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Getting Out Of Your Own Way
by Anne Duncan

I have been asked to give a presentation on "positive thinking" to a group of women who are in the process of starting their own businesses – so I’ve been giving this some thought recently.

I believe that self-awareness is key to the life we lead and the things we achieve. Knowing and accepting who we really are, warts and all, is not only very liberating, but vital in order to have a solid foundation to build our lives on. After all, you wouldn’t build your new home on marshy or sandy ground would you?

Once you know who you are and what makes you tick, you have developed a great advantage.

• Making choices becomes easier – you now know what ‘fits’ with the real you.

• You understand how you tend to respond on an emotional level e.g. anger, enthusiasm, self-doubt. Now you can choose if necessary, to control your behavioural response and avoid reacting in a negative and self-limiting way.

• Knowing your strengths and finding ways to use those strengths on a daily basis definitely makes achieving your goals much simpler, giving you the confidence to aim higher.

• Being self-aware helps you to appreciate the fact that we are all unique human beings – no two of us exactly the same. Understanding this reduces conflict both within ourselves and in our interactions with others, leading to easier and more productive communications.

Self-awareness is a great tool to help you “get out of your own way”. To identify that little voice that says things like – ‘I don’t think you can do that’ - ‘you’re not good enough’ - you don’t know enough’ - ‘you’ll only fail and make a fool of yourself’. We sometimes buy into this and block our own progress.

But I’ll tell you a secret – that little voice is lying! With some self-belief and a positive attitude, we can pretty much achieve anything we want.

I think the biggest single danger for any business owner is the inability to make a decision and act upon it. “I’ll think about it” is a response that can cause you and your business to miss the boat! It’s often easier to sit on the fence than to make that decision to take action – hire a coach, change what isn’t working, face up to financial issues, get out into the market place and promote yourself, make that sale and ask for the business.

I don’t really think that success or failure is the result of any particular circumstance or situation, but rather it is dependant on how we choose to respond to and to act (or not act) when life’s opportunities come our way. Rather than “thinking about it”, you’ll find taking action infinitely more interesting and more rewarding too.

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Anne Duncan is a Life Skills and Business Coach working mainly with Small Business Owners and Independent Professionals. Anne firmly believes that we can learn how to ‘get out of our own way’ which will take us to a higher level, personally as well as professionally? Principal of Harmonia Life Skills and a member of the International Coach Federation, Anne can be contacted by visiting

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