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Why you self-sabotage & how to stop it

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To get past mind-blocks, you need to know how the mind works.

The mind has a responsibility of keeping you safe. It wants security for you. It’s a survival mechanism and it’s great and very useful for real ‘emergency’ experiences.

But you need to distinguish between healthy fear actually keeping you safe, and unhealthy fear keeping you stuck.

This kind of fear is based not on experiences that are really happening in the moment, but on imaginary scenarios you project onto the future, based on your past.

The mind doesn’t know the difference between a real event outside of you, and a thought of an event inside of you.

Why you’re feeling the fear

If you’re feeling fear around your dreams & aspirations, it’s because the imagined picture in your head feels uncomfortable as it’s ‘too big’ or ‘far out’.

This fear is because you’d be pushing your boundaries, pushing your mind to go beyond what it’s familiar with.

This is a natural response of the mind – and it’s actually a positive sign that you’re stretching yourself out to make progress.

In fact, if you feel no fear at all around taking action and moving into new possibilities, you could probably stretch yourself to achieve even more.

Your brain is comfortable with what the patterns it already knows from experience, and it also loves to conserve energy in order to be ‘efficient’, freeing up and directing its conscious attention to deal with any information in the moment.

So it turns what it already knows into ‘automatic’ responses.

Any deviation from the familiar space or patterns will cause the mind to try and pull you back – this is some sort of ‘error correction’ mode – as information and/or states don’t fit in with the previous ‘setting’.

This is when self-sabotage, procrastination, overwhelm, or even apathy come in. Negative self-talk and limiting beliefs also resurface.

So then you’re stuck. Not taking action. Even if you’ve got a hundred great ideas and even if consciously you think you wanna make progress, you’re keeping yourself down to fit with what you know.

If you’re experiencing any of this, don’t worry. It’s normal – and again, it can even be a positive sign that you’ve chosen a path which will be challenging your previous ‘setup’, and stretching it to grow and achieve more.

But of course, ‘choosing’ a path is meaningless if you’re not actually taking any productive action.

So what can you do to stop this self-sabotage?

1. First, you need to become more conscious of any of these fears and patterns. You can’t deal with something you haven’t identified. Clarity & awareness are always the first step to change.

2. Secondly, recognise that these are all normal responses and can be worked in your favour.

Do you think the most successful and top players don’t experience fear on their way? Of course they do. But they choose to view it as something positive – a fuel, excitement around the unknown and what it can offer or bring.

Outcomes may be uncertain, yes. But without action – it’s certain there will be no outcomes, right?

3. Third, you need to look more closely at your beliefs or programmes currently running your self-image and keeping the patterns on automatic.

You won’t be able to move beyond what you subconsciously believe about yourself or what you can do.

In the same way that a computer can’t produce any output that’s not in accordance with what’s been put in there to begin with; it simply hasn’t got the right software.

So just check, how does it really feel when you think of your successful future self you want to become?

Does it feel realistic or kind of unbelievable? Is there a voice telling you that it’s not gonna happen or that it’s very unlikely? If the answer is yes, you’re gonna be very unlikely to achieve what you consciously want.

This is because this lack of belief is your mind’s blueprint to your experience.

And because this is the ‘map’ it’s following, it won’t be offering you the necessary resources or directions to get to where you wanna be.

According to this installed ‘software’, you’re right where you ‘should be’. The mind’s computer doesn’t make mistakes – it simply executes the programming.

If the mind doesn’t see your destination as a ‘real’ place, of course it’s not going to be on your map.

The path is then closed ahead of you. You’re stuck within your self-imposed limitations. 

4. So lastly, what you need to do is retrain your mind and brain, so that the stretch no longer feels so uncomfortable or unfamiliar.

You want to create a new map, a new blueprint, a new programme that will enable getting the output you’re after.

Now I’m very sorry to burst your bubble of positive thinking, but this requires real work and training.

The brain and mind, just like you, are creatures of habit. To create new habits of thinking, believing, feeling and behaving, you’ll actually need to exercise these new patterns, habitually.

So it’s not gonna happen overnight. But, the good news is, often, all it takes is just that consistent, habitual repetition – it really can be as simple as that.

This is because your vision then becomes a more familiar idea. Your mind will then gradually take on the new instructions and turn them into your new ‘automatic’.

Research says that a habit can be broken in 21 days and that this is approximately how long it takes from information to transfer from the conscious to the subconscious.

But in the real world, it takes longer. Yes, you’re very much able to break an old habit in that time, but that’s not yet programming yourself with a new one.

That’s why, if you haven’t really worked on properly creating new habits, often at some later point, old habits kick in and pull you back. Expect real and long-lasting change to be made possible after around 3 months.

If you choose to regularly use tools that directly interact with your subconscious – such as hypnosis, deep states of meditation or other tools, you can expect lasting and more profound change to happen sooner rather than later.

So ask yourself whether you’re truly committed and willing to do the inner work. You have to be committed to your path, not just abstractly want to get there.

If you do put in the time & effort, you’ll discover you can truly achieve far more than you’re even allowing yourself to imagine.

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Maya Zack | Peak performance specialist, mindset coach & hypnotherapist for women in biz

Hi there, thanks for dropping in

I help ambitious online biz owners who struggle with confidence or feel stuck, using unique tools to get them unstuck & into action!

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