Is It Self-Care Or Self-Sabotage?

One of my clients was recently talking about her routine. She starts her day by waking up and listening to motivational podcasts while she gets ready. She does her hair and makeup, picks out her clothes, and drinks her coffee. Then, she spends some time coaching herself, on her business, on something that might feel scary, and on her personal life.

She’s an amazing client. She applies all the work we do together. She’s inquisitive and super smart. But almost a year since she launched, she still doesn’t have the business she wants.

I have another client who works from home. She spends her mornings catching up with her emails and 10k+ followers on IG and FB. She plans out her content. Scheduled posts. Even schedules housework in between lunch and dinner before her kids come home from school.

But she also has less than desired sales in her business.

How can these two seemingly “on-it” women still be struggling to make their dream business happen?

Simple. They’re both “self-caring” themselves to sabotage.

Let’s take the first clients for example... 

When I asked her why she does this every morning, she told me to “prepare” herself for the day. She spends almost 4 HOURS preparing for the day. By the time she’s done “preparing”, it’s almost 11 am.

Do you know what happens next? She sits at her desk, staring at a blank screen. Suddenly all the “preparing” she did disappears.

Her mind goes blank. The clothes she picked, the hair and makeup that was done, all go wasted by the fact that she sits there, staring at her computer screen waiting for an idea to compel her enough to press the “Go Live” button. And when it doesn’t, she throws on another podcast or “researches” ideas on what to talk about.

Let’s take a look at the second client...

She’s built a fairly successful business online. She has followers. She has the presence and engagement she wants. But her online course sales are flat.

She spends her morning online, but once lunchtime hits, her brain says, “Oh shit, the day is almost over” and moves onto “life things”, (i.e. cleaning, tidying, laundry, planning dinner...etc.), while simultaneously trying to run her business.

She thinks she’s being visible and accessible, but really, she quips cute little emojis at comments instead of turning those interactions into relationships.

She’s taking the trash out and walking the dog instead of going live to talk about her course.

She uses her kids’ or husband’s schedule as an excuse to stop working on her business so she can “have it all!”.

Both clients listen to their brains when they tell them, “We’re not wasting time! We’re self-caring”.

These two clients don’t have the business they want because they’re using “self-care” as way to avoid their businesses.

Using self-care as a distraction looks like:

  • Staying busy with your To-Do list instead of building relationships.
  • Not delegating tasks because you can do it better or faster.
  • Spending too much time doing personal tasks.
  • Trying to “multi-task” to get more done...
  • Or the most deadly of self-care fallacies, leaving your day unscheduled so you can have “freedom” to be “spontaneous”.

All of these examples seem harmless but they’re actually ruining your business.

If you’re self-caring your business to death, here’s what you can do:

1. Assess the routine.

Take a look at your routine and ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Why is this important to me?”.

Your brain is going to answer with a reasonable-sounding answer like, “I want to be prepared” or “I want to work MY way” or “I have to know more before I can do that”, but your brain is just being sneaky.

It wants to feel safe and comfortable so it’s going to try to convince you to do things that don’t feel uncomfortable. To “take care of yourself” and “not stress”. This is a huge fat lie. 

Discomfort is the currency to growth. If your business isn’t where it needs to be, it’s because you’re not uncomfortable enough. Your business needs you to be uncomfortable. If you’re not feeling “crawl out of your skin” uncomfortable at LEAST once a day, you’re self-sabotaging with self-care. 

2. Find the thing you’re avoiding.

When your brain answers “why”, again ask it, “Is there something I’m avoiding?” Chances are your stomach will drop, your lower back will tighten, or your shoulders will raise. These are very subtle ways your body response to physiological stress. It means there is something you’re avoiding. So, you have to figure it out.

Is it being more visible online? Is it avoiding meeting new people? Is it just switching up your cozy routine for something new?

Whatever it is, you MUST stop avoiding it & you MUST start doing that thing that causes you to feel your stress response. Why?

Because once you do, you’ll prove to your body (and mind) that you’re not going to die. That you’re good enough and you have control.

The ONLY way to reverse the Anxiety Cycle around your avoidance is to stop avoiding. Once you stop avoiding, your body will stop responding to the thing like it will kill you.

3. Find a new routine.

When doing scary things in your business, especially those that you’ve been avoiding or “self-caring” around, first figure out why you’re avoiding it, stop avoiding it by scheduling time to do the thing you’ve been avoiding, and right after the scary thing is done, do some actual self-care.

Here are the four core strategies for self-care I like to use:
  1. Attention – Centering Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or visualization.
  2. Expressive – Creative strategies like dancing, drawing or coloring, or working on a creative hobby/project.
  3. Reflection like journaling, self-coaching or assessment, or talking it out with someone supportive.
  4. Lifestyle values like cooking a healthy meal, exercising/stretching, or connecting with my loved ones.

Building awareness, being honest yourself, and nurturing self-compassion through all the icky scary things is the most essential part to scaling your business.

A mindset coach (like me) can help you pinpoint self-sabotaging behaviors and support you to make the changes your need to see the business growth you want and way before it ruins your business, and most importantly, help you do it without beating yourself up.

Wanna know how we can work together? Book a free 45-minute call with me ---> HERE.

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