Let’s cut right to it: sometimes, you get in your own way. You may know what you want in life but never really found the right time, right money or fill-in-your-own-excuse-here. It's called self-sabotaging and often, we do this because as much as we want to get ahead in life, we’re shit-scared of change.
This week, we’re exploring the way Self-Sabotage Sally shows up in our lives, (yes, we’ve given this destructive behaviour a name), what she usually sounds like and how to get her out of the way.
#1. The “I’ll get to it tomorrow” also known as: procrastinating
You want to start a personal project or reach a financial goal and you find yourself doing everything but that. You’ll research for weeks and months, take quick strolls to the fridge every two hours, anything to prevent you from actually facing the task… and before you even get started, you give up.
Overcome it: Instead of focusing on the end goal, set out small victories you can achieve by the end of the week. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to exist. When you start achieving those smaller goals, you’ll begin to build your self-confidence and resilience to reach the bigger picture.
#2. The “what if x or y happens?” also known as: overthinking
Before you’ve even begun, you’re worrying about things that shouldn’t really matter. You wonder if others would think less of you if you failed or what happens when you succeed... will your friends think you’ve changed and begin to drift apart?
Overcome it: We’ll never be a 100% certain on how things will turn out but you can either sit and wonder about all the things that could be or you can go out there and make it happen. Think about what you’d like to accomplish and the worst case scenario - will you be able to survive it? Need a little help deciding? Download and fill this flow chart to see if your dream is worth a shot.
*Spoiler alert: the answer is always “yes”
#3. The “I would never succeed anyway” also known as: negative self-talk
We’ve all listened to that nagging voice of Self-Sabotage Sally. It’s the one that tells us we’re not good enough or we’re not that talented after all. We repeat these statements to ourselves so often that we start believing in them. Before you know it, you're on an endless spiral into self-doubt. It's time to get Sally to shush.
Overcome it: Write down your negative thoughts, however silly they may seem. Ask yourself, “are these thoughts real and based on any clear facts?” and “would I say this to a friend?”. Give the negative self-talk a new spin. Instead of saying, “I’m such an idiot for asking them out”, switch it for honest but kind self-talk - “I’m feeling a little hurt for wearing my heart on my sleeve but that move also took a lot of bravery and courage.”
#4. The “I don’t know why I drunk-dialled my ex” also known as: unhealthy indulgence
Sometimes, our conscious mind (the logical one that tells us we shouldn’t wait around for a text) clashes with the subconscious mind (the emotional one that lurks through your ex’s instagram while you’re trying to get over them). This creates a disconnect between wants and needs.
What we want is to snuff out this pain but what we need is to sit with the fear of being alone and ask ourselves, why are we going back to something that no longer serves us? Often, running away from a deeper issue looks a lot like going back to what once gave us comfort.
Overcome it: First of all, understand that we all do this and there is no need for shame. Instead, look at your actions with kindness and accountability. Ask yourself what is it you’re actually seeking, is this action beneficial to you or will it harm you in the long run? What is the reason you’re going in this direction rather than moving forward?
Give those questions a bit of thought and commit towards an action that would take you in the right direction. Talk to a friend, mentor or therapist and ask them to help keep you accountable.
It’s easy to get caught up in the lies we tell ourselves but none of those will bring us closer to the truth… and the truth is: you deserve to live a life where you feel free and fulfilled, where you dare to go after what you want, where old patterns and habits no longer rule you and most importantly, where the role of Self-Sabotaging Sally no longer exists.
Ready to move forward? Here’s what #IndigoLoves:
Check out this no-bullshit interview with Philip McKernan by the team at Voices in the Dark and get ready for some soul-transforming,
ass-kicking insights into our personal habits and the stories we hide from our truest selves.
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