Self-awareness is power…I know.
That’s why this week I’m on a mission to end self-sabotage.
Here’s the deal. Self-awareness has the same effect on self-sabotage that light does on fungus. Just as fungus cannot survive in lite conditions, self-sabotage cannot stand the rays of self-awareness.
To shine a light on your path, below I share with you the main sources of self-sabotage. This is what I’m shining a light on. And by acknowledging their existence you’ll be on your way to thinking, feeling and behaving empowered.
1. Excus-itis – the habit of thinking of supporting arguments to refrain from taking action. Next time that you’re running through your laundry list of excuses, remind yourself that it’s reasons to succeed – not excuses to fail – that will get you closer to your goals.
2. Mediocr-itis: a tendency to accept the status quo. Dig deep. Ask yourself if you’re settling for less than what you deserve. As you answer that, keep in mind that there’s a difference between being entitled to success and being deserving of it. No one is entitled to happiness, health and wealth – but we all deserve those things. That said, it takes hard (and smart) work to earn what we deserve.
3. Fear-itis: a pull to remain paralyzed in your comfort zone. To transcend your comfort zone, next time that you’re feeling afraid, decide to take action. And watch your fears fizzle away.
4. Blame-itis: a strong need to blame others for bad outcomes. While playing the blame-game might save you a few seconds of feeling awkward, not taking full responsibility for your actions will cost you loss of control. To claim back control, accept responsibility (yes in public) – and watch how others begin to trust you more. Taking responsibility does not involve berating yourself in public. It’s about acknowledging that you’ve made a mistake and quickly moving on.
5. Mistako-phobia: an intense fear of making mistakes. Because there’s a difference between a good mistake and an unforgivable one, the kind I’m advocating is the former. Those are the ones that result from taking risks and trying new things. They’re also the mistakes that we learn from and rarely make them again. Failure is only a dirty word if you make it so by staying stuck and not learning from the experience.
6. Problem-itis: an existence focused on problems, rather than on solutions. Sure there’s some value in finding out the cause of problems. Even so, what makes them go away is finding solutions. Next time that you’re faced with a problem, solutionize. Think of at least two possible solutions. And ask: “How can I help?”
7. Boredom-itis: a state of feeling deflated and zapped of energy. It’s something most of us feel from time to time. As normal as it is to feel bored, next time that you’re feeling flat, resist the temptation to blame outside circumstances. Instead, look to learn more about the situation. It’s not possible to be bored and curious at the same time. Try it.
8. Wish-itis: a strongly held belief that dreams are impossible to reach. Next time that you hear yourself saying: “Oh I wish I could…” stop and think about clear goal-posts that will lead you to your dreams. It’s dreams without goals that remain in the realm of wishes…and who wants that!
9. Short-minded-itis: a propensity to squash possibilities even before thoroughly thinking through them. I can hear some of you saying (to yourself) that you’re a realist and that’s why you think that way. Realists are those who understand that in reality, anything is possible. They know that both good and bad outcomes have a 50% chance of eventuating. To get into the habit of thinking big, make it a point to look at both sides of a situation. Be open to the possibility that good outcomes are part of your reality. Welcome them into your life.
10. Procrastin-itis: a tendency to leave things for later. Be clear on this – later does not exist. Eliminate it from your vocabulary, including your little voice. Now is the only moment in time that’s real. To cultivate a now mentality it’s helpful to remember that the anticipation to a supposedly dreaded task is more painful than the task itself. Also, getting started is usually the hardest part of any activity. Think cold pool. The shock of the cold water lasts about 5 seconds. Keep that in mind next time you’re swimming around a task, contemplating whether to jump in NOW or later.
11. Analys-itis: a need to over analyze situations – to the point where the purpose of engaging in the analysis gets lost. Instead of developing an action plan with clear tasks and lines of responsibility, all that remains is fancy analysis coupled with hard to understand jargon. This does not mean that analysis and strategic thinking do not have a place. They do, in fact a very important one. Even so, they should never come at the expense of execution.
This week, what are you shinning a light on? I’d LOVE to know.