Ron Tustin – Sabotaging Ourselves


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“Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.”

For the gardeners amongst us this is the time when we are spending more time in our gardens, cleaning up, planting the summer vegetables and flowers.  It is a time when many people get an enormous amount of pleasure and satisfaction from this simple activity.

If we are growing potatoes we may have kept seed potatoes in a dark place and the shoots have found their way to the light. What a great analogy this is for us when we are grappling with some of the ‘big stuff’ in our lives.

Sometimes we will go to extraordinary lengths to not face up to what we want or to not achieve our goals – to keep ourselves in the dark. We are expert at sabotaging ourselves, about making all the excuses not to do what we have decided we want to do. However there is also an unstoppable force in us to grow and develop. Just like the potato shoots, if we can get enough light and space we will naturally grow and blossom and achieve what we really want.   

So why is it that although we spend a lot of time and energy setting our goals that we often sabotage ourselves to stop achieving them?

Here are some possible reasons:

Limiting Beliefs

One reason is our limiting beliefs – ideas that keep us in the dark or hold us back, that keep us from becoming the person we want to be or doing the things we want to do. Most of the time, they're not even true; they're myths that we let control our lives.

If we have ever found ourselves saying "I can't" or "There's nothing I can do" or even if we catch ourselves using words like never, always, all, and none then we probably have some limiting-beliefs.

Examples of limiting beliefs include:

  • I have always been poor, and I'll always be poor, so there's no point in trying to earn more money.
  • If I didn't earn it, then I don't deserve it, even if it was a gift, so I always try to find a way to earn what I get, such as by doing favours for receiving gifts.
  • If I share what I have, I won't have anything left, so I don't like to share things or donate money.
  • My parents (grandparents) never did that so now I’m a parent (grandparent) I can’t do that either.
  • Bosses are power-hungry and hated by other employees, so I never want to be a boss.
  • When things are going well, something very bad will happen to ruin it, so I won't let myself enjoy anything too much.

Stepping out of our Comfort Zone

Most people find talking to a friend or a few friends at once to be no challenge at all. However, the thought of standing up in a room of twenty or thirty people to give a 5 minute speech, even if it is on a familiar topic, is enough to cause goose bumps at the very least for most of us. Giving a 45 minute speech in front of a live audience of hundreds or a live TV audience is unthinkable for all but a tiny fraction of a percent of the human population.

Fear causes most of us to hesitate to step outside of our comfort zone- fear of failure. And we all know, but rarely admit to ourselves, that the real "consequences" of failure are truly inconsequential and usually short-lived. Nevertheless given the choice we often decide not to act and to ‘stay in our comfort bubble’.

Soon enough, though, order,  regularity, predictability, and structure turn into routine, sameness, rigidity and a sense of constriction and under-stimulation. The very bubble that we ourselves constructed begins to choke us, but often we don't realize the reason why we feel so stifled in our lives. This is when our comfort zone is no longer working for us. This is when we need to step out of it and create new experiences for ourselves.

Toxic Relationships

If we know that a family member, friend or colleague is especially unsupportive of our business, or our life goals, don’t discuss it with them. Instead, create a circle of people to provide you with the support and nurturing you need to lift you up. It is aid that we become the average of the 5 people we spend most time with!

Fear of Making Mistakes

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

One of the reasons we want to ‘keep ourselves in the dark’ is our fear of making mistakes. However mistakes are an essential part of learning and discovery. There is no end to the new things we can learn from our own mistakes.

My movie pick of the month

And finally here is a short (5 minute video) from the well known author Wayne Dyer with some simple messages on how to get what we wish for. Click Here.

Until next time!

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

If you have any comments or questions about this article or would like to receive my monthly ‘Revive and Thrive’ newsletter, please email me at [email protected].

Ron Tustin
Revive and Thrive Coaching
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[email protected]
Ph 0800 003679

Motivating baby boomers to see the world with fresh eyes.