Blocking Self-Sabotage


Well, we are 2/3 of the way through January-- are you continuing to vigorously read your goals out loud? How about bouncing off to the gym with the same skip in your step that you started with at the beginning of the year?

Don't feel too bad if you find yourself losing some steam. It's natural to wane in enthusiasm, especially when the date for achieving your goals seem so far off.

But before you give up altogether (and then really, justifiably feel bad), how about doing a check on whether or not your are sabotaging yourself (for many of us...) again.

Here are some things to do to avoid self-sabotage:
  • Develop an awareness of HOW you self-sabotage, particularly around getting what you really want for yourself. Psychologist, Dr. Kevin Hogan, states that "Because self-sabotage is unconscious, no one is aware of it when they are actually engaging in it. The benefit of being able to be in check is being in charge. When the unconscious mind is quelled, then the conscious mind can move forward and achieve."
  • Dig in Deeper. Allow your passion for what you plan to achieve-- for what you truly desire-- drown out any attempts at self-sabotage.
  • Be Self-forgiving. Cut yourself some slack. I recently had the opportunity to counsel a good friend to be as kind and forgiving to herself as she is to everyone else who makes a mistake. Forgive yourself any slip-ups, and then be your own Best Coach and tell yourself to get back into the saddle. As Zig Ziglar says, "Failure is an event, not a person". Every day is a new opportunity to start fresh (man, I'm full of these lol).
  • Affirm yourself. Wise woman and seasoned Toastmaster, Susan Guild, says "Affirmations have to be coupled with an inner belief." Believe every positive word you tell yourself. Of course, be realistic. Don't state, "I am the world's best salsa dancer and will wow them at my neice's wedding July 12th," if you know that you will be having hip surgery the month before the wedding. You may want to focus on other aspects of your goal, and make your affirmations accordingly, "I have so much fun learning to dance salsa and love how trim I am becoming as I dance."
  • Commit the benefits of achieving a particular goal to memory. Remember how enthused you were when you came up with that goal? If you didn't make a list of benefits back at the start of January, how about now? What are the benefits of losing 20 pounds by June 3rd? Go crazy listing them all. Now repeat them daily along with your goal, and in time you WILL have committed the benefits to memory so that you can trot them out when you are feeling weak or discouraged. Aim for having the benefits so firmly lodged in your mind that they play back like that piece you watched and listened to on Youtube those eight times last night. (I'm talking from personal experience with Boz Skaggs' cover of "Harbor Lights"-- the song that was Number 1 on the Hit Parade the day I was born... can't get it out of my head lately. lol) Memorizing benefits could be a useful new habit to develop to prevent slipping off the path you have decided to travel.
  • Journal your Progress. Behavioral experts believe that keeping track of your actions not only keeps you accountable to yourself, but gives you a log of your journey. Have a little notebook around that you use just for writing down the times you self-sabotage AND the times you have NOT given into the temptation to jeopardize the route to accomplishing what it is you desire.
  • Create a special reminder of your desire to attain your Goal free of damaging behaviors. Visual cues (appealing photos of you when you did weigh your ideal weight, a 'dream' or 'vision board') or other sensory reminders ('touchstones' if you like-- could even be a smooth river stone in your jacket pocket that you can hold and remind yourself of your goal) often help to keep us steady during a time when we feel less than reliably willing to stay on the rails. (**See another useful 'cue' idea at the bottom of this post)
  • Enlist all 'other' strengths in your life. Helpful: Prayer, meditation, EFT, BSFF and other methods of 'clearing' the static that diverts us from our desired course.
    "In addition to reading ten pages a day of a motivational or inspirational book...listen to a self-improvement CD for at least 15 minutes every day... If you spend that time listening to educational and self-improvement material, you'll have the equivalent of a Ph.D. on any subject you choose in just a few years. That's the Slight Edge." ~Jeff Olson, author of "The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life"

    **An example for altering chronic negative thoughts and statements would be to wear an elastic band around your wrist and snap it when you find yourself thinking or saying something negative (eg., unkind, unjust, judgmental, untrue, hurtful, malicious, cynical, pessimistic, etc.) Check out these classy adult wrist bands that can be printed up with helpful reminders or slogans on your computer.
    ***Rainbow image is courtesy of photographer Dawn Allynn at www.dawnallynn.com
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