From time to time we all fall into the self-sabotage trap—which is bad enough—but when it becomes a way of living it will affect every aspect of our lives. Self-esteem and confidence tumbles, income caps off (or plummets), and relationships suffer. When it happens in our business ventures the end result is a lot of frustration, which results in a downward spiral that causes some promising entrepreneurs to give up on their dreams. Once you recognize the habits that keep you from reaching your goals, it’s fairly easy to stop the cycle.
One of the most damaging and destructive habits we can suffer from is that of procrastination. Did you intend to enroll in a highly recommended coaching program but waited too long and missed the deadline? Were you planning on purchasing some much-needed equipment or marketing tool when it went on a Black Friday sale, but put it off until the last minute and the limited supplies ran out?
Procrastination causes us to miss out on significant opportunities. Additionally, it’s what keeps us burning the midnight candle, spending extra money in late fees, and costs us in terms of losing customers and potential customers.
Implement these techniques if you’re prone to procrastinate (and don’t wait to do it):
- Recognize your fear and put things into perspective. Is FOMO ruling your life (Fear Of Missing Out)? Do you put things off until the last minute because you’re afraid something better might come along when you’ve already committed to something else? The truth is that there will always be better things that might come along, but are you really willing to let go of the one good thing in hand for a chance of getting something newer or more popular? Make a commitment and follow through. Jump into that program or use that new tool wholeheartedly without looking back. You’ll be amazed by how much you achieve!
- Practice visualizing the life, business, and success you desire. Think about what it will be like to reach your goals and have the mind-blowing business you’ve been dreaming about. Picture your ideal routine, your list of loyal clients, and daydream a little about how your life will be different when you’re a successful entrepreneur.
- Make sure to reward yourself for staying on top of things. Give yourself some incentive for getting things done. Treat yourself to lunch at your favorite restaurant; buy a new accessory or gadget that you’ve wanted; take a day off. Do what it takes to motivate yourself into moving ahead and up to the next step.
Starting Projects You Never Finish
Is your hard drive full of partially written books and blogs or incomplete tasks? Does your desk have piles of paperwork that need attention? The habit of failing to complete projects is similar to procrastination and may even include a bit of putting things off, but the reasons are different.
Maybe you have an enthusiastic personality and are always on board to start new business ventures or implement new systems. You start with good intentions, but then something new and shiny comes along and before you know it you have a boatload of half-finished projects on your agenda.
On the negative side, maybe you feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, or you believe you’re too busy, or you lack the confidence that finishing a certain project or task will really make a difference. The truth is that this kind of self-sabotage results in self-fulling prophecy—that vicious circle of believing you won’t succeed, which leads to not finishing a task, which leads to not succeeding, which leads back to the belief that you won’t succeed.
Implement these action steps:
- Pick one of your projects, just one, and focus on completing it. Unless there is a deadline on something big, start knocking out the small projects one by one. With each one that you finish, you’ll experience a greater sense of accomplishment that motivates you to keep up the momentum.
- Get organized. Straighten up any clutter, clear some space on your desk, and create a pleasant and inviting workspace. Do you like scented candles or flowers? Is there inspirational artwork or framed quotes on your walls? Does your desk need to be moved closer to a window? Swap out cold fluorescent lighting for warm incandescent lamps. Make your space a place you enjoy.
The destructive habits of procrastination and failing to complete projects are usually the biggest obstacles to success. Once you get these under control, or better yet, out of the way, you’ll be surprised at all the things you’ll be able to accomplish for your life and business!