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The Surprising Ways Businesses Can Be Self-Destructive 

Your company might be its own worst enemy.  

It’s a big thing to say, but it’s true. Just like individual people, organizations can fall into patterns of self-sabotage and self-destruction without even knowing it. 

And this tendency doesn’t have to be a huge and obvious one-off crash and burn. It can be like a drip, or a chipping away, that you only notice after your company or the circumstances that it’s in are unrecognizable.  

How do we know when our company is acting against its best interest? A look at why companies act this way, and some hard-hitting questions can help with the answer to the question–  

Are we sabotaging our own success? 

The Hidden Face of Self-Destruction  

Self-destruction doesn’t RSVP before it shows up. So it can be hard to identify.  

We often think of self-destructive companies as those that fail to learn from their mistakes, refuse to try new things, or consistently ignore opportunities for growth.  

But have you ever considered that self-destruction can also manifest as fear of failure, fear of success, feeling unworthy of accomplishments, or even refusing to invest in the company’s future? 

With Bluefort’s end-to-end platform, you can streamline and automate your processes to ensure your business thrives and succeeds, as it grows.

It’s time to take a closer look at how these behaviors can hold businesses back and ask ourselves: are we unknowingly contributing to our own demise? 

Why Do Companies Engage in Self-Destructive Behavior? 

We need to first realise that people make decisions based on emotions and experience. Even people who pride themselves in being “numbers people” are that way because numbers make them feel safe and secure.  

There’s nothing wrong with it- we can’t help it. We’re emotional beings that have, since we were first around, tackled the most emotionally-driven instinct that there is – survival.  

So what are these emotions that can make us act for our business in a way that goes against our interests?  

One of the primary reasons behind self-destructive behavior is fear. Fear of change or failure can paralyze any worker in any company, preventing them from taking risks, seizing opportunities, or trying something new.   

This doesn’t mean that fear is bad. Our minds are often trying to protect us. But if that fear becomes paralysing, then we lose confidence in ourselves to be able to find solutions.  

On the other hand, fear of success can also hold businesses back. Any wins that a company might get put on a lot of pressure. They realise they will have to keep doing better. Keep pushing, keep winning. That can be too much if they haven’t got the foundation to do better. So they stop the fight to the top and stay where they are.  

Another common one is unworthiness. This might sound a bit woo woo, but people strive for what they feel they deserve. Maybe decision-makers don’t feel they’re ready yet. Maybe they think they can’t handle engaging with their competition. Maybe they can’t picture themselves as truly successful.  

You can’t grab the brass ring if you think you don’t deserve it.  

But what about stubbornness? Many organizations cling to familiar practices, unwilling to embrace change or innovate. This resistance can come from misplaced priorities, such as going for short-term gains over long-term growth. Or valuing tradition over progress. Or hiring people (and keeping them) for the wrong reasons.  

It all comes from a need for the feeling of safety combined with seeing the world for what they wish it was, not for what it is. And our world is constantly in flux.

Case in point: Blockbuster were once THE go-to spot for movie nights, but their fear of change ultimately led to their loss of the market. When digital streaming started gaining traction, Blockbuster couldn’t let go of their brick-and-mortar business model.  

The leaders who were able to make decisions hesitated to understand that change is inevitable. And they lost faith in their ability to innovate again, in the amazing way that led to their success in the first place. 

If any of these sound familiar, you might be operating your company from a place of self-destruction. No judgment here – we all face this struggle at some point or another.  

But what can you do to stop the ship before it hits the proverbial iceberg? 

Breaking Free from Self-Destruction: Embrace Change and Confront Your Fears 

The hardest part is acknowledging that your company’s self-destructive behavior exists and has to change. But that’s the beautiful thing about acknowledging it – then you’re free to tackle it.   

Once you’ve identified the patterns holding your company back, you can begin to address them head-on. 

Embrace change and innovation: It’s scary to change. It can be terrifying. Change is so hard that psychologically the gain must be THREE TIMES the benefit of what it costs us to make the change in the first place.  

But we can’t let stubbornness or fear of the unknown hold us back. Encourage your team to think outside the box, explore new ideas, and challenge the status quo. And then give yourself and your teams the time to put these things into practice.  

Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Failure is not only an opportunity for growth and learning, and it is PART of the process of a company’s growth. It’s only a setback if you don’t learn from it.  

Confront your fears: Whether it’s fear of failure, success, or unworthiness, these emotions can be powerful drivers of self-destructive behavior. Recognize and confront these fears, understanding that they are natural but should not dictate your company’s actions.  

Figure out where the fears come from (there’s always a source) so that they can be addressed. Embrace vulnerability, and consider seeking out potential partners and collaborators from companies who have experienced what you have. They get it.  

And remind yourself that every organization faces challenges and uncertainties- it’s how you respond to them that truly matters. 

Have more faith in yourself, your team, and your company: Figure out what success means to your company and then create an environment that gives you the best chance to get it. That means reevaluating the company’s priorities, goals and practices.  

Hire the right people – diverse people with a wide variety of experiences, and who share your vision and possess the skills, creativity, and adaptability needed to drive your company forward. Foster a growth mindset, getting everyone to ask the question- what can we do better. 

You can figure out the solutions you need to your challenges as long as you know what to do and where to get help when you need it.  

Invest in your company’s future: Sometimes investing in ourselves is one of the most difficult things to get used to. But overcoming self-destructive behavior often requires investment, whether it’s in employee training, technology, or research and development.  

You have to be willing to allocate resources toward initiatives that will promote your safe, long-term growth, even if it means sacrificing short-term gains. You are worth it. Your company is worth it.  

Moving Forward: Building a Resilient and Thriving Organization 

Breaking free from self-destructive patterns is not an overnight process.  

It will require self-awareness, commitment, and a willingness to confront the fears and behaviors that have held your company back.  

And to not fall into the trap of getting angry with yourself or judging yourself about what your company has done in the past.  

It’s okay to ask those tough questions. And then give yourself the grace to grow- it’s part of life. When we know how to do better, we do better. That’s really what it’s all about. 

Once you go forward with awareness of which emotions are in charge of your decisions, you can guide yourself to taking action in a way that makes your business thrive for the future. 

Want to see how you can gear up your business for success, through streamlined processes and automation, with Bluefort’s solutions?

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