To answer the question at hand right away, business owners need to know only two things about self-sabotage. They should know that it is very real and very likely to occur at some point in their career, and they need to know how to fix it. But first, let’s explore what it really is.
What Is Self-Sabotage?
Self-sabotaging behavior is when you create problems and issues in your daily life that interfere with your long-term goals. Most often, you don’t perceive these behaviors (which then often turn into habits) as self-sabotaging. It’s just something you do sometimes (or all the time). A very good example of self-sabotage is procrastination. You may be aware it’s bad for you, but you still slip into it and do it, even when you know it would be better to just get the job done.
We all engage in self-sabotage at one time or another. The key is in recognizing these behaviors and putting a stop to them. Here are some of the signs to watch out for.
You Instantly Jump to “I Can’t”
When faced with a challenge or a new kind of task, our minds can jump into defensive mode and instantly make us think those two words, “I can’t.” If you keep telling yourself that, or if you keep thinking it every time something unexpected or unprecedented arises, you will miss out on your chance to grow.
When you notice yourself thinking “I can’t”, reframe those thoughts. Replace them with, “I might not know how to deal with this, but let me think about it,” or “this might not be the most comfortable thing, but let me see how I can do my best,” and so on.
You Compare Yourself to Others
Comparing yourself to others is a habit that is best exterminated in all areas of your life, especially in business. If you keep comparing yourself to other businesses, you will never be satisfied. There’s nothing wrong with some healthy competition and with striving to become better and to keep growing, but always looking at someone else will just shift your focus away from the important things – your own work and your own business. Not to mention, it will also cause you to incur a whole lot of negativity, which will then impair your own productivity and success.
You Are Unreceptive to Change
If you are one of those people who are set in their ways and who refuse to accept a new point of view or a new way of doing things, you are setting yourself up for some serious self-sabotage.
Ideas and concepts should not only be tried because they are new, but because they might also be a better solution. How can you tell if you don’t try? When someone comes to you with an idea, don’t shut them down. Listen to them, and even if you don’t agree or you think the idea is not a very good one, take it into consideration. You may come to conclude that you don’t want to go in that direction, but always keep your mind and eye open for ideas and creative solutions.
You Sacrifice Sleep
Without a doubt, sleep is one of the key components of success, yet we often sacrifice it. Even when better organization or a different approach to the project would mean we can both sleep and get the job done, we choose to sleep later and work now. The consequence of this mindset is that our body and mind start to suffer. We become more sluggish; our mental processes slow down; we become more irritable and less able to tackle everyday tasks.
Instead of working through the night to get something done, take a break, sleep, and then come back to work refreshed. This will shorten the time you need to get the task done as you will be more productive and it will boost the quality of the outcome as well. As an added bonus, you will feel far less grumpy.
You Pass Judgment
We are all forever trapped in our own worldview, and we can never experience the world from someone else’s perspective. So, we also judge situations and people based on our own experiences and views. By doing this, we are not always right. If you judge a situation, a client, or an employee before you have all the facts, and refuse to amend your views, you are likely missing out on a lot of opportunities and causing a lot of strife.
We can all be wrong sometimes, especially when our knowledge about something or someone is limited (as it often is). So, don’t just dismiss people, opinions, and solutions because they don’t seem right to you from your first impression of them. What works for one client may not be what works for you. What works for you might also not work for another client. Try to keep an open and broad mind and always remember that we all come from different experiences.
You Lack Patience
Patience is one of the most underrated virtues, and in a world of instant gratification, it can be difficult to practice it. The best way to start learning patience is to stop rushing people and tasks, stop being impatient with clients, and stop expecting everything to happen instantly. Others have their own lists of priorities and lives that you nothing about, so always consider that before you are impatient with people. Give everyone and everything as much time as you can. It will not only make for a more positive experience, but it can also ensure things get done right and more successfully in the long run.
Self-sabotage is natural and common, so you are not weaker or lesser if you suffer from it. We all do it sometimes. The only important thing is that you recognize it for what it is, and try to eliminate it from your daily life.