Do you ever take a step back and question why things have become so difficult? At times, everything can feel like an effort and I literally mean everything. But why?
Well it’s because we have become masters at getting in our own way.
Something I’m really passionate about is writing to help other people. But a while back I had been putting off writing for days (maybe even weeks) because my circumstances had been less than perfect and in my mind I can’t achieve anything until everything around me is in order (self-limiting belief alert).
Instead of me taking the sensible approach of getting things into this ‘necessary’ order, or better still clearing my mind and reaffirming that there is no such thing as perfection, I decided that I would take time out and read other people’s content instead. This in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I mean I can’t teach myself anything new with the knowledge I already have. However, when you are operating with no strategy or purpose, it is easy to hinder your progress through stirring up feelings of self-doubt and frustration.
There is so much content on the Internet it is easy to become overwhelmed. On a daily basis the sheer volume of content that rolls through my Facebook feed is ridiculous. And even more ridiculous is the amount of sponsored links that somehow manage to play on all of my insecurities whilst promising to solve all of my problems. Suddenly I found myself questioning whether my blogs could be as good as the one I was reading or wondering if anything I have to say could really help people.
Was I just kidding myself, fumbling may way through a world I really knew nothing about and so these feelings of unworthiness went on and on, threatening to render me emotionally and mentally useless. Fortunately I was able to lift myself out of the funk by reminding myself that all things are possible through God (yes I love God) and there is beauty in the art of reflection.
But how do we avoid self-sabotage?
1. Recognise what self-sabotage looks like for you
Before you can avoid something you have to be able to identify it. Your version of self-sabotage may look very different to mine but essentially any behaviour you exhibit that is holding you back from achieving something you have set out to achieve is self-sabotaging behaviour. Perhaps you are a procrastinator, or someone who fears failure, or even success. Whatever the case may be, be real with yourself and if you can’t figure it out ask someone who knows you well what they think.
2. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s journey
Carrie Green says something in her book that I absolutely love. ‘Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20’. This is a trap that I sometimes fall into and definitely did in the example I gave above. In reality it really doesn’t matter how great someone else’s ability is, we don’t know where they are in their journey, but we know where we are in ours. Focus on striving to be the best you can be and forget about what other people are doing or how well they are doing it. After all, we are all unique and they won’t have what you have to offer just as you won’t have what they have to offer.
3. Dare to believe
Dreams can become a reality. In fact I believe God has already blessed us with everything we need to achieve our dreams. But when we begin to resign ourselves to thinking dreams are just dreams, we open the door for self-sabotage to come skulking in and ruining everything. Hal Elrod highlights in Miracle Morning that 95% of us will live a life of mediocrity or worse. That is a staggering amount but I would be willing to bet that everyone in this category will have at least one thing in common…they stopped seeing the value in their dreams and started believing that they were nothing more than imagination.
If there is only one thing you take away from this blog post (having read most of it) let it be this.
Be armed with the knowledge that it is within in you to succeed, dare to believe that you will.
When you have sheer determination and a genuine belief that you are able to make it come together, nothing will hold you back, even on the most difficult of days.
4. Appreciate that things take time
Again, something else I have been guilty of in the past. We are all in such a rush to get to the next level, but why is that? What do you think will happen when you get there? Will you be satisfied?
I think we need to learn not to be disheartened or discouraged if things don’t happen as quickly as we would like and not let a slow pace make way for negativity. Overnight success is rare and I imagine unfulfilling. I know I’d much rather feel joyous because I have worked hard and earned my successes. Just because something doesn’t happen in a click of a finger, it doesn’t make it impossible. Keep persevering and maintain a positive mind-set in the process.
So, what does self-sabotage look like for you and do you have any steps to get you out of your own way? The internet being what it is, there are absolutely loads of resources online about self-sabotage. Of course I never want to, nor do I see the point in rehashing other people’s material, but here are some links that I think are valuable if you want to explore the topic further.
Be Purposeful & Be Fulfilled