Part of the root, and a great deal of the motivation of what we do, or do not do, is related to our ‘why.’ Our “why” keeps us from getting sidetracked, wandering into and doing things that are not matched with our purpose, and will support us what times get their the toughest.
But, sometimes the “why” of the things we do gets destroyed by all the things we do to sabotage ourselves.
Self-sabotage can easily be defined as deciding you want something and then making sure that it does not come to pass. I am sure you have found yourself in a spot close to achieving your goal, only to throw it all away at the last moment? Did you look back later on and kick yourself for being so foolish? Most of us have.
Why do we do this to ourselves over and over? There are several possible explanations, ranging from a need to control the situation to feeling unworthy. But regardless of the cause, the solutions are similar. And we want to focus on solutions rather than sticking with this self-destructive behavior.
The next time you trip yourself up:
1. Take a good, deep look at yourself. Look back at the times that you have sabotaged yourself or come up short. You probably tried to justify the sabotaging behavior in your mind. But, ignore the reasons and just observe your behavior. What conclusion would any casual observer draw from your behavior?
- Learn to notice the signs of self-sabotage.
- How and when do you do it?
- Be objective and recognize your patterns. Almost everything we choose to do is driven by a pattern, sometimes an addiction. Check yourself out.
2. Remember that success is not a straight path. Sometimes we quit because things just are not going the way we thought. Setting more reasonable expectations can help ensure that you are seeing more things through to the end. Nothing in life is ever perfect.
- For instance, many people put making more money on their “wish list.” But, while making a lot of money is helpful, but it will not solve all of your challenges.
3. Think about the other people in your life. Self-sabotaging behavior is selfish. You are doing damage to yourself and to others.
- Before you quit, think about how it will affect your self-esteem.
- How will it affect those around you.
- These two things might provide enough of a motivating force to continue pressing forward.
4. Be willing to be adventurous. When we self-sabotage, we tend to stay in their own little worlds. Seeing a project through to completion means adjusting your outlook. Whether it is a different assignment, a new relationship, or something else, your life will be changed to some degree. Be brave enough to take that adventure.
- If you tend to start new projects, but then stop yourself before ever completing them, nothing will ever change, your will remain discouraged, and you will have wasted more time.
5. Start small. Give yourself the gift of having a few small successes. Then take the time to notice that these successes are not perfect, but they still made your life better.
- Enjoy the victory and imagine how great it would be to accomplish greater successes.
- When I was 13 I wanted to get a job for the summer. State law required that I be 14. I checked out everything that came across my path. Most people just laughed and blew me off because of my age. After pounding the streets for weeks, I finally landed a spot at a private day-care. Someone took a chance on me. This had little to do with my chosen profession, and the pay would sound ludicrous today, but it was a small victory that showed me, and others, that I could stick to a goal. It was also the beginning of a long, and somewhat varied work history, but one I was proud to display.
6. Take some time before making major decisions. Before making a big decision, give yourself some time to think about it. Many of our decisions can be impulsive and emotional. A few days will give you the perspective you need to make the wisest decision.
As the year drives to an end, know this: There is nothing that you resolve to do has the remotest chance of coming true unless you know ‘why’ you are doing it. And, unless that reason is more important than all of the difficulties that will come against in the interim, you are absolutely screwed.
It took several leaps of faith, a ton of prayer, perseverance, belief in myself, and a ‘why” that was so much more important than anything else to push me forward.
Life will throw all kinds of crap at you. Some things will be easy to brush aside, and some will be very difficult. But…
Identifying and honoring their purpose is perhaps the most important action that successful people take.
Write all answers in present tense
1. What are your two best personal qualities: (e.g., creativity):
2. What are two ways you enjoy expressing these?
3. In a perfect world, what would your world look like?
4. Now, use information from the first three questions, and write your personal purpose statement. What have you come to do? Again write in present tense.
My purpose is to use my……
1. I know why I am here. I know my purpose
2. I will pay attention to my actions and squash self-sabotaging thoughts and actions as they arise.
3. I will forgive myself, learn from my actions and move on. (see yesterday’s post)
‘It is in those tough times,
in those dark and lonely nights,
in those bitter moments of trial and disappointment,
when you will want to, and may, cry,
that your ‘why’ will keep you warm,
keep you focused and keep you on track.’