What are the signs that you are self-sabotaging your success?Nov 02, 2021
Everybody has a choice in how they feel and react to situations and the people they encounter. This includes you. But how often are you truly aware of what’s happening, and how well do you interpret and act on a situation for your benefit and a positive outcome for you?
The answer can be, not very often.
Can you spot the signs of self-destruction?
In this article, I want to explore the multitude of signs that you are self-sabotaging your success. It happens all the time and if you relate to one, several, or all of these, you are not alone. Understand, though, that the starting point to significant improvement is spotting and acknowledging that these unhelpful behaviours are present.
Once you recognise these behaviours in yourself, you can take steps to understand what is happening that triggers these thoughts, feelings and responses. You are halfway there at this point and ready to make changes for the better.
This is the point at which you become aware that you have choices.
Time to get real
Let’s keep this simple. Below is a list of many self-sabotaging behaviours that will affect your personal success and that of your business – especially if you are your business.
Run through the list and tally up how many you relate to. I want to stress that you should not feel bad or beat yourself up even if you relate to most of the list. The crucial lesson to be learned is that you are AWARE of the behaviours affecting you. Take a deep breath - do you:
- Fail to keep promises to yourself?
- Leave things to the last minute?
- Overcommit, often letting people down or suffering yourself to deliver?
- Reject compliments?
- Dismiss or make little of positive feedback and testimonials?
- Forsake celebrating wins or do something to feel bad about yourself?
- Make the unimportant important and the important unimportant?
- Often say ‘I’m busy’ or I don’t have time?
- Believe you can do everything better than anyone else?
- Block sales by not making it easy for people to buy from you (they must jump through hoops)?
- Regularly not finish what you start?
- Turn to addictions - food, alcohol, Netflix, phone scrolling, over-exercising to make yourself feel better or avoid the elephant in the room?
- Reason with yourself to rationalise why you haven’t done what you said you would?
- Move the same actions to ‘tomorrow’ every day?
- Repeat the same patterns of behaviour even though you know you shouldn’t?
- Keep secrets?
- Enable people to take advantage of you?
- Over-give time or resources to clients?
- Undercharge for your work or work for free?
- Give up easily when things get hard?
- Pretend to be someone else to fit in?
- Ignore your deepest desires and needs?
- Fail to follow up on enquiries?
- Fail to market your business, products or services?
- Fail to look after your wellbeing?
- Work all hours with little or no rest and zero time to switch off?
- Feel absent or distracted most of the time?
- Create drama?
- Find that you’re not honest with yourself or others?
Phew, what a list! Reading this list alone is heavy, right? How many did you tally?
As mentioned previously, this is not a time to beat yourself up. It’s a pivotal point where you can step into a new phase in your life and business and consciously choose to make a change.
Time to step up and invest in change
I speak from experience. I’ve suffered from many of these damaging behaviours. Perpetual behaviours that I wasn’t fully conscious of until I stopped and took the time to discover why.
I felt stuck in a career that wasn’t fulfilling. I travelled the world, met incredible people and was paid well. On the outside, life looked terrific, but it was unrewarding. It didn’t align with my values and my ‘why’ in business or life. I was tired, stressed, low in energy and fed up. And because I was unhappy, I would get sucked into most of the above behaviours.
Now that you recognise these traits, it’s important to carve out time in your diary to reflect on why.
Journaling is a great way to start taking notes around your thoughts and feelings and reflecting on what has evolved throughout the day.
- What worked well?
- What could have been better?
- What is your mood?
- What did you enjoy?
- What made you feel low?
- Why do you think you feel this way?
- What steps did you take to progress your life or business?
Starting your day with meditation and focusing on what you want to achieve will get you one step closer to reaching positive goals. It’s a great exercise to focus the mind, as are positive affirmations and incantations.
Practise self-care activities
Looking after yourself by practising self-care habits, such as physical exercise, hot baths, quality time with family, friends, your children, or getting closer to nature. There are numerous activities to choose from that will help you to feel better about yourself.
Success is not all about working hard or earning a specific figure. It’s about finding a balance where you feel in flow with life. Where everything feels tickety-boo (ooh, there’s a phrase from the past that I’ve not used for ages!) and you have bundles of energy.
It’s about feeling the tension that stretches you to push for progress but doesn’t turn into the pressure of feeling overwhelmed and retreating to a dark place to recuperate.
Find someone you can trust
Building a network, social group or having a close family that you can turn to in your time of need is essential.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn
Take a hard look at the people you spend most of your time with.
Write down a list of the prominent people in your life and assign the pros and cons to the relationship you have with them. Nobody needs to see this list; it’s for your reflection only.
Are they serving you well? Do they appreciate you? Support you? Pick you up when you’re feeling down?
Or are they a source that triggers some of the behaviours listed above? Do they sap your energy and take but never give?
Carry out the same exercise with your clients. You may find that you work with people, or on projects, that do not serve you well either.
Make changes that help you feel good about yourself – and this includes cutting some people from your life and welcoming new ones into your tribe.
How often are you self-sabotaging your success?
Practice the exercises suggested above and work through making small changes that eliminate the triggers that cause you to act negatively by being detrimental to yourself.
Investing in a coaching programme, as part of a group or on a one-to-one basis, can help you identify signs that you are self-sabotaging your success and provide clear strategies that help to remove them.
It won’t come overnight, but you can start to make progress today.