We’ve all done it, set a goal and failed to achieve it. Maybe we’ve gotten half way, maybe we haven’t even started. Goal setting is fairly straight forward; set a goal that is clear, concise, achievable, measurable and you will be successful; or will you? Goal setting has become ingrained in generation X and Y yet why do we still fail to achieve? Ever wonder what it’s like to get in your own way? Self sabotage is rampant even amongst the world’s great leaders. When you’re very close to achieving something you have an inner-voice that leads you astray, has you second guessing yourself and questioning whether you’re capable of achieving what is so rightfully yours. It’s when you work really hard to secure a contract then once in place you decide to forfeit what you worked so hard on because of one reason or another. How can one be afraid of success? We’ve all experienced what it’s like to fail and no one wants to do that because ‘failure’ is viewed as being a negative thing. Understandable, one is afraid of failure with the negative connotation it carries but afraid of success seems a bit counter-intuitive doesn’t it? I mean, who in the right mind would be afraid of success and getting what they want and ultimately deserve? Well, interestingly, lots of people including myself.
Behaviours are challenging to change. As humans we tend to get comfortable and gravitate toward what we know because we like familiarity. The same thing holds true with the goals that we set out to achieve; sometimes we can only push ourselves so far and then get stuck because we find ourselves reverting to familiar territory. We usually have everything we need to accomplish the goals we’ve set, but somehow we end up preventing or self sabotaging ourselves from actually getting ‘there’. Why we self sabotage is complicated and usually has to do with underlying psychological and behavioural factors surrounding our own ‘fears’. Whether we’re afraid of failing or succeeding, both are equally damaging to achieving what we want.
Ready to get out of your own way?
One of the surest ways you’ll overcome getting stuck and self sabotaging is to feel the fear and do it anyway. One small differentiating point between an everyday person and a great leader is that a great leader isn’t afraid to feel the fear and do it anyway. It’s ok to be afraid and to feel uncomfortable with something you’ve never done and have no experience with; that’s completely ‘normal’. When you begin pushing your boundaries and start doing anything that you’re not comfortable with you’ll start achieving and accomplishing more. A good rule of thumb to overcome stagnation is not only doing something that you’re afraid of but to do it each and every day until you establish a new behaviour. Push yourself, push your comfort zone, be afraid, and in doing so, you’ll circumvent self sabotage and get out of your own way.