“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” ~ Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
I believe that there are two types of people in this world. There are those who walk boldly in the direction of their purpose, taking the necessary action to achieve their dreams — and there are those who can never seem to get their dreams off the ground. They spend years thinking about what “could be” but they block success at every turn and their dreams never escape the confines of their own imaginations.
I call this type of person a “dream destroyer.”
Are you a dream destroyer? Do you spend months hoping and wishing for a different reality only to find that your dreams have yet to take flight? I’ve been there. You’re not alone. In an effort to protect ourselves from failure or embarrassment we all exhibit dream destroying behavior from time to time. But, with a bit of self-awareness and courage, even the biggest dream destroyer can create a new reality and bring their dreams to light.
Self-inventory time! Are you guilty of committing any of the dream destroying behaviors below?
Waiting for the Perfect Moment to Start
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You’ll probably never feel “ready.”
The perfect moment to start tackling your dream is now. In her book, You Are a Badass, (I just finished reading this, by the way — highly recommended) Jen Sincero says, “Procrastination is one of the most popular forms of self-sabotage because it’s so easy.” I must admit that I’m a huge offender when it comes to procrastination, but I’ve found that I’m one hundred percent more successful when I act rather than when I wait, worry, and overthink my next move.
Don’t worry if you’re not feeling “ready” to launch your business, ask for a promotion, or or tackle that pipe-dream of a project you’ve been thinking about for the last 6 months. The key to overcoming the fear of starting is to simply take the first step. And then take another. Anyone who’s experienced a degree of success in the past has had to take a decisive first step, whether that meant sucking it up and writing that first post even though it wasn’t great, learning to code in the evenings after work, finally applying to a graduate program, finding a mentor in a new field, or whatever.
Don’t allow fear to fool you into thinking you should wait another moment. Take a step (even if it’s only a tiny step) toward your dream today.
Keeping Your Big Idea to Yourself
If you never share your idea how will it ever become a reality?
Great successes are not born of fearful minds. Don’t be afraid to share your idea with other people thinking that they’ll steal it. The people you share your idea with do not have the time or the passion to dedicate to the idea that you do, nor do they have your “secret sauce” to implement it. (If your idea is easily replicated I suggest coming up with a more unique way in which to implement it).
Share your big idea. Get in front of the right audience, and let your voice be heard. Allow people to become interested in the interesting things you have to say. No one ever made a million dollars from hoarding his ideas. No one ever improved her organization or made the world a better place by keeping big ideas to herself. Ideas are the currency of today. Invest your ideas wisely with the right people, but please don’t keep them to yourself. The world needs your ideas.
Choosing the Safest Option
A short while ago, I was coaching an exceptionally talented client through her career transition. She disliked her company and desperately wanted to make a leap into a different industry but was having a tough time finding work in her new field. After several months of searching she finally received a job offer but the opportunities to grow in her new field were very limited there. She didn’t really want the gig that much but hated her job at the time and was very ready to leave. She told me that she’d been searching for ages and wasn’t sure if she would ever find a job in her new field or if she was even cut out for it. Against her better judgement she decided to accept the offer…only to receive a way better offer from her top choice company in her desired line of work a few weeks later.
Moral of the story — Don’t settle for the safer option when you know you are capable of doing great things. Determine your destination, stay committed to the course you’ve set, and avoid the temptation to take an easier path that leads you away from your goal. The only thing you accomplish by choosing the safe option is wasting time that could have been spent walking toward your purpose.
You have the capacity to achieve the impossible. Don’t let anyone try tell you otherwise — not even yourself :)
Go Forth. Be Brilliant.