Here is How to Overcome Self-Sabotage
What is it that causes you to sabotage your very own dreams, goals, and desires?
You know what I am talking about.
The vacation spot you never seem to get to.
The bike that has not even once been ridden.
The five pounds that cannot be shed.
The move that is always just out of reach.
There is no need for anyone else to step in and bungle your best-laid plans or intentions, you are a master at doing that all on your own.
Take me, for example.
I had a decent website, but as my certifications multiplied and my focus shifted, I needed (and wanted) to update it to reflect my expanded vision.
I knew what I no longer wanted on my site, but I was not sure exactly what I wanted to replace it with. What colors? What kind of branding? Content? How many pages? Logo?
The more I thought about these things, the more overwhelmed I began feeling.
And more stuck. I could not figure out where to start.
So, I didn’t at all.
As much as I wanted a new site, I was content with the one I had because, you know, it really was great… and I did not know where or how to begin. And I was not excited to tackle any of those obstacles.
Fast-forward one year (yes, I said a year), and it was as if some inner alarm clock went off and declared, “It is time… On your mark, get set, GO!”
I abruptly became super-excited about working on my site. Sheila Applegate helped me frame my content while Zac Hansen, of Intuitive Edge Design, designed the site.
Bing-bang-bam! Colors, pages, logos, videos, layouts fell into place.
I was electrified! Before I knew it, it was all set to go.
And then…wah-waaaahh –
“Wait a minute, I just need to change this one little part,” I would think. Or, “Okay, let me get a worthy email written up to blast my site out there.”
When I talked about my site I was so ready to share it and ‘get it out there’. But when it came to actually ‘getting it out there’, I found myself dragging my feet.
So excited, so relieved, so ‘not yet’.
Sabotage! Why, oh why?
Sabotage means to deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct something.
It may be something you are desperate for, have worked so long and hard for or have always envisioned.
And just when the opportunity presents itself, you find some way to deliberately drown the dream.
Why? When you think about the many ways of sabotaging yourself, they often come down to a handful of common reasons:
Better that it is you tearing yourself down and dashing your dreams than someone else. No one enjoys being hurt, questioned, doubted or challenged by others, so you do not even give them the chance. You protect yourself from what you think others may say or do to you by eliminating their chance to do it.
Sometimes you have every intention of doing whatever it is today. You start out but then you slip up. And since you have already ruined your goal for today, you might as well just hang it up until tomorrow. No sense starting halfway today when you can start 100% tomorrow. By procrastinating, you rationalize the delay of your endeavor plus you make it sound legitimate with a new ‘start date’ targeted (tomorrow).
“Things are not so bad as they are, right?”
“This is how it is usually done, so why rock the boat?”
“This is good enough.”
Sentiments like these remind you how comfortable it is when you are in familiar territory and amplify how uncomfortable it would be if you attempt to stray into unchartered territory. You settle into the routine and comfort of familiarity because it brings a sense of control, whereas unfamiliar situations make it difficult to feel in control.
Fear of failure
What if it does not work? What if you put all of this time and energy into it and it does not turn out how you envision it will? Whatever made you think this was possible? You might as well just stop right now. Tell people that it was a bust, or a crazy idea to begin with. You do not want to experience failure, or perhaps you do not believe in yourself enough, so you stop before you have the chance to fail. You do not want others to see you fail, so you stop before they have the chance to see you fail.
Fear of success
What if it does work? What if it is possible and not a crazy idea after all? How will this impact your life? Will you need to adjust to new responsibilities? Will your family and friends look at you differently? Sometimes when you achieve goals your life changes, and do you really want it to change? Other times when you accomplish what you set out to do, you think, “Well, now what? Now what is my purpose?” and this leaves you feeling lost. At least when you were working towards something you had a purpose. And…sometimes the fear of success comes from not feeling worthy of achieving that success.
Breaking the sabotage cycle
When you find yourself in the sabotage cycle, obstructing those things that most touch your heart and soul, attaining your goals and desires can seem futile. To overcome this, try a few of these tips:
You give others plenty of breaks. You offer encouragement, support and cheer them on. It is time you give yourself some of that same royal treatment. Try giving yourself the advice/encouragement you would give a close friend or family member in your situation. See how that shifts your behavior. Might be that heeding that same advice helps you to realize what does and does not work. In doing so not only are you then a better advice giver and taker, you are also more adept at seeing a situation with clarity and designing next-steps for moving forward.
Be present in the moment. Take it all in and consider the benefits and challenges of the situation. What are you in control of? What do you need to let go of? By looking at the situation with more clarity you can choose your next steps more consciously. Try to envision yourself achieving your goal; imagine how it will feel and what you will be able to do once you have achieved it.
You are your biggest cheerleader. Believe in your goals, dreams, and desires. Keep a journal of your experiences from start to finish. You will see just how far you have come and how much you have accomplished. Even if you do not reach your ultimate goal, you have a compilation of the things that went well and a reminder of things to avoid or tweak next time.
Allow yourself the freedom to wipe your slate clean of sabotage at any given moment. No need to wait until tomorrow to start again - start over in an hour, or ten minutes, or right now! And your steps do not need to be perfect! You are continually evolving, and so are your goals and actions. You are in control here, so create your own rules!
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
~ Jim Carrey
So, where am I with my website?
I guess I took Jim Carrey’s advice: I might as well take a chance on doing what I love.
I love the work I do and the fact that there is this website that enables me to share what I do with the world. So, I took the chance and ‘got it out there’.
It may not have been in the exact way I envisioned getting it out there. And I did have a tinge of both fear of failure and fear of success as I pushed that final ‘send’ button.
But you know what?
As soon as I did it, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and pride.
If I can do it, you can too. Check it out.
Break your self-sabotage cycle and become the master of your own success.