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Self-Sabotage: Do You Spoil Your Chances of Succeeding?

Here’s why and how to stop

Why, you might think, would anyone ruin the odds of gaining happiness, riches, and love? Of course, you’d never dream of committing such a counterproductive act.

Plenty of folks, maybe even you, though, ruin the good things in life just before they peak into something special, and there’s a reason behind such incongruous behavior.

Subconsciously, people understand sabotaging potential success helps them avoid something scary. If you love writing, for instance, you might dream of penning a best seller. Yet, you only manage the odd paragraph or two once or twice a year.

“I’m too busy,” you scoff, “to indulge my fantasy.” Or “I’m not ready. When I’m a better writer, I’ll try.” Then again, you might tell yourself you can’t afford to write or come up with plenty of other reasons to not do so.

Your excuses may be partly valid. But, beneath them lurks fear. The fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of admitting your writing is important to you and being taken seriously in case you aren’t up to speed.

Many people ruin their partnerships, dumping loving girlfriends or boyfriends because they were getting too close. Deep down there’s a need not to open their hearts because they would be vulnerable. What if they were abandoned or failed miserably? What then?

Self-sabotage can also come in the form of career destruction. If you are afraid of taking on too much responsibility or having to face challenges you don’t know how to meet, you might not work to full capacity or aim for a promotion. Money, too, is an issue for some people.

If you believe you aren’t valuable, you will underestimate your worth at work. You might think you don’t deserve a raise or your ideas aren’t special enough to be heard. As a result, you’ll shy away from the limelight at meetings and not point out how much effort you put into successful projects.

How to tackle self-sabotage

To change your ways, you must first recognize ‘why’ you spoil your success. What’s behind your behavior?

Ask yourself pertinent questions.

What are you afraid of happening if your relationship or career or whatever it is works out well?

How will your life change if you are successful? (And what’s scary about that?)

Will you have to sacrifice some part of your lifestyle to meet success? If so, is it something you don’t want to give up?

What does not being successful do for you? How do you gain? Perhaps you need not be responsible, or don’t need to face possible rejection?

Perhaps your dream of success isn’t really yours and belongs to someone else like your mother or father?

Get to the bottom of the payoff not being successful offers and you’ll know how to turn things around if you want them to change.

You might need to study or gain more knowledge. Or work on your self-esteem, stretch from your comfort zone, gain confidence, or ask for support.

Self-awareness is the key to accomplishing your goals rather than sabotaging them. You can’t change until you know why you behave as you do and recognize you have something to gain from your lack of success.