How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Stop Being Your Own Worst Customer!

Are you your own worst customer? This is a very heartfelt and personal blog but I’m putting it out there so I can get out of my own way and stop being my own worst customer! It’s not that my business isn’t successful but I want to move it in a whole new direction and that’s where I’m not making progress currently.

Are you your own worst customer? I know I am! Click To Tweet

The Symptoms of Being Your Own Worst Customer

It’s really easy when you’re running your own business to put everyone else’s needs before your own – clients, colleagues, partners (business and personal) family, friends…anyone really. But… is it all just an excuse?

I’ve put off finishing my new website a zillion times. I can always find something else that needs to be done. Finally, I’ve realised what I’m doing is self-sabotaging. So, it’s time to strip away the excuses and look at the real reason, or reasons, why.

If you’re having trouble finding the success that you want it probably comes down to self-sabotage. There are many reasons why people sabotage themselves and prevent themselves from moving on in their business or life and experiencing success. When I look at what I’m doing I realise I’ve become what’s known as the Perfectionist Procrastinator!

The Perfectionist Procrastinator

The procrastinator part is obvious but the perfectionist part is down to the very high standards I have for myself.  I’ve found some great quotes on this since I started looking into this. I think my favourite is: “I’m a Perfectionist and a Procrastinator. That means I want my house to look perfect…TOMORROW!”

I'm a Perfectionist and a Procrastinator. That means I want my house to look perfect... TOMORROW!

I'm a Perfectionist and a Procrastinator. That means I want my house to look perfect...TOMORROW! Click To Tweet

It turns out there’s what’s known as a vicious triangle of the 3P’s – perfectionism, procrastination and paralysis. I definitely reached the paralysis stage with several of my projects!

Probably a more relevant quote for me is:

I'm a Perfectionist and a Procrastinator. That means I'm my own worst customer

I'm a Perfectionist and a Procrastinator. That means I want my website to look perfect...SOMEDAY! Click To Tweet

I wrote about procrastination in my last blog (you can tell I’m feeling quite introspective at the moment!) Eight Tiny Steps to Help End Procrastination. I’m definitely using those steps myself now.

How to Stop Being Your Worst Customer

For the next month, I’m taking the time to do things differently than I usually do. Instead of placing blame, I’ve figured out what I can do differently, and I’m making a point of going that way if a similar situation occurs.

These are the steps I’ve taken:

1. Name It and Claim It

If you’re behaving in a self-sabotaging way it’s important to admit it and name it. If you don’t admit to having a problem you can’t get to the solution. It’s not

  • because everyone is getting in your way;
  • the fault of the weather, your spouse/partner, or your kids;
  • because you are sick or really busy;
  • due to a customer demanding an unrealistic deadline.

It’s because you’re letting self-defeating behaviour get in your way. This is how I became my own worst customer as I always prioritise my customers’ work over my own.

I’ve taken time out for self-reflection and figured out what my self-sabotaging behaviours are. I looked at each situation without emotion, mapped them on paper and figured out what my pattern is. Once I’d identified a pattern, I was able to go to the next step.

2. Replace It

Once I’d named and claimed my types of self-sabotaging behaviour, it was time to replace them with something more healthy. I’ve flipped around negative self-talk into positive, I respond to myself in positive ways instead of reacting in negative ways. I’m doing something new and different from the same old things I’ve always done. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different response. Shake it up; respond differently.

It’s not always easy and I often find myself being lured towards the siren call of old habits by using the time I’ve allocated to my projects to customers’ work.

I’m dealing with this by:

  • asking better questions of myself;
  • not going back to what’s comfortable;
  • pushing past my comfort zone and coming up with new answers to better questions.

No one ever succeeds in life without taking some risks. I’m evaluating the risks and taking solid steps toward the answers.

3. Practice It

Now I know how to respond differently, it’s important to practice my responses. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. It’s going to take me (and you if you decide to try this) that long to replace bad self-sabotage habits with new positive response habits. I may make a few mistakes along the way, lapse from time to time, but I’ll stop each time, name it, claim it, and replace it.

You may find you need a little help getting to the point of recognising self-sabotaging behaviour enough to replace it with better ways. If so, you can seek the assistance of a life coach or a counsellor to help you when you’re slipping back into old types of behaviour. But, more than likely if you choose to go on this path, within one month you’ll be a new person who is out of her own way, accomplishing more than you ever thought possible. I know I’m now on that path!

This is a far more personal blog post than I usually write but I hope you’ve found it helpful.


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