And then I'm going to blame myself. And I'm going to beat the crap out of myself. So I'm like, having terrible emotions now thinking about what's going to happen in the future and how I'm going to beat myself up, right? And so, sometimes it's reassurance like, hey, I got you, we're gonna figure this out. Sometimes it's love. Like, hey, I love you, we're doing the best we can. Even like, I can handle this. And sometimes there might be a physical element. Today, I had about 11 something, and I was trying to work on the problem. And physically, I just, like, my brain could no longer function, I felt exhausted. And I was like, what do I need right now? I'm gonna go take a little nap, right? I'm gonna give myself that little break. And then I can come back and feel so much better. And so sometimes it is a physical thing. It might be like, let's go take a little walk, let's get some water, let's go get some good food in our bodies, right? But what if you could handle any emotion? This is a superpower. This would make you invincible as an entrepreneur, if you were willing to feel any emotion.

And then I just want to add a note, a lot of times we have, it's like we pile on, we compound because we have judgment about the anxiety. So anxiety comes up. And then we're like, but you shouldn't be feeling anxiety. You know. And so we have anxiety about the anxiety, or we're feeling sick and then we create judgment about why are you feeling so sick, get over it, right? And so we layer on this judgment about the feelings that we're having. And this is toxic, this is the pain that really is why we want to avoid the emotions in the first place but it's already happening. So notice all of the judgments that you're placing usually on negative emotion, right? And just notice, like, ooh, I'm putting a lot of judgment. I'm angry about my anger. I'm sad about my sadness, right? I'm disappointed but I'm also going to judge myself because I shouldn't be disappointed. No, just feel the disappointment, and let go of the judgment and just let it be there. So it's a challenging thing to do. But if at all possible, welcome it in. This is part of the deal of being human. Being human means you're not going to feel happy all the time. I like to say your life is 50-50. Fifty percent of time, you're gonna feel terrible. But I've noticed that when I allow those terrible feelings, when I just allow them to be there and I honor them, and I recognize them, and I give myself compassion and try to get myself what I need, that it lasts a lot shorter, right? The time, and there's not the additional judgment layered on top of it. So it's like a little more of a clean pain. It's like, oh, this is just sadness, instead of being angry about the sadness.

And then the last piece is the mental. And I talked a lot about this in the Hard Times Ahead call. But I wanted to go over some of these now because I think these are really great strategies and tools. So I want to first say this caveat though that I really want you to first think about your physical well being and how you can take care of yourself there. And then the emotional. A lot of times and I do and I'm 100% guilty of this is I tried to think my way out of the anxiety like I tried to just use my mind instead of stopping and doing the physical relief, giving myself the breathing. What do I need? Give myself the emotional check in. I just want to jump to the let me just think my way, I'm a smart person, I shouldn't be feeling this way, right? No, that's not how it works. So use the mental tools I'm going to give you in conjunction with the physical and the emotional.

Alright, so mental strategies. First, there's just the facts. So a lot of times we conflate facts with our beliefs and all of our drama and all the stories and what we make it mean about us. So first, when bad things happen, you know, somebody doesn't show up for their shift, or employee quits, or prices go up, let's get down to the facts of the matter. And so be very clear on what is a true fact versus the drama and all the things you're making it mean, so write that down, right? It's like flour went up to x, not my whole business is ruined and I'm never going to survive all the things, right? Because we're all in the anxiety of it. And then with that, that just the facts, I like this concept of equal airtime. I don't know why, two like black and white TVs always come up in my head when I think about equal airtime. But what if you had like, okay, we just have the facts and then we have the negative, right? All the things, the horrible things, we think that it means. What if we actually give some airtime to I wonder how this could turn out even better, right? Like let's give a little bit of airtime to a positive outcome. It's possible. I mean, why not? Right? Doesn't always have to be the worst case scenario, which we're gonna talk about next. But give both scenarios some airtime, right? We always love to give lots and lots of airtime to all the negative things, all the terrible things, and all the possibilities, give a little bit of airtime, it'd be nice if it was about the same. Equal airtime to the positive, to something great coming out of this. Because we don't know, we don't know how it's all gonna play out. Maybe it's like the best thing ever that that employee didn't show up, right? Like maybe they weren't a great employee. And we don't know what could have happened. So maybe that's a great thing that they didn't show up and now we get to go find a different employee. And then next is the worst case scenario. So when my clients come and they present me with some new problem, right, because we all have problems in our business, 10 problems minimum. Promises change, we all have problems in our business, but something happens, there's lots of drama, and they present this problem to me, sometimes it's really helpful especially when there's a lot of anxiety or overwhelm, or fear or uncertainty to go to that worst case scenario. And you have to dig a little bit because you're gonna present one thing that's like, well, then, I don't know, let's say the employee, right? Employee doesn't show up and you're like, okay, well, now I have to find somebody new. Okay, keep going, right? Keep going to the very worst case scenario, well, I can't find anybody new or I never find the right person. All right, then what? Well, then my whole business, I can't run it because I can't make product. Okay, so keep going. And then eventually, you're probably going to get to something like, well, the whole business just shuts down. Okay, then what? Well then, I am out all that investment, or I owe people money. And, okay, then what? Well, if I can't pay it back, and maybe I go into bankruptcy, and I lose my house. Aand I'm like, okay, then what? And I know, it's tedious but you're gonna get to the end. And what you're gonna realize is that you can handle it, you can figure it out. And also that the likelihood of it going to that worst case scenario, you're kind of like, start to laugh at yourself, like, okay, brain. You guys know, mine always goes to the van down by the river, right? I've lost my house, I have no more family connection. I live in a van down by a river. What? Like when I say it out loud, it's kind of makes me laugh. If we can have a little bit of a laughter in those, that's a good thing. Because our brain is kind of just the jerk. The terrorist. We don't negotiate with terrorists. Like it is trying to just, it's trying to protect you. It's trying to keep you safe. Remember we're running from that tiger. But this isn't a tiger. But it's responding in the same way. And so it can really help to go down that worst case scenario road and just keep going and keep going and keep going. And what you'll realize is like well, that I mean, the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim. And even if it did happen, I have access to resources. I can figure this out. I have my own back, right? And we give ourselves that reassurance. And then we can go, okay, let's start solving The problem as is.

And add in some positive things, right? We're already going to wake up in potentially be in a heightened state of anxiety, just in our brains. So we need to intentionally do things that removes the negativity, the initial things that gets it going and really compounds it like social media. And we need to add in things that help to calm us down mentally, that adds in positive thoughts and associations. It could be listening to positive mindset podcast like this one. Or one of my other favorite especially when I have lots of anxiety and I listen to him like 3am this morning on fast speed is Michael Singer, The Michael Singer Podcast. So good. About creating awareness and accepting what is and then you can be reading books, right, that are positive about personal growth and development. You might have something around your religion whether that's the bible or the torah or Koran or other spiritual books. That made me think one thing, prayer, meditation, a gratitude practice is a phenomenal one. And then also being really careful specially in the morning about choosing our words carefully. And I want to do a whole podcast on this but things like I have to, I should, this is terrible, I hate this, I would rather be on and on and on, are not great ways to set yourself up for success for the rest of your day. So being mindful about the words you are using, things like I get to, choose to, I want to, I would rather be right here, right? Like you are not trying to escape the moment and being mindful about not layering in a lot of negative words and adding a lot of drama. So being very protective of your morning and, you know, if you want to add in something for the evening it would be more around like setting an intention for the next day. So priming your brain at it is about to go to sleep for that next, you know, 7 to 8 hours, something like that hopefully. That you are saying like hey brain, you're going to work on this, right? And your brain will go to work for you. Give it a job. So tell it what you want like we're so grateful for today, and tomorrow, you know, we want to set an intention for the outcome for that day. So that is the 3 pieces of where we can start to be okay inside. Instead of arguing with the reality of everything on the outside world going for or against us, or in our interpretation of that. We can start to feel very overwhelming, lots of anxiety. And that is not a good place to be working on your business and to be making decisions. And it is not the way to get a better result. So first we need to work on being okay inside and really calming our nervous system down so that we can really get to work on creating better outcomes and better results for our business. So next week, I will come back with part 2, which is around some decision making tools and strategies for problem solving. So that would be part 2 but work on that this week for this part 1 of feeling better, calming yourself down. Alright, until next time, have an amazing week! 

The smartest thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to invest in a who to help you with how to speed up your journey and help you skip the line. When you are ready for more support and accountability to finally get this thing done. You can work with me in two ways. Get me all to yourself with one-on-one business coaching or join Food Business Success which includes membership inside Fuel, our community of food business founders that includes monthly live group coaching calls and so much more. It's one of my favorite places to hang out and I would love to see you there. Go to foodbizsuccess.com to start your journey towards your own Food Business Success.


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