5 mindsets that we use to self-sabotage our success

When it is you holding yourself back

Unsplash- Marten Newhall

1. I don’t deserve good things to happen to me.

Holding on to the sins of your past and not being able to forgive yourself despite how much time has passed. Even when faced with good opportunities you talk yourself out of it and try to reason why it’s not worth taking action.

Surely there is someone else out there who is more worthy?

With this undeserving mind-set, we easily find a reprieve for the choices we make that may lead to disappointments.

The concept of worth and considering yourself deserving of good things is that nobody can hand it to you on a platter nor can you self-affirm it by occasionally chanting, “I am worthy”. It requires the willingness to let go of the guilt and shame narrative, forgive ourselves whilst acknowledging that so much of what happens in life is out of our control. This is an ongoing effort. By doing this we start to grant ourselves the grace to become progressive.

2. Not wanting to stand out or draw attention to yourself.

‘You cannot get to the top without being the topic’. The commitment to live intentionally and take the path less trodden is likely to come with exposure. Suddenly your actions are under the scrutiny of those who barely even know you and will create their perceptions of what they think you are or how you ought to behave. As humans the need to please and fit in can be so compelling that it has the potential to make us neglect our true desires in pursuit of what gains us approval. Doing only what makes you feel accepted is akin to self-neglect. This can only lead to a lifetime of regrets.

3. The fear that success is fleeting and may not last.
 The cautiousness to not become too comfortable with people or good things as they would eventually wither away. One that plagued my thoughts for a while especially in the context of romantic relationships. I have experienced so many initial honeymoon periods at the start of dating someone new but it eventually goes nowhere. When this happens more than once you train yourself to keep your expectations low. Even when you meet someone else you become fearful that history may repeat itself. You start to wonder whether it’s even worth going on dates or investing your heart and emotions in the first place. It seems safer to keep yourself at a distance where nothing and nobody can hurt you. But one thing I have discovered is that we must embrace both sides of every coin to truly position ourselves. Love can hurt and people walk away, but to hold back will deprive you of the fullness of what can be.

4. . The Imposter syndrome and fear that people will find out that you are not as good as you say you are.

It is human nature to belittle our own abilities and rely on others to convince us otherwise. Many of us go through life outwardly successful and yet feeling like a failure internally. We stand in our own way, refuse to put ourselves forward to great opportunities unless we meet all the criteria and constantly gauge our worth according to what we accomplish. There was a time when I had a fear that clients would not want to work with me once they discovered that I was the founder of my business. I thought my age and gender might put them off. Fast-forward to now and revealing that information is met with intrigue and interest.

You might have noticed that fear is often the driving force behind all these mindsets. Furthermore, fear is the bedrock of helplessness, stagnation and will stunt your creativity. You question whether it’s even worth doing anything to better your situation when there is a chance of you ending up back where you started or even worse off.

Making the transition from being a fearful individual to the person I am today has been made possible by a combination of doing what makes me uncomfortable, challenging the negative internal dialogue I held on to for so long and most importantly making the conscious decision to allow myself to be comfortable with becoming successful.

In the words of Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”
You playing small doesn’t serve the world.

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