When you are lacking in confidence and your mind is full of limiting beliefs… you can begin to self sabotage. Perhaps consciously, perhaps without even realising it.
There are many ways a person can self sabotage. It could be subtle… a lack of confidence or worrying too much about what people think can have a negative impact on both your business and personal life.
Self sabotage can also refer to big things and dangerous things such as substance abuse, alcoholism or even breaking the law, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the small things (that can have a huge effect). Being afraid to try new things, being afraid of failure, fearing success, fearing change, putting too much pressure on yourself, overthinking decisions and ultimately standing in your own way of achieving the things you want to achieve.
I’ve never been a particularly confident sort of people. I’d go as far as to say I was the total opposite. I’d overthink every decision I had to make out of fear of making a wrong choice. I’d question my skills, my knowledge and my ability to achieve anything. I’d be crippled with fear at the thought of any sort of public speaking (no matter how small the crowd) and I much preferred hiding in the background.
I started to put blocks in front of me. I became a giant money repellant literally pushing money away at every opportunity. My limiting beliefs stopped me from moving forward, preventing me from achieving and preventing me from the success that deep down I craved but didn’t feel remotely worthy of.
I had no idea how much I was self sabotaging. I needed to trust in my ability, I needed to be healthier, I needed to show up as the best possible version of myself. Instead, I let my limiting beliefs take control and engulf every ounce of my potential. I became a shadow of myself, dulled and extinguished by my lack of self confidence.
So I switched my focus from my business to my mindset. I started working on myself to understand my issues and improve my confidence. I began to focus on being positive even when things didn’t go to plan. I wanted to stare adversity in the face with defiance and learn to embrace my decisions (even the bad ones). I accepted that I would make mistakes but realised that I could move on from them instead of dwelling on them.
I’m not writing this from the perspective of someone who has everything completely together. I’m constantly working on my mindset and improving my confidence, I’m working on seeing the positives in everything rather than getting overwhelmed by the negatives. I’m at the very start of my journey but I’ve also come a long way over the last few months (even the creation of this blog and writing this post of part of the process.) Going from self sabotaging to accepting yourself and being completely comfortable in your own skin isn’t something that happens overnight but every small step is a step closer to the end goal.
Sometimes it’s obvious if you are self sabotaging but sometimes you may be doing it without even realising. Here are some of the things that I am focussing on myself to help avoid self sabotage. You may find some of these tips useful too 🙂
Be Aware of Self Sabotage
If you are doing something that is preventing you from reaching a particular aim or goal, you may be self sabotaging. Self sabotage happens as a result of a conflict within yourself. Part of you wants one thing and another part of you wants something else. There is a disconnect between your conscious mind and your subconscious which results in self sabotaging behaviour. You want to grow your business, you want success, you want to do well but you’re scared of what people may think, you’re worried about failing and you’re wary of change… all these things are preventing you from reaching your goal. You desperately want to lose weight but you’re finding it difficult to reach your goals. Your mind wants you to be healthy and to lose weight, but it also wants to eat pizza and chocolate cake. You really want to exercise but you’re also tired and aren’t in the mood to go to the gym… Being aware of self sabotaging thoughts and behaviour is a step towards making huge positive changes in your life.
Recognise Your Habits
Self sabotage isn’t always obvious. You may be standing in your own way without even realising it. Some self sabotaging habits include procrastination, perfectionism, turning opportunities down for no apparent reason, keeping busy doing non productive tasks, blaming something or someone else for your lack of productivity, not taking action, refusing to do things simply because you believe you can’t and making excuses. I have done all of these things. Every single one. But I’m starting to recognise these habits now and I try to act on them before they become an issue.
Understand Why You Are Self Sabotaging
There are many reasons why you may be standing in your own way. It could be due to fear, lack of self worth or lack of confidence. It could be due to control, you may feel the need to be in control of every situation and are wary of doing things that you won’t have as much control over so you simply refuse to do them. You could be self sabotaging because you find it hard to say no to people, maybe you’re taking on too much and not charging your worth. Or maybe you are just way too critical of yourself, you put too much pressure on yourself and you set unrealistic goals and expectations.
Self sabotage may not be business related at all, you could be eating unhealthy even though you want to lose weight or you could be staying up too late even though you feel tired all the time. The reasons for all these things probably go a lot deeper than simply being scared or unconfident or too critical (there will be deeper reasons as to why this is happening) but understanding the things that are causing you to stand in your own way will greatly help in order to move forward.
For me, one of the main things I did that prevented me from making strides in my business was fear. I was scared of success equally as much as I was scared of failure. I was scared of putting myself out there and I was scared of doing things and getting them wrong. I was in a constant state of ‘what if this happens…’ instead of just going for it.
Know Yourself and Embrace Change
Every big change starts with a small change. Once you become aware of self sabotaging behaviour, you can work on making changes so that you can reach your goals without being scared or worried or overthinking. Write down any negative fears, thoughts and worries. What are you thinking about when you imagine yourself reaching the levels of success you desire? Write down any random thoughts and fears no matter how obscure they seem. Ask yourself what it is you truly want? How much do you really want it? Do you want to stand in your own way of achieving it? Only you have the power to avoid self sabotage and only you have the power to make changes in your life. Avoid using negative language such as ‘I can’t…’ and ‘I’m not good enough’. Embrace the changes, commit to replacing your inner negativity with positive thoughts and dig deep to uncover all your negative beliefs.
Self Reflection and Self Care
Once you are aware of the fact that you are self sabotaging and why you might be doing it, you can work on making some small changes. Self reflection is important so that you can start to understand the way your mind works (I don’t fully understand mine yet, it’s definitely a work in progress!). Self care is also super important, don’t forget to look after yourself both mentally and physically, take time out, relax, do the things you enjoy, eat well and practice a healthy lifestyle. Being overworked and stressed isn’t likely to propel you towards achieving your goals.
Journaling is a great tool to help to uncover any limiting belief and any self sabotaging behaviour that you may not be aware of. You can learn a lot about how your mind works simply by being open and honest with yourself.