Do You Know How Common Self Sabotage Is?
As an executive life coach, I work with a lot of different business people from almost all walks of life. People that have already achieved a measure of success in their life’s work, but are still not where they want to be; or that know that there are still additional levels for them to strive to play at. People just like you and me that have had to overcome fears and obstacles and inertia in order to build momentum on our way to our anticipated success.
Do you know what one common theme is that I have found across most of these hundreds of clients? That these fears or obstacles are mainly “very much in their head”. And very strongly influenced by “the little voice” in their head? That means that there is a constant flood of mind chatter underway. There is an ongoing internal dialogue and commentary, an incessant criticism or challenge; a constant judgement which often results in self sabotage of the outcomes we seek.
The result? That people grant this “little voice” far too much power and far too much influence over their view of themselves (their self esteem), what they do and don’t tackle and consequently the resultant self sabotage of their results.
We All Put Obstacles In Our Head
Let me illustrate with a real life example I am sure every one of you will already have experienced. Let’s say you are sick and tired of your appearance and have decided to set a goal to lose weight. How many of you have then experienced the little voice piping up almost immediately: “oh yeah, what’s going to be different this time over the 10 other times you’ve set this goal? Careful you don’t get ahead of yourself now. Can you remember how you beat up on yourself last time when you tried, slipped, failed and then gave up?” And at that point you could taste the failure in your mind, couldn’t you?
And how many of you can recall having then allowed this very inner dialogue to help you choose to postpone setting this goal to “a better time”, thereby granting the little voice the power it sought?
I’m sure you can relate, right? You could probably quote heaps and heaps of other relevant examples, couldn’t you?
What Successful People Do about it
What my clients and I have all found is that while all or most successful people experience this, the truly successful ones are those that have managed to contain this “little voice”. By Using “the gap” to reframe yourself, they become aware of the pattern about to play out and recognize the risk they are about to face “in their head”. And reminding themselves of the mind’s overly ego fuelled need for significance, they choose to “talk over it” instead of surrendering their destiny to it.
They realize that it is not their mind that is in control (unless they allow it to), but that they are in control of their life and their results by taking control of their mind. Big difference, right?
How Do The Successful People Do This?
I am an avid reader, listener and follower of the work of Eckhart Tolle, famous for his initial book “The Power of Now”. Why? Because reminding us that life isn’t lived in the past or future, but right now in the present is the mainstay of his work. As a case in point, he recently published a “present moment reminder” in which he so beautifully said:
“When you recognize that there is a voice in your head that pretends to be you and never stops speaking, you are awakening out of your unconscious identification with the stream of thinking. When you notice that voice, you realize that who you are is not the voice — the thinker — but the one who is aware of it.”
I have often quoted Carl Jung’s famous statement: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”.
Both go to the same place I am trying to place an angle on today, don’t they?
So Where Do We Allow This Self Sabotage?
So what am I trying to get across today? I wish to add some additional perspectives to this very important phenomenon of self-talk. That you are who you are and where you are at today on the grounds of your thoughts and beliefs of who you think you are. This view of yourself has been developed through the little voice in your head and over your lifetime.
It has been coloured by all your conditioning; all your life experiences; everything you have been taught, learned yourself and unlearned yourself; it is the sum total of your beliefs, your self-talk, your self-doubt and your self-worth and above all, this can be allowed to play out unconsciously as self sabotage.
Your awareness of your little voice will determine whether it has you “shine your torch” on the negative or the positive approaches to what’s happening in your life around you
And all of this is a view that you have formed in your head – the degree of which and the direction of which is very much dependent on whether and how you have allowed your left brain and it’s “little voice” to influence you.
Or how well you have taken control and spoken over it. On top of it, all of this plays out in your unconscious mind, usually without your being consciously aware of it.
And hence it plays a fundamental role in your attitude and your success and also in preventing the risk of self sabotage.
What this has taught me
Coaching so many clients to recognize and then to deal with such patterns has taught me the following 10 realities of controlling the risk of self sabotage through that rampant “little voice” in our head:
- Most people wrestle with this form of destructive inner dialogue
- Most people have allowed these patterns to affect their self esteem
- Most people have become adept at masking the weaknesses of such prevailing patterns so that they “can live with themselves”
- Most of us deep down know this to be true but haven’t had the inspiration or the courage to “get ourselves out of our comfort zone” to take control
- Everybody can address this and free themselves of such limitations
- But most don’t
- And so most of us “settle for” less than we deserve (or believe)
- Only very few seek help to be accompanied through it and to be held accountable to doing what it takes
- Those that do usually found it wasn’t actually that hard to do
- Those that did are so glad they did because of the breakthrough nature of the outcomes this allowed in their lives, their businesses and their careers.
You have Choices
And so you have a choice. You can continue to believe these views that have been progressively made in your head, and you can keep succumbing to what “the little voice” in your left brain mind chatter keeps trying to influence you.
Or you can learn to talk over it and rather formulate and affirm the picture of who you really prefer to be and the outcomes you expect. That picture and the beliefs that will drive you to your magnificent destiny which you were born to achieve.
I’m not talking about or judging weaknesses. What I am talking about is the prevalence of this “little voice” in EVERYBODY. What I am talking about is that no matter where you are in your life’s work today, or how successful you already are or aren’t, a large part of what it will take is that you can learn to manage this little voice and to take control over it so as to avoid any possibility of self sabotage and to drive whatever level of success you want (and deserve) to achieve.
So let me ask you: how much longer are you going to allow this little voice to hold power over you? What might the limitations it imposes on you have cost you last year? And what might they cost you this year? When are you going to free yourself from such self imposed limitations?
The Breakthroughs You Seek Are Waiting For You
Heavy stuff, I know. But this is the stuff that has helped the biggest breakthroughs that coaches have guided their clients through. It is but a phone-call away. Why? Because if what we’ve spoken about today has struck a chord with you, it is available to you too. That’s your call that only you can make.
And deep down, you will know whether and when you are ready to make the call, don’t you? So why not make it?
What if you did?