Overcoming Self-Sabotage


I had a big decision to make. A decision I’d been dancing around for quite a while - finding all sorts of reasons why I couldn’t do what I claimed I wanted to do - And I didn’t even know I was doing it… Until I did know… and then I convinced myself I was different, and that that wasn’t what was happening anyway!

I couldn’t see the wood for the trees - and this was in my own forest, and I had done the planting!

I had a classic case of self-sabotaging and relinquishing my power with all sorts of fear based reasonings…

Time for a thought-opsy and a bit of reflection to uncover what this was all about. Let me tell you what I learned…

If anyone asked my advice if they were making a big decision like I was, I’d listen and offer reassuring words, ideas or maybe suggestions of ways to move forward. I might even say something hard-nosed like “Remember why you want this?” Or, “You know it’s only fear that’s holding you back - don’t you?” Or maybe I’d be kinder and say… “What can I do to help you to get through this moment?” Whatever angle I took, I’d be engaging my number 1 strength of perspective and review all the reasons to help them move beyond their decision and be the ear and shoulder they needed, as required.

Let me give you a bit of back-story here… I’d spent several weeks (okay it might have been months…) procrastinating and talking myself in and out of every maze turn I could think of, with regards to making this big decision, and I had created a haze that lingered around me in the process. I was obsessing with details over and over again, trialling this and that, and second and triple guessing myself... basically distracting myself from committing to making the decision, therefore self-sabotaging my progress forward.

I was working really hard to convince myself this was a real situation with real problems and that I wasn’t operating from a fear base. Oh no… not me!!! But HELLO - actually I soooo was!

I found myself retreating further and further into my shell. I couldn’t share my load and I couldn’t see it reflected back to me through the actions of others either.

And that’s how it was… Until I woke up and saw on the bedside table a magazine (that had been there for a couple of weeks - but I hadn’t seen it until that morning) titled “Say Yes to Adventure”. I imagined myself lying in the bed and saw a teensy, wee thing waiting for something to happen - but I didn’t know what. I realised I felt scared. I felt nervous and I didn’t know why.

Learning to really see what is going on with yourself is not always easy, nor is peeling away the layers to get to the heart of the problem. It takes awareness. It takes courage. It takes vulnerability. It takes unbiased honesty.

I was reminded that my number 1 strength of perspective has its dark side too. Perspective can keep me small and make me big! Perspective was showing all its colours as I held myself back from making the big decision. 

This awareness of my fear, overanalysis and multi-faceted self-sabotage, was the fuel I needed to overcome what was holding me back and commit to a decision one way or another.

And I did! I made a choice! Yet, it still took time for me to accept my choice, and for it to ‘sit’ well with me. Even after all my procrastinating, I had moments that day oscillating backwards and forwards, looking for signs to suggest I could change my mind, before finally coming to terms with my decision.

I amazed myself how, even when I knew how to change something, it was still easy to find ways that snuck me straight back into the rabbit hole I was avoiding in the first place. I think the major jump for me was to remind myself of my desire and why I wanted what I wanted to happen in the first place. And of course, to check my mindset, recognise self-sabotage and shift my definition of FEAR from False Evidence Appearing Real to Face Everything And Rise... but really, the big game changer and the action prompter was awareness!

As is so very often when it comes down to the wire, realising what is holding you back and why are the keys.

Having the clarity to see what was really going on, shifted me beyond the problem. Finding and firing up my desire again took time, courage and confidence, and certainly helped me move forward. Stepping back into my authentic self and reclaiming what was important to me made the difference between action and falling back into the self-sabotage rabbit hole.

Have you struggled to overcome self-sabotage or fear when making a decision recently?

What strategies worked for you?

I’d love to read your comments below.

Gina HainesComment