Photo: Joe del Tufo
I’d like to start this blog post with a rather uncomfortable truth: There are many reasons why people don’t attain success -- and one of the most common factors is self-sabotage.
Yes, that’s right. No matter how hard you work to experience success, you may have some hidden beliefs or habits that are getting in your way, even when you think you really want to achieve your goal.
Did you know neuropsychology has discovered that most people have unconscious mindsets that contradict their stated beliefs? Learning about self-sabotage – and your reasons for it – can help you to stop this unconscious cycle so you can go on to create a life you desire.
So what lies hidden beneath our awareness -- and more importantly, how can we overcome it?
Fear of failure
BELOW ARE 7 TIPS FOR OVERCOMING YOUR FEAR
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This is the kind of fear that gets buried because it threatens your identity. Unlike the adrenaline rush from spooky movies or life-threatening circumstances, this fear originates from old stories and experiences about who you are and runs in the background at a different level of awareness.
Everyone gets conditioned at an early age by well-meaning (hopefully) parents and guardians who only want the best for you. Truth be told, though, most of these adults are hiding their own fears, and are actually living out their dreams through you. Maybe you were unfortunate to have a parent that believed you were but a reflection of them -- and therefore, they wanted you to live up to their ideal.
Constant criticism -- the kind that did not allow you to make our own experiences and self-correct your errors -- made you look to others for validation and approval. Somehow, these messages became translated into measuring your worth as a person.
Nobody wants to be unloved or unvalued. For most of us, we developed habits to avoid this fear of rejection. Now, you may think that if we are avoiding this fear, we would not self-sabotage the efforts that guarantee recognition.
Here’s the strange catch.
At some level of awareness, you don’t believe in yourself. As strange as it may seem, we become comfortable with our conditioning and our brain looks for ways to validate its previous experience.
So the two problems with having a fear of failure are (a) we are afraid we will be rejected and (b) we also believe we are unworthy. It should not be a surprise that we will avoid these concerns by self-sabotaging our efforts.
Fear of change
Success is often tied to change, such as a new job, better home, or other things. The problem with changing an existing situation for something new, is we have to give up what we currently have. Understandably, you cannot change AND stay the same simultaneously. You may be sabotaging your efforts because you don’t want to give up something.
Everything has a cost and a benefit. You need to weigh your options carefully with your priorities. Click to tweet
Fear of losing control
Do you like to be in control and have difficulty giving it up? You might self-sabotage in order to remain in control. Control and perfectionism are often tied together. If you want everything to be perfect all the time, then you may be limiting your opportunities at success.
Most fears are crippling and influence your decisions in negative ways. If you’re sabotaging your efforts and your life, it is possible to reshape your thoughts but it will require effort and time.
Whenever a thought appears that doesn’t support your efforts to achieve your goals, you need to have some techniques to identify the underlying fear and shift your thoughts so that you don’t follow through with self-sabotaging behaviour.
Try these techniques to transcend your fears and claim the level of freedom you deserve:
Identify your primary fear and question its truth. Is it an old story from your past that is no longer your reality?
ASSESS THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS
What is the worst that could happen if take action or if you make a mistake?
DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP OR DENY YOUR FEELINGS
Everyone experiences fear -- and chances are, nobody is aware of yours. Make “friends” with your fear, if you know what I mean.
DEAL WITH YOUR FEARS A LITTLE AT A TIME
Taking a small step in the right direction, even if it feels uncomfortable, will build up your tolerance and greatly increase your chance of success.
USE TECHNIQUES TO LOWER YOUR FEAR
There are many tools for dealing with fear:
USE A JOURNAL
Writing can often be more helpful than thinking. Writing helps clarify your thinking and reduces negative self-criticism. Use a journal to record your thoughts, fears, and your progress.
REDEFINE FEAR & SUCCESS
Develop a new understanding of success and failure. Let your refined definition guide new behavior.
Imagine a life without any irrational fears. What would your life be like if you did not sabotage your success? Try just one of these techniques and spend a few minutes every day to check in with yourself to self-correct and monitor your thinking and actions.
You will soon notice positive change, I guarantee it.
Need some personal guidance? Please reach out for a complimentary Breakthrough session and we will get you headed in the right direction