If you clicked on the title of this post, then you’re probably struggling to improve at least one aspect of your life. Whether you’re discouraged because your startup isn’t taking off or you can’t seem to focus long enough to crank out that book you’ve been working on, you have to change something in order to attain success.
If you’re anything like me, then you inadvertently sabotage your own life. Your creativity and drive aren’t threatened by outside forces – both are threatened by the person whose eyes are skimming this article. YOU. It’s too easy to pass the blame on to your busy schedule or to your stress levels; you are the one with the power to break free from your creative restraints.
What if I told you that you can end these senseless assaults on your success?
It doesn’t matter if you believe me or not – you CAN. But first, you have to recognize the ways you’re sabotaging yourself. See if any of these 5 things describes you:
Self-Sabotage Tactic #1: You fall into ruts and can’t get unstuck.
Ruts are dangerous, and sometimes you may not realize you’re stuck in one. That’s the scariest part. There’s nothing wrong with enforcing a routine, but you have to determine if that routine has your long-term goals in mind. For example, if you spend more time playing than you do working, then it’s probably a rut you’ll want to evacuate as soon as possible.
Fix: Force yourself to do one new thing each day, whether it’s writing at a different time of day or adding a new task to your schedule. This will facilitate change! Also, eliminate negative distractions from your life altogether (like dawdling on Facebook or Pinterest when you should be kicking ass on your own projects). Distractions will continue to poison your productivity if left untreated.
Self-Sabotage Tactic #2: You constantly doubt your skills.
I’m not as good as so-and-so. I’ll never be able to make a difference. I can’t do this. Do any of those phrases sound familiar? It’s probably because you’ve uttered them more times than you can count. And you set yourself back every time you say or think them.
Fix: Stop the madness! The word “can’t” is toxic and using it automatically kills your motivation. The truth is, you CAN make a difference and you ARE just as good as anyone else – but you have to make an effort and work your butt off. The self-doubt you feel is your fear taking over – don’t let it. It’s going to hinder your creativity.
Self-Sabotage Tactic #3: Risks scare the crap out of you.
No one ever achieves success by ignoring opportunities, and you’re not any different. You may be comfy in your little bubble of routine, but you won’t make any progress if you ignore every risk that comes your way! Fear shouldn’t confine you…it should provoke thought.
Fix: Write down potential risks (i.e. opportunities) and thoroughly analyze them before saying yes or no. You may discover that your fears regarding a particular project were unjustified! Pro/con lists are silly to some, but they’ve worked wonders for yours truly over the years. Also, avoid the misconception that all risks have the potential to tank your entire operation. You’ll distinguish a good risk from a bad one without much trouble.
Self-Sabotage Tactic #4: You keep everything to yourself.
Have you ever been too embarrassed or proud to share your concerns with another human being? Don’t be. Even the most productive introverts get stumped from time to time! Why should you internalize every dilemma when there’s assistance within your grasp?
Fix: It’s not shameful to call in the reinforcements. Ask for a second opinion if you’re stuck! There’s only so much your own brain can provide you, especially if you’re new to the project. Find out if close friends, family, or trustworthy sources can guide you back onto the track. Otherwise, you’ll burn out before you’ve started.
Self-Sabotage Tactic #5: You procrastinate like there’s no tomorrow.
None of us are strangers to procrastination. It rears its hideous head when we’re the most discouraged and preys on our self-doubt (the bastard) to steer us away from progress. But, the good news is that you don’t have to put up with it!
Fix: Stop putting things off. Your time is NOW. The next time your “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude emerges, think of it as a scurvy little spider that has found its way into your home: if you don’t squash it immediately, then it’ll hide in a dark corner and pop out at you again (perhaps with a friend or two) when you least expect it. Splatter the little offender while you have the chance; today is your day to make headway!
The tools for success won’t spawn out of thin air and into your waiting arms – you have to work like a fiend to access them. That means you must stop doubting your abilities and start fine-tuning them instead. Identify the sabotaging elements in your life, eradicate them, and then replace them with productive habits that spur confidence. After all, why should others believe in you if you can’t seem to believe in yourself?
Now, get out there and kick some ass!