I wanted to sit down and talk with you a little bit about something I struggle with. Something I believe runs in my family. Something that needs to end with me. Self sabotage.
Self sabotage is any behavior that creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.
One big self sabotaging behavior I occasionally engage in is the “If only…” thinking.
- If only I had more time
- If only I could make more money
These thoughts can keep me stuck in a rut so fast it’s not funny. They don’t inspire action or problem solving. They are basically me just sitting there doing nothing.
Another self sabotaging behavior is having to have “clean slate” before I can get started on something. I started doing this to counteract a different bad behavior which was not finishing what I started. However, I completely swung the other way and said, “Okay before I start anything new I have to finish the last project and start the next with a clean slate.” Well do you know how often life happens and gets in the way of a clean slate? Here are a few examples.
- You were gonna start a diet today but your husband calls and says you are meeting friends for lunch at your favorite pizza place. So you feel like you can’t start the diet today you need a clean slate so start tomorrow.
- You finally got in a four day exercise groove then on the 5th day you get a cold. So much for that routine. You need a clean slate so you will have to start over when you get well in ten days.
You get the picture? I never realized until recently a clean slate could start 15 minutes after that pizza lunch and you actually can lightly exercise through a cold. There are so many things we can do to not sabotage our small positive beginnings.
Just keep doing. Don’t stop and think for too long. Make decisions based on your long term goals instead of that immediate self gratification.
I was just recently faced with a decision that would have easily been self sabotage had I gone through with it. I would spent all of the this months income on one of those “clean slate” decisions. This decision would have made me feel better in the short term but then I would not be ahead when it came to monthly income. I am proud to say I didn’t get distracted and finally saw the bigger picture.
When you are finally getting ahead in one area don’t let the focus shift and distract you. Stay on point. Finish the task. Small starts and restarts are better than no starts at all.
As Dory would say, “Just keep swimming.”