How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself Right Now!

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you.” - Tony Robbins

When I am training up young people who are interested in starting their own business, I always cover the subject of behavior and attitude because depending on your attitude will depend on your success.

To be successful isn’t down to one thing, it’s made up of many things but fundamentally about displaying the right attitude, self belief and determination. It’s about staring fear in the face and pushing yourself through the challenges and pain. It’s about being able to take rejection and look past people’s opinions even if you feel obliged to listen to them.

You may have found that in the past people have responded to you in a particular way when you speak of an idea to do something or take action in some way. If these people are your closest friends or family, it can be really difficult to ignore their advice and opinions, especially if they have your best interests at heart. Unfortunately people’s opinions are very much based on their own experience and reality, but the error here is that what didn’t work for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work for another. Taking the decision to go about things regardless is both brave and important.

We all have to make mistakes to learn new things. I remember when I first started out in my career, I would be mortified if I made a mistake, as I was often working with very senior managers and the embarrassment would be enough to ensure that I didn’t do it again! On reflection, I think about how many mistakes I have made, people I have may have offended, people who have upset and offended me; but the learnings from these scenarios were all critical to my own growth and allowed me to be far more empathetic as the Line Manager of a team and certainly working with young people.

Essentially your attitude shapes your future outcomes. If you have a desire to do something and find yourself constantly talking about it but you still haven’t achieved it yet, you need to find out why. Is it something you really want or is it something which someone else wants? In order to move towards your desires and wants, you have to own the decision, be congruent, and there has to be enough leverage for you to make the change.

Here are some typical examples of success sabotage:
  • You start up a healthy eating regime but fall off track after one week with excuses as to why you can’t do it
  • You procrastinate and distract yourself when you need to complete important tasks, never really getting anywhere and feeling like a failure.
  • You hear voices in your head telling you that you’ll never succeed so there really is no point in continuing doing what brings you joy.
  • People tell you that something is impossible and you believe it.
  • You find yourself falling back into old patterns of behaviour when you try to change your routine.
  • You use “I can’t” in your sentences when talking to people about why you “can’t” do something.
  • You dread the thought of asking for a pay rise or challenging something someone says to you.
In order for you to move ahead, you have to take control. Be the captain of your ship and sail into the world of the unknown. Most of the time, the things that get in the way are your fears. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of rejection. But fear is an illusion and a protector. Imagine what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail!

A little visualization for you:
  • Close your eyes and decide which direction your future is (this could be to the side, straight ahead, to the right, or even behind you).
  • Imagine you are standing on your timeline which is laid out in front of you, be present as to where you are today on your timeline.
  • Now move ahead to 1 year. Notice what is going on around you. What is different about your environment? Do you notice anything different about yourself? What are people saying about you?
  • Now move ahead a further 5 years. . Notice what is going on around you. What is different about your environment?  Do you notice anything different about yourself? Where are you living or working?
Now move ahead a further 4 years. You are now 10 years into the future. How do you want to be seen? What are you doing? What does your hair look like? Where are you living? What are you celebrating?

Although 10 years may seem like a long way off, it’s good to re-focus now and then and even if you haven’t thought about where you will be in 10 years time, it’s good to consider your options and the direction you want to take your life. I have to remind myself to do it every now and again! Life gets in the way but it’s important to get back on track and be the creator of your future!


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