Business owners are courageous. You're choosing to build a business from nothing, putting yourself out there, and relying on yourself to make a living.
But this doesn't mean we're immune to self-sabotage.
The root of most of our fears is that we aren't good enough. That we'll fail and let ourselves down, as well as the people we love.
Table of Contents:
What is self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is something you can do consciously or subconsciously. It undermines your success and overall happiness.
It keeps you stagnant and is often accompanied by negativity. Self-sabotage can also impact your finances, personal life, health, relationship and business.
We are all prone to doing it, but the trick is to understand it, and recognize the ways in which we self-sabotage.
Why do we self-sabotage?
The funny thing about self-sabotage is that once we recognize it, it's one of the few things in life that we actually can control.
An outside event or person could trigger a reaction, but it's your reaction.
You can control how you decide to take information in, and how you choose to respond. It is a choice.
We like to stay inside of our comfort zone because we know it's safe. Sometimes, this can let fear prevent us from reaching our potential.
Signs of Self-Sabotage
The first step of overcoming self-sabotage is being completely honest with yourself. If you're still denying that you have a tendency to self-sabotage, then you're not going make progress.
The same can be said about putting your head in the sand and avoiding the truth. You must give energy to facing the facts before you can see real change.
Here are several signs that you are self-sabotaging yourself and your business:
Denial that there's an unhealthy pattern. The first step to overcoming self-sabotage is recognizing that there's a pattern of it. This also helps you begin shifting your mindset towards more of a growth-focused mentality.
Making decisions & pivoting too quickly. As a small business, one of the benefits is that you don't have a board or someone to answer to when you want to make a change. On the flip side, you can make too many changes too fast. This can result in not making any real progress because you're constantly jumping from one goal to another.
Burning bridges out of frustration. If you have a victim mentality where everyone else is out to get you, and you're unwilling to communicate or try and work things out, you're going to burn more bridges than you build. Take every interaction as an opportunity to learn and grow, so you can make a long-term connection instead of a negative experience.
Creating problems when a problem didn't exist before. As business owners, we like to fix problems, but sometimes you might be fixating on something that isn't a real problem for your business. This can result in wasted time and energy as you chase the new "shiny thing."
Not listening to your body (or taking care of it). The hustle mindset is brutal on your mind and body. We need time to relax, recharge, and pursue other interests. It's where creativity is born and will help you avoid burnout. Make sure you're taking time to eat right and exercise.
Fear of pushing outside of comfort zone. If you're feeling uncomfortable, it's probably because you're starting to reach the edge of your comfort zone. If you're unhappy with where you are, this is good sign that you're about to make some progress.
Putting off sales generating work. Some business owners aren't a fan of sales generating activities, so they deprioritize it in favor of other tasks. Sales is how you're going to make sure you maintain consistency and grow your business, so make sure you're making time for it.
Setting unrealistic goals. If you don't have a clear picture of where you are now, you might be setting unrealistic goals for yourself. This can deflate the energy you're willing to put towards making it happen as time goes by and you realize you haven't made as much progress as you thought.
Focusing on too many things. You can only do so much as one person, so rather than taking on too much at one time, focus on the 3 top priorities for a set period of time. This helps you avoid getting overwhelmed, and will make the likelihood that you'll complete your goals higher.
Not celebrating the wins along the way. Take time to appreciate what you've achieved along the way and celebrate your wins. This will help you keep your energy and happiness levels up. "The top of one mountain is always the bottom of another"- Marianne Williamson
Tips to Avoid Self-Sabotage
It can be tempting to throw every second, cent, thought and bit of energy into your business, but it's not sustainable.
These kind of behaviors will lead to health issues, depression and burnout.
Instead, try these tips to avoid self-sabotage and make sure you're taking care of yourself!
Who knows what you're capable of unless you give it a shot!
Recognize signs of self-sabotage. Start taking note of what habits you have that lead to self-sabotage. This will help you recognize it when it happens and make a conscious effort to change your pattern.
Take time to reflect. Reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth. Once you understand the why behind your behavior, you can choose to be less judgmental of yourself and implement real change.
Cut out the negative & surround yourself with the positivity. Negativity is based in fear and shame. Don't let negative people in your life tell you want you can or can't do. You won't know what you're capable of unless you try!
Reprogram your mindset so it's more positive. Your brain might try to convince you that negativity is helpful, but this is rarely the case. Many people focus on "what if I fail" without considering "what if I succeed."
Exercise regularly & get outside. Exercise is an important routine that should be worked into your schedule. It's good for your mind and body. If the idea of exercising stresses you out, start small. Go for a short walk, stretch, or start with meditation. Do something that changes your environment and current mindset.
Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) goals & get laser focused. Let yourself dream big and work backwards to figure out what steps you need to take to make them a reality. It's also a great way to make sure you continue to have metrics on what you're focusing on and the why behind it.
Small steps build to create meaningful change. We believe in making progress is better than chasing perfection. Do something small each day that is working towards your goal and you'll make it happen sooner than you thought!