Are you sabotaging your success?
I know I did things that held me back – without even realising it! Take the time I started my beauty blog, for example.
I was so envious of the bloggers who reached millions of followers and landed 6-figures deals to work with my fave beauty brands, I convinced myself they had it easy. They probably had rich parents who paid their rent and tech boyfriends who helped them out with photos and videos…
I didn’t have all that money. Or a boyfriend willing to double up as a photographer. There was no chance for me to ever reach their league.
Envy and victim-playing were my flavours of self-sabotage, the excuses I told myself to avoid facing my fear of visibility, doing live videos, and putting myself out there in a bigger way.
If you don’t nip them in the bud, these excuses become your truth and sabotage your success.
How do you stop that from happening and achieve the success you deserve? Here are the 7 most common ways you’re sabotaging your success and how to overcome them:
Self-Sabotage Trap #1: You Envy People Who Have What You Want
What if I told you that envy doesn’t have to be a negative emotion?
Envy is a spy, a tugging feeling that lets you know what you want to have, do, or be. It’s meant to show you what’s possible for you, too.
Problem is, you often don’t believe the same is possible for you. And so, you start criticising that person.
“Look at that coach! She’s showing off at that fancy hotel – again!”
“She always looks so well put together. I bet she’s really shallow.”
“She’s just released another online course. I bet it’s a scam.”
Every time you say something negative about the people you envy, you’re sabotaging your success.
Think about it. Would you like it if people said the same nasty things about you? Of course not!
Your brain wants you to be safe above all else. When you say anything negative about someone else, your brain goes, “If I were to be as successful as her, people would judge me and criticise me, too. I’ll just come up with a bunch of excuses why I can’t have what she has, so I’ll never have to face that criticism.”
How do you get out of this?
Instead of criticising the people you envy, admire them. When you say positive things about them, you’ll send a signal to your brain that it’s safe to have what they have. Now your brain can get on board and find ways to reach your goals.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Say positive things about the people you envy. Wish them plenty of success. You can even write them a letter sharing how grateful you are for them and what their success is teaching you.
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Self-Sabotage Trap #2: You’re Playing The Victim
You’re probably not aware that you’re playing the victim. You just think you’re very unlucky.
“I can’t quit my job and start a business in this economy.”
“I can’t invest in coaching yet. I don’t have money for it.”
“I can’t start a podcast. Between work and family, I don’t have time for anything else.”
It’s true there’ll always be situations in life you have no control over. You can’t do anything about the economy, for example.
But in every situation, there’s always something you can control: you. Focus on that.
So the economy is bad. What can you do to find clients and make your business a success?
So you don’t have enough money yet. What can you do to make that money?
So, you already have lots of commitments. What can you do to find an extra pocket of time for your dream?
When you say “I can’t,” your brain shuts down. It’s game over. But when you ask questions like, “What can I do?” or “How can I do this?,” your brain goes into problem-solving mode and starts looking for solutions to those problems.
Focus your mental power on how to reach your goals, not the obstacles on the way.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Whatever situation you’re in now, focus on the parts YOU can control. What can you do to solve this problem and get the result you want? Brainstorm a few ideas now.
Self-Sabotage Trap #3: You’re Focusing On What You Don’t Want
Have you noticed that when someone asks you what you want, you start telling them what you don’t want?
“I don’t want to work in a corporate office.”
“I don’t want to work on weekends anymore.”
“I don’t want to deal with difficult clients who are always late with payments.”
You get what you think about. Your thoughts influence your mood. Your mood influences your actions.
Let’s say you keep complaining about how much you hate your job. You know you should spend your evenings working on your side hustle but, by the time you get home, you’re so tired and stressed, all you want to do is sit on the couch and watch Netflix. A year has gone by and you’re still stuck in that crappy job, your side hustle still a dream.
What if you focused on what you truly want, like doing work you love and the financial and location freedom that comes with a thriving business? When you feel excited about that, you’ll work evenings and weekends to get your side hustle off the ground – and it won’t feel like a sacrifice.
Choose what to focus on wisely.
TAKE ACTION NOW
What business do you want to build and what goals do you want to achieve? Focus on that every day. Here are a few suggestions:
- Start your day by journalling on your vision and the goals you want to accomplish.
- Create a vision board and hang it where you see it often.
- Set your goals as reminders on your phone.
Self-Sabotage Trap #4: You’re Not Allowing Yourself To Receive
Let me guess… You’re the first one to drop everything to help a friend, always go overtime on your coaching session, and put off work to make sure your family has everything they need.
You love giving and helping others. But receiving? It makes you uncomfortable.
You hesitate to ask people to recommend you to their friends. You hold back from putting yourself forward as a podcast guest. You even feel guilty when charging high prices for your services.
This is one of the most subtle ways you’re sabotaging your success.
If you don’t allow yourself to receive support, exposure, and money for your business, you’ll never reach your goals. You’ll never make the impact you want to make. You’ll never achieve the financial freedom you crave.
Life is about give AND take. You work towards your goals while helping other people do the same AND then you allow yourself to receive the fruits of all your hard work and generosity.
When you only give to other people and do nothing for yourself, you’re blocking the flow of abundance to you. Even when the right opportunity finds you, you’re so busy helping everyone else to have the time to take it. Before you know it, you’re burnout, resentful, and angry with the world.
It doesn’t hurt just yourself. It hurts your family. It hurts your friends. It hurts your clients. What could you do with more resources, more money, more free time?
Allow yourself to receive money, opportunities, and everything else the universe wants to give you – and then, from an overflowing cup, give back to others.
TAKE ACTION NOW
What are you not allowing yourself to receive? Maybe someone wants to feature you on their podcast and you haven’t answered their email yet. Maybe someone owns you money and you haven’t asked for it back yet. Maybe you’re thinking of creating a high-ticket offer, but receiving so much money is scaring you. Whatever it is, take action on it and allow yourself to receive all this abundance. You’re worth it.
Self-Sabotage Trap #5: You’re Not Creating SMART Goals
The difference between a wish and a goal?
A wish is vague: “I want to make more money.”
A goal is specific: “I want to make an extra $1K a month by offering social media services to small online business owners.”
Can you see the difference and how this is sabotaging your success? When your goal is too vague, it seems so unreachable, you won’t even know how to get started. So you won’t.
Vague goals let you off the hook. When you fail, it won’t be because you didn’t put in the effort. The goal simply was too big and vague.
If you want to build a successful business that brings you financial and location freedom, you need to create SMART goals instead. SMART goals are:
- Specific: What exactly do you want to achieve?
- Measurable: How will you know you’ve accomplished this goal?
- Attainable: Do you have all the tools and resources you need to achieve this goal? If not, can you get them?
- Relevant: Is it a priority in your life right now? What’s your why for doing this?
- Time-oriented: What is the deadline?
Now you know what you want to achieve, when, and how, and have a way to measure your success, go do it, gorgeous!
TAKE ACTION NOW
Turn a vague goal into a SMART goal and start working towards it.
Self-Sabotage Trap #6: You’re Not Surrounding Yourself With Supportive People
You know what they say: you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
If you spend most of your time with people who think starting a business is dangerous, who see opportunities as risks, and complain about their problems without doing anything about them, their negativity will seep into your brain. You’ll start believing they’re right and give up on your dreams.
When you surround yourself with people who are going for their dreams, the opposite happens. When you see other people do what you want to do, you’re inspired to do the same. You realise that, even though they’re going to be challenges along the way, it’s not as risky as you thought it would be.
Business friends also encourage you to keep going when you feel like giving up, refer clients to you, recommend you for opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise know about…
If you don’t have anyone like that in real life yet (it’s ok, I didn’t either when I got started), go find your community. Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Start building your supportive community now:
- Join a Facebook group.
- Enroll in a class/group programme/mastermind.
- Listen to podcasts (virtual mentors count, too!).
- Work with a coach.
- Reach out to people you resonate with on Instagram.
- Go to networking events in your city.
Self-Sabotage Trap #7: You Don’t Believe In Yourself
This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t believe you have what it takes to do something, you won’t take action towards it. If you don’t take action towards it, your dream will never come true.
So how can you start believing in yourself?
You need to trust that you wouldn’t have that dream if you couldn’t make it happen.
Everything you went through in life, all the skills you’ve accumulated, the challenges you’ve overcome, the coincidences that happened just at the right time, the passions that make you lose track of time… everything has been preparing you for the work you’re meant to do in the world.
All you need to do is take it one step at a time.
If you want to build a self-love movement, for example, start with a blog. Write a few articles and spread the word about them. Once you get started, the next step will reveal itself, the right people will find you, the resources you need will appear.
TAKE ACTION NOW
What’s that dream that pulls at your heart that you don’t believe you can make happen yet? Grab pen and paper and write down all the reasons why you’re so ready for it. How has life already prepared you for it? Think of:
- The skills you’ve accumulated through jobs and hobbies
- The knowledge you’ve gained from school, books, your passions
- The people in your life who could help you with this
- The struggles you’ve overcome and how they’ve made you stronger
- The coincidences that happened just at the right time
- The character traits you have that can help you reach your goals
- And anything else you can think of
How To Stop Sabotaging Your Success
Now you know in what ways you’re sabotaging your success, be aware of your triggers.
Whenever you find yourself focusing on what you don’t want, for example, ask yourself, “Wait a minute, is this thought/behaviour serving me? Is it moving me towards my goals and dreams?”
Once you become aware of your thoughts and feelings, you can let them go and take the right action towards your goals.
Wrapping It Up
There are so many ways you could be sabotaging your success – without even realising it. Now that you’re aware of the most common forms of self-sabotage, you can catch yourself before you fall into them and move towards your dreams full speed ahead.