In a previous blog post, we looked at the ways that entrepreneurs frequently sabotage their businesses. One of those ways is a pattern of blaming others. When we habitually place blame on others for things that happen in our business, we put the focus on them and give them our power. This week, we’re sharing some advice on how to take back that power.
Take Responsibility for Your Reactions
We can’t avoid the feelings of disappointment, frustration, and of anxiety associated with certain situations that come up in business. It’s a natural, but reactive, inclination to place blame on others for the situation. But, it’s important to take responsibility for our own actions, reactions, or underreactions and the impact they have on ourselves and those around us. We can start by stepping back, acknowledging our feelings, and looking at our options for responding to those feelings. In the process, there’s a good chance we will identify a response that is within our agency.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
As entrepreneurs, we have a strong drive to help other people, and sometimes we say “yes” to things we know we don’t have the capacity to do or don’t align with our mission. Then, we feel like we’re trapped in a situation where we’re forced to do something we don’t really want to do. Instead of blaming others, recognize that you’re in charge of how you spend your own time. And, start to establish healthy boundaries around your time, space, and the work you take on.
Transcend Victim Mentality
We fall prey to victim mentality when we believe that everything that’s not working out in our business is controlled by others. That’s not to say there aren’t people in our lives who play a significant role in our circumstances, or that there isn’t systemic institutional oppression and socioeconomic forces that make it challenging to get the resources and support needed to build the business. Rather than sticking with “I can’t because…”, shift to a growth mindset of “I am taking steps to…” Even the smallest of steps helps you progress in your business.
It’s a hard thing to forgive someone who has wronged you and your business. But, continuing to feel anger, resentment, and animosity gives them power over your emotions and uses up a lot of your energy. It can take you away from thinking creatively in your business and even the day-to-day tasks of running your business. Further, in the process of forgiving, you may find you see the situation more objectively and actually learn from it. When you practice forgiveness, it doesn’t mean that what they did was okay. Instead, it allows you to let go of the negative feelings and move on with your life and business.
Throughout the process of building a business, you’re going to get lots of feedback, including some criticism. It’s easy to let it get to you, but don’t let the criticism define your self-worth. You and your business can’t be all things to all people. Instead of giving up your power by becoming defensive or blaming others for not being helpful to your business, open yourself up to evaluating the criticism and the vantage point it is coming from, seeing if it has any merit, and whether it can help improve your business. Even people’s misperceptions about your product, service, or business can inform your business development.