What is self-sabotaging behaviour?
Self-sabotaging definition: behaviours or ways of thinking that limit your potential.
Self-sabotage is something we all do. Even if you’re successful in your virtual assistant business you’ve probably done it at one time or another. Unfortunately, it enables very costly outcomes. Yes, it can affect even your income.
Self-sabotage often leads to frustration, burnout, and resentment of either your clients or your business. As virtual assistants, we can all agree that that’s not a good thing. Customer service is a very important part of what we do and those attitudes can have a negative effect on how we provide virtual assistant services. This downward spiral can quickly turn devastating to your business.
Putting an end to this behaviour can be easy when you learn to recognize the symptoms. In this article, we list some common self-sabotaging behaviour patterns. Virtual assistants should look for these signs of self-sabotaging behaviour and avoid them:
Is this you?
- You wanted to apply for a high-end virtual assistant coaching program. Then you missed the application deadline.
- You had the intention of sending your proposal to a potential client. Then you waited too long and you probably haven’t even started the proposal yet.
- You came across a great sale price on a tool you need for your business. Again, you waited too long to take advantage of an opportunity you might not see again.
Yes, that’s procrastination, one of the many self-sabotaging behaviour patterns that can damage your business. You’ll find yourself missing opportunities because of it. It is one of the most destructive habits any business owner can have.
You’ve probably found yourself working late nights to meet a deadline or spending extra to cover late fees. Worst of all, because of it, you’re probably losing good business.
End procrastination now with these techniques:
Recognize and face your fears
Fear can be a cause of procrastination. Fear keeps us stuck.
Maybe you’re afraid of not reaching your goals even with a high-end coach. So you delay applying. Maybe you’re afraid your proposal won’t match up to your competitors. So you avoid sending one. Maybe you’re afraid that if you invest in a new tool and it turns out to be the wrong choice, it will reflect badly on you. So you avoid buying it.
But guess what! In business, to be truly successful, you’re going to have to face your fears. And that starts by recognizing them.
So, what are your fears? What holds you back from moving forward? How are you going to face these fears for the sake of your virtual assistant business?
Visualize the business you want for yourself
Most people go into business with a dream. What about you? Is there somewhere you want to be? What is your dream?
Do you have a picture in your head of what you’d like your business to be? Your ideal workday. The trips you’ll take. The clients you’ll land. The money you’ll make. Whatever your dream is for your business, visualize it!
Be motivated to get things done.
Now, every time you accomplish something, reward yourself. Give yourself a little incentive to keep going. Here are some nice little treats you can give yourself:
- Take yourself out to lunch at that restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to.
- Take an afternoon off and do something relaxing.
Think about what will most likely motivate you to push through despite your fears. However, don’t overdo it. Overindulging is another self-sabotaging behaviour pattern to avoid.
2. Not completing your projects
Is this you?
- Piles of half-read self-help books are gathering dust on a shelf.
- A folder on your computer drive is filled with partially planned projects.
- Your inbox is cluttered with tons of emails for courses you signed up for but never started.
- You probably started all of these projects with great enthusiasm.
- You were excited to get insights from a leading business owner by reading his or her best-selling book.
- Maybe you had an awesome idea for a project to help boost your business.
- You thought doing that course could help you solve your biggest challenges as a virtual assistant. But then…you just stopped.
You’ve probably used this excuse:
I’m too busy. I need to focus on more urgent things.
Then, that’s the end of it.
The truth is, excuses like this are not the real reason. Some coaches will tell you that this self-sabotaging behaviour pattern exists because of a lack of confidence.
Push yourself to the finish line with this realization:
- You’ll only succeed if you finish it.
- You would make it better if you finish it.
- Your dream would become a reality if you finish it.
So power through and start releasing those unfinished projects now.
3. Negative self-talk
Is this you?
- “I’ve never been good with money.”
- “I can’t land this client.”
- “I am not skilled enough to do this project.”
If you’ve made such statements or entertained these thoughts, then you’re guilty of negative self-talk. This is another of the self-sabotaging behaviour patterns that can be very damaging to you as a virtual assistant and your business.
Do you know that what you visualize and believe is what becomes true? For instance, if you tell yourself that you’ve never been good with money, then you won’t be. If you tell yourself that you won’t land a client, then you won’t. If you tell yourself that you’re not good enough for that project, then even if you do it, you might fail.
This is known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. It causes poor performance because we act as if the bad things are already true. We focus on them so much that we declare failure before we even try.
Have you ever felt this way?
Do you tell yourself, “I can’t land this client, so what’s the point in trying?”
By contrast, if you act and think positively, you’ll approach your business differently. The confidence you need to succeed will increase. This new approach can have positive effects on your business. It affects the way you deal with your clients, it enables better connections with potential clients, and it helps to brighten your brand.
How to stop negative self-talk
- Acknowledge that you do it.
- Every time you do it tick a mental checkbox.
- Take note of the ones that occur the most. Then, identify their origin.
- So, the next time you find yourself saying negative things find a way to refute it. Think of moments in the past when the opposite of the negative things you expect happened. That’s solid proof that your negative sentiments are wrong.
- Rephrase your self-talk to something positive.
The self-fulfilling prophecy works both ways. If negative self-talk can become true then so can positive self-talk.
End your self-sabotaging thoughts now and be the best you can be.
Don’t let self-sabotaging behaviour patterns take away your potential to achieve success as a virtual assistant in the Caribbean. Combat these behaviours now so that you can reach your fullest potential.
We’ve given you some insights on how to stop self-sabotaging. Now it’s up to you.