Written by Hutson & Houck
Everyone experiences the act of self-destructing at one time or another. It’s a strange feeling to know that you ruined the very thing you were trying so hard to accomplish. Often, self-sabotage is the result of discomfort.
A lot of people want success, but what happens when you actually get it? There’s a lot of “what ifs” that come with it. What if I’m not actually happy? What if I don’t meet Chris Evans at the Oscars and we don’t fall in love! Was it even worth it? In short, yes (Chris Evans is the icing on top!).
Failing, or having to perform tasks that are uncomfortable or outside of our breadth of knowledge. The most common way we undermine our own success is through the well-practiced art of avoiding discomfort.
Are you undermining your success?
1. Limit distractions.
Have you ever had a deadline coming up and then all of a sudden boring housework seems really appealing? That friend you usually blow off wants to have dinner, and it sounds magical? Good god you’ve even considered calling your mother! Does it seem like you are trying to find anyway to distract yourself? Thats because the urge to seek out distractions often increases with the unpleasantness of the task.
- Solution: Allow yourself to have distractions, and lets be real, your probably do need to call your mother. But schedule it! Sometimes its easier to get some work done if you know you have a 30 min break coming up. Sometimes its easy to get so distracted because when you finally force yourself to work, you know it will be hours of grinding. Even setting a timer on your phone can help so you know you will get a breather!
2. Stop procrastinating.
Most of the time the task itself can be easy but the mental stress of putting it off, can build up and it becomes worse than the task itself!
- Solution: Write a to do list. Be clear on what actually needs to be done and if anything has a deadline.
- Get that trusty timer out and challenge yourself to get some work done for just 30 min! That’s less than an Office episode!
- Just get started. This is often the most challenging part of the work.
3. Make a decision.
Make up your mind! Are we getting married? Are you finally committing to me? (Chris Evans can you hear me?) but seriously indecisiveness is a success killer! Nothing will be perfect, and if you wait for that day to come, you will be on your deathbed wishing you just made the plunge! It sounds harsh but seriously! What are you waiting for! What do you really want?
- Solution: Be clear on what you want to accomplish.
- Structure! Give yourself a time limit. Make a good ol pros and cons list!
- Open ended projects rarely get finished, so give yourself a deadline.
4. Stop negative thinking.
For many people, the closer they come to success, the more negative thoughts they begin to experience. Imposter syndrome is real! Everyone thinks they are unqualified, but guess what EVERYONE is! Remember when you were little and you thought adults had all the answers? Boy were we wrong! And that’s ok! No one really knows what they are doing! (unless you are a surgeon.. please know what you are doing).
- Solution: Take control of your mind and think thoughts that are useful to you. Be conscious to cheer yourself on rather than criticizing your actions.
- Ignore the random noise of your mind. You don’t have to engage with your random thoughts. You can choose to ignore them. Believe in yourself.
5. Don’t ignore the high-priority tasks.
Listen we would all like to spend our time doing the fun tasks or the new and exciting ones! But guess what sometimes we have to buckle down and do the super important ones first, to get them out of the way! Ever avoided going to the dentist, and then all of a sudden it’s been 4 years and you have no teeth? Let’s avoid that.
- Solution: Create a list of tasks to do each day ordered from most important to least. Start at the top of your list and work your way down. Don’t skip steps. Don’t put tasks off until the next day. Plus it feels super good to mark something off your to-do list!
6. Don’t give up.
Quitting is the ultimate way to sabotage your success. You can’t achieve anything if you quit before you’re successful. It seems so tempting to quit right before you achieve your success, but just this once, allow yourself to win!
- Solution: Develop the habit of finishing what you start. Avoid caving into the fear when you’re about to find out if you were successful or not. Remember that regardless of the income, you can always try again.
Self-sabotage isn’t the worst problem you can have. You are in control, you don’t need to change anyone else, only to look within. Although this takes a lot of work and self reflection, it’s easier to change yourself than it is to change someone else. The person responsible for your successes and failures is staring at you in the mirror each day.