If each of us were to truthfully and honestly answer this question ‘what stops me or gets in the way of achieving my goals?’, the answer would be simple! It would be, ‘It is me, I am the reason’.
The statement ‘you’re your own worst enemy’ can often be the truth. Think of all those times you have stopped yourself doing or saying something that you knew would be of benefit to you. Those times you procrastinated on that project and it turned out poorly. And those times you stopped yourself doing the things that bring out the best version of you.
These types of thoughts originate from our very own inner critic that exemplifies our ‘negative doubter’ that lives within. It is the part of us that generates uncertainty in our abilities, deflates our desires and can persuade us to play small. This negative doubter is the one who holds us back from achieving our goals, from stepping up and being our true Authentic self and pours cold-water on our ability to achieve greatness.
These thoughts that come from our ‘anti-self’ are actually our very own self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours. These thoughts and behaviours occur as a result of the beliefs and attitudes we have taken on in our past, yet, still choose to believe all these years later. It may be that we have been told by a teacher or a parent that we will never amount to much because we are lazy. This may come out later in life as a thought of ‘why bother doing that, I’ll never be good at it anyway’. Or as a youngster we were told to stay within the box of mediocrity and not shine bright. So, as an adult we play small, withdraw from many situations and remain acquiescent.
It is in this moment that we must remember –
We Cannot Change The Past But We Can Change Our Future!
We can choose to engage in thought patterns that ignite our best selves each and every day from right now, going forward. We can choose our thoughts, like we choose our outfits.
When we begin to take back our power, consciously choose our thoughts and diminish the self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviour we may at first feel anxious or uneasy. This is because we are challenging and destroying thoughts and behaviours that no longer serve us to be our best self.
This is a GOOD THING! This is when you are stepping into your true voice, and rising as your true Authentic self.
The Ultimate Question Is: How do you stop self-sabotaging your success?
1. Recognise your self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours. The common self-sabotaging behaviours present with high achievers in STEMM are:
Procrastination (do things at the last minute leaving next to no time to shine, or do a thorough job or demonstrate your true capabilities);
Negative thinking (the negative critical inner voice, the self-doubt that plays constantly in your head, the judgemental commentary that reduces your performance);
Perfectionism (you believe that you cannot move forward until everything is in the right place, the impossible standard that you apparently must live up to and therefore procrastinate and do not start).
You must become aware of your own thoughts and behaviours that get in the way of your achievements. These are all forms of self-sabotage!
2. Take action to change your thoughts and behaviours. Here are a few ways to turn the negative thoughts and behaviours around.
Be Mindful (consciously choose to focus all your senses on the present moment, train your mind to focus on positive, uplifting stimuli that will support you);
Stop putting yourself down (desist with the flippant sarcastic comments, abstain from the self-critical statements, cease with the public excuses that you can’t do things);
Instigate your positive thoughts (replace any negative thoughts and behaviours with optimistic self-enhancing statements);
Take Action (instigate a sense of agency, take back your power, control the controllables in your life and make things happen).
3. Celebrate your results and achievements. When you celebrate your achievements and your mistakes you learn and grow as a person.
You identify what is good practice and what to keep doing more of. When you celebrate your mistakes and failures you move forward in your quest for innovation and the betterment of self.
When you recognise and celebrate your tastes of success, you strengthen your confidence and intensify your self-trust. You elicit feelings of satisfaction, happiness and joy.
We all perform better and experience fulfilment when we are operating from a space of joy, competence and proficiency.
Getting to know what your self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours are, whether it is procrastination, negative thinking or perfectionism, will enable you to feel empowered and change how you are holding yourself back.
Then comes the vital component for change – that is taking consistent daily action to do things differently. To replace the negative thoughts with the positive statements, to embrace the mistakes without self-criticism, and to celebrate the achievements as they build high levels of confidence and action. It is only through taking purposeful changes that positive change will occur.
You Are Worth It! You Deserve The Best!
When sabotaging thoughts and behaviours hold us back from being our best self, it is up to us as individuals to choose new thoughts and behaviours that serve us to be our best version, each and every single day!