Achieving your goals and dreams can be a tricky business. There’s lots of roadblocks, detours and obstacles in our way naturally. These are generally external factors in our lives and environment that have to be dealt with. There’s dealing with other people, vendors, employees, family, bosses, etc. The list goes on and on. There can be funding issues or problems with other needed resources and their availability. Sometimes we have to deal with a need for training and education. Sometimes it seems like these external obstacles are never-ending.
We’ve also got internal obstacles to deal with. Everyone will have to overcome these at one point or another. There’s self-doubt, commitment issues, refusing to recognize the reality of a situation, and many others. What they all have in common is that they’re difficult to quantify and control. It’s easy for the internal ones to slip past our conscious attention and affect us in more subtle ways.
We usually call this self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage can be difficult to stop when it’s gone on for a long time. So the key is to stop it in its infancy. Here’s four tips to help you do that.
- Pay Attention! This is the most important tip I can give you. This applies to everything, not just stopping self-sabotage. When we pay attention to what’s happening in our lives, our actions, results and interactions with others, we can catch our sabotage before it begins. The idea here is to notice when we do things that are counterproductive to our goals. When we do, stop it.
- Take Action! As soon as we see something, we have to take action to stop it. Even if we think it’s a one-time aberration or have a “good reason” for our behavior, we need to immediately do something to make sure it stays a one-time thing. When we let the bad behavior continue, we create a habit. That’s the last thing we want to do.
- Replace It! Stopping our self-sabotage is great, but what happens to the void it creates? When we stop one behavior, we look for another to take its place almost automatically. The key is to replace the bad behavior intentionally will one that is good. Think about someone who has quit smoking. It’s almost a cliche’ that they will gain weight. Why? Because they replace that hand to mouth motion of smoking with one of eating. Better to consciously replace it with something positive, like drinking more water.
That’s it. Yes, it’s basic, but that’s true of almost any positive principle you want to apply to your life. If it’s complex, it won’t get done or it’s too prone to failure. Simple is best. Pay attention. Take action. Replace it.
If you liked this, get my free report 11 Success Principles to learn how to fast track your success.