Have you ever done something that caused big problems for you and seemed to be in direct opposition to what you thought you wanted?
Like consistently shown up late for work even though your boss warned that you were treading on thin ice?
Or perhaps eating junk food even though you were trying to lose weight and get in shape?
Why do we do these things? You would think that setting a goal and creating a plan would be enough to get us where we want to go, right? Not necessarily.
There are many possible reasons why we ‘sabotage’ our own success but they most often involve a fear or an ingrained habit.
Take a look at these behaviors and ask yourself whether they have ever derailed your plans:
If you’ve ever found yourself holding back on doing something even though you kept telling yourself you really wanted to do it, you were procrastinating.
Maybe you felt drawn to watch endless hours of television or felt compelled to suddenly clean out your basement so you wouldn’t have to work on your goals.
Believe it or not, procrastination usually has little to do with laziness and more to do with avoidance. Most often, you are trying to avoid an underlying fear or resistance that you don’t feel ready to handle.
Another way we hold ourselves back is by waiting until we feel everything is just right before we take action. The problem is that this time never arrives or else, by the time we feel ready to do something, we’ve missed the opportunity. So we need to learn to identify the right time to take action so that we can make the progress we want.
No matter how fired up you are about your goals, your old, ingrained habits can seem as solid as concrete. If we try to change those comfortable old routines, we feel nervous and out of place.
So, in order to become comfortable with new habits, we need to stick with them long enough so that they become second nature. It may need a bit of focus and willpower but eventually the new ways will become as solid as concrete too.
Learning to Recognize the Signs of Self-sabotage
The greatest gift you can give yourself is self-awareness. The unconscious nature of self-sabotage is what makes it so difficult to recognize. But with enough honest introspection, you will begin to understand yourself better.
When you do, you will be able to tell when you are working in opposition to your goals. You’ll be able to tell when you feel fearful and hesitant about stepping out of your comfort zones. You’ll recognize avoidance behaviors and take steps to turn them around immediately.
You may think it sounds too easy, but it really is simple.
You just have to be willing to pay attention, overcome fear and continue along the path to success – no matter what it takes.