What to do when only person in your way is you

If you're reading this and you already suspect you might be getting in your own way then I applaud you. It certainly took me a while and many years of experience to spot when someone is their own worst enemy.

It takes vision to really be able to step back and look at your problem objectively to identify if your own behaviour is becoming your biggest roadblock to success.

Rarely, do we ask ourselves, am I the problem? Rarely are we truly willing because if the answer is yes, then the solution (and the work) lies with us.

So how do you know if you're getting in your own way?

Repetition is the biggest clue. If you find that an issue is presenting itself over and over again then it is time to stand back and try to understand why it is happening.

It may not always be related to the same situation for example, someone who feels unworthy might reject opportunities to share knowledge (public speaking), they might never put themselves forward for promotions or feel very uncomfortable sharing their ideas.

Through my consultancy, this is what we look to discover. Whether the person is a CEO suffering from anxiety, an entrepreneur at a cross roads or a mother going back to work, it is important to try to understand this repetitive behaviour before we begin to challenge it.

Once this has been established, we begin to tackle the core reason behind this behaviour and ways to face it. Through experience, we come to the harsh realisation that the only person we have control over in our lives is ourselves.

Sometimes, if you can’t change a situation you have to change yourself. And this can be the hardest part.

Here are my five top tips when it comes to challenging your own behaviour:

  1. Write down your challenges: Writing is a powerful tool. It will help you outline your experiences and get to the bottom of repetitive behaviour that is holding you back.
  2. Speak to someone objective: Talk to people you trust about your issue. It doesn't have to be a friend or relative it can be an objective colleague or consultant.
  3. Understand that no one is perfect: We set ourselves impossible standards sometimes and rarely give ourselves credit. If you are being courageous, brave and challenging yourself, then you deserve a pat on the back.
  4. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable: Everyone gets nervous and everyone messes up but if you keep avoiding the situation and give up you’ll never move forward.
  5. Keep going! - Keep challenging yourself, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

"Sarah is everything a successful entrepreneur should be, creative, tenacious with a clear vision on how to develop her business. She never ceases to impress me with her energy, attention to detail and most importantly, is always comfortable leading from the front with her hands on management style..."

Nick Holmes - Former MD at Rockliffe Hall, Non Executive Director positions at Gisborough Hall, Swinton Estate and Ramside Hall

"Having set up my business when I was 23, Sarah's advice and experiences in the wedding industry were a vital part in the success of my Simply Bows and Chair Covers franchise. As a franchisor, Sarah has always been on the other end of the phone to help me with my dilemmas and pass on her experience and business advice..."

Joanne Smith - Simply Bows and Chair Covers Lancashire

"Sarah was asked to support the wedding product here. Right from the first meeting she was professional, personable and down to earth. She found out as much information as possible, including attending events to get a feel for our product first hand and give her the best insight..."

Ruairidh Taylor - Hotel Manager, Gisborough Hall Hotel

"I hope our paths cross again before too long because I think you’re a brilliant example to budding doubters like me and a flipping great individual too! Thanks again for the inspiration you are and always be aware that folks like me, who’ve had the good fortune to meet you, are better for it..."

Alan Green - Corporate Photographer

"Sarah is an extremely good listener and will look at projects from all angles and give help and advice from her perspective.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Sarah as a mentor and indeed will be back in touch with her soon with regards to my next business venture..."

Katie Lindsay-Brown

"I was so inspired by Sarah’s story, where she had been, what she had endured and the phenomenal success she made Simply Bows and Chair Covers I just knew I had to be a part of this great business model.
I have now been running my franchise for the last 4 years and I love it. Sarah is very supportive, knowledgeable and I know if I need advice she will always be there..."

Adele - Simply Bows & Chair Covers, South Wales

"I joined the team at Simply Bows & Chair Covers Northumberland in 2015, this was a big step for me but Sarah gave me some good advice and lots of support. This was the best move I made and I have not looked back. Thanks to Sarah's guidance and time that she has invested in me, I feel stronger and more confident not only in my work but in life in general..."

Debbie - Simply Bows & Chair Covers, Northumberland