The downward spiral of I can’t do it

In your business do you ever find yourself thinking or noticing “It’s just not working”?

As business owners and entrepreneurs we need to be reflective and to take stock of things that AREN’T working in our business, as well as the things that ARE. But when business isn’t going well or things don’t seem to be working have you noticed what pattern that triggers in YOU?

Perhaps that recent pitch failed to generate the new lead you were hoping for; or your newsletter open rates have started to drop; or your social media follower numbers have plateaued; or you’re just not making enough money from your business. Have you noticed that downward spiral which takes hold in your mind?

It’s not working—I’m not good enough—I can’t do it!

If any of these sound familiar then you know you’ve been here. “I can’t do it” is something that I hear often from clients. And of course this mindset doesn’t help you resolve whatever the problem was that triggered you to feel this way. Instead it usually leads to overwhelm, rock-bottom motivation levels, or endless procrastination and inertia. And you can imagine what THAT does for your confidence levels, which is why it’s such a quick-spiral mindset issue. With no line manager to go to for advice and support, it falls to us as the business owner to get out of this difficult place and back on track.

Stop this spiral before it happens

Well I’m here to tell you that you CAN reverse the I can’t do it spiral and get yourself onto a productive and positive path to success in your business. And your self-reflective tendencies CAN HELP YOU with this process, IF you target them right. By the way – “I can’t” usually either means “it’s hard” or “I don’t want to do it”; It’s very rare that you ACTUALLY CAN’T.

Here are the three essential ingredients that can prevent that I can’t do it mindset and mentality before it happens:

1. A HEALTHY MINDSET: This is where I specialise as a professional coach. You need confidence and self-belief to tackle the challenges that come with running your own business. I work with clients to nail confidence, self-belief, and feel-good feelings so that they can show up in their business and succeed. If you’re struggling with any of these areas then send me a message!

2. A PLAN: You need to know exactly what to do to reach your customer and sell your product. This is YOUR bag – it’s the business stuff that YOU are the expert of. And if there are gaps in your knowledge then this is where you may need to delegate or get input from others. But ultimately it’s in your reach to secure that knowledge and make a clear plan for what needs to happen.

3. ACTION!: This is how you act on what you’ve defined in your plan, to achieve your business goals. (This part also helps to reaffirm the confidence that you’ve spent time building up.) But guess what – if this ingredient is missing then you’re not going anywhere!

As I always say, the first step is self-awareness and the 2nd step is taking action. But it’s not 2nd because it’s less important – both are essential and need to happen for you to succeed.


If you currently feel stuck in the I can’t do it spiral then my task for you is to work out what part/s you’re missing from the three ingredients above.

If you’re not in this place but know only too well how quickly it can derail you then I’m challenging you to think about your most recent experience of I can’t do it and reflect on which part of the trio was missing.

This exercise should help you to get un-stuck more quickly in the future, and, as always, I’m here to help if you’d like to do some more work on this and get your mindset into a more healthy and resilient place.


If you’d like to be part of my weekly live training on topics like this come and join us in Self Belief School – a free Facebook group for likeminded female business leaders.

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