(6 minute read)
I’m guilty of sabotaging myself in the past. So, when I decided to look up the definition of sabotage in the dictionary to see all that it entails, I was shocked at what I was doing to myself.
Here’s what the Merriam-Webster online dictionary says about sabotage:
: the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly
Full Definition of SABOTAGE
1: destruction of an employer’s property (as tools or materials) or the hindering of manufacturing by discontented workers
2: destructive or obstructive action carried on by a civilian or enemy agent to hinder a nation’s war effort
3 a : an act or process tending to hamper or hurt
b : deliberate subversion
: to destroy or damage (something) deliberately so that it does not work correctly
: to cause the failure of (something) deliberately
In addition to this, some of the synonyms for sabotage are: disable, vandalize, and cripple.
Why Do We Do This?
Of course, the question arises – why in the world would we do these things to ourselves?!
I think we easily slip into doing this to ourselves because we can’t see the hurt on our own faces. It’s much more difficult to be destructive when you can see the results right in front of you. If you were this destructive toward others, you would immediately see the pain they were feeling through their words, facial expressions, body language and outward behaviors.
Self-sabotage is sneaky. We do it once. And then again. And then again…over and over…without realizing it sometimes.
Because no one is yelling at us to STOP IT!
No one is there to rattle us and tell us to STOP THE SELF-DISRESPECT!
We need to stop destroying our efforts.
The results of our self-sabotage reside silently in the things that remain undone. They lay idle on a shelf of unused creativity. They remain locked in closets of insecurity and fear. These hidden results are small steps of progress and success. Yet, we snatch them from view if even a little bit of sunlight casts a ray upon them. We hide them because of our fears. We are of afraid failure. We’re even afraid of success.
So what do we do? How do we stop this madness?
We have to unlearn this type of behavior. It takes time, effort and a reframed mindset.
I would like to share four things that I have consistently used to snap out of and stay out of the self-destruct-mode of self-sabotage.
The 4 Things
1. Something to help you believe – Get strength from stories and experiences.
Find interviews, inspiring articles, biographies, autobiographies and other materials about the lives of other people. Note the challenges, struggles and fears that many of them have made it through. They do not have superpowers. Nor do they possess some type of mutant gene. Remember that they are human just like you.
This will help you to envision and internalize what it takes to be successful. It will help you to believe in yourself as a regular person, just like every other successful person out there.
2. Something to build upon – Begin and practice your craft.
Whatever it is that you are endeavoring to do, don’t bury it underground before you ever get a chance to try it. Everyone has to begin somewhere and then build upon that beginning.
We often stall and fizzle out before we start working toward our goals and dreams because we fear that we are not _____ enough. Fill in the blank with any one of the following options: good/skilled/talented/experienced/educated/smart/expert.
If you are going to solidify belief in yourself, you need to do something. Practicing your craft = a continual process of doing and learning. Warning! Don’t get stuck in learning mode. Notice I said “doing” first. There’s a popular saying that says, “Ready! Fire! Aim!”. Learn by doing. Would you rather have a doctor that read every single medical book in existence but has never touched a patient; or, the doctor that has only read the required and recommended materials for his degree but has countless hours of hands-on experience under his belt? I would choose the latter.
3. Something to kick you into action – Get an accountability partner.
This has been one of the most important things I have ever done. Find someone to partner with and hold each other accountable for reaching small goals that lead up to bigger ones. If you can’t find a partner find someone that you can trust to hold you accountable.
If you don’t know anyone personally, look for someone through a professional networking group or a training program to partner with you. You can also search for a partner through professional social media groups. Many people are aware of how valuable an accountability partner can be and would love the opportunity to increase their chances of success.
I met my accountability partner a few years ago through a life coach training program. We didn’t know each other before then, and we were assigned as partners. Despite not having a relationship before our partnership, and living hundreds of miles away from each other, we are still accountability partners to this day and have developed a great friendship.
4. Something to keep you sane – Find a tribe to support you.
Find a group of people with goals similar to your own. It’s hard to be a lone ranger. Finding like-minded people will help you to feel less crazy during challenging and stressful times. When you find people that you can relate to it will encourage you not to give up.
Fortunately, social media makes it easy to find a tribe no matter where you are. Don’t be afraid to get social online. There are people everywhere who are hungry to find like-minded people to relate to as they work hard toward their goals. You will find that it’s fun and rewarding to help others to get to where they want to be as they help you in turn.
I hope these things can help you to get on the path toward giving yourself the respect that you deserve. It’s time to stop hiding your gifts, skills, and talents. You were made on purpose and with purpose. No more self-sabotage!
Have you ever duked it out with self-sabotage before? Did you win the battle? How did you win?
(Image by Saxus)