How You Sabotage Your Business

How You Sabotage Your Business

Living in the present moment was a foreign idea to me before 2009.  It should have been obvious since we only have the time we are given, and the only time that we have is the time we have now–in the present moment.I once thought that how I spent my time was the essential ingredient in determining how well I succeeded. Well, that is true; however, I am now also aware that how I think determines how I spend my time.

I finally got around to reading "The New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. His philosophy is that we need to work in order to stay focused on the present moment and drop our incessant thinking loop about the past and future. Of course, the present moment is all that exists, since the past is gone and the future is only a present moment that hasn't arrived yet. Staying present opens us up to an entire new level of creativity and productivity. It discourages you from thinking about and acting upon your past beliefs and habits that are no longer useful and it stops you from believing that the present is only a means to arrive at some future point in time when you will have achieved enough to be happy.


How Your Business is Affected

You may be wondering how staying fully present affect your business. You can sabotage your business with your thinking.  Think of yourself sitting at your computer responding to e-mails and surfing the internet conducting "research", when you know that your time would be better spent on product development or calling to connect with prospects so that you move your business forward. What is going on in your head to cause this self-sabotaging behavior? Most likely the unconscious dialogue goes something as follows:

"I feel guilty because I am goofing off my time, which is what I always do since I know I cannot succeed at this anyway"

"That project is so huge that I do not know where to begin so I just will not start at all".

"Well, if I call that person, I will most likely just get voicemail or they will not have time to talk to me so I will wait until tomorrow".

"Not making  more money soon means I am a failure".

"I am so busy I just don't have the time to create a strategy or action plan, so I guess I am stuck in overwhelm".

What is the origin of these stories we tell ourselves? If you didn't tell yourself those stories–which come from past belief systems about yourself and the world you are buying into–the scene would look more like this:

  • Entrepreneur sits at computer.

  • Soon, the entrepreneur feels inspired to write out product ideas and does so.

  • Additionally, the entrepreneur wants to connect with people who need this product, so she makes calls.

That's it.. No mental trash. Only what is directly in front of you at the moment that you are inspired to do from a peaceful place. And every task would feel like it simply flows.

When we buy into past stories, or spend the present dreaming about the future, we waste our current time. The result could be any of the following:

  • Resigning yourself to never reaching your dreams

  • Being distracted on a regular basis

  • Procrastination

  • Incomplete projects

  • Avoiding crucial networking events

  • Avoiding making key telephone calls

  • Telling yourself a story about how life or the economy is keeping you from reaching your goals.


Consider spending just one day working on staying present. The following process is one that works for me:

  • Put a Post-it on your computer that says, "CHECK IN" in caps.

  • Every time you see it, stop, take a deep breath and pull yourself out of your head and into the present moment.

  • Ask yourself if you are spending that moment doing important things

  • Check in with how you are feeling. If you feel angry, frustrated, fearful or guilty, ask yourself what story you are telling yourself that isn't really true.

  • Do not allow your mind to tell you a story about how you don't have time to do this!

This can be an eye-opening exercise. There are many techniques that can help you begin to master this idea of staying present. When you begin to do so, you will discover that you are using time in a much more productive way and that your business and life will begin to flow in the right direction.



About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. I love the sticky note idea. Right now I have 1 on my desk and it says “Eat Healthy.” This sounds like a great second sticky. Thank you for the inspiration. I like your last point about not allowing myself to say I don’t have time.

  2. Oh, I just love Tolle, Rachel! Isn’t his work just life changing. And you know, your prescription is exactly what I tell my writers when they’re overwhelmed with re-writes. Just take it one tiny step at a time, and Focus on that.
    I LOVE your post-it note! Gonna put that on my monitor.
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…Have a Better Day with a Positive MantraMy Profile

  3. Great reminder to stay on track. I agree, staying present is crucial for staying on track. I tend to stay on track but sometimes I get lost into the am “I getting anywhere” thought. So, I go and track my data on if I increased traffic and followers since the last time I checked. It gives me the boost I need to keep going and stay focused.

  4. A very important topic, well written & explained. Fortunatey, I participate & have for past 20 years in transformational work where living in the present is a core distinction. When I took on changing from a hobby to a business I was told by a head leader I was trained in all the skills I needed to succeed. I just had to apply them. And I do. With our wonderful coach we review our strategy, what works, doesn’t, revise, etc.

  5. Staying present has been my biggest challenge this year and when I achieve it I feel so much happier. A few extra commitments, none of which I want to let go of, have put extra demands on my time and I was getting quite stressed until I decided to focus on what I was doing in the moment and not think about what I hadn’t achieved or what was still to be done. The new focus has given me a sense of freedom and I’m achieving a lot more. We waste so much thought time in the past and the future.

  6. As a Landmark graduate, I have learned to step out of the story we are telling ourselves about what is happening or what might happen, and to ask in this moment, “What is so?” What are the facts about what is happening now.

    These are great tips you’ve offered, Rachel. Yes, it’s important to bring ourselves back to the present and for someone like me, who is very comfortable flying into the future, it is really important to fully live all our moments as they are happening. So often we create wonderful stories which only divert us or stop us from seeing what is so right now. Both in our personal and our business lives.
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Dietary Fat: Friend or Foe to Our Health?My Profile

  7. I love this post, Rachel, especially your de-cluttered scenario of ‘entrepreneur sits at desk, etc.’ – how perfect! How peaceful! Thank you for stripping it down to its essentials! Really loved this!

  8. Super tips Rachel and I love the CHECK IN tip… I need to do that more… thank you for the super reminder. I WILL check in more!
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Why You Need to Add Text & URL to your Blog ImagesMy Profile

  9. It’s so easy to get caught up in “over-thinking” or trying to do it all at once. I find if I write down my top three must dos for the day, it helps me to stay focused. I’ve got to admit thought it’s constant battle for me!

  10. Yes, we can only live in the present. Self-sabotage is subtle and we must always be alert for it.

  11. Thanks Rachel for sharing this excellent way to stay “present” in not only our lives but our businesses as well ๐Ÿ™‚ A must if you want to be successful!

  12. Hi Rachel,

    Just checking in after reading your post about sabotaging your business. Being aware of our mind chatter is a useful tool for change and progress. Darn hard to practice, though.
    Edward Thorpe recently posted…Americans Are So Lonesome They Could CryMy Profile

  13. It really is all about what’s happening right now. In a sense, it’s shaping what will be the past and what will be the future. I’ve become much more cognizant of addressing things right now rather than putting them off and sticking to schedules. In the end, I’m accomplishing more but overall it’s still a work in progress. Thanks for sharing this.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…How to increase client success when they don’t want toMy Profile

  14. It seems that when I have fear or lack of confidence that is when I don’t stay in the present moment. I know I need to face the fear or do something to bring back my confidence. When I do that, practicing the present moment becomes easier. The key is to be aware that I am doing it. It is a journey.

  15. Hi Rachel ,
    the book of Eckhart Tolle is really something everybody should read.
    Being in the now is important . Many are distracted by thinking and
    worrying about tings that never may happen and do not move forward.
    It is good to be in the now and take step in the direction of what we want.
    I like your suggestion about notes. I remember a friend ,she had them
    everywhere and she learned really and changed her life.
    Thank you
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…Do You Dare To Be You ? Playing Roles Is For Actor’sMy Profile

  16. Hi Rachel, there are so many really good inspiring books to read. I think each of us has to find the ones that resonate with us because they will have an impact and help us to change the way we think and the way we do things. I love the book you recommend, read it a while ago and found it inspired me too. Living in the moment is a great concept that we seem to have forgotten over time. Bring it back and make it real, now is all there is really.

    Enjoy the journey!
    Mandy Allen recently posted…Don’t Worry, Be Happy!My Profile

  17. Hi Rachel,
    This post is brilliant! Right up my alley.
    Of course, it’s timely too. My mind is racing a bit today, out of the moment, dancing and flitting here and there like birds hopping from branch to branch. Time to take a few deep breaths, to allow self-sabotage chatter to pass, so I can return to my true power again, in the moment.
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Hi Rachel

    What a great reminder? Staying in the present helps us to make a difference. I tend to sometimes do a lot at once till I remind myself if I am doing sometime worthwhile or wasting time. Thank you so much for this awesome post. Take Care
    ikechi recently posted…4 Crazy Things You donโ€™t Know When You Waste Your LifeMy Profile

  19. A most timely post for my current situation Rachel!

    Thank you! I have the book but have not yet read it. I appreciate the fact that you have taken the key elements of the message and simplified it here. I will use the ‘Sticky note’ concept for sure as distractions are costly both mentally and financially.

  20. “How I think determines how I spend my time.” Perfect! Well said. And so true. Every so often, we need to stop, step back and see if what we’re doing really is helping us get to where we want to be.

  21. Oh, the thought of not reaching my dreams is so heartbreaking. Can’t let that happen!
    Jennifer Quisenberry recently posted…Why Read Harry Potter?My Profile

  22. Thanks for sharing some excellent and extremely timely advice Rachel!

    Kind of sad isn’t it, the majority of time, that little voice is our head, is working
    overtime against us!

    And yet, whenever we choose to, we can guide the ship to wherever we wish to!
    Thanks for
    reminding us, who’s really in charge!
    Mark recently posted…How To Leverage Your Real World Experiences Into Some Extremely Valuable Content!My Profile

  23. Love to read your indepth analysis i am totally convince with your shared views.Its always necessary to know what you are doing now and what will be the pros and cons in longer term

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