23rd February 2011

What is Holding You Back?

One of the tools I use regularly and I have been talking about in my recent seminars is a Forcefield Analysis.
To explain how that works, it is about listing all of the things that in a given situation, drive us on, and also listing alongside all of the things that hold us back.

It is worth trying. Take a situation like growing your business.

Now list all of the things that might “smooth the way” and drive you on to grow your business. There will be things like a sense of entrepreneurialism, destiny, necessity and survival. If you are honest there will also be things like hope and desperation too. There will also be certain specific skills on the list.

Now list the things which are holding you back. What are they? If you are honest there will be things like fear; what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Inertia. You would like to move to a higher level, but at the minute you just can’t be bothered. You have developed a comfort zone that is just too… well, comfortable. Remember that a comfort zone may not really be so much comfortable as familiar and therefore comforting.
Boiling Frog Syndrome; they say that if you put a frog in a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat, the frog will fail to notice the gradual change and allow itself to be slowly boiled to death. Lots of businesses and business owners are like that, things are changing around them but they don’t realise and they aren’t doing anything about it.
There will also be a lack of knowledge about certain things, like how a business really could perform, how people work and are motivated both individually and as a team, about finances and about leverage. We don’t know what we don’t know, and it is what we don’t know that costs us money, success, and achievement

There will be lots of things holding you back.

Action Point
What can you do today to increase your knowledge? Things like read books, mix with higher achievers, get a coach, take a risk. Start doing something today to reduce the things that are holding you back. When we minimise the things that hold us back, it is like cutting the tethers on a balloon. It just starts to fly.

Sample Forcefield Analysis

Getting In The Way                                                                    Smoothing The Way

Fear Of failing                                                                            Experience
Of succeeding                                                                    Character
Of asking for help                                                                Resilience
Inertia                                                                                      Fortitude
Boiling frog syndrome                                                                 Technical Skills
Lack of focus                                                                             Entrepreneurial Spirit
Lack of direction                                                                        Mission
Lack of purpose                                                                         Hope
Lack of accountability                                                                 Desperation
Lack of a coach                                                                          Necessity
Lack of clear goals                                                                      Pride
Lack of knowledge on
The Business of business
Lack of soft skills
Belief that I can do this on my own
Trying to fly blind
Only noticing what you notice

You will notice that some things appear in both columns and this is a fact of life. What smoothes the way in one part of our life can get in the way in another, and any strength that is overplayed can become a weakness.