Self-sabotage – Striking Where you Least Expect it

Self-sabotage – Striking Where you Least Expect it
May 26, 2015 Linda Murray

Linda Murray, Athena Coaching

I believe success is the sum of the choices we make. As I reflect over my career, there were a number of ‘moments that matter’ which stood out. What I found most valuable was not the actual moment (selling a business, changing careers, moving interstate, etc) but the mindset that sat behind those moments.

It is our mindset that makes or breaks us, and often we don’t even realise what’s happening. This is especially the case with self-sabotage. None of us deliberately set out to ruin our careers or businesses, or even to have dramas along the way, yet sometimes it happens.

Self-sabotage is an action we take that is based on false beliefs about ourselves. It springs out of insecurities that we may not even be aware of. For example, you may have been raised to believe that it’s not ‘ladylike’ to excel at something, or that ‘good manners’ means holding back and letting others shine. Those beliefs don’t do you any favours, do they?

Here are a few examples of the ways in which we self-sabotage:

  • Giving first choice to others
  • Not speaking up about our abilities
  • Being perfectionists
  • Avoiding conflict
  • Being too servile
  • Constantly seeking validation

One important point that I want to make is that our self-sabotaging behaviours are also self-fuelling. Each of these behaviours detracts from our credibility in the eyes of others and, being women, we tend to accept the valuations others make of us. When the valuation is poor, it reinforces our self-doubt and gives power to our self-sabotaging thoughts. It’s a cycle that we can repeat over and over again.

“This is how women self-sabotage and self-destruct. Unless we have constant witnesses to our hard work, we are convinced we pull off every day of our lives through smoke and mirrors.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

The only way to deal with your self-sabotage is to become aware of what you are thinking and why. It is called self-awareness, and it’s a commitment to looking and listening inside your thought processes and instincts, and then learning from what you observe.

Start to notice…

  • Which thoughts support your career success and which thoughts sabotage.
  • What you are really afraid of in those moments of fear.
  • What you say to yourself when you have an opportunity to shine.
  • What you say to yourself when you choose not to shine.

This is a habit you need to develop because it’s the only way you can disarm the self-sabotage. It takes practice – lots of it – but you’re worth it. You deserve to be successful.

You are entitled to live an extraordinary life and build an extraordinary career. You don’t have to justify it to anyone – not even your inner critic. Shut down the self-sabotage and give yourself the chance to fulfill your true purpose.

You can read more on the topic of choice, self-sabotage and self-awareness in my latest newsletter. If you missed out on my newsletter and you’d like a copy, please email [email protected].

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