Updated: May 10
The one constant in our lives is change, and this last year has taught us a lot about change. Change can be imposed on us and totally out of our control, like the pandemic or it can be a change we choose to make which is in our control.
Personal changes such as a career change, a lifestyle change, leaving a relationship, changing a habit are changes we decide to make. Although on one level we may really want to make the change, when it comes down to it, we come up against resistance when we actually try to do it.
If you have been trying to make changes in your life but haven’t been successful, the chances are you have some self-sabotage going on. Unless you work out what is causing this self-sabotage and fix it, you will probably have the same result next time.
Here are 7 tips to get to the bottom of the self-sabotage and move forward. These are steps that need to be followed in sequence for them to work, so don’t be tempted to skip a few – these are probably the steps you really needed to address (and is evidence of self-sabotage at work)
1. Get clear on what you want.
Make sure you really know what you want to achieve and why. Spend some time reflecting on this. It’s important to find some quiet time to think and reflect and make room for change.
I find meditation helps in this process. I ask myself the questions before meditating and then just watch my thoughts without judgement or analysis – the answer will come to you. May be not then, or even after several meditation sessions but it will come to you – possibly when you least expect it. The key here is to be patient and wait for the answers.
2. Give yourself permission to change.
It’s your life and the only person that can change it is you. But you have to be willing for the change to happen. Stepping outside your comfort zone is scary. We all know that in order to make changes and grow as person we have to move out of our comfort zones sometimes. Comfort zones are safe places, which are predictable, and easy so it can be challenging, scary even to move away from that place and do something differently.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” -Barack Obama
3. Take responsibility for your life.
You are responsible for what happens in your life, the good stuff and the bad. Don’t blame the government, the economy, your boss, your family or friends, when something goes wrong. Whether your life improves or not, depends on you and you alone. Once you take the responsibility, real change is within your reach.
4. Understand your values.
Your values are the principles you want to live by. Values are relevant to every area of our lives, from work and managing people, to parenting, decision-making and relationship.
Values are not about what we want to achieve, but about how we want to behave, feel and act. When you identify your values and align your life to them you will be able to live a meaningful, fulfilling life.
When changing careers, finding a new career that aligns with your values should be a priority. Because our values tend to define what matters most to us, doing a job that aligns with your values means you’re more likely to feel content and satisfied at work and throughout your career.
If we don’t act in line with our values at work, this can have a negative impact, causing stress, resentment, frustration and burn out. This can lead to serious, long term mental and physical health issues.
Once you find what motivates you, you’ll have a far better idea of what’s most important to you and how to get where you need to be. Without this alignment, job satisfaction is unlikely.
For help with identifying your values, look out for my upcoming online course or book an appointment to have a chat with me. This isn't something you can skip especially if you are considering a career change.
5. Identify and work through your limiting beliefs.
This is probably the biggest reason why our attempts at change don’t work as planned.
The beliefs that hold us back from the things we want in life are usually called limiting beliefs.
Some common limiting beliefs which hold us back from making changes are: 'I can't afford to have what I want.' 'I don't have time.' 'I don't have the talent.'
At an even deeper level is the belief that 'I don't deserve to have the things I truly want.' Believing this means that you won't even try to get what you want, which is actually the surest way to guarantee that you won’t!
Do you recognise any of those beliefs?
Our beliefs are usually subconscious, so before you can begin to change them you have to be aware of them. Once you have the awareness, there are several strategies you can use to let them go. In this free online course, I walk you through all the strategies to identify and get rid of the limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
6. Maintain your motivation.
How many times have you started something and not followed through? Here is self-sabotage at work again.
Work through the stages and stick to the plan. Be patient because change takes time, especially if you want the change to last. Having the right expectation prepares you to be persistent in difficult times.
7. Find a coach.
Finding a coach can greatly help you through the process. Not only can your coach guide you through tricky situations, but he/she can also ask you those difficult questions that you are afraid to ask yourself. This will help you avoid pitfalls and speed up the process considerably. Your coach will support and motivate you through the tricky parts making sure that you don’t self-sabotage your success.
Now it's time to take some action - here are some options:
For help with a career or lifestyle change you are trying to implement, schedule an appointment here to find out how I can help.
Enrol in Five steps to conquering your limiting beliefs (and get unstuck) here
Find several articles about beliefs on my blog here