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How many times have you been ready to make a decision but that little voice in your head pipes up giving you every excuse why you shouldn’t do it?

If so, grab a cuppa, made a note pad and make notes from this article. This is something that affects us all, let me introduce you to the world of self sabotage. Doesn’t sound too good does it, but in all honesty getting in your own way is a nice, dressed up way of acknowledging that we are often our own stumbling block. Getting in the way of our own success, our own brilliance, our own relationships, our own health. Whatever it is, there is a good chance that we are the lead actor in the drama that is unfolding. Broad statement? Perhaps! But this article is for those of you who want to be in the driving seat rather than comfortable believing that we are at the mercy to others.

See, mindset work for us at Balanced Coaching is about the moment you realise that you can do you! Situations may happen around you but at the centre of this work is regaining YOUR inner balance. Curious? Get that pen and paper ready and let’s dive in!

What does getting out of your own way mean?

The first time we heard this phrase was from our very own Mindset Coach, Eileen McCotter Davies. Eileen hosts an annual Mindset Retreat that Sophie and I have attended every year. It is time for us to both step back both as a couple and as individuals and reset away from the business, the 4 walls or home, family and our diaries. While we might go there seeking time to look at ourselves in the beauty of the Cotswolds we end up starting the year with something that we love here at Balanced Coaching – Awareness.

This for us is what Getting out of your own way is about. It is having the awareness of not only our own actions but also our own potential when we drop our barriers. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a quick fix (sorry), this is something that takes time and is a lifelong job but it all starts with the awareness.

But when you do, amazing things can happen. I went from being adamant that I would never get married again, after 2 painful and expensive divorces my barriers were well and truly up. No matter how happy the relationship, marriage was off the cards full stop. Up until this time last year when all the work I had been doing on myself came together and I proposed to Sophie on that very retreat in front of 30 other mindset coaches. I got out of my own way.

At the beginning of this article I mentioned that little voice in your head. The one that kicks in when you try to do something new, when you want to go for a promotion, when you want to ask someone out for a drink. If it’s anything like mine it tends to raise its voice when I step out of my comfort zone. There is a reason for that.

In every single one of us is something called an ego. But before I go on, I am not talking about the type of ego that loves looking at themselves in a shiny surface. I am talking about that internal voice that can shape our self-identity and self-worth, which may influence our behaviour and how we interact with others. At the heart of it, its purpose is to keep us safe and it has a dislike of anything unfamiliar. With this in mind, you can understand how stepping out of our comfort zone can cause us to react.

The most common ways the ego helps us to get in our own way are:

  • We procrastinate
  • We doubt ourselves
  • We judge ourselves & others
  • We feel guilty
  • We react

I wonder how many of you reading this can resonate with that.

Looking at that list what stands out for you? Recognising the behaviour or is it the ‘WE’?

This is all about us.

As humans it can be difficult to look at your own behaviour. It is much simpler to shift the blame and the focus to others around us, whether it is a colleague who you think hasn’t been pulling their weight, or your partner who is blissfully unaware of why you are annoyed but the silent treatment is becoming deafening.

The common denominator in all this is us. Because like I am sure you have heard before. We can only control the controllable and to be honest, that starts and ends with us.

This shift requires self-awareness, a willingness to challenge your own narratives, and the courage to rewrite the script.

In essence, getting out of your own way is an act of reclaiming your autonomy, steering your life’s narrative, and acknowledging that you hold the power to author your own success story rather than play a bit part in someone else’s.

So, What do you want?

Now you understand this phrase and how it can show up let’s look at why it shows up. We are always told that we need to be striving for a goal. A goal that’s SMART, one that scares us a little bit, one that is out of our comfort zone but what does that look like.

So what do you want?

  • More clients that value your services?
  • A regular, more secure income?
  • A partner to share great times with?
  • A body shape that you are proud of?
  • Relationships that you enjoy being in?
  • Time off to relax and enjoy yourself?

These are all great goals and can be life changing but in our opinion the number one reason we may not get what we want, is we are too impatient.

We want it and we want it now.

When it doesn’t happen we get distracted, despondent, frustrated, we start procrastinating, we start doubting and judging ourselves. None of this gets us any closer to our goal. If anything it set us backwards.

So what can we do? Keep on reading for 4 ways to get out of your own way.

4 ways to get out of your own way

  1. Reconnect with your why

This might be a really common phrase nowadays but understanding your reasoning behind why you are wanting to make a change, whatever it might be, can help improve motivation when things start to become challenging and you begin to see the signs of getting in your way.

Rather than just thinking about your why, you could also take a picture or write down what it is you want. Add this to your screen saver on your laptop or phone or put it on the fridge door (somewhere where you see it daily). If not, it will not be in your conscious mind and you will most definitely get distracted from your goal.

2. Think about what it means to you

We are all about the connection here at Balanced Coaching. We don’t really go for the relentless push if something doesn’t sit right with us. Tuning in to our intuition but also our emotions is important to helping us overcome our barriers stopping us from doing the things that we know we give us the things that we want.

Once you know what it is you want (this is at the literal level – I want a partner, I want a body shape I’m proud of, I want more clients) we have to take this to the metaphoric level (what does this mean to you). Because often what the goal means to us is what we truly want (i.e happiness, peace of mind, relaxation, security, significance etc..)

3. Give yourself a pat on the back

That’s right, When was the last time you gave yourself the credit for how far you have come. If you forget to praise yourself for all the things that you have done this week or today – the inner child may think ‘bugger you , why should I help you out, when all you do is kick my ass, pull me down and tell me what else I have to do?!’ .  If you ate 1 healthy meal today that’s significant, if you did 1 Facebook post then acknowledge it, if you contacted an old client – say well done!  If you were trying to help someone but not getting appreciation for your hard work or getting a thank you from time to time, how long would it be before you say “forget this, do it yourself” – It’s no different when having your own internal battles.

Some people can struggle with this step, particularly us, the Brits. But we need to start treating ourselves how we treat others.

4. Stop competing and comparing

For this step it is time to bring the focus inwards. As much as it might hurt, this is all about you. No one else.

Looking for other’s successes will automatically make you draw a comparison to your own.

Remember that others’ success is not an indication of your failure. Only compare yourself to yourself. By improving how you feel about yourself, you can celebrate others’ success without feeling inadequate about it

Breaking free from doubt and judgment not only opens doors but also allows us to reach places that we never thought we could.

Consider my journey – from staunchly vowing never to marry again, burdened by the weight of past divorces, to proposing to Sophie on a Mindset Retreat surrounded by fellow coaches. It shows that by truly understanding ourselves we can begin to write a new story, one that we direct and play the staring role in.