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Mindfulness Matters: Stop self-sabotaging

Running a business is hard work and can take a toll on its owner. Anna Wood, owner of Anna Wood Bridal, joins with a new month series focused on mindfulness.

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Tell us about yourself and your business history

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 15 years now. When I was 26, I left my career as a Financial Planning Manager at HSBC to grow my online basketware business that I had been operating on the side. Back then I had unwavering self-belief, I grew my business quickly and ended up supplying retailers such as Homesense and Selfridges amongst others. However life got in the way! And looking back I probably spent the best part of 5 years doing my best to mess my life up by sabotaging myself. Why – because subconsciously I didn’t believe I deserved the success. I know that now, I didn’t at the time.

I’ve always been interested in the mind, and why we do the things that we do. I studied Psychology at the Open University whilst running my first business. After my life changed dramatically overnight, I was beating myself up over the past and my mistakes. I was stressed, anxious and although I was pushing through, because that is all I know, I got to the point of thinking enough is enough. I realised I was the catalyst to all of my problems. I had resigned myself that I would never be happy, I was always looking for the next upgrade on my life. One day I just thought I want to be happy and fulfilled, why can’t I have this.

My business wasn’t working, and I couldn’t understand why. I was doing every business course out there to improve my skills as I was not earning the money I had been used to; however, I was finding I knew all the information being presented. It wasn’t until I started working with a business coach that also covered mindset that everything changed. We did lots of subconscious work, and it was the key that unlocked everything. I forgave myself for the past and set new empowering beliefs about myself. My whole life changed, my relationships with my husband, children, family and friends all improved and so did my business. I knew at that point I was shying away from my true purpose in life – helping others to overcome their liming behaviors and beliefs. I trained as a Certified Rapid Transformational Therapist with Marisa Peer and I started my mindset coaching business.

What is self-sabotaging?

We all have an internal thermostat of what we subconscious feel we deserve or are worthy of. Have you ever noticed that everything will be going really well then something out of the blue will happen – an argument with someone, something will go wrong in your business, you’ll have an accident or get ill. Our brains are wired to keep us safe, that means keeping us in our comfort zone. Our brains like what is familiar and avoids the unfamiliar, so when things are going well and it reaches where you’re pushing out of your comfort zone, the brain will bring you back. A bit like when you over stretch an elastic band. The same is true the other way, when we’re below our comfort zone we will suddenly get motivated to do something about it.

Why address it?

Everyone is different, and I’m a great believer in doing what is right for you. It really depends on what you want to get from life, if we were all the same the world would be a very boring place. If you are looking to grow your business and take on new challenges addressing it early on will save you potential stress, anxiety and enable you to be consistent rather than an all on all off situation. Addressing it will improve confidence, self-esteem, productivity and motivation allowing you to be more consistent in your business.

How can you stop this from happening?

Self-development is a huge part of running a successful business. 80% of what you do is psychology and only 20% is the strategy and mechanics of what you do, so working on your own limiting beliefs is crucial for growth and development.

  • Delve deep - If you are finding that you are getting into a negative cycle take the time to look at why. What do you believe and what is the evidence to support it? Our brains are wired to keep us alive, so will do anything to keep us away from pain or perceived pain. What events have happened in the past and what beliefs do you have from those events. Is what you are feeling the actual truth or your perception.
  • Small steps - Taking small steps rather than massive leaps will fool your brain that you’re not suddenly going out of your comfort zone. Small incremental changes create a far bigger result than making a massive leap then stopping. Look at areas where improvements can be made in your life and business and look at what the ideal is. Break it down and work out smaller steps to get to the end result. I’ll be looking at this in more depth next month when I talk about procrastination.
  • Reward yourself – Our brains love praise and it doesn’t need to be big things. Our brains don’t know the difference between tiny and huge achievements, so celebrate all your wins. It’s been proven that each day writing down at least 3 good things that have happened increases our positivity and motivation.
  • Journaling – Journaling daily is really helpful for exploring subconscious feelings. Have you had that feeling that you’re writing and the words are just coming from nowhere? Journaling doesn’t need to be long and involved. Writing a couple of lines or writing pages and pages – it’s all about what works for you. Also, its useful that you can look back and see at the same time last month if you were feeling that same. You can then establish if there is a pattern to your behaviours and emotions and look to address them.

Anna’s series continues next month with ’How to overcome procrastination’.

For more information contact Anna at:

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