Get Out of Your Own Way

When we set out to achieve what matters most to us in our lives, work, and businesses, we often start with creating plans of what we need to do to get from where we are to where we want to be.

And that is a wise thing to do. It is important to have a cohesive strategy and plan to set yourself up to succeed.

But that on its own isn’t enough.

What many people overlook when they are creating their plans is that it is equally important to take a look at themselves at the same time and assess anything that could contribute to them getting in their own way or sabotaging their progress and results.

You can have the best vision, strategy, goals, and plans in the world but it is you who are responsible for turning them into action and results.

And if there are factors that could mean you are getting in your own way of the progress and results you want to create, you need to be aware of that. Awareness is a precursor to change and improvement. The more awareness you create for yourself, the easier it will be to come up with a meaningful plan to make sure you aren’t getting in your own way as you move forward.

To help you get started with creating more awareness, identifying how you might be getting in your own, and what you can do about it, have a go at the following process.

6 Steps to help you get out of your own way

The reasons we can get in our own way can be complex, and many, and vary from person to person. But some of the common ones that relate to us all include our behaviours, habits, mindset, thought patterns, and emotions (e.g. things like fear, self-doubt, lack of confidence, inner critic, etc.). So that is what we will focus on for this exercise. 

Step 1 – pick a goal or specific outcome you want to achieve in your life, work, or business.

Step 2 – as you think about that specific goal or outcome, do a behaviour and habit assessment:

- Are your current behaviour patterns, habits, and how you are showing up conducive to achieving that specific outcome? Are they moving your forward or holding you back and sabotaging your progress and results? What will you do about any current behaviours and habits that result in you getting in your own way of the progress and results you want?

- On the flip side, what behaviours and habits, if you adopted them, set you up to succeed and support your progress and results? What will you do to start creating those things?

Step 3 – Assess the impact your mindset, thought patterns, and emotions have on your actions. Your actions determine your outcomes, so it is important to be aware of how you think and feel are impacting how your show up.

- Are your current mindset patterns and emotional state helping you move forward or holding you back? What is driving them? Get curious about the way you think and feel and the impact that is having.

- What stories are you telling yourself? How are they impacting how you are showing up?

- Identify any limiting beliefs, self-doubt, and confidence issues that are showing up for you and the impact they are having. What are the first steps you can take to start dealing with those things?

Step 4 - ask yourself, “in what ways, if any, am I getting in my own way of the progress and results I want to achieve.” Make a list of everything that comes up for you.

Step 5 – take everything that comes up for you in steps 1 – 4 and identify what you need to change, start doing, stop doing, learn, and implement to make sure you aren’t getting in the way of the progress and results that matter most to you. Create a plan. Implement it.

Step 6 – Break your plan down into really small chunks to work on and identify the first steps you need to take. Just focus on taking a few small steps at a time to avoid this feeling like a big, overwhelming project.

Reality check:

This topic can be difficult to fully address alone. Creating behaviour, habit, mindset, and emotional change can feel like a mountain to climb and sometimes, we just don’t have the skills to do that alone. Plus, we all have blind spots and might not be able to see how or why we are getting in our own way. So, it can be very helpful to get help and support from a trusted friend or colleague or by hiring an expert such as a coach, counsellor, or therapist.

Important Note: how we get in our own way and what to do about it is a big and complex topic with many possible contributing factors. We cannot cover it all in one go. So, what we are doing here is just creating a starting point. And for the purposes of getting started, we are just focusing on four big and common factors that impact us all – behaviours, habits, mindset, and emotions. If you know there are other factors specific to you, add them to your list to be assessed, investigated, and to create awareness so that you can start dealing with them effectively. 

The bottom line:

When it comes to achieving what matters most to you, who you are "being" is as important as what you are "doing". So make sure you have a process to make sure you aren't getting in your own way of the progress and results you want to create. 

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