The number one reason aspiring online marketers fail isn’t because they didn’t have the right product or reach the right audience, although both of those are crucial, too.
I believe the number one reason new marketers fail is because of self-sabotage. The inner critic loves to play games with us and mess with our minds, and if we’re not vigilant, we’ll begin to believe these seeds of doubt that tell us we’re not good enough or smart enough to build our own businesses.
Here are 5 ways to keep yourself on track and prevent your subconscious mind from self-sabotaging your efforts.
1: Stop comparing yourself to others.
There’s that marketer on Facebook who turns everything he touches into gold. He never makes a mistake, never loses a dime and makes money hand over fist.
And it’s all B.S.
Everyone has to go through a learning curve. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is human. Which is why you shouldn’t believe everything you see on social media. People want to project a distorted image of themselves to make themselves feel better about their own lives and make you feel like you don’t measure up.
When you stop comparing yourself to others and instead simply focus on your personal growth as well as the growth of your business, it no longer matters that Joe Marketer is supposedly earning a quintillion dollars per second while you’re only making a thousand dollars a week.
2: Focus on the things that matter the most.
Most of the distractions you’re facing are just trivial bits of flotsam that will derail your progress if you let them.
When you get up in the morning, see if you can set everything else aside that isn’t important to your business. Spend the first hours working on your business and leave everything else for later in the day.
Doing the important stuff first is crucial to your success. If you spend most of the day focusing on things that don’t matter, by the time you get around to working on your business you’ll be too worn out to get anything done.
3: Remember why you’re building your business.
Why is it you want a business of your own? More time with family? So you can quit your job? More money? A better house, car and life? More travel time?
Whatever it is, remind yourself over and over again of why you are building your business and what your life will be like when it is successful.
Spend a few minutes every day envisioning what your life will be like when your business is earning you the money you seek. Imagine it’s already happening. See it, feel it, experience it as though it’s a present time fact and not a future projection.
The more real it is to you, the easier it will be for you to stay focused.
4: Love yourself.
That’s right, I said it. Love yourself. Most people find this step extremely difficult. Maybe they’ve been told all their lives that they’re not worthy of love, but if they don’t love themselves, then they’re not going to believe they are worthy of accomplishing their goals.
How do you love yourself? Look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” Go ahead and try it right now.
If you’re balking, you’re not alone. Appreciating yourself for who you are and loving yourself doesn’t come easy for most people but the rewards can be mighty.
As you fall asleep each night, repeat this mantra: “I love myself.” Try it. I promise it won’t hurt, and you might be surprised at how well you sleep and how much better you feel when you wake up.
5: Exercise every single day
Unless you are injured, make sure you get exercise every single day. No amount of caffeine is a substitute for moving your body.
Exercise helps you to be more creative, to think better, to remember more, to be more productive, to be happier and healthier.
6: Use strategies to overcome avoidance and procrastination
Prioritize the important stuff and do it first, before everything else.
If you’re having trouble getting started, break down the task into the smallest steps possible and take the first step right away.
If you’re distracted by social media, shut off the phone and take your computer offline.
Get an accountability partner and hold each other accountable.
Make a bet with someone close to you that if you don’t get your to-do list done this week, you will do something you hate doing.
Whatever it is that slowing you down, causing you to procrastinate or otherwise getting in the way, it’s up to you to find a strategy that will end the avoidance and procrastination.
7: Embrace self-doubt.
This might sound confusing, but if you want to end self-sabotage, then embracing self-doubt is paradoxically a good way to do it.
When I say “self-doubt,” I don’t mean low self-esteem. Thinking you’re not worthy or you’re a failure is low self-esteem and you need to find a way to rid yourself of those thoughts.
But self-doubt is different. Every successful person has had to deal with self-doubt and they’ve been better because of it.
When you’re not sure you’re doing something the best way, or you’re not certain you’ve chosen the right product for your audience, or you’re questioning anything about your business, you look for alternatives. You investigate to see if you’re on the right path, and you make course corrections based on what you discover.
Self-doubt can drive you to be better at what you do, to go the extra mile or put in the extra hours to truly create your best work.
Self-doubt will tell you when to seek help, advice or support. Other people can give us experience and alternative solutions we haven’t even considered.
Self-doubt allows you to consider alternative plans and find the best way to accomplish your goals.
And self-doubt can even take you away from your business long enough to relax, think, dream, read and plan, so that when you come back to your business the next day you are full of new energy, ideas and solutions.