Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2019

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Ta k e 5 a n d t r y A B M P F i v e - M i n u t e M u s c l e s a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / f i v e - m i n u t e - m u s c l e s . 55 Avoid comparisons. Today's world has us hyperconnected. When faced with constant images and posts about Jenny's thriving prenatal massage practice and Edna's innovative mobile massage RV, it's easy to feel dull and unsuccessful by comparison. I remind myself often to not compare my inside life to someone else's outside life. In truth, the colleague with a beautiful offi ce featured daily on her well-curated Instagram account may have trouble balancing her checkbook. The colleague with a shining LinkedIn profi le tanked her business twice before fi nding her niche and fi nally succeeding. Make a list of things you appreciate about yourself. This is an important exercise and often quite diffi cult. The act of considering and writing down your strengths and the traits you've worked hard to acquire is powerful. We're all growing and evolving as people and practitioners. Truly acknowledging and internalizing what you like about yourself and what you've accomplished is key. Make a short list and keep it with you to review when you're in a negative spiral. Seek deeper connections. A small community of trusted massage therapists and other business owners can be extremely helpful in combating the tendency to compare. Deeper, more personal conversations lead us to the understanding that most business owners have struggled in one way or another. The loneliness of running a small massage practice can trick us into believing we're the only person struggling. Finding a few colleagues, locally or virtually, with whom you can be honest and share thoughts and feelings is invaluable. Mindfulness. LaCroix strongly encourages (and practices) a regular mindfulness routine. Blaisdell notes that negative thoughts will always occur, but you can choose to not latch onto them. A mindfulness practice will help you I remind myself often to not compare my inside life to someone else's outside life. In truth, the colleague with a beautiful offi ce featured daily on her well- curated Instagram account may have trouble balancing her checkbook. travel through these negative thoughts without letting them drag you down. Mindfulness looks different for everyone, and it can take some experimentation to fi nd what resonates with you. A structured class may be right for you, or just a daily routine of quiet and order. I love the Calm app (www.calm.com) for short guided meditations on everything from happiness to productivity to self-esteem (and ambient music while I'm writing). Consider a professional. If you can't seem to break the cycle and you feel that your happiness and success are impeded by self-doubt, get some professional help. Blaisdell notes that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful for self- esteem related issues. CBT uses a variety of techniques to reality-check our negative thought patterns, and the tools are easy to practice on your own once learned. You Got This With a little bit of work and the right support, you can fi nd your healthy balance between humility, self-awareness, and confi dence. That balance will lead to an excitement about new opportunities and a whole new satisfaction in your business. Notes 1. Kirsten Weir, American Psychological Association, "Feel Like a Fraud?" accessed March 2019, www.apa.org/gradpsych/2013/11/fraud. 2. Kirsten Weir, American Psychological Association, "Feel Like a Fraud?" Allissa Haines runs a massage practice and collaborative wellness center in Massachusetts. She partners with Michael Reynolds to create business and marketing resources for massage therapists at www.massagebusinessblueprint.com. Watch "Change Your Language"

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