3 Hang-ups That Prevent You From Succeeding In Business PLUS Your Way Out


It’s true, the only thing keeping you from a successful, thriving business, is well, YOU. It’s not fun to write that, but sometimes the obvious needs to be said. Helen Fisher calls these moments PGO’s: “a penetrating glimpse of the obvious”.

You know what these are: those moments when you see so clearly what interfered with your progress that you almost slap yourself in the head thinking “WHYYY!” Why am I still working on this? Why is it so hard? What’s getting in my way?

The best news of a personal revelation like this is that you’re aware that a pattern is emerging. Something is repeating itself so you can learn from it. To understand it, you have to look at it. Dig in and see what’s underneath your resistance because nothing changes without awareness. So if you have it, that’s a very good step in a different direction.

In the realm of PGOs, let’s look at a few that keep people stuck in the same financial stress and business crisis month over month. Because you can change it. But first you have to figure out what’s paralyzing you from moving ahead.

In my work with clients, here are the 3 hang-ups that are the most common. Which ones are yours? Your work begins there.

#1 Perfection- the need for things to be “just so” prevents more possibilities from happening than just about any hang up you may have. You will never be perfect; that’s how we’re made. We’re imperfect creatures which is part of what makes us lovely and amazing.

Waiting for the perfect moment or the perfect opportunity to do anything in life will stop you from living. If you want to expand your business or try out a new skill or work with a new kind of client, there will never be a “right time” to start.

Just start.

Taking risks is a part of life. You have to risk failure, ridicule and criticism if you are to evolve into the truest version of yourself. What do you want? Meditate on that and find clarity in your mind and heart about where you want your business to go. Then move. Take a step. Calculated risks are still steps in a different direction and that is what matters. Whatever lives at the edge of your comfort zone is the first place to start. Let go of the need for “perfection” so you can start living the business life you have dreamed of.

#2 Fear- You may have started out on the path to become a therapist to heal someone else- perhaps your Mom or Dad. Maybe it was to help prevent someone like you from being hurt or wounded by a predator or from someone who was wounded themselves and knew no better. If that was what put you on the path, that’s a great entry point, but you are more than your past and more than your fear. It’s time to step out of the shadows of your fears so you can explore the work you’re called to do.

Here’s how it works. When you’re past your need to do therapy to fix someone else, what’s left are your own wounds. In John Bradshaw’s book “Homecoming” he revealed something that’s never left my consciousness: you can only take clients down the paths you are brave enough to go down yourself.

Let that sink in.

John Bradshaw revealed that in his career he was drawn to work with incest victims because he was an incest survivor himself. Yet, it wasn’t until he did his own healing that he realized how stagnant and limited the work was for his previous clients. He actually reached back out and offered new insights and support to those people when his own wounded self could finally take a back seat and the clients could take center stage.

That is classic counter transference and we all have it at times. Think about your own.

What is stopping you from being the success you dream about?

Or creating a healing space, center or life that clients are drawn to like bees to nectar?

What worlds could you open up for your clients if you were curious, and ultimately brave enough, to look at what is keeping you stuck?

Tackling your fears does not require that you reveal those moments of growth to your clients. My experience is that your healing is evident even if you never speak about it because YOU are different.

In our world we are mirrors of what’s possible for our clients. If you’re hiding, holding back or unwilling to seek the healing you need, you will attract clients who are in the same place. You will find clients who struggle financially, or can’t come to their sessions on time (or skip them all together).

What is this about? It’s avoidance. It’s avoiding doing the work they need to do to heal. What’s needed is gentle support to help them address their fears and you can be their greatest role model by confronting your own and getting it out of your way.

Fear has no place in a safe life. Yes, unexpected things happen, but, there’s no need to be outwardly afraid of the boogie man. For most of us, the good news is that the worst things that will ever happen to us are over. Now is the time to make sense of them and find the courage to get them off of your path so you can do the good work with your clients you’re meant to do.

#3 Lack of priority — when fear and perfection are out of the way, if you’re still not succeeding, what’s left is your time. Where does the growth of your business live in your life? Do you make time for it? Do you schedule it in? Nothing happens in our busy world without making it a priority. That doesn’t mean it has to take over your life, but just like getting your graduate degree or coaching certification took effort and money, building your business takes the same.

My experience is that the greatest thing we have to lose isn’t money, it’s our time. If you find that you schedule webinars or classes like our Office Hours session, but never attend or regularly scheduled over it because of other, more enjoyable pursuit, then perhaps your truth is that your business isn’t that big of a deal to you. Maybe you’re happy with the clients you have and that’s enough? That’s ok. No one says that we all have to have the career of someone like Esther Perel or John Bradshaw.

But if you want more and don’t have it, then you have to look at practically what’s hijacking your time. Because there are times in our lives when growing our business is very hard. This could be when you have a new baby, or kids who need extra time and attention. The same is true if you’re the primary caregiver for an aging parent or when you’re recovering from being sick. And this is especially true when you’re doing that all-important work to make peace with your past.

Don’t sabotage your own growth because of demands put on your time that make no sense. Be gentle with yourself. But be honest. We’re living a long life. It’s ok to say, “I’ll work on this next year when things calm down”. But if you don’t have something taking over your time, then ask why it’s not on your list?

Why is your own growth NOT on your list?

There are some clues in this list of what can get you out of your rut. Here’s your PGO for the day:

If your hang-up is your past- get a therapist.

If your hang-up is priority — get a business coach.

If your hang-up is perfection — talk to someone you trust. It could be a therapist, coach, clergy, friend, your spouse or someone who will help you remember how amazing you are. Because you are amazing.

Stop dimming your light out of fear that someone won’t like you. I can guarantee someone reading this article didn’t like it.

So. What?

Someone else did. And that is what matters. Get out there and shift this stuff. The world needs you and the good work you do. (And if that didn’t motivate you… call me. I’ll help. Xo)

I published this piece for YourTango Experts, and thank them all for their inspiration to dig deeper and get honest about what it really takes to grow a healing business.