3 Things To Stop Doing To Unlock Your Full Potential in 2023
Most years we start a new year with a list of things we will do in the next 12 months - take care of our health, go to the gym 3x a week or pursue a dream that we have always wanted to pursue.
But have you ever posed this question to yourself - what are you going to stop doing this year?
As business owners, we have to notice what we have learned in the last 12 months and how we can use that to gear ourselves towards a more intentionally effective 12 months.
We also have to realize that there are limiting beliefs and actions that we ALL have that can stand in the way of us and ~success~, not success measured against others, but success measured against yourself.
If you want to join me in starting the new year like this, grab a piece of a paper and follow along below …
Take inventory of the last 12 months
Think about yourself at the start of last year - how did you feel about your business? Your personal growth? How does that compare to how you feel this year?
If you feel like you are in the same place and you feel dissatisfied about that, then it’s time to start taking a more aggressive approach to ensuring you don’t feel the same way next year. Generally, shining a spotlight on some of the less than positive parts of ourselves (and our business) is uncomfortable but it’s SO important to be clearly aware of the areas of improvement. You can’t change something that you’re not even aware of.
Take inventory of what you’ve achieved in the last 12 months in terms of business growth, revenue, clientele quality and whatever else and notice how you feel about it. Have you unknowingly created a way of working that brings you success that you want to keep building on? Or have you seen glimpses of these things but want to focus more intentional thought on it in the next 12 months?
Let go of the year
I can sit here and be cynical about a new year simply being another day (and I’ve been there!) but I’ve found that I lose the sense of magic that’s needed for me to gear myself towards new goals.
A new year brings feelings of hope, a promise of fresh days that I haven’t experienced. I may experience the best day of my life this year and that fills me with the hope I need to carry on with my business, that my discipline will execute.
In the same breath, you are not your past. The success you experienced last year cannot be claimed this year, you need to continue recreating it. The mistakes that you’ve made last year have made you smarter, more confident and taught you lessons that are invaluable in your journey of being an entrepreneur.
A new year means you are able to take all these ‘things’ that happened in your life in the last 12 months and turn them into lessons through reflection.
So, what are you going to stop doing?
Setting goals this year is going to look a little different. Is there something you stopped doing (snoozing your alarm, allowing clients to overstep your boundaries) that benefitted you this year? Then keep doing that.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’ve ACTUALLY done last year, you can start thinking about what you’re doing to stop doing this year.
If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s what I’m doing to stop doing this year …
Stop being fearful of the future
When you are an entrepreneur, there’s a lot riding on the decisions that you make. Add kids, assets and personal financial goals and suddenly you have all these real things that can limit your growth.
Whenever I’ve taken an unknown step in my business, it’s closely followed by maddening anxiety and fear. I can’t sleep and the thought of failure haunts me.
When I made that first, big, scary step to reinvest massively into my business, I found that having some sort of an ‘exit plan’ helped me ease the anxiety. Can I reverse this decision? Can I remedy any loss? The answer was generally yes. Even when buying a house, worse comes to worse, you can sell it and remedy the decision.
The best thing about us working in a service based industry is that, by the time we are ready to expand our business, we already have one very stable stream of income - our skills and client base.
As I kept making these big, scary decisions, I became comfortable with my ability to make them. I thought ‘oh okay, it took some time to work out last time, but it eventually did. What did I learn from that to make better big scary decisions in the future?.
Stop with the negative self talk, already!
We all do it. I do it. You do it. Your parents do it.
Before we’ve even had a second to clearly evaluate ourselves, we say something negative. We try on an outfit and think ‘this is such a cute outfit but I look so sh*t’. We ask for a different size at a shop and automatically say ‘Omg I’m so annoying I’m sorry!’.
This self talk, whether it’s inside your head or you’re actually verbalizing it, can seem like a small passing thought, but once you start noticing how often you do it to yourself, you’ll start to realise no good can come from it.
The voice inside our head becomes our life - the physical things we can touch and the way we project ourselves.
First, we need to become aware of this negative self-talk. Notice when it comes up most and observe. What drives this voice? How do I feel about it?
Next, once you start to become more aware of when this self talk comes up, challenge it. Don’t try to push it down, or make it go away. Just challenge it. When you say to yourself ‘I’m never going to get this right! How could I, I haven’t achieved anything!’ remind yourself of all the things you’ve done that seemed hard at the time, but are easy for you now.
Practice positive self talk and bring your attention to the positives in your life. This is an incredibly powerful tool to help you rewire your brain and a LOT of people have benefited greatly from this.
Be delusional. Think you’re the luckiest person in the world. Think you’re the most successful person in the world and truly believe it. Live your day to day life with the same feeling you would if you lived your ‘dream’ life.
Plan for success in 2023, and intentionally leave 2022 in the past.