There are only two types of blockers in business — external blockers and internal blockers.
External blockers are those you can’t prevent or control. For example, you have a big client you want to close. You are taking a flight to that city and have a short layover. While connecting, a storm rolls through and your plane is grounded overnight. You miss the meeting and your client awards the business to another company. This is an external event you could not control that may very well have an impact on business growth.
Internal blockers, on the other hand, are those events that happen within you, that you can control and easily influence. They take the form of inner dialogue. For example, you take that flight and make the meeting on time. Before the meeting starts you begin telling yourself things like
- “I’m no good at closing deals.”
- “They would never hire a small business to provide this service.”
- “Every time I speak with them they sound angry so they probably don’t even want to hear what I provide.”
When you present to the client, sure enough, you choke. Your “nerves” get the best of you and you come across timid and doubtful. They award the business to another more confident, energetic, resilient competitor.
You certainly have your own internal-blocker stories to tell. For all of us they are varied and many. And they take a real toll on business growth. There are four classifications of internal blockers and they can all be summarized based on how Satan attacks us (accusing or deceiving) and can be remembered by the acronym FAIL:
- Limiting Beliefs
Your business has not gone where you want it to go because of one or more of these internal blockers. As hard as it is to believe, it’s that simple.
What holds you back (from taking your business to greatness) manifests inside of you.
The wicked flee though no one pursues and the righteous are as bold as a lion.
When our internal dialogue is influenced by Fear, it tends to come from our own insecurities about who we are, our perceived weakness. We doubt because we don’t believe we can be successful, or we blame others for current setbacks. These are the classic fight or flight responses.
Assumptions are what we tell ourselves based on incorrect expectations, believing that because something happened in the past, it will happen again in the present. We lost a large bid and now we flinch when new requests for proposals arrive thinking they will be a huge waste of time. We don’t do them, or do so half-heartedly, as a result.
Interpretations are conclusions we make about an event as to why that event happened. These interpretations happen so quickly we think they are reflexes to some external truth. They are, in fact, only opinions and always from a negative viewpoint. Take for example how Job’s three friends interpreted his misfortune. They were dead wrong.
A Limiting Belief is something we accept about life that limits us in some way. For example, we don’t have a pile of cash so there is no way our business can ever really grow, or if we don’t advertise using a specific media, no one will ever hear about our offerings. These come from taking small pieces of truth and patching them together into a belief we never thoroughly tested.
One great way to overcome these four deadly blockers is to simply identify then remove them.
Develop a way to quickly recognize them at their earliest stages. Write them down and watch for patterns. Do this at the end of a day for just a few minutes and review them each month to make sure you are growing.
And since we all have blind spots, consider hiring a professional coach. There may be blockers you just don’t see and a coach is well equipped to find them. Many times business owners hire a business coach to tell them exactly what operational changes they should make.
Let’s be honest — you already know exactly what to do to make your business great. You just can’t access the answer because a blocker is in the way.
About Shawn Sommerkamp
Shawn Sommerkamp is a certified professional coach with a career spanning six years in the Navy submarine service, 20 in Fortune 100 America, and a dream to bring the virtues of Christ into the marketplace.
Shawn is also an amateur theologian who teaches God’s word to local New England churches.
Shawn created a trademarked tool that helps Christian professionals instantly unblock themselves in any situation — Thought Tuning™. Using a six step, self-talk process combined with a knowledge of one’s Core Values, Christians can now achieve what they’ve always believed as the power of positive thinking but were unable to create lasting results.
As founder of Motivationeer™ Christian Coaching, he blends business experience, corporate leadership, Bible truths, and Thought Tuning™ to help Christians professionally and financially excel through transformational thinking.