I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the Astonishing Light of your own Being. ~Hafiz
It turns out there is after all a name for that irrational, incessant and intrusive behavior which we so precisely insert between ourselves and success. It doesn’t take a psychology degree to recognize this mental obstacle. It is called self-sabotage and it is a beast. If you say you have never met with this beast, I will guess you must then be on top of your game and at the peak of your life because it is unimaginable what we can achieve without self-sabotage.
We are ALL meant massive success but a majority of us do not make it.
Why? Well, it depends whom you ask but we all sure have opinions on the topic. We blame luck, timing, resources and finances. We blame our place in the world, our age, our genetics, our culture, our bodies, our parents, our children, our dogs and the weather. We say we don’t have the talent, the IQ, the intelligence, the foresight, or the vision. Still, we know better because every day we see real examples out there – brutally true stories – that prove us dead wrong.
In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus
Oh yeah baby. Those are just excuses that feed our self-sabotage. The truth is beautiful and inspiring.
- You can come from totally poverty and still be massively successful.
- You can be totally handicapped and still become spectacular.
- You can be a failure by all standards of society and turn around to be the visionary of the next century.
- You can receive the least education and be awarded honorary doctorates from the schools which earlier rejected you.
- You can write a best seller that changes the world while surviving on food stamps.
- You can be shunned by the whole world, thrown in jail, stripped of everything and still manage to do work that will let you go down in history as one of the greatest minds that ever lived.
You can start from nothing and be every man’s ultimate dream and fantasy.
Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others…it rises from your heart ~ Junko Tabei
What really happens then to those of us who do not succeed is quite simple yet terrifying: We destroy our own chances of success. We usually do it when we are closest to it. We see our own potential and we ignore it. We hear our inner voice and we turn a deaf ear to it. We know a path is wrong and we still take it. We know a relationship is bad for us and we stay in it.
We know we can do better and we choose not to. We feel something amazing come alive when we are in the zone and still we respond to distractions. We believe we can be spectacular but we settle for mediocre. We can feel that our job can eventually kill our livelihood and we choose to do nothing about it.
The biggest irony of all is this: We know without a shadow of a doubt and from our very core that when we do what we love, we are on fire, we light up our world, we attract everything from good to great, we align to our core values and to our truest self, and we are destined for success and yet, YET, we make room for self-sabotage when it shows up.
We give it the audacity to talk us into doubt, into fear, and into severe anxiety.
We let it consume us with stress and worry. We allow it to let us compare ourselves to others and feel small rather than inspired, and feel insignificant rather than empowered.
Oh yes. We do all this, even if we deny it and then we wonder why others got “lucky” and why we didn’t quite “make it”? Self-sabotage is the answer, baby.
It is self-sabotage that shows up when we need to stay on top of our finances but we are drawn into over-spending and it is self-sabotage that talks us into eating a pound of sugar, disguised in a fancy plate of desserts. Yeah, we know what to do by logic but we need to fight self-sabotage clad in armor. I am ready if you are. Let’s crush it using these 4 practical steps.
Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth. ~ Rumi
FIRST Recognize Self-Sabotage
Learn to recognize it. Self-sabotage shows up in so many places, all uninvited but alas, we welcome it nonetheless. Look for it in your behavior, in your daily habits and patterns of activities. Look for it in the smallest things you do that impact the outcome of something important to you, maybe it’s something you say to someone that ruins your entire profile, maybe it’s something you eat that you didn’t even crave, maybe it’s in your work or in your art. Look for it nonstop.
Question your own behavior: Are you doing what you do in the course of the day consciously and intentionally? Do you quickly respond to things or people that pull you out of your best productive zones and happiest places and ruin the outcome altogether? Do you see what is happening and can you at least learn to recognize it first?
SECOND Take Responsibility for Self-Sabotage
The worst thing you can do is take the side of self-sabotage. Don’t make up excuses and reasons when you see it occurring. Just stop yourself after recognizing it and then admit to what is happening. For instance, say: “Yes I set out to write this blog post tonight and I let self-sabotage completely take over and distract me for an entire evening…”
When you hear yourself take responsibility, you are far more likely to change a bad behavior. When you say it out loud or to someone else, you enable yourself to move away from the harmful behavior. When you stand up and become accountable for the small stuff just as well as the big stuff of life, then you will be empowered to crush self-sabotage and move in the direction of your greatness.
THIRD Fight the Urge to Give in to Fear and Doubt
It’s easy enough to be inspired after reading a good book or watching a great movie. The problem comes on a dull Tuesday afternoon when you are tempted to drop our amazing momentum and change gears by moving into a negative space. The issues arise when you shift from a mindset of total possibility to a place of doubt and fear.
And then you are paralyzed, and self-sabotage led you there, dear one. Self-sabotage may be invisible but it doesn’t make it any less real. Then what good are you to yourself in the midst of all this second-guessing and self-judging? You are simply paralyzed. It’s too late now. You will kill hours and days digging yourself out of this swamp all because you entertained mean possibilities in your mind when self-sabotage showed up. Instead, fight the urge to give in to fear – well, unless your physical safety is in danger or some such thing but you get my drift!
FOURTH Reaffirm Your Beliefs and Reawaken Your Conviction
After you recognize and then take responsibility and fight the urge to give in to those monsters of fear and doubt, you are ready to hear your own beliefs and renew your conviction. There is no such thing as reminding yourself of what matters too many times. There is no such thing as too strong a conviction or too positive an attitude or too motivated a heart and soul. There is only not enough but you can have more than enough to be massively successful.
So whatever method works for you – I love mantras as I have often mentioned, you may use a myriad of other techniques – but remind yourself of your path, of your dream, of your direction in life. Maybe a song will light up that fire in you again. Maybe you have a friend that can remind you just how gifted you are and how you owe it to yourself to make your mark in this world so shame on you if you give up.
Maybe you can just walk over to a mirror, take one good look at yourself and say, “Yes, I too can be and shallbe massively successful. I don’t care how many have come before me and how many more will come after. There is more than enough room for massive success for all of us and more than enough time for my dreams. And there is no way in this world I am letting self-sabotage win this race and walk all over me.”
Our own life has to be our message. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Your turn, your thoughts:
My dealings with self-sabotage are hardly at the “expert” level. So I turn to you for an extension of these thoughts, or better yet, brand new thoughts on how to deal with self-sabotage. Share them in the comments below and please share this with whoever might find it useful.
Use Your Inner Powers
Bonus: 21-Step Confidence Building Series
There are affiliate links in this post for products that I use, love and trust.