I would be flat out lying to you if I said that running an online business is a total breeze. That stress, overwhelm and self-sabotage magically disappear when you decide to be self-employed.
Nope. You get it all on blast!
In fact, it can be one the most challenging and stressful mindf**ks you’ve ever experienced!
One moment you’ll be in-the-zone launching and promoting your brand new course, and the next you’re zoned out on the couch watching re-runs of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, WHILE YOUR LAUNCH IS STILL HAPPENING!
Self-sabotage can hit and any moment, at any time, anywhere, no matter what stage you’re at in your business, no matter how successful you’re getting, there will always be something else hindering you.
As they say: New level, new devil.
I don’t mean to burst your bubble, these are just some of the realities that you’ll cross when you’re working for yourself.
But none of that information is helpful if you don’t have strategies to work through it when it happens, and it will, this I promise you.
So what is self-sabotage and why do we do it to our businesses?
Self-sabotage is described as any behaviour, thought, emotion or action that holds you back from getting what you want consciously. It is the conflict that exists between conscious desires and unconscious wants which manifests in self-sabotage patterns. It not only prevents you from reaching your goals, but also becomes a safety mechanism that protects you against disappointment. In other words, your brain is protecting you from getting hurt by doing what it thinks is best, which is keeping you within your comfort zone.
Self-Sabotage has many faces, and can come at you in the form of different types of behaviour like:
- Procrastination – the ultimate sabotage!
- Slacking off or being lazy
- Negative thoughts or beliefs
- Being critical or judgemental of yourself & others
- Not finishing projects
- Comfort eating & drinking
- Getting easily distracted – unfolded washing anyone???
- Rushing through tasks and projects unnecessarily
- Obsess over unimportant tasks instead of the vital tasks
- Having unrealistic expectations and being impatient or frustrated
- Overloading yourself with too many tasks and projects
Did you see yourself in some of those items listed above?
So what’s an entrepreneur to do?
Here’s what I do it.
How I Handle My Self-Sabotaging Ways
Take a break: I really have to gauge what’s going on here. Most of the time it’s that I’ve been working really hard on my business and I actually need to take a break. So I’ll quite literally “give in” to my sabotage and relax. And sometimes that looks like doing nothing for a week or so, sometimes that looks like spending time outdoors in nature or in this case watching movies and playing PS3!
Re-inspire myself: The inspirer still needs to be inspired herself. Believe it or not, you do need to take time away from your business because it indirectly helps you to be better IN it. So find an activity that helps energize you to feel inspired again. Whether it’s reading The Alchemist, watching Scandal, going for a bush walk, doing some gardening, listening to the latest Coldplay album or having a coffee date with your bestie.
Do the tasks that comes easy first: When I self-sabotage, rebelling against my own routine is usually part of it. So once I’ve re-inspired myself, I start getting back into my routine by doing the easiest things first. So it’s starting with hanging out in facebook groups chatting to fellow blogger and biz friends. Talking to other like-minded people always gets me back on track, plus it doubles as networking as well as building brand longevity.
Tackle a “tedious” task quickly: What task to you put off ALL. THE. TIME? My task is social media scheduling. I’m not a fan of it. So what I do is I make it the first thing I tackle, and I give myself a time limit, usually between 15 – 30 minutes to get it all done for the week. Once it’s done I’m so relieved and I’m free to carry on with my other tasks for the day.
Recycle my impatience: If I’m feeling impatient from my somewhat unrealistic expectations, I use it by putting it back into my business. So if I’m feeling frustrated, I’ll put that energy into writing my next post or scheduling my social media updates.
You’ll always be dealing with self-sabotage, that’s a given. But if you use these strategies to help you break through them, you’ll learn to do it automatically the next time it comes around.
Now it’s your turn:
- What are some of your strategies for overcoming self-sabotage?
- Which strategy did you like the most and will start using?