Here’s a big, fat truth to chew on today:
There’s nothing scarier than having your dreams come true.
Yep, really! Think about it.
Everyone wants success, and they want it quickly. They talk about how much money they want to make, or the kind of products or services they want to offer, or who they want to work with.
Then, they start putting the work in, and things start to pick up speed.
And suddenly they freeze up, as they begin to recognize the level of risk, responsibility, and hustle the kind of success they crave really takes.
And they realize big dreams coming true means that things may change in their lives. Perhaps the way they work, the time they have available, how their friends and family might think of them – it all stands the risk of shifting in a big way.
So naturally, they (ok, ok, read: I ) start freaking out.
And as a result, they (um, I… ) start doing some strange, random counter-intuitive things to stop the change.
You’ve probably heard the term for this kind of thing before (it’s an oldie but goodie): it’s textbook self-sabotage.
Can I be honest with you?
I sabotage myself all. the. time. I have an embarrassingly long history of it, really. It’s something I consciously have to work on and avoid every day. Perhaps you can relate?
It’s also something I see every single one of my private clients go through at some point in our time working together. When you’re in something for the long haul, at some point it’s going to pop up.
But the good news about self-sabotage being a universal experience? That also means every one of us can sympathize with the struggle, and it’s easy to spot if you know where to look.
After all my years as an entrepreneur, and working with clients, I’ve narrowed self-sabotage down to 5 noticeable habits — and that’s what we’re diving into today!
Read on to learn what they are, and exactly how to recognize and combat them, so you can get out of your own way, and keep rocking your business the right way (instead of staying frozen and freaked out)!
The 5 Most Common Types of Self-Sabotage
1) Refusing to invest in your dream or goals
I know the old adage “spend money to make money!” is cheesy, but the truth is directing your resources toward your business is a way of showing yourself, and the universe, that you’re committed to your goals and dreams.
If you’re constantly resisting investing? You’re probably sabotaging.
Business requires investment, period. So when you avoid pouring your time, energy, and funds towards your big milestones and goals, you’re likely not really being budget-conscious… you’re getting in your own way.
To combat this, start small. Make a deposit on a program, or buy a more-expensive-than-usual book. If you want to go a bit bigger, bet on yourself and purchase a course with a credit card that delays payment for 48 hours (and – obviously, hold yourself accountable to paying it off pronto), or book a retreat that’s happening near you.
Taking a leap of faith to work with a mentor or in a program where there’s a payment plan (like the Betty Booked Out Formula! #shamelessplug) is also a great way to start investing… without wanting to choke every time you look at your bank account.
2) Not sharing your journey
Have you been avoiding talking about your business to anyone? Are you worried you’ll be judged for asking questions or celebrating your wins or lifting back the curtain on your challenges?
When anxiety, self-doubt and isolating yourself threaten to take over, that = sabotage alert.
If you’re not part of a community or a mastermind, or you’re not seeking those opportunities, I’ve gotta be real with you, lady: you’re far less likely to succeed without ‘em. And subconsciously, I bet you know that already.
Now don’t freak out! You don’t have to join a $100k/year mastermind tomorrow. But if you have some kind of support network behind you, even with just a few people who understand and believe in you, and can provide wise counsel (or wine and Dirty Dancing movie nights when needed), you can make it so much further, so much faster.
Running a business is a huge job. And you shouldn’t do it alone.
3) Not shipping
“Shipping” is something Seth Godin talks about in his great book The Linchpin. Shipping is basically putting your creation, service, or product out there, and delivering it to the community, and your clients.
Because if you don’t ship it? No one’s ever going to see or experience your work – and that, my friend, is completely sabotaging yourself.
Seth goes on to say that he understands: shipping is hard! It’s hard to let go of creative control of your work and put it out there, because you know it’s never perfect. It’s vulnerable-making, for sure. There will always be an extra element missing, or a sentence or two that could be better.
But if you don’t ship, then you’re stuck at square one, and never moving closer to your goals and dreams.
Just remember: it’s not our job to be perfect. Instead, it’s our job to help people and strive to do a great job. That has nothing to do with perfection.
4) Not claiming your goals and dreams publically
And not “on the cover of a magazine” or “on TV” kind of publically. I mean putting yourself out there and making a commitment to yourself, trusted friends or colleagues, or whoever you rely on to hold you accountable — and getting specific.
If you’re shying away from telling people your goals, you’re subconsciously sending a message to yourself that you’re not good enough to achieve them.
So start to share what you’ve got in the pipeline. Let people know, for example, that you have a goal this year — like filling up your subscriber list, getting booked out, or finding 20 new clients. Then, tell them what it would mean for you to achieve that.
Getting really specific with your goals and dreams and sharing them with someone else gives you accountability, and allows you to claim the idea. There’s power in claiming it, and it makes all the difference when you share what’s on your heart.
5) Staying stuck in indecision
Entrepreneurship is all about making decisions. So if you suck at it, and don’t take the time to learn how to make them? You’re screwing yourself over, big time.
Here’s the good news, though: Fast decision-making is a skill you can learn, and build.
This is something I’ve continued to work on, and these days, I have a little framework around how I make decisions. For example, if I’m thinking about investing in something like a program, I think about what the minimum return on my investment would be/over what timeframe that I’d need to see, to be happy with going ahead and hitting the buy now button.
Staying stuck in indecision is one of the biggest signs of self-sabotage. So get yourself off that stuckness bench, and out onto the field already!
BONUS tip! 6) Thinking “I’ll do what I really want, after…”
“After I relaunch.”
“After I make $6,000 in a month…”
“After I lose the weight.”
This kind of delay tactic is based on the idea that you’re not good enough to get/go for what you want NOW. It’s an excuse for why you need to postpone going after what you want in your business, and the kind of entrepreneur, freelancer, coach, or creative you really want to be.
Bottom line: If you catch yourself saying this type of thing – even just to yourself, you’re not putting your goals first and sabotaging yourself.
Whenever you see these signs or feel self-sabotage coming on in any other way, remember this:
Your dreams are worth making a priority.
Your dreams are worth the risk, and the hustle, and the heart you put into them.
But the only person who can make your dreams come true is… you.
So why not be the one to step forward, and make it happen?