3 Ways You’re Subconsciously Punishing Yourself in Business

You’ve been working hard all month. You’ve been publishing your posts on social media. You’ve been drumming up the leads. You’ve even been putting in extra hours so you can make sure you leave no stone left unturned when it comes to signing new clients. Yet, you’re ten days away from the end of the month and all you can think about is what you didn’t do. The things that you should’ve done (or done better). How you would’ve been further along or even surpassed your income goal if you would have just done the thing that taunts your mind.

This cycle isn’t just annoying or draining—it’s toxic to you and your business. 

If you find yourself working hard, going above and beyond in your business, to the point of burning out or falling out of love with what you do—you’re likely dealing with punishment mentality. Punishment mentality is where you make yourself suffer through things that should bring you joy and fulfillment—like running your business.

Resentment can be caused by a punishment mentality. Resentment can be directed at your company, clients or even yourself. It’s why you see some business owners burn their businesses to the ground after crossing the seven-figure mark. When you’ve been at this for too long and you’ve learned to use your purpose as a whip to flog yourself with, your love for your business slowly dies. 

The good news is that there’s another way. You need to be aware of the signs before you can figure out what you should do. Below are some warning signs you might be unconsciously punishing your self in your business.

1. Drill Sergeant Syndrome

How many times have you been pushing through something in your business, and you say to yourself, “My feelings don’t matter. I just have to get it done.” While honoring your agreements is noble, if you find yourself saying this often, you may want to look at the agreements that you’re making. 

Being in your business shouldn’t be something you have to force yourself through. Yes, you will be challenged and there will be tough moments—but let’s be real. There are always moments where you’re being stretched. It’s normal. 

What makes those moments feel harder and super painful isn’t the moment or situation itself. It’s the way you talk to yourself and treat yourself through the situation. That drill sergeant in you telling you that you should be perfect, or that bad things shouldn’t happen, or that you should have a perfect morning routine, or all of the other shoulds that make you feel not up to snuff. 

All of those shoulds, all of those expectations that voice in your head has for you—they’re not realistic. To be able to build a 7-figure company and feel open, relaxed, spacious and rejuvenated each day is to love your staff, clients, and yourself. It’s not being lazy, it’s being open, compassionate, and fluid.

“Self-compassion-being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure-is associated with more motivation and better self-control.” — Kelly McGonigal

2. Compare

What if you launch your program for the first time and sign five clients, but you had a goal of 10, should you be disappointed or happy? Instead of focusing on the failure to reach the goal, most people focus on the problem and blame themselves. You don’t celebrate the five souls that just said yes, but instead, you focus on the loss of the five people that passed. 

The process of focusing your attention on the gap will cause you magnify and amplify the difference between your results and what you had hoped for. This is where you can get into a dangerous situation. But there’s a fundamental flaw to this comparison game.

You don’t know how many times it took the other person to drive those results. You didn’t see their failures and fears and moments of challenge. Instead you compared what was happening behind the scenes to their spotlight moment. That’s like comparing someone who’s learning how to grow a little pot of cilantro in the window to a commercial farmer who’s been producing crops since before they could spell the word tractor.

When you focus on what’s in the gap instead of what you have, you focus on the cycle of lack. Focus on what you created and appreciate it—that is how you elevate your business. In that process of celebrating your wins and focusing on what’s working, people then see you differently because you see yourself differently. It is important to stop the negative self-punishment that many business owners succumb to.

3. Myth about Hard Work

As a kid, you probably heard stories about how important it was to put in hard work and get what you want. However, there’s an inherent flaw in this line of thinking. There are two distinct concepts of working hard and making money in the business. You can work hard and barely have anything to show for it (ask any Denny’s wait staff). You can also work between 20 and 30 hours per week, amassing wealth beyond what most people can even imagine. 

You don’t have to work hard to earn what you have. You can simply share one sentence with someone who will forever change their business or life. This is called receiving. Receiving comes from the exchange and creation of value. Not your blood, sweat and tears.

Not only do you not have to work hard to receive the money you desire, but you don’t have to work hard to enjoy the money that you do have either. It doesn’t pay off to work hard. This is factory worker mentality and it doesn’t work for entrepreneurs. Working hard for what you make isn’t required. It’s required for you to take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, take care of your body, rest your mind—all of the things that help you to stay out of burnout. 

You work when you are dedicated and committed to your work. You’re dedicated, committed, and all-in—working diligently and effectively. You also care about yourself as much as you work. So that you are able to work without causing any harm, it is important that you allow yourself the time and space to recover. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you become when you stop working hard and start working effectively.

It’s the subtle things…

It can seem like you are just trying to do a good work in your business by making yourself a sham. Your actions speak louder than your words. You push yourself. And you don’t leave your chair until your energy is depleted. But that’s not how you build a healthy relationship with your business. 

You can’t imagine spending hours with someone new every day and never getting any breaks until your bedtime. You’d get tired of that person really quickly and grow to resent them because you would feel bound, obligated, and stuck. The same thing happens to your business. 

These are easy changes that can be made to make your life more free and not use your business as an instrument of torture. You can give yourself time to be a better person by giving yourself space and structure. Do not try to push yourself past the obstacles. Learn how to make your work easier and more productive, instead of putting yourself under too much stress. Your business is important to you and it should be a passion project. Do not be harsh on yourself.

The post 3 Ways You’re Subconsciously Punishing Yourself in Business first appeared on Addicted 2 Success.

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