All of us have habits. Biting your nails, checking your phone every time it buzzes, leaving the toilet seat up… humans are creatures of habit, for sure. When it comes to running a business, it’s really no different. We develop habits unconsciously, often not even realizing we are doing it.
We are also, most of us, aware that developing good habits, or getting rid of the habits that don’t serve us, would be a great thing to do. The trouble is, it’s not that easy.
There are all sorts of reasons why it’s hard to change your habits, but there’s one in particular that I want to dig into. We often think of habit change being about willpower, pure and simple. If you want something enough, you’ll do what it takes. But there’s another, more insidious thing I want to talk about:
Making change is especially difficult if what you are doing now is in some way getting results. Take these examples:
You might want to work fewer hours – those 70 hours you’re racking up each week are sapping your energy and leaving you with no time to spend with your family, and you’d love for that to change, but the problem is, those 70 hours are earning the money. You’re AFRAID that if you put in less time, you’ll get less income.
You might want to delegate more tasks so you don’t have to do it all yourself. But when you do them yourself, you know it’ll be done right, and you’re AFRAID that if you ask someone else to do it, you’ll end up having to redo it because they did it wrong.
The people around us often feed those fears too. How often have you heard fellow business owners saying, “If you want to make a success of your business, you need to work harder than anyone else, you’ve got to expect to work 60-80 hours a week,” or, “If you want a job doing well, you have to do it yourself?“
But what if they’re wrong? What if these are just myths? What if you could achieve the same income, or the same results, by doing things differently? What if you could win 10 or 20 hours a week back for yourself? What if you could delegate a task and have it done EVEN BETTER than you could?
As Jim Collins said, “Good is the enemy of great.” It’s much easier to stop doing something that isn’t working at all than it is to convince yourself to stop doing something that’s getting some results, even if the results aren’t the best, and even if you think there might be a better way. Sticking with what you know feels safer.
What if you had the courage to try? What if, by being brave enough to change HOW you work, you could achieve even greater results? Where would you start? What support would you need? What would you most want to change to make work more enjoyable again?
Challenging your belief system requires courage. It means taking what you think you know, and challenging all of it. If you believe that success is directly related to working longer and harder, it will take courage to convince yourself to build a habit of working less. If you believe that no one else can do the job like you can, it will take courage to allow someone else to have a go.
But it doesn’t stop there. It will also take courage to keep going. Because you will not always be successful first time (or second, or third time). You have to give yourself time and space to learn – to fail and to learn from those failures.
But when you can challenge your beliefs, be courageous in the face of failure, and use your stubborn determination to learn a new way of working, THEN you give yourself the freedom you so long for.
The reason coaching is so powerful is that it helps you identify and challenge your limiting beliefs, gives you strategies to help you make changes to your habits and behaviours, and gives you encouragement while you learn that your courage to try them is well placed.
Take action today. This fall we are launching a powerful membership program, Work.Life.Smarts. This program will help you develop healthy, sustainable habits for a better business and a better life. No more working longer and harder, no more busy-ness for the sake of busy-ness. Just smarter, more effective ways to use your time and energy.
Stay tuned for official launch info (click the blue button at the top of the page to be first in line to hear the news as it happens).