How To Get Out Of Your Own Way
"It's not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you're not."
- Dennis Waitley
Almost every single person in our mastermind community at one point or another asks this question;
"How do I get out of my own way?"
Whether it's creating meaningful work, being courageous enough to start having sales conversations, keeping unproductive habits, or just managing your team effectively, all of us seem to trip ourselves up on a regular basis without really even being aware we're the ones throwing the stick in front of our own feet.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
We often know what needs to be done, yet we still "get in our own way" and prevent ourselves from taking the necessary action.
One member of our mastermind community recently started a nonprofit for the promotion of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. She blocked out 5 hours each Sunday to get the necessary paperwork done to move all the grants and partnerships forward, but every time Sunday came around, she couldn't bring herself to sit down at the desk and do the work.
Another member of our community is scaling up a consulting business, and had plans to post to LinkedIn every day to organically grow his audience there. One day passed, two days passed..all of a sudden an entire week had gone by and no LinkedIn post had been made.
The actions to take are often simple and easy enough to complete.
So why do we get in our own way so often?
The answer can usually be attributed to 3 main culprits.
Ambiguity, Fear, and Overwhelm.
These are the 3 main foes that consistently prevent you from achieving your goals, and here's how to deal with them effectively.
Karl Albrecht, Ph.D. breaks down fear into 5 basic categories.
Fear of; Extinction, Mutilation, Loss of Autonomy, Separation, and Ego-Death.
Most of us aren't actually facing physical harm or death on any random day. In fact, our modern lives have been constructed to the degree that real physical danger is quite hard to find.
Most entrepreneurs and business owners are mostly afraid of Separation and Ego-death type fears.
"What if everyone laughs at my post?"
"What if my friends and family start ignoring me?"
"What if I fail?"
Essentially, our biological evolution is bringing up fear as a response mechanism to prevent us from sticking our heads out and potentially being kicked out of the pack.
The problem is, this response had reason to exist thousands of years ago, but today it only stands in your way as an obstacle to gaining market awareness and achieving your dreams.
Oftentimes we don't take the first step towards our goal because we're so focused on what it's supposed to look like at step 10,000.
We bog ourselves down with worry and anxiety about not being able to run a whole marathon, without being willing to prove to ourselves that we can run a single mile, or yet, take a single step.
It's great to have a big vision for your business, in fact, I'll say it's necessary.
But the vision is something you turn to each morning, or once a week, it's not something that you think about all the time, otherwise it'll simply seem too daunting of a task and weigh you down to the point where you can't take any action.
Moral of the story: Chunk it down.
Sure, you want 300 new clients this year. But what will it take to secure the first 10.
And can you start working on those this week?
Ambiguity is the most pernicious of the three foes, primarily because of its subtlety.
You might set a goal in earnest at the beginning of the week, only to realize you didn't take any action on it a week later while reflecting on your progress.
Often, the goal wasn't quite clear enough.
As an example, you might've set a goal to close 2 new clients this week.
And when you reflect on whether or not you accomplished that goal, you realize that not only did you not close a single client, but you actually didn't take much action on that front at all.
You see, you're not actually in control of whether or not you close a sale.
What you're in charge of is reaching out to leads, having conversations, offering your services, and a host of other things. But whether or not someone decides to hand over their money to you is entirely within their sphere of control.
It's a subtle difference.
And that subtle distinction can be the difference between vast amounts of productivity and being in the same spot week after week.
And it happens to the best of us.
I know a lot of entrepreneurs consistently make this mistake, whether they haven't closed their first sale or they bring in multiple millions in annual revenue.
Any ounce of ambiguity in your goals has the power to halt productivity.
Have someone look over your goals for you and get some feedback on whether or not they are actually feasible.
Are they clear?
Are they actionable?
If not, boil them down a bit more until they are.
If you can take the ambiguity out of your daily and weekly goals, focus on the next step instead of the whole marathon in front of you, and realize that taking risk is part of the game and that you're not going to be abandoned for going for your dreams, you'll be much more calm and prepared to actually achieve your dreams.
"There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don't allow yourself to become one of them."
Here's to you Actualizing Your Potential!
Founder and CEO @ STRIVENT
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