You ever feel like your business hits a wall around a certain revenue or at a certain number of clients? Frustrating right? Especially when you're a high achiever and you have set higher goals than the ones you hit in 2019. In these cases, it may not be your business model or your business’s ability to scale that’s the problem - it could be the one uncontrollable variable in your business... you. You could be self-sabotaging. For example: you sit down to look in your high performance business planner at your 6 month targets and "MUST-COMPLETES to achieve your business’s next financial milestone. The next thing you discover is you begin to do all the small tedious jobs you should have delegated and are not your high profit tasks. As a result, your business never hits the next threshold. Because businesses are created and run by people, it’s important to evaluate any inherent limiting beliefs that hold us back from reaching our full potential in business. Here are three steps to tell for sure if you’re self-sabotaging in your business, and how to solve these behaviors to reach your goals.
1. Do you have a fear of success?
Perhaps you set realistic financial goals rather than exciting ones, or turn down an opportunity to keynote at an event because you're "busy" even though you know that type of exposure could catapult your Q4 sales. Could it be that something about success feels unsettling to you?
The fear of success is an all-too-common form of self-sabotage that plagues many. In the book Leap of Faith, author Gay Hendricks gives his theory of the “Upper Limit Problem.” In an interview with Forbes, Hendricks shared that he first recognized this issue within himself when he landed his dream job. “[I was] feeling as good as I could ever remember feeling in my life… suddenly, after ten seconds of enjoying that feeling, I found myself consumed with worry for my seven year old daughter,” he said.
I can relate. When I set out to create my first business as a business consultant I had top level executives wanting to work with me. I was over the moon excited and then at the time my 2 year old daughter came in the room and I was afraid of how I wouldn't be present with her as a father.
Solution: It’s often mental triggers we are unconscious to that go off when we get close to success. Our human brain is wired for safety and survival, something about “success” feels threatening to that safe haven, which causes us to react in ways that surprise us. Success that hasn't happened for us yet leaves too many unknowns and the brain cannot cope with it because safety and survival are most important. Unknowns make us uncomfortable and since we are programmed to think the worst first, we project our biggest fears of what could happen in our future. Resulting in remaining in the same place.
2. Are you doing what you think you should do rather than what you desire to do?
A surefire way to know that your business decisions are solely mental rather than intuitive based is by your use of the word "should." What you believe "should" be done for your business — because that's how others did it, or that's how you were taught to succeed — is exactly what's slowing you down and keeping you back from rapid growth.
On the other hand, what you want to do and feel pulled towards could feel ten times more exciting (such as publishing that book or starting that podcast), but you don’t see other business owners breaking out so you don't act on what lights you up.
Solution: People often operate from a “should” mindset based on how they were raised and what others around them are doing. Practice replacing the “should” with excitement and happiness.
Oftentimes people are running businesses that they think they ‘should’ be running, because they make good money or give them greater credibility. The true secret to success in business is to do something that lights you up. A strong emotional resonance and excitement with what you’re doing can sustain your energy and happiness for longer, and likely lead to success that would have been unprecedented in your “should” business.
3. Are you overworking yourself rather than delegating and allowing your business to scale?
You self-sabotage at work when you intentionally create stressors, or take on far more than you know you can handle. Sound familiar? Delegating, hiring virtual assistants, or expanding your team may feel scary because it means the business will be bigger and have the potential to continue growing.
Perhaps a part of this is scary to you - the increased responsibility, the fear that you won’t be able to handle it, or the desire to keep your business small and within your control. Whatever the reasons are, it’s sabotaging your business.
Solution: To start to combat the habit of intentionally overwhelming yourself, introduce relaxing activities into your week-such as yoga or meditation. Additionally, and this may be the even more challenging because you have to say it out loud that you are unable to "cope"-in other words manage your business. Tell your friends, loved ones or someone you trust at work that you’re trying to move past the need to constantly be stressed. Ask them to check in and remind you to relax and delegate if they notice you overworking.
Your business deserves the best of you - and you deserve to run a business free from the chains of the common plague of self-sabotage!