"Joan, I'm working so hard and I'm not getting anything done!" Ihave heard some version of this cry of frustration by many anentrepreneur. It's a common complaint voiced by those of use whosought the freedom to have complete authority over ourschedules, only to find ourselves unwittingly shackled by oldways of operating.

It does not appear to matter that we are independentprofessionals or business owners, we live in a world shaped bythe rules of corporate life. Most of us came from jobs and dailyschedules that dictated what to do and how to spend our time.Being somewhat like the long-term prisoner we got very used tothe daily regimen. We were told when to start work, take lunch,take breaks and leave for the day. Managers, clients, customersand operating manuals told us what to do and when to do it.

So we get out on our own, having dreamt of the freedom, only tostart filling our days with busyness, in a panic from the verystart. We don't have a clue as to how to do otherwise.

It doesn't seem to matter how long you have been out on yourown. It's just as difficult to break outdated habits and beliefswhen we do become financially successful. Why? Because whateverpath to success we took, we now believe - or certainly worry -that it's the only way. We are afraid to let go and trysomething new. Why? Perhaps because beliefs have been making thedecisions all along. And I'm not talking about beliefs based intrust, faith, passion and prosperity!

Consider the following beliefs:

1. I'm easily distracted 2. I'm not an organized person 3. I domy best work under pressure 4. Really successful people startwork early and end late 5. When you own your own business, youhave to work long hours, especially at the beginning 6. If Ikeep enough balls up in the air, some are sure to land. 7.Work…hard… nose…to… the…grindstone (Arrgghh!) 8. If I'm havingfun it must not be right

Or complaints…

1. I can't take time off - I need the money 2. I don't know howto say "no" to others (or to crappie work or to crummy clients)3. I never have enough time for myself 4. I'm responsible foreverything in my business 5. In this bad economy…fill in theblank

It's no wonder we find it difficult, left to our own devices, tofigure out how to structure our day so that we achieve thatseemingly illusive balance between success and personal wellbeing. The two needs appear to be at odds with each other. It'sa rare few that have the good fortune to understand how tocreate a structure that effectively serves both needs.

The goal is to be able to make good decisions about how yourspend your working time with confidence, so that you areeffective, having fun and leaving room for your personal needsand commitments. The goal is to be able to make such decisionsfrom a place of certainty, trust, and faith in yourself, and'the universe.'

Uncovering Your Beliefs and Understanding Their Impact on YourBusiness Decisions

1. To get started thinking about the impact your beliefs have onhow you decide what it takes to be successful in business, pickone from the above list that isn't one of yours. Imagine if itwere yours. What impact do you think it would have on you? Howwould it impact your ability to make sound decisions about whatit takes to be successful?

2. Now take a look at something you know you do believe, abelief or a habit that you can't seem to shake. If you arehaving difficulty coming up with one, think about what youcomplain about to your friends, family or colleagues. Thinkabout the story you tell people over and over. (This is the partthat can make you squirm. It's okay. No one is around but youright now.) We are looking for the ugly, wonderful truth.

3. Take the belief you identified in 2 above and make note ofhow it could be impacting your decisions, your ability to setboundaries, your willingness to take time off or simply stopworking before 5. (Yes, I meant before 5.)

4. Over the next week, take some time to observe and note everytime this belief "pops up" to influence your decisions.

Just taking these few simple steps can loosen the hold thatoutdated beliefs have on your decisions from this day forward -no kidding. The beliefs are no longer in the background, inhiding, and running the show. You now have a chance to loosentheir reign.

Bonus Step: If you want to go one step further, write down a newbelief to replace the old belief. Review the new belief everyday. Put it up on your computer as a screen saver (mine's"Abundance Girl"). Feel the belief, look for evidence it's true.If the old one comes to visit, say hello, bid it adieu, and thenreplace it with the new belief.

Willingness, the Final Ingredient

Ask yourself this: Am I willing let go of my story and dowhatever it takes (even to feel like a fool) to have the freedomand the success that lead me to start my business in the firstplace? If you are, you can.

Author's Bio: 

Joan Friedlander is an Entrepreneur's Success Coach. Hernational coaching company, Lifework Business Partners, providesservices, programs and products for entrepreneurs who havestrong personal values and are committed to a high level ofsuccess and professionalism in their business. You can expectincreased revenue, an improved quality of life, and an overallincrease in confidence and business know-how within 3-6 months.Click on the this link to find out morehttp://www.lifeworkpartners.com