I caught myself the other day, spaced out, wandering aimlessly around my house.
I should have left 5 earlier to get to my next appointment on time...
Instead of leaving, I found myself halfheartedly tidying, refreshing my email and generally wasting my time.
In that moment I realized I was sabotaging myself.
I was subconsciously deciding to leave later than I needed to.
What a bad habit!
That got me thinking about the power of subconscious behaviours to sabotage success.
Obviously, being 5 minutes late to an appointment isn’t the end of the world, but it’s one of those small behaviours I’ve engaged in that compromise my ability to succeed and cause me stress, needlessly.
I began investigating what other bad habits my subconscious might have, and I wanted to share what I learned with you.
The first important realization is that my inner game is just as important as my outer game.
I can be doing all the right things, prioritizing, engaging in activities that will get us closer to our goals, networking, marketing etcetera, but there can come a point where I feel stuck, or unable to move past a certain point.
That’s where the inner game comes in.
#1 how we think is just as important as what we do.
Failing to recognize the power of our thoughts, and start harnessing them to work for us, means our subconscious will often start working against us.
As entrepreneurs, we are at higher risk for being affected by mental illness. It’s a fact uncovered by a study at the University of Berkeley last year.
While, it’s not clear whether you need to be mentally ill to start a business, or if being in business for yourself makes you mentally ill - it certainly plays a part in being an entrepreneur.
Some of the most common subconscious sabotage are things that, once we become aware of them, we can change.
One of the ways I get my subconscious to work for me is to give it a problem to solve before I go to sleep.
More often than not I wake up with a solution.
How great is that!
Instead of letting my subconscious do whatever it wants, I’ve intentionally created ways to direct it and harness it to contribute to my success.
#2 Telling yourself “I can’t do it” or “I’m going to screw this up”
How are you talking to yourself in your head?
Are you telling yourself that you can't do something, or that you're never going to be able to do it well enough, or that it won't be perfect or as good as the next guy?
Aha! If you are, then you're dealing with negative self-talk.
Congratulations, now you can take steps to deal with it.
The ways I deal with negative self talk are:
- Being aware that negative self talk is happening.
- Accepting it’s happening.
- Generating positive self-talk .
- Creating a morning routine that drowns out negative self talk before it starts.
I’ve found the following morning routine helps set me up for success.
#3. Starting work first thing in the morning.
Do you have a morning routine that is purposefully designed to set you up to succeed?
If it consists of grabbing a cup of coffee and your phone, you’re missing out on a powerful opportunity to retrain your brain to help you succeed.
I like to start my morning with a set of habits that set my brain up for success, before it can start to sabotage me with negative self talk, worry, fear or other distractions.
I meditate, I get proper nutrition, I drink lots of water, I exercise, I do affirmations, I set my goals for the day, and I tell myself, "I'm going to do it."
Then, I play loud music that gets me pumped up and ready to rock my day!
The whole thing only takes an hour or so and it gets my head on straight.
Then, and only then start my work-day.
What kind of routine would set you up for success?
#4 Poor Focus
Another bad habit that can sabotage success is a lack of a vision, which leads to lack of focus.
- What's your vision?
- What are you trying to achieve in the world before you die?
- Who do you serve?
- What are you trying to get done this quarter?
Based on that information, you should have the information you need to say yes or no to any given ask, based on whether it will help you realize your vision or not.
This laser focus removes the cognitive load that can be associated with decision making and frees up your subconscious to help you attain your goals.
#5 Being a victim of time
The last subconscious habit that is sabotaging your success is how you are relating to time.
A lot of people I talk to, in fact, most of them, when I ask them how they are, they say, "Oh, I'm so busy."
And while we all are, many of us have become victims of being too busy.
Instead get control of your time and get it working for you!
Start saying no to things that will not achieve your objectives.
Based on your goals and what you need to accomplish that day, write down the three things you need to get done and do the hardest one first.
Set a timer, close all your other tabs on your computer, put your phone on airplane mode, and give yourself an hour to get it done, and you will.
You'll be surprised how much you can accomplish by just deciding that you're going to focus and not be distracted by all the things in the world that want to distract you.