Do you have a dream or a vision that you’re not actively pursuing? Maybe you’re not taking action on it or you’re chronically preparing to start. If so, you’re not alone. Self-sabotage is an insidious, subversive and subtle act. It gets hidden amongst the busyness of your life. And it may even seem completely reasonable that you haven’t been able to make any progress toward your dream. But there are unseen forces at work within you that are holding you back.
Here are 7 ways that you undermine yourself and steps you can take to overcome these obstacles.
1. Lack of clarity. You only have a fuzzy idea of what you want. This isn’t very motivating and it won’t impel you to take action. When you don’t have a precise idea of your direction, you won’t take any steps. Specific ideas about your goals allow you to take specific steps towards achieving them, which leads to better results. It also gives the Law of Attraction an explicit pattern to follow.
2. No plan. You may want to go with the flow and resist the structure of a plan. But when you choose to let things unfold in this way, you’re going to be blown around by every circumstance that presents itself. There’s a saying, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In your busy life, if something doesn’t get prioritized, it doesn’t get done. Create an outline of a plan that serves you, so that the Law of Attraction can draw to you what you need. Your plan should include room for the unexpected.
3. Not working your plan. You’ve created a plan, put it in a drawer and gotten involved in your busy life. The immediate and the urgent have taken precedence. Or you may be dealing with the “shiny object syndrome.” Other enticing options have taken you off track and gotten you nowhere. This just creates confusion for the Universe, as it doesn’t know what you want. It’s ok to make course corrections periodically, but not every day. Assess your plan and get back to working it.
4. Not making your dream a priority. You have a plan, but you let other things get in the way. This may be day-to-day chores or plain old inertia. It’s simply easier to fall back into old habits than it is to clear space to work for your dream. Unless you decide that your dream is important, you’ll never achieve it. And the Universe won’t make it a priority, either. Focus on what you want, schedule taking action and following through.
5. Seeking approval. You’re trying to live up to other peoples’ expectations of you. And you put others’ agendas ahead of your own wants, needs and desires. For the most part, you don’t need their approval nor to meet their expectations. What you want is as important as what they do. Learn to say, “No,” when their expectations conflict with what you want. The Universe approves of you when you do.
6. Perfectionism. You won’t move forward until everything is perfect. This is an unrealistic and unreachable goal. Perfectionism comes from fear that you’ll make a mistake. Of course, you’re going to make mistakes. That’s how you learn and make course corrections. The Universe doesn’t expect your efforts to be flawless. Repeat to yourself, “Progress, not perfection.” As long as you have a vision and the beginnings of a plan, you can make some headway. You can build the rest as you go along.
7. Procrastination. This behavior is the worst of the offenders. It probably sinks more dreams than anything else. Either you put off starting or you put off uncomfortable or unfamiliar tasks that are necessary to your vision. Out of fear or rebellion, you chronically avoid making a decision or taking an action until the last minute. The Law of Attraction follows your lead and delays any good coming your way. Take some action, no matter how small and build momentum. One small step at a time is all you need to do to make progress.
Self-sabotage is an attempt to keep you safely confined in your comfort zone, so you don’t have to stretch or be anxious. Your subconscious is trying to protect you from the disappointment or rejection that you experienced when you were younger. Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t support your dream or who you are now.
When you recognize that you’re sabotaging yourself, and that it’s a function of some outdated attempt at self-preservation, you can make changes. It will be uncomfortable at first, as all change is. And you’ll be tempted to step back into old patterns. But you have the power, wisdom and understanding to take charge and shift your world. Open the door to your dreams and step through.
I realize the self-sabotage is an outdated attempt to keep me safe in a world that no longer exists. I now recognize any ways in which I undermine myself. It’s powerful to bring them out into the light so that I can see they are no longer needed. I now let go of what no longer serves me, and now establish new thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that support my dreams.
As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.