80% of success is in our mindset. We quite literally hold ourselves back from doing what we want to be doing and being who we want to be. That may trigger you a little bit because yeah, it is a hard pill to swallow. More often than not, the reason you’re not making the progress you want to be is because of something you are doing (or not doing). You are self-sabotaging yourself, sometimes it is subconscious and other times not so much.
Note: I appreciate my privilege in being able to say this and understand that persecution still exists in the world, making it a lot harder for minorities (including women) BUT my purpose in writing this is to inspire those suffering through persecution to let that motivate them rather than suppress them.
I’m not sitting here on my high horse pretending that I am holy than thou and never self-sabotage because believe me, I do. All.Of.The.Time. But I’m working on it, and I’m making a lot of progress, and you can too. Because we all deserve the lives we dream of and we all deserve to express ourselves in an authentic truthful way. So let’s get stuck in and unpick some of the ways you might be self-sabotaging yourself and how to stop so you can be the powerful badass you were born to be.
What will other people think of me
This one is huge for me. Like huge. The fear that someone is going to judge us negatively for how we act or what we decide to spend our time doing can really paralyse us and keep us from moving forward. We actively settle for less than we long for because we are scared that someone else might not understand or agree.
Imagine getting to 90, right now close your eyes and you’re 90. You’re thinking back on your life, and what you did with it. Are you going to be thinking “ya know what, I didn’t take the leap and do what I wanted because I was scared what someone from high school would think.” Is that person from high school going to be relevant anymore? Probably not. Will they have (more likely than not unknowingly) changed the course of your life. Yes. Do you want to get to 90 and be riddled with regrets and what-ifs? No? Then stop caring what other people think of your decisions. STOP because it’s not worth it.
And if I’m being reallllyyy honest, we usually project our own fears and biases onto someone else and assume we know what they are going to think and say when that may not actually be the case. You could be self-sabotaging yourself based on untrue assumptions about someone else’s thoughts. Let that sink in for a while.
If this is a biggy for you, then I have a little exercise you can try.
Think of between 3-7 people whose opinions you actually care about because you know they have your best interests at heart. Write them down. And then only care about the advice these people give you, not anyone else. And remember, just because you trust them, they’re only giving their opinion and if you know deep in your heart and soul that what you want to do is right, you’re the only person you can really trust.
Perfectionism is probably the biggest killer of dreams. And that’s not an exaggeration. You might not think you’re a perfectionist but it actually shows up in so many ways that it’s likely you’ll relate to one of them. You set high standards for yourself, you’re critical of yourself and/or others tending to notice tiny mistakes or imperfections, you procrastinate, and you don’t take criticisms well are some signs you might be a perfectionist.
The reason perfectionism kills so many dreams is that we never take action or move forward. We are so focused on things being perfect that we put off doing them, or we never feel fully ready to do something.
Now if you’re currently procrastinating taking action towards something, or you’re so well prepared to make the leap but you just don’t “feel ready” remember that you’re never going to feel 100% ready and it’s not going to be “perfect” but doing something is far better than doing nothing.
So, if you struggle with putting things off, write down what is you want to and set a deadline. Make this deadline non-negotiable. When that date arrives you will have finished or you will taken the leap. This will stop you from hiding behind your fear of it not being perfect and encourage you to take messy action. Which is where you will learn, grow and develop.
Fear of failing
Leading on from both perfectionism and worrying what others will think is the fear of failure. Ahhhh, I’ve felt this many a time. I don’t want to commit to doing something, put myself out there and go all in just in case I fail. What if everyone sees me f**k up? But, I’ve got a secret for you that you actually already know. Failing is good. We can use the failures as building blocks to success. The failures teach us how to be better, how to change and adapt until we succeed. So don’t hate the thought of failing, welcome it and thank it.
Think back to a time that you “failed” at something, or it didn’t go to plan, and write three good things that came out it and what you learned. This helps you see that when things went wrong in the past, it wasn’t so bad and you actually learned something valuable from it.
Imagine what would happen if you stopped self-sabotaging.
Imagine your life if you stopped self-sabotaging. If you said ok this is scary as hell but I deserve nothing less than this. If you stopped letting what others thought paralyse you. If you stopped waiting until you felt 100% ready. If you embraced failure like it’s a supportive friend pushing you forward. If you took the plunge, the leap of faith, whatever you want to call it. You went all in and you grabbed life with both hands. Seriously, imagine what that would look like for you… and let that image be the motivating force that keeps pushing you forward. Let 2020 be the year you stop self-sabotaging.