“Help, I have rats!” (And your business probably does too)

screamingWhile this article is about my crazy experience with rats last year, I want you to read it because the parallel with your mindset and business is a good one!  After we talk about extricating the roof rats, we’ll talk about how to get rid of those funky thoughts that are tearing things up in your life.

Rats Part 1 –

So I’m lying in bed and hear the scurrying sounds above me.  Yikes.  That can’t be what I think it is!  First thing I do is what most of us do when we see something we don’t want to deal with…and that is to go into DENIAL or decide that it’s probably not what it appears to be.

But after 3 nights it occurs to me that nope…the sound has to be rats.

I decide I need to call my landlord (as I’m living in a fabulous rental home) but when I wake up I see a water line in my ceiling.  No biggie. Handyman will be out the next day, so it’s taken care of.

What I didn’t bank on is that it was leaking down a wall, so when the plumbers came they punched a hole in one wall and a 3×2’ hole in my ceiling.

Turns out that rats EAT WATER PIPES!

It was fixed though, so I headed to a mastermind retreat in California.

That night I got a frantic all from the person watching my house that water was pouring out of my ceiling fan and rolling down the walls. Oops!  Water pipe #2 for the little rat clan.  Thankfully the plumbers came back, and fixed leak after putting another huge hole in the ceiling.

Tolerating craziness –

Now here’s the part about tolerations.  Obviously until we catch the rats, there’s no reason to repair the damage, so I’m living with two HUGE holes in my ceiling. For 2 weeks I would lie in bed fearing that the rats would DROP ON MY HEAD!  It was another sleepless night of rat-fear until I finally called the handy man and requested that he even temporarily patch the holes.  Two weeks.  Losing sleep, being uncomfortable, sleeping on the floor on my mattress imagining all kinds of scary rat-stuff happening.  But I waited two fricking weeks before I took care of it with one simple call.

Let’s look at the parallel for you and your biz.  What are you tolerating?  It’s often things like a bad team member or VA who you have to chase to produce.  Or a printer that doesn’t work, or clients who aren’t the best fit.  Why do we tolerate this stuff? Because it’s not quite bad enough to make us stand up and say ENOUGH!  Tony Robbins says, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you tolerate.”  Huge good stuff there!

A wonderful coaching exercise is to go through all aspects of your life and start cleaning up your ‘tolerations.’  They slow you down, drain your energy, and hold you back.

Rats Part 2 –

I had gone on a fabulous weekend with my son and came back to yet another leak.  These little dudes must be thirsty!  This time the floor was flooded, water rolling down another wall, and yet another hole in the ceiling to try to patch the leak. (But I make the cover the hole immediately this time!)

They are still around.  Turns out the house next door has loads of fruit trees that the rats love, so it seems that that keeps ‘em happy and coming over to my house as well.

Lessons from Rats and how it applies to your business –

First, I have to admit that this all brought up some shame in me. I’m thinking that if people knew I hac rats they would judge me.  Just like if you have doubts or fears or those thought that keep you up at night, you may feel like something is wrong.  Remember my acronym for rat = Recurring (Rotten) Automatic Thoughts.

I want to tell you that your thoughts are the #1 thing that you must master to move forward. That’s why I’m offering the special $97 deal, so I can help you with that.  And you can also notice the habit of ‘collapsing’ into the negative thoughts and BELIEVING them.

Next, according to load of people I did talk to about catching rats, it can take YEARS! One guy I spoke to told me that it took him SEVEN years of really working to get the rats gone.  (Heck, their rats were inside the house even, so it was a huge deal!)

Think of this the same way you think of doing your inner game work.  Very often clients will work with me and the very first thing we always do is to go after those pesky inner game ‘rats’ that are holding them back.  I wish it could be a quick process, but if you have a bad case of ‘rats’ then you have to understand that they aren’t just trapped and eradicated in a flash.

Catching the rats –

Remember, this is a process you need to really work! What’s happening in my case is that they are coming every few days, setting traps, closing up places on the roof where they can get in, and trying different baits to get the rats interested.

For your business that means you have to work it!  But it’s often not fun or sexy and can be difficult, so most folks would just rather buy a course on doing social media, or play on Pinterest. You have to be determined if you want to remove your RATS – recurring (rotten) automatic thoughts.

Here are 3 things you can do.

#1 – Become aware of what you tell yourself and what thoughts strengthen you versus what thoughts collapse you or weaken you. Make a list and be vigilant!  Notice the feeling when the rat thoughts come versus the feeling of more supportive thoughts.

#2 – DO NOT BELIEVE any crappy ‘rat-thoughts.’ That’s just your ego trying to keep you safe and small and protected.

#3 – Replace said thought with a new thought.  If you have done any reading on neuroplasticity or quantum physics, you may know that you can create a new way of thinking.  A couple of great book recommendations are these two.

the-answer breakingthehabit




#4 – Get support!  This is my super-power.  So check out getting some time with me, or find a friend, mentor, or trusted person who is strong enough that you can feel safe sharing, and will call you on your stuff.

This rat/fixing stuff is a big deal!  If you can catch them, you will be successful.

I’d love to hear from you about what ‘rat-thoughts’ have infiltrated your life/business and what the cost is and how you are catching them.

Thanks for reading!

Therese Skelly is a Mindset Expert and Business Coach who works with mission-driven entrepreneurs. A former psychotherapist, combined with years of marketing/strategy and consulting, Therese offer’s the perfect blend of both “inner game” work and tactical, real world strategies that allow her clients to see the results they desire.



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