Posted by: Jo Banks
Do you often find that you self-sabotage for no apparent reason? Here are our top 3 tips for ending self-sabotage for good...
It seems that many of us have an inherent inclination to self-sabotage, I see it again and again with my clients. They know what they want, they even know how they can get it and yet they still seem to sabotage their attempts. Through working with those clients, I've noticed that they are 3 specific limitations that people place on themselves which stop them from achieving what they really want.
Critical Inner Voice
That critical inner voice can often prevent us from taking action, it's the voice that tells us that we're "Not good enough", "People like us don't do things like that", "It's alright for other people they have the skills/backing/money/support that I don't", "It's going to be too hard", "It's much more comfortable to sit here and play this video game/go shopping/watch TV", "I'll never do it, so why start?" This type of self talk puts us into learned helplessness and prevents us from taking action.
Listening to your negative self talk my initially feel comforting, however, if we continue to take no action, may find the self talk turns in on itself and you find yourself saying things like, "I'll never make anything of yourself", "I'm such a loser", "I can't do anything right".
The easiest way to combat that critical inner voice is to take some immediate action. This usually stops that critical voice because, the mind can't think of two things at once, so whilst your focussed on action, you can't think of the reasons not to! The term I often use with my clients when they're hesitating about taking action is, JFDI... JUST FLIPPIN' DO IT!
Past experiences as well as our negative self talk, can also keep us from taking appropriate action. Once we learn a way of doing things, we are often reluctant to change and do things in a different way. That rigidity and unwillingness to try something different can often cause us to self sabotage. People who succeed are often relentless in their pursuit of what they want. They don't think, "Well that didn't work so I'll give up" they try something else and if that doesn't work, they try something else. In fact, they carry on until they find the thing that works. They have ultimate flexibility.
If we look at some fabulously popular inventions, they were actually the result of happy accidents. For example, the man who invented the 'Post It' note, was actually trying to find a glue that would never come apart ... the rest is history!
Another of my most favourite sayings is, "Do what you've always done ... Get what you've always got!" If we keep doing the same thing and expect to get a different result then we're always going to be disappointed. We have to do something different to get a different result and never give up.
Fear is often at the root of what holds us back; fear of the unknown or unfamiliar, fear of failure or that our critical inner voice (or those of our friends and family) may be proved right. It can often also be the fear of rejection, or a fear of how your life may change if you achieve your goal.
Fear of how your life might change is often made at a subconscious level and therefore we may not even be aware of it. When I suspect that this may be the case with a client, I ask what their secondary gain might be for not achieving the goal ie what are they getting by not achieving it. The secondary gain could be anything from being scared of people reacting differently to them, to the fact that their day to day activities will be altered - it's different with every client and every situation. I find that often the realisation that there is a secondary gain and what it is, is enough to propel them forward.
Do you find yourself self sabotaging and not reaching your full potential? If so, contact us for a free, no obligation conversation about how we may be able to help you.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.