Get out of Your Own Way
Are you stuck?
I remember about 2 years after I started my first business, suddenly feeling stuck. I had gone all out to make my business a success. I’d worked hard and been rewarded. It was great, but I wanted more. I just wasn’t sure how to get it. To everyone else I’d made a success of my business. I was busy with orders. In fact, I was so busy, that I didn’t have time for much else! I was profitable too. Earning money for myself as well as being able to invest in the business. But whilst this was all fantastic, I wanted more. I’d worked hard to get the business where it was in 2 years. I didn’t want to stay that way until retirement. I wanted more! Not in a greedy way, but in a “I’m ambitious and like to challenge myself” way. But when I looked for ways of stepping up, I was met with a “be grateful” or “you are a victim of your own success” from those I spoke to.
Working ON your business
My mistake was that I had set up my business with the idea of setting it up. Not really thinking beyond. I was working IN my business and not ON my business. It was when I kept hitting the invisible wall, stopping me from progressing, I realised I needed to work ON my business instead. Being busy was great, but it was ultimately stopping me from stepping up.
How we get in our own way
So often we blame an external factor for the reason why we cannot step up. The favourites are Time and/or Money. There can be other things too, such as needing more experience, validation with certification or making sure it is all perfect… otherwise known as Imposter Syndrome! By the way, if you are using time as your reason, you may want to check out another of my blogs… 5 Common Time Leaks
It is within our gift
All these elements are within our gift to change. We make all sorts of excuses as to why we cannot change things, but in reality, we are getting in our own way and stopping ourselves progressing.
What you need to do
1) The key is clarity
You need to be clear about what you want you want to achieve. Without this, you cannot see what you’re avoiding or worse sabotaging.
2) What are you avoiding?
Check on a conscious level what you are avoiding or making excuses as to why you can’t do something. I know I avoided going online for a long time. I told myself that I was building my business locally. That I was better face to face. I didn’t need to reach people on the other side of the world. I could earn a “nice” living doing what I was doing. But I was limiting myself.
3) Check your subconscious
A little harder to tackle, but without doing so, nothing is going to change. Continuing the example of my resistance of going online. The reason I resisted was that I was afraid of not being good enough or being a fraud. I was exposing myself to more people and I was afraid of being judged. I was also afraid of success. As strange as that sounds, many of us actually have a subconscious fear of success. If I earned a lot of money, I might become a bitch and all my friends and family leave me. I laugh at the thought now. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a bitch at times, but it tends to be a particular time of the month! For the most part, I am a nice person and success isn’t going to change that!
4) Take action
JFDI. It is hard, but you can do it. You need to do it if you are going to attain what you want. Be brave. I remember a boss of mine years ago telling me, that it is all very well sweeping things under the carpet, but they will trip you up later. To overcome what you are resisting, you need to just do it. If that feels too big, then break it down and take one thing at a time. Even better, get someone to help you. Be your cheerleader! That is what I did. Okay Covid gave me the kick up that backside to go online and it was painful as it has felt that I was building my business from scratch again. But it’s also been incredibly rewarding. Often what is the best action for us, is what we are resisting.
5) Blocks/Upper Limits
It’s important to understand that the reason we resist and sabotage something that we desire, is because our brains want to keep us safe. By pushing through these barriers we’re taking ourselves out of our comfort zone and out of what feels safe. So, it’s natural to resist wanting to do this. But in order to move forward, we need to take that step. Gay Hendricks talks about Upper Limit Problems (ULPs) in his book The Big Leap. These are situations that occur when you are about to move up a level. They’re an attempt to show you that you shouldn’t make the move. But knowing what they are, will help you overcome them. If you get ill or something negative happens, know that this is a sign you are heading in the right direction. Up until recently, I had an ex-business partner keep popping back into my life every time I was on the cusp of something good! Just knowing that this was my sign, made the situation better and enabled me to be confident in my direction.
6) Rinse and repeat
Make sure you keep checking in with yourself on a regular basis. It would be lovely to think that once we step aside, we can reach the ultimate heights of success, but that is not reality. At each new level, we hit more blocks. Some will be the same or a variant of ones you have addressed already. Others will be new. By checking in regularly, you will get more practiced at overcoming them and recognising your ULPs.
It is within you
It can be hard to realise that external factors are not to blame for your lack of progress. Holding a mirror to oneself, requires a deep breath. But the joy of the situation, is that by looking closely in that mirror at all the ugly bits, you start to see the beauty that you hold. You are truly capable of your success. You have the power to make your dreams come true. You just have to make that step!
If you are an ambitious female business owner, why not join the conversation with other like-minded ladies over in my Facebook group – The Female Business Owners’ Mastermind