How to Stop Holding Yourself Hostage

It was easy to put the blame on “2020” but now we are here in a New Year…so how long are we going to use that line? While the turbulence of last year certainly shook things up, it’s not a license for us to no longer hold ourselves accountable. At the end of the day, choices and perspective can make a huge impact on the trajectory of our lives. So…is it time for you to assess whether or not your decisions are the ones actually holding you back? 

The first step begins with an honest look at behavior. After all, if you can identify self-sabotaging behaviors that are fighting to take up permanent residence in your life – you can also kick them to the curb. The key here is recognizing what is happening and taking action to change the pattern – which will lead you on a different path – and not keep you stuck in an endless cycle of delivering exactly what you don’t want.

The Self-Sabotage game is a vicious vortex that keeps pulling you away from the success you desire, moreover that you deserve, despite your dreams and goals because it’s habitual and in habits we find comfort. Why do we do this to ourselves?  Chalk it up to our subconscious desire for drama or the fact that change comes with a degree of discomfort which pushes us to retreat right back to the vortex. 

“Self- sabotage is the smartest thing you can do if you’re sabotaging a self that is not really you.” – Armand DiMele

We stay in the familiar – even if it isn’t what is best for us – to avoid the pain of change – which is almost always what we need to get to the next level. The wrong hard wiring can – without a doubt – steal your future. So the sooner you can understand what self-sabotage is, how to spot the behavior, and how to address it head on – the sooner you’ll step into living the life you desire.

Here are 8 ways in which you may be self-sabotaging yourself and your goals: 

  1. Do you make social media comparisons to your love life, business life, home life, and compare your real life to the highly unrealistic, overly photoshopped, and aggressively managed messaging on social media posts?
  2. Are you a perfectionist who often feels everything isn’t “perfect enough” to move forward towards your goals? 
  3. Are you triggered by past traumatic experiences in your childhood, that you subconsciously allow, which control your actions in your present adult life?
  4. Are you so busy managing day to day life and feel like you need an abundance of time to work towards your goals but don’t have it so you quit them completely?
  5. Do deadlines put you in a tailspin so much so that you wait until the very last minute to get started? 
  6. Do you allow one bad moment in the execution of your goals to change your total outlook on your plans and micro-goals for the day…ultimately causing the whole house of cards to crumble? 
  7. Do you take any constructive criticism as a failure, and “a sign” to stop trying to achieve your goal?
  8. Are you a master of the blame game? Do you blame everyone else for things you should actually be accountable for?

If this sounds like you – any part of it – this is your wake-up call. It’s time to take control back from your alter ego who has been calling the shots. Sustainable change begins with recognizing behavior – and is then followed with intentional choices that allow you to remain on a positive and productive path.

“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” – Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

If you are ready to create real change – here are three simple steps you can take to put an end to self-sabotage and leave it in the “2020” file – for good.

First, don’t run every choice you make or step you take by others. Learn to trust your gut. Don’t look for validation from others – they aren’t you and they don’t have the perfect playbook on how to get you where you want to go in your journey. You do. Trust that. Second, eliminate the dream killers and naysayers from your life. They will find a problem for any solution you have. Add in mentors that you look up to, positive friends that support your goals – and clap LOUDLY when you achieve them. 

Your circle is largely your success factor. Lastly, focus on progress, not perfection. You are striving for growth and as long as you continue to move forward, you will continue to grow. If you try to hold yourself to unrealistic ideals of perfection you will continually feel as though you have failed on one level or another. Take risks, make discerning choices and be excellent in how you execute them as the execution – not the perfection – is what will help you rise higher. 

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