31 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Yourself


What happens when the biggest obstacle in your way is yourself? Here are the top things that cause the majority of people to succumb to their own worst enemy.

1. Don’t be afraid of success. If you find that the thing you’re striving for most brings up feelings of fear, you’ll only be acting against yourself and preventing yourself from achieving it. You are worthy of success and all that life has to offer, so don’t let yourself stand in your own way of it.

2. Don’t be afraid of failure. The flip side of the coin is that you can’t be afraid to fail. Failure is not the end of anything, it is just a temporary condition that you should come to expect on the path to what it is you want. Fear of failure and fear of success are two fears that will rob you of your dreams.

3. Don’t be a people pleaser. You can’t make everyone happy, so focus your efforts on making the one person happy that you have any control over: you. You’ll find that when you start putting yourself first, everything else falls in line. It may take time to learn to say no, and to set boundaries with others, but it’s worth the effort and pays dividends.

4. Don’t multitask. While it’s fun to think that you can do a lot all at once, you really only ever do one thing well at any given moment. So start taking care of the one thing you are working on right now, and give that all of your attention, rather than trying to keep several plates spinning all at once.

5. Don’t feel like you have to save the world. A lot of stuff happened before you were born, so it’s not your job to go and change everything in this lifetime. That doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact on your sphere of the world, and continually grow that sphere of influence. It can feel daunting when you think of all that needs to change in the world. which can lead to paralysis through analysis. Just keep plugging away at the things you can change.

6. Don’t put off what needs to be done today. Procrastination is a term that gets kicked around a lot, but what it really boils down to is putting things off for your future self to handle. Why would you ever want to do that? All it means is that you’re going to take time away from some future now moment to handle something that should have been handled long ago when it wasn’t such a big deal. Stop messing around and just get it done already.

7. Don’t put your success in someone else’s hands. You’re either working on your own dream, or someone else, so be sure to do everything you can to move yourself forward on your own terms and do the things that you want to do most. If you’re waiting for someone to save you, it could be a long wait. So don’t rely on anyone else to put a bow on success and hand it to you, go out and get it.

8. Don’t watch TV. They call it the boob tube for a reason, and the more time you spend watching television the less time you’re spending getting important things done. Not only that but you’ll be inundated with advertisements for fast food, junk food, and products that you don’t really need that will only get in your way.

9. Don’t waste time with people you don’t like. Nothing will slow you down more than hanging around with people that you don’t really like, but that you feel obligated to be around for whatever reason. Having positive associations and friendships is key when you’re trying to grow as a person and reach your full potential. You may find that old relationships just aren’t suiting you anymore, and if that’s the case it could be time to go out and meet some new people that are more like-minded.

10. Don’t set unreasonable goals. You may have heard that you should have big dreams and set your sights really high, but the truth of the matter is that if you don’t believe you can do it, it’s never going to happen. It’s alright to have a big dream, but make sure that your goals are achievable, and that they’re still big enough to get you excited when you think about them.

11. Don’t complain about the way things are right now. Pointing out all of the things that you’re not happy with right now is a sure way to make sure that you get more things to complain about. You can use your present situation to propel you towards improved conditions, but only as a way to get more clear about what it is you do want.

12. Don’t worry. Of course the other part of this is “be happy” but for many that’s too great of a leap. Just start by not worrying and then you’ll find that you naturally gravitate towards happiness because your frantic thoughts of worry are replaced with more calming thoughts of what’s to come.

13. Don’t pull the wool over your own eyes. Lying to others might work for a time, but lying to yourself just wastes time and gets you nowhere. It’s hard being honest with yourself, but in order to make changes and get better you have to give yourself a fair assessment of where you stand. Don’t sugar coat things and expect to make improvements. Get real with yourself and then get busy changing that reality.

14. Don’t listen to music that brings you down. Just as there are songs that can uplift us when we’re feeling blue, there are other songs that can make use feel sad when we were just feeling good. Take an inventory of your current playlist and analyze how those songs are making you feel. Are they eliciting memories from long ago of events that make you frustrated, angry, or sad? If so, change it up so that what you listen to is a positive force in your life.

15. Don’t think that tomorrow will be better. Telling yourself that things will improve at some vague point in the future is one way to make sure they never do improve. You have to realize that now is the only time you ever have, and it’s the only place from which you can make improvements so that you really will have a brighter future. Stay optimistic, and use that positive feeling in the present moment to achieve things that set you up for amazing things later.

16. Don’t work so much. If you’re not thinking the right thoughts while you’re working, all of the work in the world isn’t going to be able to fix it. Lighten up a bit and try to find joy in what you’re doing. You’ll find that things get easier and you get more done in less time if you take a few moments to get your head straight before taking up your daily load.

17. Don’t think about past attempts and failures. Of course it’s passe to say that the past is the past, but when you’re trying to start something new it’s really best to forget about the past. All of the times you tried and failed may take the wind out of your sails when you embark on yet another attempt. Block them out of your mind, or put a positive spin on them, like “All of that was just training me for this time.”

18. Don’t take the easy way every time. There aren’t any shortcuts, as much as the get-rich-quick authors would have you believe. If you want something worthwhile you’ll need to earn it, and that might mean you have to go the long way or the hard way instead of the path that everyone else is on. The good news is that once you get used to taking the hard way, it starts to seem like the easy way.

19. Don’t play the lottery with your success. It’s highly unlikely that success is just going to fall into your lap, the way it does for lottery winners. Instead of hoping that you hit it big one day, why not take small, daily steps that move you gradually to where you want to be?

20. Don’t let perfect stand in the way of awesome. All too often we let the strive for perfection stand in the way of appreciating how awesome things are. Why does everything have to be perfect before you can enjoy it? Start today by recognizing areas in your life that are pretty incredible, even if they’re not exactly perfect.

21. Don’t let life pass you by. Take time to appreciate the beauty of everyday life, rather than just viewing it as a sort of hamster wheel that you’re forced to run on. Each day be sure to get outside and feel the sunshine on your face, breathe in some fresh air, and revel in how great it feels to be alive.

22. Don’t ask for permission. You may have heard the phrase ask for forgiveness, not permission. It shouldn’t be a question of who’s going to let you, but rather who’s going to stop you? If you go forward and ruffle a few feathers with your cavalier attitude, a sincere apology will smooth things over.

23. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s possible to compete in the game of life without comparing yourself to the competition. Someone is always going to have things that are bigger and better than you, but they’re on their own path and only running the race against themselves. Keep your eye on yourself rather than feeling distracted by what others are doing.

24. Don’t believe the hype. There will always be a new diet fad, fashion craze, or latest trend that you’ll be tempted by, but stay true to yourself and listen to what your body is telling you. It’s so easy to get swept up when things get super popular, but often these are short lived and are best avoided.

25. Don’t get stagnant. There’s no standing still, you’re either growing or dying so make sure that you’re always pushing yourself into new territories and expanding all of your faculties. Learn a new language, get started with a martial art, go to school for continuing education in your field or scale your business.

26. Don’t be messy. If organization isn’t your strong suit, make it a point to strengthen it. Being organized isn’t about being anal, it’s about creating clarity in your own mind so that you can think better and be more effective in all areas of your life.

27. Don’t concern yourself with the how. It doesn’t really matter how things happen, just as long as they do. So when you’re starting out on something new that you want don’t get caught up with how it’s going to happen, just stay positive and work on increasing your belief that it will happen.

28. Don’t listen to the voice in your head. There’s the small, conscious voice in your head that tells you all sorts of things throughout the day, much of which is counterproductive. Listen to the larger you, the one that doesn’t use words but is always present, observing from the background. The voice it uses to speak to you are your feelings, so learn to trust your feelings over your thoughts.

29. Don’t make the rules hard to follow. You set your own rules of life, so stop making them so stinking hard to follow. Set it up so that you can win with regularity. The most important things is to get some victories under your belt and then build up your confidence so that you can reach for bigger and bigger accomplishments.

30. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Feeling overwhelmed is one of the top killers of motivation and effectiveness. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, make adjustments to what it is you’re trying to do so that you start to have a feeling of relief.

31. Don’t forget that the journey is the destination. When you’re on your way to what you want, you’ve already made it. If you’re not having fun along the way, you’re doing it wrong. Start enjoying the process and it doesn’t really matter how long it takes you to get there, because you’re having such a great time getting ether.

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