Do You Sabotage Yourself?

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A recent article in PARADE magazine by Dianne Hales (3/28/04) explores a subject near and dear to us all: What is holding us back and are we the cause of our own failures and disappointments? Ms. Hales, in discussing some case histories, states: “These men and women share a common enemy: themselves.

By procrastinating, missing deadlines and engaging in other self-defeating behaviors, they routinely undermine their chances for success.” Are you the reason you’re not where you want to be? As much a you may hate to admit it, you probably are. Unfortunately, the biggest reason for your failure to achieve your goals (assuming you set goals) is usually self sabotage.

Ms. Hales goes on to quote psychologist Susan Battley: “Underachievers may feel very little control over their lives, so they may not have the same motivation to work to make things happen. They like to believe things will turn out the same, whatever they do.” The good news is that you can change that! Things will turn out the way we direct them to, although we can’t control certain things like timing and other variables. In fact, you may set a goal for something and it will come to you in a disguised form. In other words, you goal may be to have more money and you feel you can accomplish that through a promotion.

Do You Sabotage Yourself?

Instead, you discover an idea that can earn you more than you would earn with a promotion. You got to your goal-you just got to it in a way that was unexpected. The fact is that you probably would not have seen the new idea unless you had been open to making more money.

Here are some methods of breaking the habit of underachievement, according to Ms. Hales:

1. Say goodbye to the way things were.

2. Take a personal audit

3. Put your goals in writing

4. Use the language of change

5. Take baby steps

6. Tackle self-defeating habits

7. Get support

8. Be your own Monday morning quarterback.