The ONE thing holding you back in your business is NOT you

Aug 29, 2022 | entrepreneur | 0 comments

I want to talk to you about a message I hear a lot amongst coaches and other entrepreneurs when they talk about mindset and what is holding people back in making progress with their businesses.

I so often hear them say this –

The one thing holding you back in your business is YOU!

I think I’m even guilty of saying this before, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized it’s just not true. Or at least not 100% true.

I don’t like telling my clients (or myself) that it’s their fault they haven’t reached their goals with their business because it doesn’t usually help them to feel empowered and inspired. Instead, it usually just makes them feel worse about themselves. They already aren’t making the progress they’d like to make and now here’s someone telling them it’s their fault. 

One of the things I work on with my clients is helping to motivate themselves from a place of encouragement instead of self-criticism. This is what actually helps to create long lasting change and it doesn’t have the nasty side of effect of eroding our self-esteem like criticism does. Saying that “The one thing holding you back in your business is you,” feels quite critical to me. Also, as I said above – it’s also not entirely true.

What’s actually holding you back in your business 

Here’s what’s actually holding you back from making the progress you’d like to in your business –

Your brain.

Yes, I know, your brain is part of you, but saying it’s your brain (and not you) is actually very powerful because it’s not just your brain, it’s everyone’s brains.

Our brains are wired to help us survive, not to thrive. Our brains will do backflips to try to get us to stay safe inside your comfort zone. This shows up as thinking things like – 

It’s not the right time

I’m not cut out for it

I’m too tired

It will just complicate things

Our brains do not want us to risk rejection, or feel anxiety or shame. In fact, our brains respond to those risks in the same way as a life-or-death situation. There’s an evolutionary explanation to this – when we used to lived in tribes and were more exposed to threats from the wilderness like wild animals, it was actually unsafe to be rejected by others. If you got rejected by your peers than you could be at risk of being thrown to the lions – literally! 

Our brains are wired to want us to fit in along with everyone else and play it safe and it’s our job to teach our brain that we can feel rejection and still be safe. The thing is you can’t grow your business inside your comfort zone. You have to find ways to make sure your brain isn’t holding you back as a business owner.

So, how do you do that?

How to make sure your brain isn’t holding you back in your business

You have to learn tools to interact with your brain in a different way so that it isn’t the one running the show, or better said, so that isn’t the one behind the steering wheel. Here’s one metaphor that helps me when my brain is getting overprotective and trying to keep me in my comfort zone –

Imagine you’re driving a car towards business success. Your brain keeps trying to get into the driver’s seat and turn off the car, or steer it off in a comfortable (less scary) direction, or maybe even just drive it in circles! If you keep on this path, you’ll never get to where you want to with your business.

It would be great if you could just throw your brain and all its fear mongering out the window. But that obviously won’t work. Instead, your job is to take control of the wheel. You have to make sure your brain, and its tendency to overprotect you, isn’t the one in charge of choosing the way forward.

Get in the driver’s seat, send your brain to the backseat, and let your big “WHY” for your business (the reason why you started it in the first place) serve as your compass for where you’re headed. Try to notice when your brain is taking control of the steering wheel and very gently put it in the backseat and give it a tablet to watch some TV shows on. Then hop back in the driver’s seat and keep driving your business in the direction of your dreams.

Interested in diving deeper and learning more tools to make sure your brain isn’t holding you back? 

Schedule a free game plan call with me and we can explore how my 1:1 coaching can help you prevent your brain may be holding you back from achieving your impact and income goals. 


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I'm a therapist-turned-coach who loves working with clients around the world! I work with the globally mobile community to support them through transitions as well as entrepreneurs who need support navigating the rollercoaster of entrepreneur life.

I'm also the co-founder of the Location Independent Therapists (LIT) Community, a mom, a self-compassion advocate, and an aspiring author.