10 Elements to Breaking Free From Self-Sabotage
In part one of this article, I talked about what self-sabotage is, shared some symptoms, and talked about what it takes to break free from it.
I shared the list of 10 elements to break free from self-sabotage and to begin to set yourself up for the break through you want and deserve.
In this article (which is actually an excerpt from the book I’m writing on being courageous in business), I share details about embracing and implementing the 10 elements.
Become Self-Aware. All change starts here.
Each of us has blind spots – aspects of ourselves and our personality that we don’t see, yet others do.
If you’re frustrated that you haven’t been able to achieve your professional or your personal goals, you have to ask yourself why that is.
The ego often stands in the way and keep us from seeing what others see, especially if we’ve been conditioned not to see it or if the ego senses facing it will be painful. And it can be. At about 24, I had it pointed out to me that I was incredibly negative and never had a nice word to say.
Naturally I thought the person who told me that was full of it and I said that. I found myself realizing she was right and that started me on the path to knowing myself, facing what I didn’t like, and making the changes I knew I needed to make. But it’s a never-ending journey.
Accept Responsibility. Once you become Aware, your next step is to Accept Responsibility for 4 things:
- Everything you say
- Everything you do
- Every action you take
- Every result you get
Give up blaming others, the economy, technology, or anything else that you think is standing in the way of achieving your goals and creating the abundant, joyful life you keep saying you want.
No one made you angry. The button was there to get pushed.
No one forced you to spend money you don’t have on a program that’s not right for you. You decided to do it. This can be very painful to do because the ego is trying desperately to protect you. It wants anyone and anything else to be responsible for your emotional pain, your financial problems, your business frustrations, and whatever else has you upset. Believe me, I know really awful stuff can happen in our lives and in the world in general. But as I discovered in my recovery from the lingering effects of abuse and the brain injury I sustained, each of us is in control of how we choose to think and act when things happen. I always say “you have to play the hand you’re dealt.” Will you play to win?
Get Clarity. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? To just declare what you want? I’ll bet we want lots of the same things – more clients, more money, we want to charge more, we want to write more books…create more programs and help more people. But that’s not clear at all.
We must be crystal clear about WHAT we want. It should be 3-D in our minds.
I tell clients that if what you want was a suspect then your description should be so clear that a cop would arrest them.
Often what keeps us from getting clear is we get caught up in trying to figure out the how.
We don’t have to agonize about the HOW. God….the Universe….Universal Intelligence….Source….whatever term you use to describe it (for me, it’s God), will take care of the HOW.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have to take action because a big bag of money is going to show up on your doorstep every morning. What it does mean is God / the Universe has you covered. Our job is to pay attention to the signals we’re sent and say “yes” to the opportunities we’re presented.
There are two big reasons we struggle to be clear about what we want.
The first one is we truly don’t know what we want. We’ve spent so much of our lives as employees fulfilling the company’s goals and mission that we don’t know what WE want. But the bigger issue is we don’t believe we deserve what we want.
That single issue will hold you back more than you know. It’s the heart of self-sabotaging behavior and it’s a false belief. It’s not even OUR belief. It’s something we absorbed from what others – typically in power over us – told us and / or showed us.
I’m here to tell you that you’re a part of the Divine. You are worthy of everything you dream of and hope for.
Get comfortable with discomfort. Every guru, coach, consultant, and probably therapist will tell you that you need to come out of your comfort zone when you’re an entrepreneur.
That’s something we nod our heads about – who doesn’t know you need to be an “out of the box” thinker? We’re all sick and tired of hearing that worn-out phrase, especially when no one really explains it. That famous philosopher, Anonymous, once said that “self-employment is the most intense personal development program you’ll ever be involved with.” I’d add “and the most expensive” to that.
It’s true. You come face to face with crap you didn’t even realize you had or is so old you thought you’d dealt with it ages ago.
Mark Baker a speaker, coach, and trainer in the UK explained on an [episode of my podcast](http://winnieanderson.com/abused)that our disempowering beliefs resurface every time we hit the next level or get ready to make a leap to that next level.
It doesn’t matter that we dealt with our unworthiness way back when. That fear comes back as you try to up-level your game and your business. And when it does we can easily get trapped all over again.
I think this is one of the biggest aha moments I’ve ever had myself. So we’ve got to accept that these thoughts are likely to reappear until we reach a supreme level of enlightenment.
We’re going to face challenges every step of the way as we build our business. It’s up to us to embrace it and move over, under, through, or around it.
Resolve Internal Conflicts. If you’ve heard me talk about how to sell when you hate selling or how to achieve your goals, you’ve likely heard me talk about this before.
I think it’s one of the big issues that we just don’t recognize: That our Needs are in Conflict with our wants.
Each of us has needs – all humans share about 15+ needs.
Some we’re born with – food, clothing, shelter, love – and some we develop over time, like my incredible need for independence.
Let’s say you want more clients (pretty vague I know but we’ll go with it for now). Getting clients may involve having marketing or sales conversations with people and that means putting yourself at risk of rejection.
If you have a Need for love and acceptance and if that Need is stronger than the Need(s) that would be fulfilled by landing a new client, you’re likely not going to make the sale and you could in all likelihood sabotage the meeting and not have the sale go through. Or you may never put yourself in the situation where you can have sales conversations with people because your ego is terrified of the hurt and rejection you feel when you hear “no”.
When you find yourself resisting something it’s likely because you have a Need that’s in direct conflict with the Want that you think you want. You’ve got to cross the “bridge of fear” to go from where you are to access the Want on the other side.
Detach from the Outcome. When we get upset – we’re depressed because a prospect said no or a current client isn’t going to renew…..we burst into tears because our website is infected with malware (ok that was me)…or some troll posts a negative review of a book….the reason we have an emotional reaction is because some emotional sore spot has been hit.
I grew up with a mother who called me stupid from the time I was a toddler. Even now, if I make a mistake it still stings because it raises that specter that I really am stupid.
The key here is to feel the emotion and name it. Then ask yourself “Where did this feeling come from?” Then you can acknowledge the emotion is an old one from an old wound.
I once worked with a client who sold memberships in an association. She told me that she felt that every “no” she got from a prospect was a direct rejection of her and it would depress her for days.
That’s an example of being emotionally invested in the outcome.
Those people weren’t rejecting her; they rejected membership in the association.
It was a business decision to them.
The greatest emotional freedom came for me when I realized this fact: That people make their decisions based on the information given to them and the emotional desire to have the transformation offered.
If people said no to working with me, they said no to working with me. That in no way meant I was less than a person. It wasn’t a reflection on me personally and it didn’t mean my husband or God would no longer love me.
See, that’s the problem. We’re truly looking for love in all the wrong places.
What we call “mistakes” or even “rejection” we must start to see as data and data only.
Because then we can begin to figure out how to get a result that’s closer to what we want.
If people aren’t opening your email, it doesn’t mean they hate you or that you can’t write. It could mean that your subject line didn’t grab them (well writing headlines is a skill you can learn), or your email might have landed in their spam folders (you can learn what triggers email to get in spam folders).
Allowing things to emotionally upset you gives your power away.
You’re still lovable. You’re still a good person. No matter what happens with your business.
Embrace Your Uniqueness. Teenagers are famous for this internal conflict of wanting to stand out yet wanting to fit in. As we age, we struggle with the same issue. And as corporate employees we know that there was a limit to how unique we could be.
While we wanted to stand out and be recognized so we’d get promoted (or just to keep our job!), we didn’t want to stand out too much or be seen as someone who was an egotistical jerk.
After a decade or more in corporate life we may become sogood at what we do that we don’t even see our skills as unique. There are lots of ways to position yourself – which involves claiming and embracing what makes you different. The point is to be unique in a way that matters to your audience and to amplify that.
And trust me…you ARE unique.
Be the Leader. Merriam-Webster.com defines “leader” as “a person who has commanding authority or influence”
With all the marketing noise out there, how is someone who hates selling (and who isn’t crazy about marketing either) going to stand out?
You’ve got to position yourself as the clear authority– someone who “has commanding authority or influence” to the audience you’re trying to reach and constituents you’re meant to serve.
This may create some serious discomfort as your Want – to serve and positively impact people with your work and message while earning a handsome income – comes into direct conflict with your Need for approval, for love, for acceptance.
Remember, you’ve got to cross over the bridge of fear to get to the other side. Doing things that help you stand out as a leader – writing a book, speaking, hosting a podcast, creating content in a variety of modalities that educates your audience and elevates you as the clear leader in their eyes.
The key to standing out, and the easiest way to do it, is to be the true, authentic you who stays on message and lets your audience know you have the solution to the problem they have as you inspire and invite them to take the next step in the journey.
That can be easier said than done when we’ve got secret fears and doubts.
Take Action. I once had a contract with a large government agency that shall remain nameless. They made me insane. I couldn’t get them to make a decision about anything. We would have executive committee meetings every week and every meeting we’d talk about the same things we talked about the week before.
But at some point I had to admit that I did the same things with my own business.
I’d think about a problem. I’d create plans. I’d get other people’s opinions. I’d change my plans. I’d second-guess myself to death.
Then I’d be frustrated because I didn’t have enough clients, or hadn’t finished that next book, or hadn’t launched the course. I had to admit I was afraid people would hate my message. I didn’t believe I was unique enough or that I could make a difference.
I was terrified of rejection; but since I wasn’t taking action I wasn’t giving anyone anything to reject or accept!
I discovered, that for me, the key is to take small actions on a regular basis to maintain that forward movement momentum and to build confidence with small successes.
Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine and author of The Compound Effect calls ours a “microwave **society” because we want and expect quick results when it really takes much longer to produce what we want. And often that’s because we weren’t clear to begin with or we’ve got our Needs and Wants twisted up.
Have Faith. Like most words in the glorious English language, faith has several definitions. My favorite definitions from Merriam-Webster.com are “firm belief in something for which there is no proof” and “complete trust”.
One of the things I had to admit was, that although I SAID I was a person of faith, I really didn’t have “complete trust” in God (or the Universe, Spirit, Source, etc) or in myself for that matter. I had to acknowledge that I had deeply rooted issues of self-loathing (no mere “low self-esteem” for me).
That self-loathing combined with the conflicts between my Needs and Wants was keeping me paralyzed, unable to move forward with courage, clarity, and consistency.
To truly move forward and make the big impact we believe we’re meant to make, we have to rein in our ego and belief that we know best – that sheer determination and hard work will achieve our goal — and strengthen our ability to tune into the messages we’re being sent by the Divine and become willing to act when sent the answer.
This is one of the challenges faced when setting goals and creating plans. Our corporate brain tells us to plan the last detail; but, to quote the late Wayne Dyer, “your job isn’t to ask ‘How”; it’s to say ‘YES!’
Self-sabotage is a deep issue that can become pervasive, especially when driven by the conflict between your Needs and Wants.
The root of the issue is love. We must love ourselves first. We must believe that no matter what happens to our business, we’re loved. Business success does not define us, nor lead to us deserving to be loved.
We ARE loved and at our core we ARE love.
We already have the elements we need to let the success that’s inside of us, grow to full flower.
If you’re ready to have the break through you deserve and break free from self-doubt and self-sabotage to achieve the goals you have, then head over to learn more about the Action Takers Group and check out the next enrollment opportunity.