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Moving Beyond Self-Sabotage By Alicia Smith

Self-sabotage is one key factor that keeps our business from moving forward. We can sabotage ourselves in a variety of ways. There are many ways we can prevent ourselves from enjoying the success we desire. To ensure that our businesses grow and prosper, it is vital that we learn how to push through unproductive attitudes. Here are some tips to help you move beyond self-sabotage.

1. Get into action. One of the best ways to overcome self-sabotage is to get into action and do something. In the case of your marketing, put yourself out there. Show the world who you are through your website, business cards, brochures, or through giving a speech. Do something now. Do anything -- now. Itís the best deterrent to pushing through self-sabotage.

2. Network. Get out and meet others. By mingling with others, finding out about their needs while sharing about yourself and your business, youíll feel more alive and energized. Youíll not only have the chance to meet new people, but you might also create some opportunities that might propel your business to a new level.

3. Be intentional. A great way to get you going is to do everything with intention. Living with intention is all about being conscious about how and why you are doing something. Make a plan to meet one new person for lunch each week. Consciously cultivate referrals by setting aside two hours per month to call up friends, family and business acquaintances to share whatís new with your business. Donít just make lists of things to do. Every marketing effort should be intentional Ė well planned and carried out.

4. Create a support system. Find others who will support you in the things that you are doing with your business. You might consider asking friends, colleagues, or even family members to give their approval on some of the projects that you are working on. While you might not think that something is perfect enough, the people on your support team can provide you with much a much less biased opinion. A support team can help you move to another step if you get stuck. Consult with others Ė sometimes that is all you need to prevent yourself from going down an unproductive path.

5. Craft a vision for your business. Having a clear vision of your business purpose and mission can be critical to your business success. A vision, designed exclusively by you, provides a roadmap to help you move from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow. When you donít have a clear vision about why you are in business and what purpose you are serving, itís easy to go in the wrong direction. Craft a written vision of your business. It will help you stay focused and on track. Donít become disappointed and dispassionate because you havenít invested the time to map out your roadmap to success. Do it now.

6. Develop goals and objectives. Sometimes itís hard to get things done when we havenít formalized our objectives and goals. When we donít have a plan to work from, itís easy to stray down unproductive avenues, or even worse, we may end up abandoning or not starting projects in the first place. As a business owner itís vital that everything you intend to do be committed to writing. Not only will it make it easier to plan individual action steps to accomplish your goals, it will also give you a roadmap to stay on course when are getting distracted or losing motivation. Goals and objectives are a key ingredient to prevent self-sabotaging behavior.

7. Marketing plans are important. Just as important as crafting a vision and supporting goals for your business, itís vital that you commit a marketing plan to paper. It doesnít need to be elaborate (one page will do) but it does need to outline certain information. A marketing plan, like a business plan, will help keep you on course. When the days get long and your motivation is running low, a written marketing plan can keep you focused on the most important tasks that you need to do. When youíre too tired to think about what to do next, instead of engaging in unproductive activities, you can consult your written plan for direction.

8. Just decide. Stop unproductive, self-sabotaging behavior in its tracks, by deciding that now is the time for you to be successful in your business. Adopt an ďI can make it happenĒ attitude. Itís amazing how things begin to shift when we change our perspective.

9. Think long term. Create an action strategy for yourself that you can do for a period of 3 -, 6-, 12-months or more. Starting and running a viable business demands a long-term commitment and attitude. Design your daily business routines as well as different projects or other marketing ideas from the standpoint that you are ďin thisĒ for the long haul. A long-term action strategy is key to preventing you from hampering your progress.

10. Celebrate you. Recognize that you are unique. There is no one else like you Ė there never has been and there never will be. Think about the gifts you were born with. What talents do you have that you can share with customers or clients? What special expertise or unique way of doing things sets you apart from everyone else who might have a similar business? Celebrate your uniqueness.

11. Personal value. One excellent way to prevent self-sabotage is to really honor who you are. Think about the value that you add to other peoplesí lives, not only personally, but through the products and services of your business. When you start thinking of yourself as valuable to others and to yourself, you wonít even think about trying to put walls between you and your progress. You know that you have a responsibility to step up and show others who you really are.

12. Change your attitude. We all know that thoughts influence how we feel. So if you donít like the way things are going in your business, change your attitude. Itís been said that when all you have is a hammer, then everything begins to look like a nail. Shift your thinking and youíll change everything around you Ė from how you feel about your latest marketing efforts, to how you come across on the phone the next time youíre speaking to a client.

13. Reframe failure. Redefine how you look at failure. Failure is a natural part of life and it will inevitably impact your business. Failure is not the end of anything, nor does it mean that you are incompetent. Failure is a teacher that can help you to innovate in your business. It provides you with valuable information that youíre doing something or going in a direction that isnít providing the results that you want. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can re-orient yourself in another direction that can lead to success.

14. Get more knowledge. Sometimes we sabotage our business efforts because we just donít know what we need to know. Lack of knowledge is a common excuse for creating obstructions along our road to success. If you need more knowledge, take classes, read books, or talk to others who have faced similar issues. You can also consider hiring a consultant, coach or specialist who can educate you in the areas you are lacking, or help you solve the issues directly.

15. Welcome success. Business owners fear failure, but they also fear success. The fear of success underlies many sabotaging behaviors because of the accompanying feelings of not feeling good enough to deserve it. Adopt an attitude that you deserve the fruits of your labor, just as much as anyone else does. Changing your thoughts around success and knowing that it is your right to have might be the only thing standing in the way of great opportunities. Take a chance and welcome success with open arms.

© Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith

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