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3 Ways You Could be Sabotaging Your Success (without even realising it)

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Today, let’s dive in to 3 key areas that hold most people back in their businesses and lives without them even realising it! This one’s full of insights to help you shift up several gears and start thinking like that successful entrepreneur you already ARE, deep down.

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Today I want to talk about 3 ways that you could be sabotaging your success in business without even realising it! Now these are things sooooo many entrepreneurs and business owners do all the time - and they’re probably the top 3 things I come across, as a mindset coach, as a business coach… but also just from observing how people behave and how that affects their outcomes.

These are the things that people who reach their big goals and go out there and achieve their dreams are acutely aware of, and watch out for, and actively work on to make sure they DON’T hold themselves back.

And I say actively work on because it usually does take work! Unless you’re born with rhinoceros hide for skin, or you’ve escaped the years of conditioning that most of us have had… you’re going to have to watch out for these subconscious responses, these protection mechanisms, and call yourself out when you notice them happening.

Yes, protection mechanisms - I do mean protection mechanisms. These are behaviours designed to keep you safe. But I promise you, safe isn’t actually what you want - because your subconscious brain does a very bad job of understanding what safe really is!

It thinks safe = same. Living the same day over and over, doing the same things and NEVER getting anywhere. That feels safe, it feels comforting - but if you think about it, it often isn’t really safe, is it? We need to adapt and change and be able to do new things to protect ourselves. So it’s pretty faulty, really, that subconscious brain of ours! Doing the same day in, day out - at best it keeps us small and stuck. At worse, it’s actually pretty risky! And it’s definitely never going to get us where we want to be in our lives & businesses. So, 3 things we need to look out for! 3 big dodgy safety mechanisms that we ALL fall victim to.

Here they are:

1. Telling yourself you’re not good enough

  • You might feel you’re not qualified enough.

  • Maybe you compare yourself to others.

  • Maybe you tell yourself you’re not ready yet.

  • Maybe you tell yourself you’re not worthy, that people like you don’t deserve success like that, or that the people who ARE successful must have some kind of magic secret, special sauce or they’ve been lucky - and you’re not.

Are those some of the thoughts you have, if you’re honest, deep down?

Let’s look at what’s usually really going on here.

So very often what we really fear is failure - everything going wrong and us ending up worse off than we started. But almost worse than that - we fear the embarrassment. We fear looking like a fool, having to admit we made a mistake and maybe having to ask for help from our family & friends. Failure, embarrassment - they’re terrifying to us. So our brain concocts all this stuff to tell us we’re not ready to take that leap - because we can’t promise the outcome. We don’t know that things will definitely work out. Nobody ever does!

But you have to ask yourself - if I keep telling myself I’m not good enough, not ready etc., then what will ever make me take that leap?

The thing is, we will NEVER know the outcome is guaranteed. So we can get lost in this perpetual loop of never feeling ready, never having enough security on the other side of that leap to ease that fear of potential embarrassment.

Taking big steps forward in your life - it takes courage. It’s not for everyone. That’s why very few people are hugely successful - because they’re too afraid to take the risk. They tell themselves they will, one day. But really they’ll stay stuck in the status quo and even put up with massive discomfort in their lives, rather than take that leap.

So you have to say to yourself - DO I want to wait until I feel ready, knowing that might never happen? Do I REALLY need to be any more than I am right now, to make a start? Or am I just going to go for it, trust myself and promise myself I’ll do everything I can to make this work?

That’s the only route to guaranteed success. That’s where you have to get your mindset.

2. The second big saboteur - is the way we talk to ourselves.

Have a big think about the things you say to yourself every single day.

I’m stressed.

I’m under so much pressure.

I’m not lucky.

I hate going live.

I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing.

I’m ‘just’ a mum.

I never earn very much through my business.

I’m disorganised.

The thing is, we believe everything we say to ourselves - out loud and in our heads - and all those messages build up and compound to give us a very negative impression of our world and the possibilities for us.

But those messages - most of them aren’t true and aren’t fair. Or maybe sometimes they are true - but sometimes they aren’t! Or there are other possibilities… but we never tell ourselves the positives.

And if you’re constantly reinforcing to your brain that you’re disorganised, you’re ‘just’ a mum who doesn’t earn very much, you don’t know what you’re doing… what do you think that is doing to your confidence? To your ability to GET organised? To your ability to believe you CAN earn more money? If we believe our situation is iron-clad and that these things we tell ourselves are the absolute truth - then we’ll never try to approach things differently. What if you started telling yourself you CAN be organised, for example? What might start to happen differently? So listen to yourself and those messages you’re constantly reinforcing. What would be helpful to you to hear instead? What do you need to believe, to make a difference? It’s simple input and output, you’re programming your reality minute by minute, second by second. So tell yourself what you DO want to see rather than what you don’t!

The minute I started to take myself seriously as an entrepreneur rather than just calling myself a therapist, everything changed.

I’d love you to get in touch and tell me what changes you’re going to make today to support your journey!

3. My third, and maybe most important success saboteur for today…

Is the way you treat yourself and your business.

Not investing in yourself. Not investing in your business. Not investing in your goals, aspirations and future.

Yes, investing can be scary. We’re sooo good at telling ourselves how it’s all going to go wrong, it’ll be a waste of time and money, we’re better just keeping on doing what we’re doing and we’ll get there eventually etc. etc.

But if you’re not investing in yourself, what is that saying about how much you value yourself or your business?

In terms of business, it’s saying to your subconscious “I don’t back myself to make this worthwhile. I don’t believe I can make enough of a success of my business to make this money back. I don’t trust myself to make this work”. Wow, that’s a pretty powerful negative message, isn’t it? I did this for a long, long time by the way, so I totally get it. Now - I practically fall over myself to invest with the RIGHT people. If you need some help deciding what you should be investing in, by the way, check out this episode on What to Consider Before You Invest.

I do that because I know that when I invest, I’m mentally moving my business up the league table. I’m subconsciously saying to myself, “You’re serious about this and you’d better step up because you’re playing with the bigger fish now”. It’s a way of committing to growth and action. And that is so powerful.

It’s a demonstration of trust in ourselves. And if we try and while our way out of it by saying… “Hmmm, I might invest next time, when I’m really ready” or “I’m not sure I should commit my cashflow to that right now, just in case…” - then we’re giving ourselves excuses NOT to take action, not to move forward NOW.

It’s like putting off the diet until Monday… and then next Monday… and then the new year… we never get there!

The only way to start making real progress is to be decisive and do things now. And it’s important to invest in yourself, too! It’s not selfish, it’s not arrogant - it’s self-respect, and that’s very different.

When you show yourself respect, people start to respond and treat you differently. When you invest in you and your happiness, your success, you become a more satisfied, more fulfilled version of yourself. And that radiates out. When you start giving off these vibes to everyone else that you are happy, secure, content, they’re going to enjoy your company more and be happier themselves, too! Heck, they might even be more attracted to working with you!

So give yourself what you need: whether that’s time, something that’s going to really make life easier for you, or something like a course you need to develop yourself or your business and help you get where you really want to be.

Because all that time you spend operating from a place of lack is just fuelling that negative self-image and keeping you stuck.

Be more L’Oreal - I’m worth it! And I will make it work. Not next year, not when I’m ready. Now. Because as we know, there’s no such thing as ready! And there’s no-one who can make this happen but you.

Thank you for listening, it’s been a pleasure and I hope it’s been helpful for you!

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