Everyone has had the experience of self-destructing. It’s a strange feeling to know that you ruined the very thing you were trying so hard to accomplish. Most self-sabotage is the result of discomfort. It can be the discomfort of failing, succeeding, or having to perform tasks that are uncomfortable.
You may have heard the saying, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Unfortunately, most of us are well-practiced in the art of avoiding discomfort. This is the most common way we sabotage our success.
- Distractions. The tasks that need to be done in order to be successful are typically less appealing than watching TV, surfing the internet, or spending time with friends. We’re experts at distracting ourselves, and the urge to seek out distractions increases with the unpleasantness of the task.
- Solution: Allow yourself to have distractions, but control when, and how long, you engage in them. You might give yourself 30 minutes of distraction time after three hours of work. Or, you might limit distractions to the evening after your work is done for the day.
- Procrastination. Distractions are one way of procrastinating, but there are countless ways to procrastinate. The general theme is that you’re doing something other than what you should be doing.
- Solution: Be clear on what needs to be done and why.
- Focus on just getting started, which is often the most challenging part of working.
- Use a timer and see how much you can accomplish in 30 minutes.
- Indecisiveness. Indecisiveness is a success killer. When you can’t make up your mind, progress comes to a stop. If you wait until you have all the wisdom and information necessary to make the perfect choice, you’ll be waiting a long time. You have to pull the trigger and move forward.
- Solution: Be clear on what needs to be done to accomplish your objective.
- Give yourself a time limit. You might give yourself 10 minutes or a day to make a decision. Then just decide and do your best.
- Negative thoughts. For many people, the closer they get to success, the more negative thoughts they experience.
- Solution: Take control of your mind and think thoughts that are useful to you. Cheer yourself on rather than criticize your actions.
- Ignore the random noise of your mind. You don’t have to engage with your random thoughts. You can choose to ignore them.
- Focus on low-priority tasks. We like to work on our projects but avoid the most important tasks. The most important tasks are often the least enjoyable, so we avoid them. We tackle the less important tasks because it allows us to feel like we’re still making progress.
- Solution: Have a list of tasks to do each day ordered from most important to least. Start at the top of your list and work your way down.
- Quitting. This is the ultimate way to sabotage your success. You can’t achieve anything if you quit before you’re successful. Many people have a habit of quitting right before achieving success.
- Solution: Develop the habit of finishing what you start. Avoid caving into the fear that crops up when you’re about to find out if you were successful or not. Remember that you can always try again, regardless of the outcome.
Self-sabotage is a great problem to have because you don’t need to try to change anyone else. In fact, the entire issue is your responsibility! This might sound disheartening, but it’s easier to change yourself than it is to change someone else.
The person responsible for your successes and failures is staring at you in the mirror each day.
Keep these tips in mind as you go through your day and soon, you’ll find yourself enjoying your successes instead of bemoaning your failures!