We all at one time have self-doubt that clouds our ability to accomplish a goal. When self-doubt becomes a chronic repetitive pattern that dictates our behavior and reactions, it morphs into a self-sabotaging way of living that holds us back from success. Whether it has to do with relationships, finances, or emotions, there is a way to stop the self-sabotaging and begin to enjoy a more positive, healthy, hopeful life.
First of all, you have to be conscious that you are sabotaging your success with negative thinking. Recognizing an issue is always the preliminary part of the journey toward change. Do you find yourself asking why me? Why do my relationships fail, or why do financial opportunities slip from my fingers. Notice your thinking patterns that influence behaviors and choices. Do you sometimes feel that you are not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty/handsome enough, not worthy enough?
Once you acknowledge the thinking, you can start to understand where it came from. An overly critical parent or teacher, a first love that was unfaithful, childhood poverty, poor self-esteem, health issues, and social pressures. Are you living in a community that devalues diversity or that is suffocating people? Do you have realistic expectations or are you always demanding you be the best at everything or nothing at all?
Whatever the cause of your negative thinking, you can cut the ties that bind you, releasing your mind from useless recrimination. Begin to replace old tapes with new mantras that help you be positive about your future about yourself. Read self-help books or listen to uplifting messages that connect you with your personal power. For example, rather than repeating I’ll never begin to practice saying I can I will. Stop comparing yourself to others, you’re uniquely wired, you have different experiences that have left a footprint on your psyche. The wonderful news is, you are dynamic and capable of change, we all are. Realistic positive thinking can be just as habitual as negative, so why not give it a go.
Implement a new plan that is doable. One that will lead you in the direction of your goal and give you a taste of what it feels like to succeed. Rather than trying to lose 100 pounds in two months, give yourself small increments that are manageable. If you want to finish school, gain more financial freedom; make a budget both for your time and money. Where can you carve out time to study, or where can you cut back on an expense? These don’t have to be grandiose changes; they can simply be subtle shifts.
Perhaps you’re sabotaging relationships, pushing people away, or not letting loved ones know how you really feel. Practice standing up for yourself, say no if that is what you really mean. Not everyone has to be your life-long friend, lover, or partner. Trust your intuition. Don’t tell negative people your dreams and aspirations, these are sacred, share them only with those you trust. Imagine handing over your small baby to a mean spirited person, think of your goals as that infant.
If there is something you always wanted to do, such as travel or write a book or play an instrument. Place these desires on the top of your priority list then begin to take these dreams seriously. Maybe you are stuck with a job you don’t like, or you have children in elementary school that demand a lot of your time. You can still live a fulfilling life. In fact, it is a wonderful example for children to see parents struggling to reach a goal. Reality is, nothing in life ever comes prepackaged in the mail. There is a process to manifesting your dreams and visions.
Find small successes, begins to build confidence that you can indeed stop sabotaging. You can learn to think differently to be a newer version of you. Sometimes you have to put on armor, especially when you feel fearful. It is perfectly normal to be afraid, learn to push past it; fear is only an emotion, it is not going to physically harm you. Remember that you can say good-bye to fear when it’s stemming from negative thoughts. Say, I am afraid, but I am following through with this goal anyway. Eventually over time, successes will far outweigh failures. Give yourself time, attainable small step goals, continue practicing new positive behaviors that lead to positive thinking and toss the chains of self-sabotage away for good.