I find self -sabotage fascinating, mainly because I’ve been such a genius at doing it to myself for as many years as I can remember. And I’ve become pretty good at spotting it in others, especially since I did my NLP coaching training last year and understand more of what’s going in our minds.
Self-sabotage is where we actively interfere with our own goals by creating unnecessary problems for ourselves.
Which sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it, that we’re choosing to make our own life difficult?
But we do it all the time.
And it’s because our brains are hard-wired to seek pleasure; we don’t like feeling uncomfortable or scared, so we find ways to avoid things that could make us feel that way.
The main ways that we tend to sabotage ourselves are:
- Procrastinating – putting things off, either because they feel too difficult, we don’t know where to start, or more likely because we’re afraid to fail if we try
- Buffering – doing anything to make us feel better in the moment; eating, drinking, social media, checking emails, spending. False pleasures that take us further away from what we want
- Not having goals for your business or life – because we’re scared we can’t achieve them, so surely it’s better not to try…
- Quitting because it’s not working (yet)
And this self-sabotage shows up big time when we look at how we behave as business owners. The stakes are high – what we do matters to our customers, our staff, our families and most of all it impacts directly on what our financial future and life will look like.
- Will our business be a “success”?
- Will we get financial security as a result of our years of hard work?
- Will we reach the elusive financial freedom one day?
So here are the 6 most likely ways you could be sabotaging your own financial freedom and security:
1) You haven’t got a plan to get there
Not having goals and a plan of how your business will secure your future means you don’t own your future – the ultimate self-sabotage.
If you haven’t defined what you want your future to look like, and mapped out how your business will deliver it, what do you think the chances are that it will just show up one day? I suspect the odds aren’t great.
It’s really common to avoid having big plans. Often we set these big goals and dreams when we’re younger, and then because they didn’t work out as we expected we gradually learned that it’s less painful to set lower goals and not disappoint ourselves, or set ourselves up for a fall.
And so we learn to settle for what is, and what might be.
Rather than take full control and be willing to learn from inevitable lessons and set-backs we’ll encounter on the way.
Do you really want to not own your own future?
2) Mindset and belief
Do you, deep down, have the belief that you can make it? Do you really trust that you can pull this off, and build a financially successful business? Most business owners I meet have doubts – it’s entirely natural and human. But creating consistent success does need a high level of mental resilience and we need to learn to believe we can do it.
And this can be as simple as just deciding that from now on, you’re going to choose to believe you can, to believe in the successful version of the story and not buy into the fear and disaster scenarios we play out in our minds. Over time this will become your default setting as you continually choose belief and trust over fear and scarcity.
3) Not taking action, distractions and lack of focus
You’ll probably know I’ve written a lot about distraction, so I’m not going to repeat all of that, but this area of just not taking action, for whatever reason, is a massive part of self-sabotage.
I’m sure that much of our reason for not taking action is because we’re over whelmed with all there is to do and the never-ending stream of distractions coming from all angles.
Having a clear plan and having belief you can achieve it will really help you to stay focussed and take consistent action on the most important things.
4) Route to market and marketing
I’ve written about this a lot because it’s so incredibly important. If you want control of your future, you’ve got to know how you’re going to hit your sales targets, as these drive your profit and cash.
So this means you need to be super clear on your route to market – ie exactly how you reach your target clients, and have well thought-through marketing strategy that you execute consistently without fail.
Almost every business I meet that has inconsistent sales also has poor or inconsistent marketing. It’s not something you can ignore or leave to chance (unless you enjoy the struggle of course)
5) Visibility through great management information
Unless you want to leave it all to chance, an absolute must is great financial information every single month (quarterly is never ok) that tells you where you are now, and where you’re going. It must tell you if you’re on track for what you want to achieve, and must act as an early warning system for when things aren’t right – because things do and will go wrong in business, so we need to see them coming in time to fix them.
6) Abdication of financial control (and your future)
This one can look and feel a lot like delegation. You know, where you’ve delegated all things financial to your book keeper or accountant. You’ve decided that you “don’t do numbers” and that’s all left to someone else whilst you get on with the important strategic stuff.
No one will ever care as much about your future as you do, and abdicating responsibility and involvement in your finances is about as much self-sabotage as you can get.
I’ve seen people lose their business because they didn’t know what their book keeper or accountant was doing, and didn’t understand what was happening financially in their own business.
How to overcome self-sabotage
Next week I’ll give you my single biggest practical tip on how to overcome all of these saboteurs. And I’ll tell you what my top performing clients are doing differently that’s creating the most consistent results I’ve seen.