Does your self-saboteur show up when you start something new?
Last week was the first live workshop for Where Thin Begins. Women from all over the world gathered in our virtual meeting room to carve out their path to lasting change and a life that actually feeds and nourishes their goals.
I don’t know about you, but when I walk into a room full of new people, even if it’s a virtual event, I tend to feel nervous. I’m not sure what to expect, who will be there, or what exactly will happen.
And when that “first day” is the start of working on a big goal, I can really get butterflies (to put it mildly). At the beginning, I might feel a blend of excitement and nervousness or anxiety. Can I do this? What if I fail? What if I get started, but it doesn’t work out? What if it’s just not possible?
What if I can’t even figure out where to start? I’m a big thinker, and I tend to see a lot of moving parts. It can be so overwhelming that I freeze.
Today I want to share with you the question I use in my own life when I really really want something to succeed, but I’m not sure where to start or I don’t feel confident that it’s something I can do. We used the question in our Live Workshop this week and it was powerful. It took the energy in the group from “excited but anxious” or “excited but fearful” to “excited because this is going to be amazing!” and “excited and now I’m taking action.”
The best part about this question is that you don’t have to feel strong or confident (or even fake it) to get helpful answers.
One of the best ways to create a path to success is to leverage your inner self-saboteur
It’s human nature. We have a part of ourselves that gets in our own way. It’s an old protective mechanism that easily rises to the surface when we’re feeling vulnerable, trying new things, or taking emotional risks (like believing in our dreams or having hope when we’ve failed in the past). Our self-saboteur is very talented and knows best how to trip us up, tie us up in knots, or get us completely off track (or even prevent us from starting).
It’s easy to create an adversarial relationship with your inner self-saboteur, but there is a much more effective approach.
Leverage her talent.
Here’s how we did this this week in Where Thin Begins.
Everyone answered the question:
“If I was fully invested in sabotaging myself and preventing myself from accomplishing what I want from this program, what would I do this week?”
Then they wrote down everything, without judgment, just curiosity.
Try it. You may be surprised at how easily your thoughts flow.
We’re hard-wired to be more tuned in to what can go wrong, and to what we don’t want than we are to catching the thread of our dreams and our desires. Negative thinking kicks in fairly easily.
This is why it’s probably so much easier for you to rattle off what’s still on your to-do list – what didn’t get done – than it is to swoon about your accomplishments and your wins over the last 24 hours.
Here’s what one participant in Where Thin Begins shared when I asked her what she would do if her mission was to completely sabotage herself from getting what she wants from the program:
“I would avoid the next live call, not do the work, and not tell people close to me what I would like to commit to this program. I would try to be perfect!”
Someone else said –
“I would expect perfectionism and I would tell myself that focusing on this is self-indulgent because there is so much wrong in the world.”
Can you see what incredibly valuable information just bubbled right up with that one question?
How to turn your self-saboteur into your secret weapon
If you’ve answered the first question honestly, you’re now handling gold. Your next step is simple to define. Just answer this:
What are the simplest or most straightforward things I can experiment with this week to prevent my self-saboteur from taking over, so I can move in the direction I want to go?
Successful change isn’t rocket science. It IS strategic and it has to be heartfelt.
Finding the simple steps that can move you into action that you know is building effectiveness – that’s the way you create a path to lasting success.
What would you do this week if you were hell-bent on sabotaging your desires?
What’s your next action step that will move you where you want to go?
Take good care,