“Don’t believe everything you think.”

– Unknown

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter series, you may remember the Grindlylows.  They are mythical water creatures that like to trap their prey in the seaweed at the bottom of the ocean (Harry encounters them in Book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).  In the same way fear holds many business owners back, the Grindlylows keep Harry from achieving his goals. Or at least they try to.

Harry must find and rescue something precious to him hidden in the ocean depths.  As he is navigating his way, he encounters tall seaweed.  The Grindlylows are waiting for him.  They hold onto his ankles and trap him.  They try to confuse him so he can’t find his way out.  They distract him from reaching his goal.

streaks of sunlight filter through the turquoise blue ocean creating streaks in the water and illuminating the seaweed and other plant life on the ocean floor

This same scenario affects many business owners.  When you face uncertainty, your thoughts can behave like Grindlylows.  And suddenly, instead of leading your employees and moving your business forward, you’re stuck in a loop of doubt. The Grindlylows creep in and start to confuse you.  You want to find a way forward but each time you think of a possible step, the Grindlylows respond with all the disasters that await you if you do.  The more you hesitate, the more dangerous taking any steps becomes.  And because of this inaction, your business suffers.

It’s not fun to be in the depths of uncertainty.  There is no joy.  There is no calm.  There is no sign telling you which way to go.  And safety is not guaranteed.  This is the hardest thing about leading a business.

Your thoughts convince you it’s safer to procrastinate rather than take a chance on pursuing your dreams.

Better still for the Grindylows is to get you to retreat home and not risk venturing out at all.  You abandon what is precious to you for the safety of what is known and, in the process, become a prisoner to the Grindlylows.  And in those situations, fear wins.  And it becomes hard to flourish as a small business owner when fear is leading the way.

Harry Potter book by JK Rowling with other props from the movie including Harry's magic wand and iconic wire-rimmed glasses

In the book, Harry uses a spell to escape the Grindlylows, but you probably don’t have a magic wand to cast a spell over your doubts when they emerge.  There is no set path for business owners.  You have to pave the way yourself.  And that can be extremely hard to do.

But you CAN recognize when these thoughts are spiraling you deeper into fear and uncertainty.  The more you pay attention to the signs, the more you’ll be able to see when your desire for perfection or certainty is holding you and your business back.

You can see how your thoughts are trapping you, and that knowledge allows you to move past those thoughts.

Courage becomes your magic spell to form new thoughts.  It’s a space to pause and consider what matters most to you, your clients, and your business.  By changing your perspective of the situation, you start to let go of the fear and rise above the weeds of doubt.

And THEN you have a choice.

You can believe your Grindlylow thoughts or you can form your own. And that is the difference between leaders who succeed and those who stay stuck in all the fear and uncertainties.

New thoughts help you form a plan to take one single courageous step towards your dreams.   And soon you will be taking another step.  And then another.  And suddenly it won’t feel so hard.  And without even realizing it, you will be on Your Path to Success. 

What will you choose to believe the next time your Grindlylow thoughts show up?  How will you deal with the uncertainty so you and your business can continue to move forward?

If you liked this blog, check out this video for tips on moving past your Grindlylows: