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Stop Sabotaging Yourself in 5 Easy Steps

Stop Sabotaging Yourself in 5 Easy Steps

If you find that you are not moving progressively in the direction of your dreams and goals, or that you begin projects and never finish them, most likely you are sabotaging yourself somewhere in the process. This could be from negative self-beliefs or unhealthy behaviors, a fear of failure or success, or a combination of these things. It is important to realize that sabotage will limit your ability to move toward your goals and the future that you desire.

In this article, I will share with you 5 steps to stop self-sabotage. Self-sabotage prevents or limits you from achieving your goals due to negative self-image, fears and a lack of confidence. Often times, we are our own biggest enemy. We have a mental tug-of-war between the conscious and the subconscious mind. The fear of failure, lack of confidence, and fear of change is in our subconscious mind, causing us much grief.

1. Discover why you are sabotaging yourself.

As crazy as it sounds, many people sabotage themselves on a routine basis. This isn’t done intentionally or even knowingly often times; it is just a mechanism that many have built up within themselves throughout the years that simply keeps them within their “comfort zone.” What they fail to realize is that they are actually missing out on some of the best things life could offer them if they only step out and defeat this ideology.

The reason why self-sabotage is prevalent is because it is an outer manifestation of an inner struggle with shame, anger, or unworthiness. To begin to make progress, it is vital that you identify the areas where you are practicing self-sabotage. Look at the various areas of your life, such as finances, health, career and relationships. Determine which areas you need to defeat this monster in.

To give you an example, I will present an overview of an eye-opening discovery I made concerning myself and why I was sabotaging myself.

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I bought myself a journal book for the purpose of getting back into writing after a time of inactivity. I had barely begun writing when negative voices and comments began to attack me. Why bother? You will never really do anything with your writing anyway. What makes you think you will progress this time? Who do you think you are? What do you think you could ever do for anyone else by your writing? They are all just dreams, not reality. And on and on it went.

I was being bullied by my own mind. For whatever reason, that day was the wrong day to pick on me! I decided then and there I was going to work this out. I was tired of living a life without fulfillment and purpose because every time I would try to succeed I would be shot down before barely beginning. I knew I needed to discover why I did this to myself, and I needed to look deep inside to combat this ugliness. It was high time for me to arise and conquer! After some soul searching of my own, I discovered I had a fear of rejection, ridicule or not being accepted. I had been feeding myself self-limiting negative beliefs and sabotaging my own progress in life.

2. Journal, journal, journal.

One of the best tools, I have found, when embarking on a course of self-discovery and change, is to invest in a journal-type notebook that allows you to write out the many things that you discover, feel and think.

A few simple guidelines about journal writing:

• There are no rules.

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• Write freely without concern with grammar.

• Express yourself openly.

• This is for your eyes only.

• Enjoy!

When you first begin to journal, it may be intimidating to see the empty page. Some people love an empty page and are full of thoughts and inspiration. Others may stare blankly at the page without any idea of what to say.

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The main thing is just to begin to WRITE. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. Whatever is on your mind, just begin to express it. There are many sites online that offer Journal Prompts to help you begin to write. I find the more freedom of expression you have in your journal the more useful it is. I love motivational and inspirational quotes! Sometimes I will just write a quote down and then it opens my mind for response.

Doodle, draw, or write down lyrics to songs you like. Whatever feels good to you, simply do it! I love having a splash of color so I add scrap booking material onto some of my pages or photos. You may just surprise yourself with how creative you can become.

3. Practice positive “mental chatter.”

One of the most powerful ways to destroy self-limiting beliefs is through positive self-talk. Whether you realize it or not, you talk to yourself every day. Self-talk is the conversation that goes on in your mind about your performance and behavior.Your self-talk is built by your thoughts. Apparently we each have over 50,000 thoughts each day (that must have been an interesting study!).

Most of us are involved in constant mental chatter. We talk to ourselves all day long and, unfortunately, this self -talk is frequently negative. Often it is peppered with guilt about our past or anxiety about our future. This negativity destroys our hope. Each conversation that you have with yourself reinforces in your mind who you are and what you are capable of and, most critically, builds or demolishes your self-esteem and self-worth.

The approach to changing the way you speak to yourself is quite simple and yet, it can be so difficult to put into practice merely because you are unaccustomed to speaking to yourself in positive ways.

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Once you begin to put this into practice, however, several things will happen. First, you will realize just how often you berate yourself. Secondly, you will begin to adjust the way you talk to yourself. Thirdly, you will begin to think differently about yourself, as your self-esteem and confidence builds.

4. Stop comparing yourself with others.

Do you constantly compare yourself to others? Comparison doesn’t motivate us to do more or be better; instead, it makes us feel even more inadequate. When we compare ourselves with others, we place unmerited worth on the person we are focused on. There are so many variables in each person’s life that it is unrealistic to try to be who they are. By comparing ourselves with others, we are lessening the view of our own beauty and potential. We are not made to be clones of one another. We need to be true to our authentic self rather than a replica of someone else. When we compare, we limit our own potential. We break away from our true selves by imitating or wanting to imitate someone else. There is nothing more liberating than being authentic!

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    5. Become your own best friend.

    How often do we overlook other people’s faults and mistakes and then come down hard on ourselves for the same type of behavior? We give time and attention to everyone in our world and leave no time to nurture ourselves. When dealing with self-sabotaging behavior, it is crucial to become your own best friend. Personally, I feel it is a vital key for anyone desiring to reach their potential and live a quality life. Self sabotage causes us to run away from ourselves and fill our days with activity. Set time aside to spend quality time doing things that you love to do.  Embark on a journey of self love and discovery. Unleash your true potential. You are an amazing person and it is time to end sabotaging yourself. Stop sabotaging yourself and live in freedom!

    Featured photo credit: Photo Pin via

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    Last Updated on April 11, 2019

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

    I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

    I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

    Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    How Communication Skills Help Your Success

    Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

    Create a Positive Experience

    Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

    When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

    What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

    Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

    As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

    Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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    Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

    Help Leadership Skills

    It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

    Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

    As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

    Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

    If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

    Build Better Teams

    Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

    In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

    If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

    When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

    Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

    Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

    1. Listen

    Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

    Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

    People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

    Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

    Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

    2. Know Your Audience

    Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

    Here is a good way to think about it:

    Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

    You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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    3. Minimize

    I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

    He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

    Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

    State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

    The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

    4. Over Communicate

    So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

    What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

    Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

    Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

    Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

    There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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    5. Body Language

    The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

    When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

    In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

    When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

    Conclusion

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

    Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

    There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    Now go communicate your way to success.

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    Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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