As much as you say you want to achieve success, if you’re frightened of that success – believe you aren’t good enough to solve your clients’ problems…that you won’t be able to manage the increased money you’ll earn….that others in your life will feel badly when you earn more than they do, or any other potential downside you believe could result from the success you dream of – then I’m going to bet you engage in thoughts and behaviors that, at a minimum are disempowering but are more likely self-defeating.
Gurus talk about the need to get out of your comfort zone. What they don’t tell you is that you have to pack up and MOVE out of that comfort zone and completely move into the Discomfort Zone.
The challenge we face as solopreneurs is to become comfortable with discomfort.
Growing a business is all about discomfort. You push yourself to do, be, and have more and you have to do things you’ve never done before and focus on things you may have only briefly considered in your past life as a corporate professional.
It doesn’t make it any easier that you feel your financial life is on the line each time you have a conversation with a potential client or referral partner.
You may have led a department, a division, or even an entire organization and had responsibility for millions of dollars of the company’s money. You worked as a professional inside a larger organization for decades; so once you left, you lost a big part of your identity.
I know when you first went out on your own you dreamed of spending the next phase of your professional life doing what you love – that thing you do. Only later did it really sink in that you’ve got to actually inspire someone to give you money so you CAN do the thing you do.
And you discovered you hate that part.
So with a million and one things that need to be done, it can be easy to convince yourself that you need to buy this hot tool….take the guru’s course….go to the big event….learn how to create a website…because the person selling it says those things will attract clients to you and make it easier for them to say yes to you.
Without you’re having to actually put yourself in a sales conversation – which could lead to painful rejection.
But it’s time to admit what you’re really doing: You’re sabotaging yourself.
Are you chronically late for important appointments? Believe you always say the wrong thing in meetings with prospects? Chronically undercharge? Do you constantly tweak your course, video, or other project and never get around to launching it? Continuously buy course after course, program after program but don’t take action to implement the information?
That’s what self-sabotage looks like.
According to PsycologyToday.com self-sabotage is behavior that “creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.”
I describe it as thinking and acting in ways that subconsciously and continuously reinforce negative beliefs about yourself.
To understand what’s going on, tune into what you’re doing, saying, and thinking – who you’re being – and how that may negatively impact your path to achieve your goals and create the successful, abundant business and life you dream of.
Developing self-awareness can be challenging because the ego works hard to protect you. It rationalizes your thoughts, beliefs, and actions to make them seem and sound completely reasonable.
It works to protect the wounds you have to ensure you won’t hurt yourself by exposing yourself to what it sees as risky situations.
This is why small actions can be more healing than massive actions to break down the ego’s resistance and get it to stand down from its high-alert vigilance.
The problem is the ego makes those rationalizations from a place of fear and self-protection rather than from a place of abundance and opportunity.
Why do we sabotage ourselves?
We subconsciously engage in thoughts and actions that derail us and keep us from getting the very thing we say we want so badly: a bigger brand…to be seen as a leader in our industry segment…to have more clients….more impact…more revenue.
Self-sabotage is, at its essence, a defense mechanism. It’s the ego’s effort to protect us. So I think of it as an attempt to avoid pain.
So you don’t take the action you know you “should” take to get your business to the level of success you want. Whether that’s putting yourself “out there” more through the use of social media or video…or whether it’s creating a high-end offering….or finally writing that book or launching the podcast…or forming JV relationships.
And self-sabotage isn’t something that just those in feast or famine mode deal with.
I’ve known executives earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year – one who was earning more than a million – who did something incredibly stupid that got them fired instantly.
You may know a sales person who seems to fall apart as she gets close to achieving her quota.
Or maybe you have a friend who makes really bad decisions with money every time he gets a big bonus or big check from a client.
Understanding where it comes from and why we do it is the easy part. Recognizing the payoff our ego thinks it gets from continuing to engage in self-sabotaging behavior is harder.
Stopping it is the real challenge.
I want you to know it’s not impossible. It takes commitment and consistent actions along with the support of a core group of people – or even just one person – who truly understands and encourages you.
It is definitely possible to let go of those beliefs and to begin to take the steps needed to live to your potential, share your great gifts with the world, and receive the full abundance you dream of and deserve.
Breaking Free is a choice and takes conscious action
Ending self-sabotage takes facing long-held beliefs that are actually not yours to begin with. They’re beliefs that you absorbed from the environments you’ve been in, starting with your family of origin and moving right through your life as an adult in the many roles you play and groups you’re involved in.
It requires accepting ourselves and adopting our own beliefs.
Most of all, we have to love ourselves.
And it is a process, believe me. It requires making conscious choices on a continuous basis as we re-condition our mind and establish new patterns of thinking and acting.
There are 10 elements to break free from self-sabotage and to becoming a courageous entrepreneur:
- Become Self-Aware
- Accept Responsibility
- Develop Clarity
- Detach from the Outcome
- Balance Needs & Wants
- Be the Leader
- Deal with Discomfort
- Take Action
- Embrace your essence
- Have Faith
I explain them in the next post.
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