This week I’ve been reflecting on how we are often our own worst enemies. We second-guess and talk down to ourselves, find reasons to blame and procrastinate and sometimes we even up up sabotaging our attempts to get what we want and need. How do you make things easier for yourself? How do you stop being your own harshest critic and biggest inhibitor to progress? How do you get out of your own way? Whether you’re just launching a new business, thinking about starting or in a growth phase, getting out of your own way is vital. Having confidence in your ability to achieve what you want and need is key to building a business that works for you.
“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself. ” Andrew Murphy
Time to get out of your own way?
You probably have plenty of reasons why you don’t get what you want or what you need. External forces conspire to stop you achieving anything – a flat tyre, a sick child, a difficult colleague, a global pandemic.
Often it turns out that it’s not all those external things that are getting in our way but actually that we are our own biggest obstacle. The impact of self-sabotage can be brutal both on our productivity but also on our mental health. It’s not that we can’t force ourselves to push through another four hours of admin, gritting our teeth as we do so. It’s not that we don’t know what we should be doing, or how we could apply ourselves more or better. Self-sabotage happens in small, almost undetectable moments. Resistance finds fertile ground through repetition of small events. How often do you have self-defeating thoughts, or spend time with people who demotivate you, or give up after a temporary setback?
Many of the things that frustrate our progress are outside of our control. But instead of focusing on things you can’t control, focus on the biggest barrier, the one which you have the most control over, and that’s you. If you want to change your life, you have to start with changing yourself. Here are my Top Ten Tips for Getting Out Of Your Own Way:-
🌟 Why. Knowing why you’re doing something is crucial to getting it done. Humans hate doing things for no reason. If you can’t connect the dots between the activity and the bigger picture then stop doing it.
🌟 Outcome. Focus on the outcome. What’s the payoff of this activity? How will it improve your life, business, relationship? If the outcome doesn’t excite you that’s probably why you aren’t doing it. So don’t.
🌟 Honesty. Face up to what’s happening. Focus on what’s important rather than tinkering. If you find yourself procrastinating, stop beating yourself up and instead try to understand why. What are you avoiding and why?
🌟 Compare. Comparing yourself to others can stop you in your tracks and derail your progress. Instead of allowing yourself to be distracted by other people’s achievements, focus on your path, your dreams, your plan.
🌟 Change. If you find yourself getting bogged down, change your physical, mental or emotional state. Get out for a walk, put some music on, think about something that lights you up. Don’t stagnate. Take action to move forward.
🌟 Calm. When you find yourself getting frustrated or anxious, take positive steps to calm yourself. Meditate, do some yoga or simply focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Taking a few minutes out won’t kill you.
🌟 Perfection. Give up your need for things to be perfect. You’ll never know enough, it’s never the right time, there’s always another point of view. You have only two options: imperfect or nothing. Your choice.
🌟 Confidence. Many people get their confidence from external sources. Instead start telling yourself all the reasons why you’re amazing for building a business and a life that works for you. Focus on your unique strengths.
🌟 Support. Helping other people is a great way to make you feel better about yourself and what you’re trying to achieve. If you get stuck, reach out and offer help to someone else. Focus on making yourself (and them) feel amazing.
🌟 Just do it. Often the best way to get unstuck is simply to do one thing. Get started, take the first step, get off the fence, make a decision. Any decision. Once you’re moving you can harness that momentum.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – November 2021