When it comes to your business, it’s crucial to remember that, ultimately, there is only one person who truly has the power to either feed–or destroy–the dream. That person is you. Fewer things are more important than taking care of the one person who makes your dream, well, go. Let’s talk about 5 mentally devastating ways you’re sabotaging your own success.
And how to stop.
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5 Mentally Devastating Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Success
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have–whether it’s a blog, online business, a service, trade, shop, etc.
If you’re confused and can’t seem to figure out where to start, it’s likely you’re lost in at least one of these 5 mentally devastating ways you’re sabotaging your own success.
1: Mental Discipline
If your business is a ship, your mind is the mainsail. That means the kind of things you allow to blow into your mind will ultimately determine the direction of the ship.
This is why the kinds of thoughts you allow into your mind, the things you “dwell on,” are crucial to the success of your business.
As a young adult, I worked in a rigorous sales job. It required pitching customers as they walked through the door of the store. What I was selling was an excellent service, but cold pitching is still cold pitching.
I got turned down–a lot.
After awhile, my mental discipline broke down and all the “no’s” began to wear on my self-esteem and confidence in my selling ability.
This is why the business for which I worked had an unusual policy. It was required that every employee have a copy of the book, “The Magic of Thinking Big,” and in fact required us to bring it with us every day to work.
When I called in to report my awful sales totals halfway through the day, my employer gave me a chapter to read out of the book.
Reading just one chapter of this incredible, inspiring book completely changed my state of mind, recharged my motivation and ultimately helped me reach and surpass my sales goal.
It was that powerful.
What you allow into your mind, and what you allow to stay for awhile has powerful impact on you and your business.
If your thoughts are always munching on negativity, your expectations and then your actions will inevitably follow.
Your perspective, confidence and clarity totally depend on the things you’re allowing to live in your mind.
What kinds of thoughts is your mind snacking on right now?
- “I don’t know if I’m capable of accomplishing this.” vs “I can totally do this!”
- “I’m starting a little business, you know, just a side thing.” vs “There is no limit to how big this can get!”
- “I’m not _____ enough to really make this thing work.” vs “I have EVERYTHING it takes! What I don’t have, I can learn and achieve as I grow.”
Which phrases and thoughts resonated with you? Pay attention to how you’re disciplining your mind to think.
It happens all the time. One of the most common of the 5 mentally devastating ways you’re sabotaging your own success is by becoming inspired to do something… and then just immediately going for it.
If you’re a spontaneous person or highly ambitious, you might struggle with this more than those who take a more cautious approach.
Any good business will always have a plan, direction, and long-term plus short-term goals.
A good business will have structure. Structure requires time and preparation. Without a good foundation, a business will fail.
Think of your business as a building. A builder doesn’t sit up in bed one day and say, “I think I’ll build a house,” jump up, buy some lumber, and start nailing.
A builder will follow a blueprint. They’ll have a plan, a budget, and they’ll operate within that structure.
Your business is the same way.
It’s nothing short of sabotage to have a beautiful idea, and then not take the time to give it the preparation it deserves.
You will have enough challenges as you learn and grow without the added mess of failing to prepare.
Give your business the credit and respect it deserves. Take the time to prepare for it, to plan it, and then execute.
Are you really ready to execute? Can you answer these questions easily?
- Do you have a complete breakdown and outline of your business and how it will operate?
- What is your budget? Do you have the funds to get started? If not, how do you plan on getting those funds?
- What do you want to see in your business in 1 year?
- What do you want to see in your business in 5 years?
- Do you have all the legalities, details and requirements of starting up your business ironed out?
If you cannot answer these questions confidently, watch out! You may not be ready to jump!
There are fewer things sadder than killing something off before it has the chance to even get started.
Overcomplicating is one of the fasted ways to do that.
If you’re starting a business, the most important thing to do is develop a plan.
However, there is a fine balance between planning and overcomplicating.
Get your business outlined on paper. Look at your goals and what you want to do. But don’t lose you in the details.
It’s easy to get carried away in all the details. Eventually, those details become so messy and confusing that you just want to give up.
You’ve effectively drowned out your motivation by overcomplicating things that would probably have just worked themselves out.
If it seems like everything has become overcomplicated and bogged down, go back to the basics.
Just do what your business was designed to do in an organized, well-planned way. All the tiny little technicalities will work themselves out as you grow and learn.
Are your habits helping you keep things simple and focused, or overcomplicated and overwhelming?
- Can you break down your business plan and ideas easily when describing them to someone?
- Do you get frustrated when trying to determine the purpose of your business and the basics of how it operates?
- Are you trying to control every single aspect of your business, or are you willing to let many of the tiny, insignificant issues sort themselves out as you learn and grow?
- Can you accept that there will always be curveballs, that you can’t predict everything, or are you trying to have a contingency plan for every possible challenge before it ever happens?
4: Unhealthy Comparing
Improperly comparing is a deadly habit. Not only is it unhealthy in a physical sense, it’s a bad habit to practice when it comes to starting your business.
Notice I said unhealthy comparing?
That’s because not all comparisons are bad. If you’re comparing yourself to where you want to be in 5 years and you’re doing it with a positive outlook, you’re motivating yourself.
On the other hand, if you’re comparing your young blog to the 10-year-old power blog that makes millions, you’re probably self-sabotaging.
You didn’t start 10 years ago. You’re starting now. There is no way to effectively compare your success to that of the other blog and get something good from it.
By all means watch what that blog is doing and learn from it so you can grow big, too.
Be super careful avoid weighing your own business against that other business to gauge your success.
That other business doesn’t determine your success. Your success is based on your own plan, which you prepared, remember? It’s based on your goals and your breakdown.
One of the worst things that happens when you compare in an unhealthy way is that you can be influenced to sell out.
That means you lose sight of your own original idea and get caught up in what others are doing.
You’ll never feel great about what you’ve built or become if you try and measure up the what you think you see from everyone else.
Go dig out that original business plan and tack it on the wall. Look at it every day until there is a fire in your bones and confidence that you had it right the first time.
Reflect on these questions and see if maybe you’ve been self-sabotaging by comparing in an unhealthy way.
- Do you feel inferior when you talk about your business to another business owner, blogger or entrepreneur?
- Do you look at other, similar types of businesses and feel defeated?
- Are you lacking motivation and avoid reading about your type of blog or business?
- Is your original idea and passion drifting into other flavors that could change the direction of your business without a well thought out decision?
5: Not Taking Enough Care of the Boss
Burnout. The ultimate business killer.
Of all of these 5 mentally devastating ways you’re sabotaging your own success, this is the one that will persist, no matter how far you go.
Your ship, your house, your business, blog, dream, project... whatever it is… cannot go without you.
That means you’ve got to take care of the person responsible for keeping the fire alive.
As business owners, this was the first lesson my husband and I had to learn. We easily made the mistake of working more than 80 hours a week repeatedly without a break.
It didn’t take long for us to realize we were breaking down. What my husband loved and was so passionate about was the very thing that was taking over and wearing him out.
We started scheduling days off. It wasn’t easy, but we were forced to learn the art of stopping when it was a healthy time to stop.
The rest of life doesn’t magically disappear just because you’ve started a business. All of your other responsibilities will still exist.
Remember that, or you’ll be drained before you get very far at all.
It’s okay to give yourself permission to take some time off, to sleep in one day, to pamper or go do something fun.
You’re still you in there, a person who needs to rest and relax at times, to get away from the project.
Getting space is helpful to recharge and refocus and will ultimately be healthy and highly productive for your business.
Taking care of you is not only a smart business move, it’s wisdom. It brings out your best.
Here are some questions to determine whether or not you might be overdoing it a bit and hurting your business.
- Do you wake up tired?
- Is it getting harder to feel excitement and anticipation about your work?
- Do you feel drained and lack emotion when it comes to your business?
- When was your last day off (working remotely is still working)?
- Are your other responsibilities and relationships suffering?
After reading this, do you feel like you might have been self-sabotaging your own success just a bit?
It’s easy to do!
You’re not alone in this. Every business owner, blogger, and creator has dealt with at least one of these 5 mentally devastating ways you may be sabotaging your own success.
These are simply imbalances of the good habits gone too far.
Excitement and inspiration can easily become a lack of preparation. Determination and self-awareness are all too often the culprits that push us toward unhealthy comparisons.
See? Good things, gone too far.
It takes mental discipline to keep the balance and stay in the “healthy zone” of building a business.
Just remember, if you find yourself feeling lost, frustrated, or overwhelmed, it’s time for some serious reflection.
Take a break. Get away from it all. Look at it all from a distance. Gain some clarity on how you ended up here, and how you can get back.
And then, keep climbing.
Your good idea is still a good idea.