We often want things so bad that we tend to stand in our own way to fulfill that dream. Meet self-sabotage, the thing that stands between you and your dreams. How can you take charge of this and tackle it?
Overcoming self sabotage
When you are in a mindset of overthinking, fantasizing, imagining, expecting, worrying and doubting, it is not easy to overcome this. It is not a quick fix to deal with self sabotage. Let me be clear on that. It is a progress and it takes effort each day to practice. The fact that you’re reading this tells me that you are aware that you are sabotaging yourself and that you want to take action on it. Great! I am proud of you! That is the first step of fixing this. Awareness. How are you aware that you are sabotaging yourself? What are you saying to yourself that keeps you from doing or getting the things that you want?
I don’t have money for this. I can’t do it. I’ll start tomorrow. I’ll never be able to be as good as him or her. I will never get that job. I’m too old. I am not enough.
What do you choose: fear or dreams?
Do you recognize yourself in one or more of these sentences? And did these thoughts keep you from doing the things that you actually want? Why do you think this is? Because if a dream doesn’t scare you, it is not big enough. It is scary to get out from your comfort zone. Everything outside of that is abnormal and you should frighten it. You should challenge yourself to change yourself. The question is: what is the WHY behind this thing you want and is it big enough to keep you going in the right direction? Think about it this way: it is hard to go through the fear and to get the thing you want, and it is also hard to stay where you are and not be content with yourself and your current life. So which option do you choose?
How to recognise self sabotage
Hopefully you are on the same line as me and you are ready to take some steps to tackle your self sabotage. As I said, the first step is to be aware of self sabotage. This is how you can recognise it:
- You’re sabotaging your productivity by distracting yourself
- You’re sabotaging your own succes by procrastinating
- You’re sabotaging your own happiness by focusing on things that aren’t good or could go wrong
- You’re sabotaging intimate relationships by building a wall around you, because you are afraid of being vulnerable
- You’re sabotaging your own health with perfectionism and the everything or nothing mode
- You’re sabotaging your way forward by starting new projects, but never finishing the ones you’ve started
Fear of a relationship
Starting a relationship where you are being vulnerable is scary and can be threatening, especially when you have been let down by friends and partners before. That is why you build a wall so nobody can hurt you. But is this the way to find true love? How you will find those real friends? That loving soulmate?
Fear of success
To really go for that one thing you want could come with a lot of success. And responsibilities and expectations that are scary. So rather than fully invest in this, you just don’t. This is one that is really close to my heart. I blog regularly, but behind the scenes there is a lot of procrastination to bring my blog and my life coaching to the next level. Because what if I suddenly become succesful? I then even have less time. I then feel like I have to really prove myself that I am good. Which is silly, because I am being myself and if someone doesn’t like my blog, she can read another one. If someone doesn’t like my coaching, I am not a good match for her. I believe in my qualities and yet I feel vulnerable putting myself out there between all the other coaches and bloggers. So I hold myself small. Because sometimes change feels crazy scary.
Shine a light
As you can see from my example, you see that if you focus your attention on it, you can explore your fear more. When you are self sabotaging, your best tool is a flashlight. Because putting on this flashlight, you create a light in the darkness. It is like when you had a bad dream as a kid and thought that there were monsters under your bed. There are still there, only this time they are your current fears. And as soon as you put the light on, they are gone. Shining a light on your fears help you to make these fears irrational, less strong and it helps you to move forward.
Questions to answer
What would you do if other people’s opinions didn’t matter? What would you do if you couldn’t feel your fears? What would you do if you had all the money in the world? What would you do if you knew you were going to succeed?
Answering these questions, will give you some action steps to move you closer to your goal and gets you in a grow mindset. It is actually really fun! Because when the fears aren’t there, you can freely brainstorm about your dreams and everything that you want and dream of.
What is it that you really want?
I am going to start my own company and take it seriously. I will to everything to succeed and reach the goal that I see so clearly, even though I find it really scary.
I choose to be vulnerable in this relationship, even though it feels very new and scary.
I am taking steps to make this world trip, even though I am so scared to actually leave and do it.
This last one is one I actually have realised. I did want to travel and live abroad on my own, but at the same time it was scary and a lot of people did not want me to go. It was much easier to stay and live at home, and I did let go of this dream for a bit. Until I made my WHY so clear that actually achieving this was more appealing to me than regretting not making this decision and so I faced my fears.
How can you do this too?
- Know your why. What is it you really want?
- What are you telling yourself right now? What is holding you back (I am not enough/I can’t do this etc.)
- Is this limiting belief true? Is this really who you want to be? (no, of course not)
- Write down your new belief that resonates with your goal
- What first steps can you take that will get you closer to that ultimate goal? (do research to countries you want to visit, meet up with a well traveled friend, ask a guy out for a coffee, read a few pages of a business book or follow a workshop.)
- Write down when you are going to take those steps to hold yourself accountable.
- Start moving forward
Be kind to yourself and don’t expect that you will never sabotage yourself again by taking these steps. Just don’t be so kind that you procrastinate again, will you :). Have fun achieving your dreams!
Don’t stand in your own way and stop blaming self sabotage for why you aren’t where you want to be