We all do it. We self-sabotage. Are you even aware that you do it? And can you recognize it when it’s happening to you? The trick with preventing self-sabotage is learning to manage it by becoming mindfully engaged.
What is self-sabotaging?
Essentially, self-sabotage is when you set yourself a goal around anything in life — health, fitness, weight loss, relationships, financial freedom, and as you are nearing the achievement of this goal, you blow it. You actually defeat yourself and you don’t achieve what you set out to be or attain.
I know a lot about self-sabotage because in the past I have taken it to an art form in my business and personal life. And even now, I often catch myself repeating the patterns that lead to self-sabotage and I find that I have to go back to my Five-Step basics of mindfully managing the pathways to preventing myself from self-sabotaging.
Also, when I first started working with my entrepreneurial clients, people who are really successful, both personally and in business, I observed incredibly motivated individuals who seemed to have everything they wanted in life and business effectively self-sabotage their next steps. They literally destroyed what they were working towards and had achieved.
So why do we do it?
We are all a product of our upbringing, our schooling, our professional and emotional lives. Along the way on this journey, we have been emotionally hard-wired. Everyone has a story of the teacher who said that you’d never amount to anything, the parent that tried to keep you ‘safe’ so that you didn’t get hurt or disappointed. Although self-sabotage does not come completely from the outside, sometimes it can be triggered by external reactions and events. Essentially, it is an internal thing of your own intrinsic making. It’s the patterns, the emotional mindset, within your vibrational field and they are all unconscious. Sometimes, it can be just one little thought, one small vibration that can trip people up. This hard-wiring leads to your unconscious mind throwing up all sorts of obstacles in front of your goals.
In fact, the bigger we play and the higher the stakes are, the more subtle the self-sabotage behaviors are. The trick is to recognize these, acknowledge them, and avert the fallout that they create.
The five steps to successfully defeating self-sabotage
So, if we are hard-wired for these fears and limiting thoughts and behaviors, how do you get over these hurdles? My strategies to defeat these behaviors are:
Step One – Always be open and honest with yourself.
It is only from self-awareness that you will manage to shift these patterns. Mindfully notice what is going on. Train yourself to know that if you remove the sabotage patterns, you will still be safe. You will still keep eating, breathing and moving, mindfully reassure yourself that it will all be okay.
Step Two – Do the inner work.
You must keep up with the schedule, focus on your desired goals and not get caught up in the business of the everyday world and its many distractions. The focus and staying on track is an important aspect. For example, if you are focussed on a particular money month goal – don’t avoid looking at the money. If your reality isn’t regularly checking on your money and giving it your time and your energy and focus, then it will drift away from you and out of your control. You must give the energy of money your full attention. It’s just another thread of the whole success garment.
Step Three – Give up the negative self-talk.
Don’t question yourself and your goals, this is the internal ‘voices’ clicking in to negatively limit you. Self-doubt is sabotage. Brush these thoughts away with simple, focus oriented tasks and catch the negative story sabotage. Become a master of pushing away the limiting self-doubt.
Step Four – Don’t over-plan, don’t over strategize.
Yes, you have to have a vision, but the minute you get into the place of over-planning, you limit yourself again and you close your openness and your willingness to see new paths that maybe fanning out for you and calling you to a more inspired direction. Grow a culture of openness at the same time as being mindfully intent on your goals.
Step Five – This is really important. Take care of yourself.
With proper exercise, nutrition, sleep, and emotional care. You will not get anywhere with achieving your goals if you burn yourself out. There is a higher and better way of achieving success. Disregard the stories of successful people who say that they didn’t sleep for five years to create what they’ve achieved. What they’re not telling you is that they also suffered from depression and had massive crashes, along their road. That’s not how you want to achieve success. You want your success to be from a grounded, healthy, sustainable position.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Stop beating yourself up! Suppress the urge to focus on your limitations as opposed to focussing mindfully on the successes that you have had and, especially those that you have created for yourself.
And remember, you absolutely can have it all and give back too.