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Are You a Self-Saboteur? How We Hold Ourselves Back

Self-sabotage. We all do it from time to time. According to Psychology Today, behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals.

I read a great Facebook post recently by a fellow coach. It referenced all of the things that are easy to do instead of the things we should be focused on toward goals. It’s easy to do busy work, clean our workspace, focus on editing and re-editing our website, lingering too long on a blog sentence…


I’m doing it. Refocus.

At the core, we self-sabotage for a variety of reasons – from childhood patterns to a desire for control. The reason that resonates most with me is the fear of failure. I have that little gremlin on my shoulder that says things like “You’ll never be successful” and makes me question my skills, my knowledge, my everything with success.

At times that gremlin voice can be pretty convincing. But if I step back, life is full of situations where failure is a reality. It’s all about how we handle it that matters, how we choose to frame the situation or outcome.

For example, I recently had great conversations on a business opportunity but in the end the organization needs something different. Instead of proving my gremlin right, I chose to think of it as a new connection with a great person, and a future coaching prospect. Failure can certainly bring up negative emotions, so we often try to avoid it. But facing it and reframing it can help us stay laser focused on our goals.

The article at this link has some good tips on how to overcome self-sabotage.

The next time you are a bit too focused on arranging the items on your desk, take a step back and ask yourself if the activity is serving your larger goals. If it is, great! If not, reframe and reprioritize toward success.

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