Avoidance is most definitely a form of self-sabotage and unfortunately, as human beings, it’s ridiculously common. We all act like ostriches with our heads stuck in the sand and we stubbornly avoid taking action on all kinds of things.
As a business coach, I see entrepreneurs commonly avoiding things like their numbers, creating content, confrontation with employees, taking risks and so much more. The list goes on and on.
I experienced avoidance at it’s finest when my husband and I were in Rhode Island.
During our trip, we took the wrong fork in the road. The GPS was unclear and so instead of going the way that we were supposed to go – we ended up crossing a bridge that took us into Jamestown. Jamestown was not on our list of places we intended to go. Therefore this detour added another ten minutes to our trip.
Although crossing to Jamestown was not a huge deal in itself, it did require us to pay a $4.00 toll. When we got to the tollbooth my husband asked the operator if we had to pay on the way back too. She confirmed that yes, we’d have to pay both ways. My husband responded that it was an expensive wrong turn. She looked away, hung her head, avoided eye contact and handed him his change.
It struck me that she was taking his feedback personally.
He didn’t say it was her fault, he didn’t ask her to change it, nor did he say it in an adversarial tone. He simply made an observation that our wrong turn cost us $8.00.
This woman avoided any kind of response when she could have suggested we visit a tourist attraction in Jamestown or smiled and said something upbeat.
Her avoidance around answering him really got me to thinking about entrepreneurs. When we avoid responding to a situation or we pretend like it didn’t happen, we are essentially behaving like we’ve got our head stuck in the sand.
SO many business owners have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to finances, budgets, numbers, and even their credit scores.
Twenty years ago, I had a blemish on my credit history because I avoided paying a small balance on a Sears card to the point of having it go to collections. It was not my finest moment and the guilt I felt over that stuck around for a long time.
When we bought our first home, I feared they would decline me because of my mistake. When I got my first cell phone, I feared this would show up. Every time I’ve had my credit checked over the last 20 years, I have wanted to stick my head in the sand and avoid the response out of fear.
When I finally bit the bullet and paid to check my credit, I discovered that my score is better than 81% of Canadians. There are no blemishes to be found.
It was a great lesson around facing something head on instead of avoiding it at all costs and listening to the story you’re telling yourself.
In my case, the story was my credit is bad. In the case of the toll operator – the story most likely was that we were upset and wanted our money back and in both cases, the stories we were telling ourselves were wrong.
There are opportunities all around you to that serve as a reminder of where you’ve got your own growth to do. Or, when it’s your time to take your head out of the sand.#Entrepreneurs, get your head out of the sand and stop avoiding what makes you uncomfortable! Click To Tweet
Here are some examples of where you might be keeping your head stuck in the sand:
You avoid creating content. You KNOW how critical content creation is to generating leads into your pipeline and building your business, but yet you still avoid creating content on a regular basis.
You’re failing to communicate to your list regularly with high-value content. This avoidance makes it awkward and uncomfortable for you to start doing this again, and is minimizing opportunities for you to be seen and to attract new business.
You’re failing to ask for testimonials and referrals from clients. People are singing your praises and you’re afraid to ask for an endorsement or referral in case they say no.
Your poor website is exactly the same as it was 7 years ago. Your business has grown substantially, yet your website is no longer a good representation of who you are, what you do, or who you serve.
These are some easy to identify examples. There are lots more, I am sure you can think of something you’re avoiding right now. Whatever it is, (and I know you know what it is) may this be a gentle reminder that the other side of this thing is much better than you ever imagined it to be.
Fun fact: Ostriches don’t actually shove their heads in the sand…the root of this myth comes from the fact that they dig sizably large holes for their nests (up to 6 to 8 feet wide and 2 to 3 feet deep). Both mom and dad ostrich take turns rotating the eggs in the nest, therefore they look like they’ve got their heads in the sand!
Can you relate? I’d love to hear how you handled a situation that resulted in a positive outcome because you deliberately chose to stop avoiding it.
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.