I’m fascinated by human behaviour, and the idea of how we can say something and act differently. We want to start a business, grow a business, go to the gym, start a diet, start a project – and deep down we really want to, but somehow, we don’t.

Why is that? Isn’t that counterintuitive?

We want something, we know it’s going to bring us the outcome we really want. We can see it, we can feel it, but we just can’t seem to act on it. Or, we start it, but don’t finish it because we didn’t have the time, support, resources, money or ‘fill in the blank’ to make it happen.

Has this ever happened to you? I’m sure it did. I know it’s happened to me, and many times too.

From coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade now, I’ve noticed 3 patterns as to how people sabotage their success:

  1. Beliefs
  2. Fear
  3. Self-talk

How your beliefs guide your actions…

Henry Ford famously said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Not too long ago I was chatting with an entrepreneur and he told me, “I want to grow our bottom line by 50k this year.” Later that day, I spoke with another entrepreneur, in the same exact filed, and he told me, “I want to grow our bottom line by 50k a month this year.”

What’s really fascinating about these discussions is that both individuals feel that this is the maximum number possible. It’s as if they doubt that it’s even possible to reach further.

What you believe is possible, is what you’ll achieve.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. Neuroplasticity studies have demonstrated that when your brain sees example of 5 people who have achieved what you want to achieve, it makes a generalisation.

What does this mean to you?

If you want to achieve something and you doubt that it’s possible, hop on the Internet and find examples of five people who achieved it. This will show your brain that it’s actually possible and help you overcome those belief barriers that you have created.

When you understand how your brain works, you can use that knowledge to your advantage.

How fear stops you in your tracks…

Our ancient brain is not made for the modern world. The brain’s function is to keep you alive, and in order to keep you alive, its role is to keep you in “its” comfort zone.

From a brain’s perspective, going out of your conform zone is dangerous because you don’t know what will happen, and the unknown means possible pain, stress, and at worst, even death.

Now, rarely will we take dangerous actions in real life, but from the brain’s perspective, there’s no difference between imagination and reality. The brain is wired to catastrophize and to reinforce our negativity bias – this is why we pay 10x more attention to negative events than positive events. Need proof? Just watch your local news and count the number of negative stories they air.

What does this mean to you?

When you see that you’re not moving forward with an idea, a project, or something that will help you get to the next level of success, stop and ask yourself:

  • Is my brain trying to tell me something that I am not seeing?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if I move forward with this?
  • Who could I call or reach out to if this happens?

You’ll often see that these “worst case scenarios” are really not that bad. And from there, ask yourself, “Ok, then, what’s the smallest step I could take right now to move forward?”

Never underestimate the value of taking that first small step to turn your ideas into actions.

Self-talk, the silent killer…

Self-talk and self-criticism are two of the most destructive patterns we have. If we could play a speaker for everyone to hear what you say to yourself, what do you think we would hear? The truth is, we wouldn’t let anyone talk to us the way we talk to ourselves.

This is where the imposter syndrome and perfections come into play. The imposter syndrome kicks in when you focus on yourself too much and perfectionism creeps in when you are focused on what you are doing instead of who you are.

What does this mean to you?

The first step is consciousness. Pay attention to your inner dialogue, to what you say to yourself. Be kind to yourself, challenge what you say, and ask, “Is this really true?”

Focus on being of service, focus on giving it your all, for yourself, and for those around you, and learn to let go of the outcome. This sounds easier said than done, but practice self-compassion everyday.

Reaching your next level of success is simple when we understand that it’s all about our mindset.

Developing a growth mindset is the most important skill you’ll ever develop – trust me, I know.

Once we accomplish that, we can truly unlock our potential because we now know that so much more is possible…

Sara Gilbert

Are you seeking for support to get there? Contact me at sara.gilbert@saragilbert.coach. You can also find me on social medial LinkedInTwitterFacebookYouTube or join our community.