Are you creating your own hell?

I just got off the phone with a very dear friend of mine. Her normally laid-back life has suddenly turned tumultuous – and she’s not quite sure how to handle it. What she is sure about is that she wouldn’t be in this situation had she addressed issues a little faster – and had a few more tough conversations.

In short, she knows that she created her own hell.

Her situation made me think of all the ways we create our own business (and personal) hell. Instead of dealing with issues head-on, we let FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) stand in our way. We let things fester, hate the “place” we’re in and come up with every excuse we can think of to explain why our current situation can’t change.

For instance, do any of these statements sound familiar to you?:

  • I know that my current site copy isn’t working. Our bounce rate is horrible. But I don’t want to go through the hassle of figuring out the SEO and hiring a writer.
  • I know my clients want SEO help, and I know I need SEO copywriting training. I just don’t feel like I have any money to spend on training help right now.
  • I really wanted to work with a consultant, but their hourly rate is too high for me. I guess I’ll never be able to hire anyone.
  • I don’t feel good and I know I’m gaining weight. But I’m already working so many hours. I don’t have time to exercise.
  • I hired someone to help me once. But it didn’t quite work out. I guess online marketing only works for the big boys.
  • My home page is so keyword-stuffed. But if I change it, I’m afraid that I’ll lose my search engine positions. I better stick with the bad copy just in case…

It may be easy to say, “Duh, they could change the situation just by doing X.” But the thing is – when we’ve created our own hell, we don’t immediately see the lifeline. We don’t see how easy it is to change our situation. Instead, we live our life around the word “no.” “No, I can’t do that.” “No, I don’t have enough money.” “No, I’d rather feel poorly than try to find workout time.”

Granted, it’s smart to be cautious. If you have no money in the bank, it may not be the best decision to quit your day job and start your own business. If your cash reserves are low, spending $50,000 a month on PPC may not be in the cards.

And that’s OK. What’s not OK is resigning yourself to your current situation, letting the word “no” rule your life, and refusing to examine your own thought process.

You can, right now, stop creating your own hell.

For instance, if you’re a Web writer and your clients are asking for SEO copywriting, why would you let “I don’t have money for SEO copywriting training” stand in the way of making more money? Will you recoup your investment immediately? Maybe not. But you will recoup it. That’s a much smarter long-term strategy than creating your own business hell and leaving money on the table.

If you are afraid of hiring a consultant because their hourly rate seems “too high” for you – so what? The more important question to ask is, “Do you think this person can help you more money?” If the answer is “yes,” your $1,000 investment with them could help you make $10,000, $50,000…who knows? The key is: If they can make you money, go for it.

If you are afraid of hiring someone – anyone – because you had a “bad experience once,” may I respectfully ask…what the hell are you thinking? That’s like never dating again because you went on one dreadful date 10 years ago. You took the plunge and tried again, right? You can do it again.

If you’re not taking care of yourself because you, “Don’t have time,” stop it. Just stop it. I get that working out is a pain in the butt. At the same time, you’ll feel healthier, more energetic and happier if you do. You may even work more efficiently, too, if you weren’t suffering from sedentary “brain fog.” How much is that extra free time worth to you?

Ask yourself, “Would it be OK with me if I stopped putting myself in this untenable situation? Would my life be better if I did something that represented growth rather than staying in my own safe (and fearful) little corner?”

If the answer is “Yes,” than do it. Don’t wait. Take action – even if it’s baby step action – and keep on going.

‘Cause it’s amazing to see the heavenly results of digging out of your own self-inflicted hell.