It’s A Mirage
I’m Tellin’ Y’all It’s Sabotage

–Beastie Boys

We’ve all done it—thrown up imaginary roadblocks on the path to our goals.  Procrastinated about doing something that needs to get done. Waited for an opportunity to drop in our lap instead of going after it.

Being a business owner requires us to stretch, change and grow, and many times that growth feels painful and uncomfortable. So often we intellectually know what it is that we need to DO to move closer to success, yet somehow we end up staying right where we are—and then beat ourselves up for our non-progress.

There are so many ways entrepreneurs can sabotage themselves—both consciously and unconsciously—that this article could be a hundred times longer than it is.  But here I want to highlight three of the more common bad business behaviors—as well as solutions to them that will hopefully help if you see these dream-stealing patterns in yourself.

Buying Into the Idea of “Easy”

As humans, the “magic pill” is very alluring to us.  If we can find a shortcut or a quick fix, then life becomes just that much easier.

But growing a business takes WORK.  A lot of work.  And many of us just don’t like to hear that.  Especially online, you don’t have to look very far to find the next person hawking the “easy” way to wealth and riches.  That’s not to say that attaining success can’t be simple—it can.  However, there’s a difference between simple and easy.

The solution?  Forget about the myth of “easy.” Instead, set goals, have a clear plan of action to reach them and reward yourself when you do so.  Sounds elementary…or SIMPLE even, right?  It is. 🙂 (Now get to work!)

Taking Criticism to Heart

This is a biggie.  Consider this Zig Ziglar quote: “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”

When others criticize (and they will, as you continually step out in a bigger way in your business), understand that it’s often a reflection of what they feel least competent about or least like about themselves.  The key is to not react to it-—period—or at least in a way that throws you off track.

Instead, shield yourself from it when you can or respond to it if it’s constructive.  If it’s not, know that other people’s opinions and put-downs don’t define your business—or your self-worth.

Getting Stuck in Fear and Non-Belief

I’ve saved the most insidious for last.  This is a form of sabotage we often don’t even consciously realize is going on.

The truth is, the procrastination, laziness and self-created obstacles I mentioned earlier can all be results of these negative thought patterns. Some fear and doubt is normal—after all, entrepreneurship involves risk, and this can bring up all kinds of things: “Can I do this?”  “Am I cut out for this?”  “What if X happens?”

The solution here is to recognize these thoughts, acknowledge them and move right through them.  Sounds easier said than done, I know.  But there is a lot of truth to the saying “do what you fear and the fear disappears.”

Most importantly, having a strong belief in yourself and sense of unshakable faith that you can do anything you set out to is what will keep the fears and doubts at bay.

The recipe to having a successful business consists of a lot of different ingredients.  We often place a lot of emphasis on things like marketing, sales, networking and outside mentoring.  All crucial pieces, for sure.  But it’s often our own MINDSET that keeps so many of us from realizing our dreams.

If you see yourself mired in any of these behaviors, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Simply take time to work on yourself and your own development as much as the development of your own business. I think you’ll find that you’ll soon become unstoppable.

Have you sabotaged yourself in your own business? How have you overcome your own self-imposed obstacles?  I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

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