Achieving Success - The Things We Have to Face (but don't want to...)
As we are heading towards the end of the year we naturally start to take inventory of what we have accomplished this year. Some of us might be really happy with our results, others might find themselves in almost the same place they did 12 months ago.
We wonder, what does it really take to have a breakthrough in our business? What does it take to bring it to the next level. The usual answers are, generating more leads, converting more of those leads or increase efficiencies... In my experience those are all great places to focus on, but ultimately they are not what helps you get a breakthrough.
Through working on my own business and working with so many other small business owners I have learned that it is almost the business owner themselves who is keeping a lid on the company.
As business owners we look to improve everything around us, but not enough are we looking at our own limitations.
The Lesson I Have Learned
I remember when I was pushing up against a wall trying to get my coaching business to the next level. I felt stuck and somehow couldn’t take things to the next level. I remember I had all the information I needed on what to do, or at least it was easily accessible. So it was not lack of information that was holding me back (seldom is…).
I remember a conversation I had with my coach at the time and she asked me to look at the ways I was sabotaging myself.
First I was in “defense mode” and tried to make excuses and justify. But then I started to see more clearly and my awareness about what was actually happening increased. I learned a very important lesson.
Unless I acknowledge, understand and embrace the different ways I sabotage my own success I will never get what I truly want. Living by the principles of success doesn’t mean that I can simply adopt new, positive habits. It means that I first have to fully acknowledge and embrace my negative habits. Right now they are part of me and have a direct impact on what I am able to do and be. Once I fully embrace them, only then, can I let go of them and create room for new positive habits to be established.
A Real And Lasting Breakthrough
Nowadays many people talk about how you have to focus on the positive - focus on what you want. What you focus on increases, etc. Yes that is true, but it’s only half the truth.
Unless you become fully aware of what negative qualities are actually sabotaging your success and you understand the dynamics, you can’t let them go. And you first have to let them go to create room for new, positive habits to be established.
We have to understand that pretty much everything we do, we do for a reason. We get something out of doing it - some sort of payoff. Otherwise we simply would not be doing it. Some of these unproductive behaviors might give us immediate gratification, or feeling of security and protection, or maybe feeling of comfort. Maybe it’s even that we are so familiar with status quo, that we simply are afraid of change and growth.
To have a real and lasting breakthrough you have to find out the underlying reason for your current behavior. Only once you have the awareness about why you do what you do, and the payoff you receive, can you start choosing doing something differently.
How Does This Relate To Your Business?
If your business is not as successful as you’d like it to be, then you have to first examine what is currently happening that produces status quo. How are the actions you, or your employees, take contributing to maintaining status quo? How are you endorsing these behaviors, by not actively doing something about them, or fully acknowledging that this is what is going on?
To have a breakthrough in our business, we have to take some time to contemplate what is truly holding our business back. Most of the time we, as the business owners know what we need to do, we are simply not doing it. Why?
Here are some questions to contemplate:
What are three things I am currently doing that are not in alignment, actually counterproductive, to reaching my goals?
Why am I doing each one of these things? What is the “payoff” I receive from doing them?
Then ask yourself, "Am I ready to let go of these things? Do I want my business to succeed more than I want the short-term payoff I receive by doing these things?"
The key here is that you will only be ready to let those things go and create room for new, productive behaviors, when you want your business to succeed more than you want the short-term payoffs you get from your negative habits. Next time we'll talk about the letting go process - how to let go of some of these negative habits.
Thank you for joining me on the journey to success!
Simon Zryd, Productivity and Business Coach