Self Sabotage: Spotting the Signs and Reversing the Trend

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It seems everyone can be prone to it, but how can you stop self sabotage from ruining your entrepreneurial career?By Katie Weiler (Entrepreneurial Transition Coach)

Entrepreneurship is an emotional rollercoaster. One day you feel on top of the world, and the next everything comes crashing down and you wonder why you ever thought starting a business was a good idea.

If you’ve ever run your own business, you’ll know what I’m talking about. In my role, I get to help support women through this transition and share what I learn with wonderful women like you.

I see unique issues with each woman I work with. Some struggle with balancing work and life, many have an immense fear of pricing their services and asking for money, and pretty much everyone deals with the looming fear of not making enough money.

Yet there’s one emotional obstacle that each person I work with comes to over and over again: self sabotage.

What is Self Sabotage?

It quite often takes an outside person looking in to identify, but once it’s pointed out it’s blatantly obvious.

The exact manifestations vary from person to person, but they always fall along the lines of:

  • Inaction
  • Procrastination
  • Missing deadlines
  • Not doing good work
  • An inability to focus

Self sabotage starts with our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. We as humans each have a picture in our head of who we are and that forms our beliefs about who we’re allowed to become and how successful we can be.

If you take a moment to think about who you believe you are and who you can become – and I mean truly believe, not faintly dream of – you may quickly realize that you’re already limiting yourself.

Battling the Limits

Now, take this limited picture of yourself, and try being someone else – someone who’s more successful and has more responsibility. It may go fine at first, but give it a bit of time and the unconscious mind will start pushing the new, more successful version of yourself back into your old box.

This happens because our unconscious mind’s default mode is to survive, not to thrive. When we take risks and threaten that picture in our heads, the unconscious mind literally sabotages us to bring us back to survival mode. It goes back to the place where it knows is safe by getting us to stop moving forward and possibly even reverse the progress we have already made.

Ever tried getting into shape and eating healthy? You start out strong, eating well, exercising a lot, and you start to see results. Then you slowly start to fade back to your old habits for no specific reason until you find yourself back where you started.

That’s self sabotage.

As you broke that barrier of what you believed yourself to be by getting in shape, you were good for a while. Then your unconscious mind slowly started to sabotage you until you were back in that safe place where you started.

Overcoming the Traps

There’s no silver bullet for self sabotage because it’s different for every single person, but there’s one thing that you must do and that’s to be aware that it’s happening. The quicker you can identify it, the quicker you can overcome it.

Identifying how it manifests in your life is where you’ll need help. Friends, family, co-workers, and coaches are all people who can help you out. They’ll be able to see the patterns that you’re not seeing and help you identify when your lack of progress is caused by external circumstances and when it’s brought on by yourself.

Once you figure out what to watch for in your behavior, you’ll likely be able to easily identify it yourself in the future.

Awareness is step one. Steps two and beyond are identifying what limiting belief or beliefs you’re holding on to and then reversing them. There are countless ways to go about this (I have a PDF I can send you if you want to learn more), but their ultimate purpose is to get you back into action and bring that new version of yourself into your unconscious mind’s safe zone.

If you can conquer self sabotage, you’ll be successful. Simple as that.

Have you conquered self sabotage? How did you do it?


About the guest blogger: Katie Weiler is a entrepreneurial transition coach who works with women through the emotions and fears in their transition from employee to business owner. She currently lives a nomadic lifestyle and enjoys yoga, hugs, chocolate and sipping red wine.