Stop Sabotaging Your Success by Using These 4 Strategies
27 Aug 2014
A few months ago, I began work with a new client to help her transform her brand. She was a brilliant entrepreneur who had come to a standstill in her career. She was frustrated because, even with all the high profile celebrity clients she had worked with, she still wasn’t getting paid anywhere near what she was worth.
After doing some digging, we diagnosed the problem: her messaging didn’t match her mission, vision or her capabilities. She was known for one specific thing, but was actually an extremely skilled expert in her industry with the ability to provide a whole suite of services her clients weren’t aware of. Her expertise wasn’t translating into her brand.
As part of developing her new messaging, we set up a photo shoot for her to showcase her transformed image: an image that was savvy, skilled and sophisticated. On the morning of the photo shoot, I went to meet with her before we headed out to the studio, only to find that she had done almost nothing to prepare for her big day. Her makeup, accessories, clothes—none of it had been done.
Rather than stressing over the fact that it was just two hours before her scheduled shoot with a highly-sought after photographer (who was an hour away), I jumped into action. Somehow we were able to get it all done just in time for a fabulous shoot. Ironically enough, once she got in front of the camera, she had a blast and worked the camera like she owned it! Afterwards, we had a very real conversation about why she had tried to sabotage her own much-needed transformation when she’d had almost a month to prepare.
It came down to fear: that thing that can easily keep us stuck in a vicious cycle of self-sabotage and inertia. Fear of moving from a comfort zone that really isn’t all that comfortable anymore. Fear of committing to something we might fail at. And sometimes, fear of success itself.
However, I believe that we’ve all been given gifts and talents that are intended to be fully used up before we die. So how do you get past the ‘ifs’, ‘maybes’ and ‘buts’ and get out of your own way? Here are four tips to help you do just that:
Identify the real issue. What is it that’s really holding you back? What’s your greatest fear? You’re going to have to keep it real with yourself in order to be able to put a finger on what it is. For my client, it was the fact that she had gained weight over the years and hadn’t yet accepted how different her body looked. So she’d grown comfortable with hiding in the background, when in reality, she needed to be much more front and center in building her brand. Once we identified the issue, we were able to mitigate it by changing her perception of who she was now.
Take inventory of your successes. We can easily forget how much we’ve accomplished because we’re so busy moving on to the next thing. One exercise that helped me immensely when I was trying to figure out how to break into a new industry—self doubt and all—was writing down every single project, award, result, success, etc., that I had achieved or received over the span of my professional career. It was eye opening! When I reviewed my extensive list, I knew then that I hadn’t been giving myself enough credit. This exercise helped me gain confidence in knowing that I could conquer just about any new challenge.
Find someone to hold you accountable. You’ll need someone in your circle who you respect, and who will push you to do that thing you fear most, even when you put out all the excuses in the world. For that reason, make sure it’s someone who knows how to get things done (a coach, a mentor, a successful colleague). There’s no better way to stay on task than knowing you have to give a progress report to someone whose time you don’t want to waste.
Decide that you want it badly enough and then go after it. As one of my favorite quotes by Eric Thomas—a dynamic motivational speaker—says:
“When you decide that you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”
Once you’re clear on the vision and you’re passionate enough about it, you’ll find a way to make it a reality.
So what are you waiting for? Go on and get out of your own way… You’ve got a phenomenal life to live!
What strategies have helped you overcome self-sabotage in your own life?