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Do You Sabotage Your Own Success?

Have you every wondered whether you are your own worst enemy?

Have you considered that you may be sabotaging your own success?

In an excellent article in the November 2007 issue of Better Business Focus, Karen Skehel (holistic executive coach) explains “How Not To Sabotage Your Own Success.”

Karen tells us that we each have two sides – the positive, successful, productive side that achieves great things but also a side that tends to pull us back and stop us achieving our true potential.

This dis-empowering side of the human psyche has been named the saboteur and everyone has one but some people are able to control it much better than others.

It seems that the purpose of the saboteur is to resist change, to stay with the familiar.

Imagine your mind working as a thermostat. At certain temperatures the positive side may be in control and you make progress and the temperature starts to warm up. You will reach a comfort level and then your saboteur wakes up, thinks “I like it like this” and starts to hold you back.

I’ve seen people act like this with money and it can be especially true of commission based sales people.

People have a self image of how much they are worth in terms of income and/or wealth.

Suppose your mental picture of yourself had you earning £40,000 per year. If you only earn £25,000 at the moment then you are motivated and hungry. You will do whatever it takes to earn money (subject to your own values). You are earning below your value and are in pain.

But then suppose you manage to boost your income to £50,000 and still keep your self image at £40,000. Now you are doing better than you think you deserve. There is no pressure to do more and your saboteur comes into full force.

I’ve seen this phenomenon happen with small business owners. Their business may be capable of earning much higher profits but because they are in this comfort zone, they don’t take the actions necessary.

Sadly I’ve even seen small business owners to shift their mental images down with each, slightly lower result. They may start off earning £50,000 but then there are a few problems and they only earn £45,000. Their expectations are lowered and they start thinking that £45k is OK for the next year. When they only make £42k, their expectations are lowered again……

Back in the article, Karen Skehel explains that there are different ways to sabotage yourself. One classic way is putting off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. “You don’t feel like doing it, well one extra day won’t hurt will it?” It is just so easy to procrastinate.

Another is not being able to say No. If you say yes to every idea that comes your way, you will soon be so busy that you start many things but don’t finish any of them.

To find out how to avoid sabotaging your own success, read Karen’s article in the November 2007 edition of Better Business Focus.

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