When we transition from a regular 9-to-5 to life as an entrepreneur, it can feel freeing. No one gets to tell us how or when to work! But in reality, as entrepreneurs, we tend to use our newfound freedom to work longer hours doing too much work for sometimes minimal benefit. Before we know it, we’re working at 11 PM for a client who always wants to rush the deadline (for a deep discount, of course). How does that happen?

Even if we don’t have co-workers, bosses, or employees, we’re not really working alone. The older versions of ourselves come to work with us every day. They’re dedicated, never call off, and work hard, but they also have all the old hangups we’ve worked to overcome – the anxiety, imposter syndrome, or fear that may have held us back in the past. Unfortunately, these old versions of us can get in the way of building the self we want – making it harder to achieve our present (and future) business and personal success.

So what do we do?

Fighting to overpower these old versions of ourselves may yield some results, but not without consequences. We can experience guilt, regret, anger, frustration, or a combination of difficult emotions. If instead, we embrace our past selves and acknowledge what they have to teach us, we can have better results. After all, these older versions got us to where we are today, and that’s worth some gratitude. 

As we move forward into our new selves and new lives, it’s important to learn from our experiences and continue to do the work of growing beyond our comfort zones. Of course, we all have flashbacks to our old reactions and fears, but embracing those struggles (and lessons) can help get us to the next step in our entrepreneurial journey. And there’s nothing more satisfying than doing something that once felt impossible.

Have you struggled against your past self? Let’s set up a time to talk – you don’t have to do this work on your own.

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