Isn’t it time to declare your independence?

 

Break free from self-sabotage.Soon, those of us in the United States will be celebrating Independence Day, a holiday we normally associate with a political event back in 1776. However, you don’t have to be creating a whole new nation to declare an Independence Day of your own.  You can choose to do so at any time you’re ready to let go of habits and behaviors that aren’t getting you the results you want.  In fact, now might be a great time to do it if you’re…

Ring any bells? Then let’s get to it.

You can choose a better mindset. But will you?

Like any other change you choose to make in your business, getting out of self-sabotage mode is deceptively simple. In fact, there are just two main steps to it:

1. Identify what counterproductive habits are tripping you up.
2. Identify and implement strategies for dealing with them.

Piece of cake, right? Oh, if only! This is a classic case of “simple” being different than “easy”. But if you approach this change strategically and with forethought, it will certainly be less difficult, even – Dare I say it? – easier than it would be if you just jumped in with enthusiasm but no planning.

Give these tools a try and see how they improve your results.

 

Identify what trips you up the worst.

While everyone’s situation is unique, it’s also true that certain common stumbling blocks affect many business professionals. In my work with overwhelmed clients, I’ve found that the following three behavioral habits are among the most common obstacles that screw up their results:

I see these three problems as being closely related to each other; in fact, any one of them does a fabulous job of exacerbating the other two. (How very efficient….) The question you get to ask yourself – and bring a ruthless honesty to answering – is, “Which of these seems to lead the way for me?

 

Figure out and implement a strategy for addressing the obstacle.

Here’s where you get to pull out all the stops in asking for help. Who do you know who seems NOT to struggle with your problem-child behavior? How do they address it? What tools and resources do they use? If you don’t personally know someone who has triumphed over this particular adversity, what social-media platforms can you use to seek help? LinkedIn group discussions, relevant blog posts by professionals you admire, and requests for input on your Facebook page can all contribute potential solutions.

To get you started on kicking bad-habit butt, here are some ideas that have worked for my clients and me:

For example, if you can be easily seduced into eating an entire pint of ice cream at one sitting, don’t even purchase it; instead, require yourself to leave the house to get your fix. If you have to drive or – Gasp! – walk to the store for ice cream, how likely are you to yield to temptation?

Similarly, if you want to start a good habit – say, remaining more focused on your important business-building activities – then make it easy to stay focused by only having open the one computer application (or one website) you need to complete your task right now; eliminating auditory notifications of emails; working away from your home office so your eight-month-old puppy’s antics don’t derail your focus. (Distractions.)

Courage “muscles” need just as much attention as physical ones, so figure out some low-risk situations in which to practice doing something that makes you mildly uncomfortable. You’ll not only discover that discomfort is survivable; you’ll also be willing to tolerate more of it in return for bigger payoffs. (Procrastination; indecision.)

Set an accountability system in place.

As I mentioned in a previous post, holding oneself accountable for changes – especially uncomfortable ones – is rarely as effective as having someone else hold you accountable. The sad truth is that most of us are too often willing to allow ourselves to weasel out of the big, tough, vital activities our businesses require of us.

What do you need for your accountability system to do the job?

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So there are some powerful tools for throwing a big, honkin’ wrench in the works of any self-sabotage you may be dealing with, so you can break free of those mental and behavioral habits which keep you stuck. Which of them resonate with you? Have you had good success with other strategies? If so, please let me know how you did it; there’s no such thing as too much defense against self-sabotage!

Or are you shooting yourself in the foot so many different ways that you can’t even begin to choose one to work on? Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the areas that could use improvement? If so, I might be able to help.

My specialty is showing start-and-stop entrepreneurs how to toss out what’s not working or what doesn’t deserve their attention, then follow through on the important things that will get them the clients, revenues, and satisfaction they crave.

Is that something you could benefit from? Maybe.

One way to find out is to spend some time getting acquainted by phone. If we have the chance to ask and answer some questions, we’ll both feel confident about deciding whether to start working together yesterday or down the road or never in this lifetime.

It’s easy to set up that no-risk-to-anyone get-acquainted call. Just figure out when you’ve got some time in your schedule, then call me at 319-270-1214 with those options . Or you can email me with “It might be time for me to break free” in the subject line. We’ll set up our call and see what we see. And in the meantime, you might want to stockpile some sparklers for when you do celebrate your Independence Day.

(And thanks to Daniel Albi for posting his fireworks image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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