Self-sabotage. We all have that little voice inside of us from time to time. You know the one… the one that convinces us we aren’t good enough, can’t accomplish something we really want, or don’t deserve good things. That little voice is filling your head with head trash that could be keeping you from your happiness.
In an article about self-sabotage posted on Oprah.com, Martha Beck writes, “I believe most of us live in cages of our own creation.” Though Beck focuses on behaviors that keep us stuck, her words resonated with me in terms of mindset and how subconscious, self-limiting thoughts or beliefs and self-deprecation can keep us trapped where we are in our lives and businesses.
Ingrained, subconscious thoughts and beliefs can pop up with brutal frequency, fill us with doubt and cause us to make choices on auto-pilot, sabotaging our success. In my own life, in the people around me, and in working with business owners and individuals for years, I’ve found this to be true far too often.
Far too often I’ve also heard people posing the question of who’s to blame for their self-sabotage and negative self-talk. I think that’s the wrong question, since blaming doesn’t change anything. I think the better question is, once we’re aware of what’s holding us back, how do we change it? That’s the empowering part!
Money, Success, and Self-Sabotage
There are so many ways we unconsciously sabotage ourselves on a daily basis. But the big three I see most often are:
Mindset around money –Is your mindset around money one of abundance or one of scarcity? Do you see yourself as someone who is responsible with money and easily achieves your financial goals, or as someone who’s doomed to struggle and barely keeping your head above water? The answers to those questions reveal a lot about your money mindset. And, if you’re on the scarcity side, you are definitely holding yourself back from the success you could be enjoying!
Noah St. John, a man I admire and consider a mentor, is quoted as saying, “If you don’t get rid of your head trash around money, it’s like you’re driving down the road of life with one foot on the brake.” Who wants to be driving down the road to success with one foot on the brake? If your mindset around money isn’t serving you, whether in your business or personal life, it’s worth the effort to look at it honestly and make changes.
Limiting or fixed vs growth mindset – Having a fixed or limiting mindset surrounding your skills and abilities can seriously derail your dreams. It’s thinking “I can’t” or “I am what I am” versus having an “I can” attitude and perspective. All of us have the occasional bout of self-doubt, it’s when the “I can’t” thinking is holding you back that it’s a problem.
None of us are born knowing everything we need to know. And we all go through our own personal journey of figuring it out. We all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s our willingness to go from “it is what it is” to “I’m capable of learning what I don’t know” that can be the difference between stuck and thriving.
Developing a growth mindset redirects your thinking, which will, in turn, change your behavior and the decisions you make. When you’re hit from within with an “I can’t” and respond with an “I can… I just need to figure out how to do it,” you’re adopting a growth mindset – a willingness to learn what you don’t know and the belief that you’re capable of building on your current abilities and learning something new.
Comparing our insides to the outsides of others – In his blog, The Truth About the Joneses, Dave Ramsey, a well-known authority on money and business, as well as author of five NY Times best-selling books, talks about the damage we do to ourselves when we look at others and assume they have it made. We look at their outsides and automatically assume we’re failures if our lives don’t match up to the outward success they’re projecting. This is a dangerous, self-sabotaging trap! It feeds those thoughts of not being good enough. And it’s also fertile breeding ground for discontent and lack of gratitude for what we have to be grateful for in our lives.
The truth is, we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors – or in the checking accounts – of the people we compare ourselves to. What we see on the outside could just be a house of cards that could collapse at any minute. And it doesn’t matter what others are doing or seem to be achieving anyway! What matters is creating a life for yourself based on what you value. When you do that, you win… even if it means you’re not driving the newest luxury car and haven’t yet reached your business or personal goals.
The best thing we can do is adopt the mindset of being happy for the success of others, while focusing our attention on what is good and right in our own lives and how we can make it all even better.
Examining and changing your mindset and limiting beliefs, and ending the comparisons to others is a positive solution to the all too common problem of self-sabotage. How we think affects the choices we make, how we view the world around us, and our potential for success. So, now is a good time to rein in the self-sabotage and change those internal conversations!
Here’s a resource to get you started on the process of clearing out your head trash. And, if you need help with that process, contact me! Helping business owners get past their obstacles is what I do.