“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.” Gay Hendricks
Age is no barrier to success, but at times your biggest obstacle to success is yourself. The rest of the world is too busy to actively get in your way. That’s great news! If your lack of success is your fault, you can take steps to address the situation.
There are a variety of ways you sabotage yourself. You procrastinate, think negatively, and have other harmful habits. As Walt Kelly once said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
Be honest with yourself and look at the times in your life when success slipped through your fingers. Can you see how you are at least partly to blame?
Use these strategies to put an end to self-sabotage and claim your right to success:
- Be clear regarding what you want. One way to sabotage yourself is to keep changing your mind. You might spend months working toward one goal, only to change your mind. Indecisiveness is a success killer. Be clear about what you want and be consistent.
- Notice how you waste time. What do you do when you procrastinate? Do you like to watch TV? YouTube videos? Go shopping? Have a snack? You can’t stop yourself from wasting time unless you can recognize that you’re wasting time. Make a list of your time-wasting behaviors and pay attention when they happen.
- Understand the repercussions of your behavior. Time-wasting behaviors feel good in the short-term. That’s probably all you’re considering. Turn your attention to the bigger picture. What will happen down the road if you continue to waste time? Consider the consequences.
- Stop negative self-talk. Isn’t life challenging enough already? You don’t have to make things even more difficult by getting in your own way. Monitor yourself. If you catch yourself speaking poorly to yourself, stop and say something positive instead.
- Hang out with positive, supportive people. The people around you can sabotage your efforts. This is really a form of self-sabotage because you chose your friends. Make the necessary adjustments to spend time with those who support your success.
- Learn to deal with discomfort. Self-sabotage is a strategy for dealing with discomfort. If you weren’t uncomfortable at all, you’d never sabotage yourself in the first place. Understand that discomfort is necessary if you want to change your life in a meaningful way. All roads to success lead through discomfort.
- Visualize success. The idea of success might be more stressful than you think, especially if you’ve gotten used to failing. Part of you might believe it’s better to deal with the “devil you know.”
- Take a few minutes each day and visualize yourself being successful. Notice how it feels. Keep up this routine until success feels completely natural.
- Think about why you might find failure appealing. What are the advantages to you of failing?
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. We compare ourselves to the most talented people we know. Everyone is better than you at something. But we compare our weaknesses to the strengths of others.
- You can always improve from where you were last week. That’s the key to success.
It’s not easy to notice how you get in your own way. Examine your habits and your past failures. Do you expect to succeed or do you start searching for excuses to fail before you’ve even gotten started?
Success can be just as scary as failure. This is particularly true if failure has become the norm.
Stop getting in your own way. You can enhance the results you’ve been experiencing and discover the joys of success, instead.