I did not want to talk about this. I have been avoiding this topic for years, even though it's something my listeners and clients ask all the time: WHY do I keep sabotaging myself?
If you feel like you sabotage your own success, today’s episode is for you.
So last week I put up 5 different podcast ideas for the Starship to vote on what they most wanted me to talk about…and you know what got the most votes? Self Sabotage!
Even though I've been asked this a lot, I've avoided talking about it because…I think it's possible you are NOT sabotaging yourself. Sometimes the things that look like self-sabotage are actually just you taking care of yourself!
For example, if you wake up with a headache, like I did last Friday, and you decide NOT to work on your To Do list, even though it's very big and you have a deadline…is that self-sabotage? Or self-care?
Now, since we're talking about ME, I bet you'd say: Tara! You have a headache, take the day off, your business will be OK!
But if we are talking about YOU, you'd say: Oh, I really should have worked, I have things I know I am supposed to do! I totally sabotaged my list by not working!
And girl, that's just wrong.
So before we talk about REAL self-sabotage, we gotta get clear that every time you don't work, every time you take a break, every time you decide NOT to show up for something, it's not necessarily ruining everything – sometimes it is you taking care of yourself, or giving yourself what you need.
When I asked you (on instagram) for your examples of self-sabotage you told me:
- When I get an opportunity, but believe I can’t do it, so I don’t follow through.
- Setting a big goal and then getting sidetracked or not planning, and deciding: “well, all hope is lost!”
- When I’m scared. I plan a big thing, and then don’t follow through (like a big launch, where then I only send a couple emails instead of doing everything I had planned).
Why you self-sabotage
- You are experiencing more success than your set point is comfortable with (Upper Limit Problem. This is the book about it.)
- You don't think you deserve it. (Imposter Syndrome)
- You actually don't want what you're working towards.
You'll notice that each of these reasons is actually…self-care! You're protecting yourself from what you think you can't handle or don't want.
What you can do about it:
1. Get really specific about what the self-sabotaging activity is and why you did it.
What am I trying to protect?
What am I afraid of?
This is important because a lot of women TELL me they are sabotaging themselves and when I ask for specifics, they hem and haw, “Well, all the time. I'm just never following through, I never do.”
Girl, that is a belief you have about yourself. It's a belief, not because it's true, but because you keep saying it to yourself. As long as you keep repeating this and believing it, you're never going to be able to move forward.
Until you can believe the opposite (“I show up for what matters. I can do what it takes”), replace it with the truth, “I'm not sure what's up, but I'm doing my best. I'm protecting myself.” Move towards trusting yourself to show up by getting clear on exactly what you do and when you do it. Get clear on why you're doing it (what you're protecting yourself from).
2. Let go of the fear.
The next step, after you know what you're afraid of, is to look at that fear head on. I like to do fear-setting (from Tim Ferris):
- What's the worst that can happen?
- Do you think you can handle that?
- If not, how likely is that to happen? (Usually, not very likely, or at least not for very long.)
- What is the much more likely (smaller) thing that may happen?
- Can you handle THAT?
This is the time to use all the tools you have to release fears – therapy, journaling, essential oils, tapping – whatever works for you!
3. Notice all the ways you DO show up for yourself.
Do you buy groceries and cook meals?
Do you read sometimes?
Do you spend some time crafting?
Or doing anything you love?
THAT is showing up for yourself. YOU ARE DOING IT.
And it's transferrable! If you show up in this way you can show up in others.
4. Show up for yourself, even more. And make note of it when you do.
Self-sabotage isn’t something to beat yourself up about. It’s something to take care of yourself in the face of.
How to listen
- You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
- You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
- Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).