We are as humans the only species who can sabotage themselves on the planet earth.
Most of us are not even aware of how we do it.
Self-sabotage is an invisible threat if your mind is not sharp enough.
How can you fight with an enemy that you cannot see?
Wanna see the most virulent, ruthless and destructive enemy of yours?
It is easy to see, just find a mirror and look yourself in the eye.
YOU are your biggest enemy.
Nobody is capable of making the damage that you can do to yourself.
If you can successfully get out of your own way, all sorts of opportunities open up.
To do that, you must kick some ass.
We cannot smell, hear, touch; but we damn know it is there. Every person who ever lived on earth experienced resistance.
When does it visit your door? Whenever you act on your way to fulfilling your fullest potential. It is like an indicator that you are on the right path, what a great teacher…
If there are lots of walls, then it is the right path.
You feel it immensely right before starting an important work, study, art, business, project. I felt it before writing this article, it almost got me.
In the middle of an important task, you get an urge to watch a silly video on youtube. Or you want to delay your dreams for a “possible” time.
Maybe you hide what you always wanted to tell for somebody you love. It comes in the form of fear, procrastination, greed, violence, laziness, rationalizations.
It knows your weakness better than you. Resistance can deceive you with multiple of charming illusions. However, it has no effect on your will power.
It is still YOU that acting as you wish.
Now, let’s look at the 10 common ways how you can sabotage your success without even realizing it.
1- FEAR OF SETTING GOALS
The fear of success is the most common form of self-sabotage. We don’t fear from goals, but we fear who we possibly become.
There is also a fear of failure that comes into play. What if I cannot achieve the goals that I set? It is so easy to say that one day I will be this, I will achieve that… Because one day is not on the calendar.
The magic starts when you set a specific date.
When we come across an old friend and have a little chit chat, we often say “yeah, we should hang out sometime”.
We say “some time” because we cannot confess that we don’t wanna see each other again. That is too rude.
Let’s create an unreal date and next time we can make up some solid excuses why we haven’t seen each other.
When you set a goal, you must feel the pressure. That stress will help you to take action in the moments of hesitation. It will be a reminder of why you actually started that road.
We tend to set goals that in the range of our realm of possibilities. Why? It is more comfortable. So, we would not face any hardship and possible failure.
That is a form of selling yourself short and lacking self-belief. You set goals because you want to evolve.
It is not your current self who is going to achieve that goal, it is your tougher version which is better than today.
You change in the road of success.
But we are afraid of becoming more than who we really are…
If we expose our unique identity, we will work more and that will ignite the success fire inside us.
One of my friends wanted to start working out and we had a conversation.
He told me:
“But I don’t want to tire myself with workouts throughout all my life. When I reach my goal physique, I just want to maintain it. If I stop working out, I will lose all of those muscles I worked for. That fear stops me from starting working out. I believe all my efforts will be such waste at the end.”
How logical that is, isn’t it? From his perspective, everything makes sense.
The resistance provided him a great source for fear and crazy rationalization methods.
From the standpoint of a person who works out regularly, this is bullshit. Because he considers working out as a burden, but working out is a bliss.
When you taste the positive enhancement of working out in your mental and physical being, you just can’t stop working out. In the process, you become someone who loves working out.
That is exactly the same for work and success.
People fear of working because if they started working, they would be enlightened and want to work more.
When I was in college, I came across a high school student at the college campus. He came to visit before making his selections. We had a spontaneous chat and I remember what he exactly said.
I asked him what he wants to do to learn his vision. He said: “I want to have a job that requires less work, so I can do the things I love in my free time such as traveling, playing tennis”.
Again, it’s great from his perspective. It is a similar perspective of 4 hours work week.
Life does not work like this because life is work and work is life.
Nobody respects the lazy people and lazy people feel like shit for a reason. All successful people work more than anybody else for a reason, too.
Work replenish the soul. You can truly become happy when your existence makes a change in this world.
2- WAITING FOR AN INSPIRATION TO START
The inspiration never visits until you start working your ass off. You start and you deserve the help from the mighty Muse.
That is a paradox that you will never be able to truly understand through your lifetime. You don’t have to be perfect to start, but you have to start to reach perfection.
Every writer knows that the hardest part of writing is actually sitting the fuck down to write. After you convinced yourself to create your art, the rest is easier.
Showing up is half of the battle. Getting your ass up and going to the gym is the hardest part. Killing the workout in the gym is easier when you arrived there.
That is why the resistance is at the highest level when you are at the onset of a crucial decision. It is at its highest form at the crack of dawn.
Resistance knows if you beat him right in the morning, the rest of the day will be a piece of cake for you…
Are you afraid of starting? No problem.
Every great artist was afraid.
There would be no war and reward if the resistance would give you a free pass. The magic starts when you take action in spite of fear.
All your questions and what-ifs will be figured out in your journey.
3- THE ILLUSION OF FEAR
What people call often freedom is irresponsibility. They say they want to be free but they crave an easy life.
Freedom is being capable of doing things you like no matter what your animalistic instincts ask you to do.
People accuse disciplined people of being hard on themselves.
They reflect the situation as hard-working people do not like themselves. Look, those people have self-strict rules because they actually love themselves.
Let’s say you are a fighter and you need to train 2 times a day for 10 weeks for your next fight. However, your animalistic instincts say: “Take it easy. Relax and hang out with your friends. There are 10 more weeks to train.”
Do you become free when you listened to this instinct and lose the fight?
Let’s say you want to build a ripped sexy body for the summer, but your animalistic instincts say “Dude, stay at home and watch the game while eating some chips.”
Are you free when you shut that voice down to work for your goal or listen to by resting at home?
The answer is obvious.
Conformity is the most insidious form of slavery.
You can only achieve total freedom when you are able to make the right decisions. It requires being independent of your animalistic instincts. Because they only cause self-sabotage in the long term.
4- SOCIAL MEDIA EXPOSURE
Social media is the worst invention for humankind.
Yeah, you reached your elementary school friend that you stopped giving a shit thousands year ago.
Do you know what you have lost?
- Energy: Social media is the ultimate energy drainer. Once you are hooked on its loop, you are done. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and hours… After you let it go, you already said “bye-bye” to your precious life force. There was not a single day that I left social media in a better mood than I was.
- Mental sharpness: There are thousands of options you can do in social media. You can stalk, comment, watch videos, like photos… When you are done watching a video, it gives millions of new options. You constantly make new decisions and that saps the sharpness of your mind.
- Serenity: You are bombarded with new unnecessary information every second. People you don’t care show up on your home page suddenly and you learn a stupid fact about their life. It is impossible to keep your serenity well when something pops up every second.
- Focus: Social media offers constant endless entertainment. When you are done with one thing, you have another option in seconds. You end up opening 17 tabs before even consuming one-page material properly. It forces you to act like a retard.
- Creativity: Creativity requires thinking and producing worth. However, social media is the platform of mindless consumers. You don’t want to close and producing your own thoughts while a wide range of content is available on the internet.
- Perception of reality: Nobody shares their true identity. Everyone is acting like they are living the best life. They only share the images that show them greater than who they really are. You are exposed to 2 weeks of material in a VLOG in just 10 minutes and you end up questioning your life. You ask “why am I not happy like all these people?”. Guess what? They fail, they feel the misery, they hit the rock bottom but they DON’T SHARE. It is like a video montage that all the mistakes are cut out for the views.
- Patience: Social media cause addiction due to constant pleasures triggered by fake likes and shares. You get the dopamine by just one click. Everything happens too fast compared to real-life situations. It is like a kid who gets candy whenever clicks the mouse. Instant gratification takes over the decision process and that results in having no patience to wait for better things to happen.
You lose your mind, time, money and energy for the sake of what?
Is there a better form of self-sabotage? Stop giving a shit for the things that do not matter.
5- COMPARING YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
They plant the seeds of insidious comparison viruses while we were kids.
Parents compare their kids with each other and with other kids. Teachers compare the students in the class. Bosses compare the employees at the work…
Comparison triggers the jealousy and jealousy is a hidden killer of the soul.
We are not born under the same circumstances, we did not walk the same roads. Our genetic inheritance, environmental factors, living conditions are completely different.
The one and only person you should compare yourself is the person who you were yesterday.
The universe might offer more or less to others, it is not our business. We are only responsible for what we have done with that is given to us. If you keep comparing yourself to others, you will always self-sabotage yourself.
Let’s say you earn 1,000 dollars a month and your friend makes 3,000 dollars. You jealous of him and work your ass off to earn more. 1 year later, you happen to find a way better job and start making 10,000 dollars.
Now, you and your wife decided to move to a better house. You learned that your neighbor makes 30 grand a month. That vicious cycle never ends and you never stop sabotaging yourself with this mindset.
Even if you earn millions, there will be people who earn billions.
Happy people are happy because they know how to appreciate what is given to them. That does not mean you should always settle down like a loser. You will set goals but the achieving process will be more fun with this mindset.
Others? You can let others inspire you. Successful people do not hesitate giving credit to other successful people.
6- LOOKING FOR A SECRET
You should stop searching for a secret because there isn’t.
Online materials, books, videos can only give you some sort of perception. The information becomes alive when you internalize it.
How can you internalize? Through experience.
Everyone is so willing to skipping basics and getting a secret formula. Why? Because it is an easy way.
When you find the secret formula, you save yourself from a massive amount of work. That is how they do marketing.
If people believe there is a secret, you can sell anything to them. There are no short cuts in the successful leader.
Searching stuff on the internet is easy, consuming information is easy, clicking on a video is easy, looking for a perfect solution backed up by science is easy.
What is hard? Jumping on the stage and learning by action.
7- Numbing The Brain
Anything numbs the brain and drag you away from reality is a form of self-sabotage. They usually take the shape of an addiction.
Well, there are great addictions, too. You can be addicted to success, working out, etc. How do you tell if it is a good or bad addiction? Easy.
From the hollowness you feel afterward.
Most people will be surprised that I mentioned sex as a bad addiction, well it could be. Because you feel appreciated by the other gender, you know the good hormones will be released. But, that will happen for a short amount of time…
Addictions make you repeatedly numb your brain. It desensitizes your feelings and your ability to think rationally. Even if they cause long term harming effects, you cannot stop doing them.
You lose self-control and you start self-sabotaging. Until you conquer your emotional addictions, you cannot be free.
8- LOSING THE FOCUS
Anything that causes you to lose your focus is a form of self-sabotage.
There is a minor detail between a successful person and a loser. The successful one protected the focus while the loser was wandering around aimlessly.
If you are not concentrated on your goals, you just waste time without even realizing it.
Bad news, the world is full of distractions that will work against you. Friends, family, tv, the internet, ads, school, teachers, uncles, aunts, addictions, billboards…
Good news, no one can take it away from you unless you are willingly giving it away. Have a shield of steel that makes you see nothing else but your goals.
Not failures, not what-ifs, not parents’ wishes, not your bitchy girlfriend’s wishes…
Your vision must be focused on your mission. Write it, sing it, dance with it, play with it, hang out with it but NEVER forget it.
9- SEARCHING THE ANSWERS OUTSIDE
The real answers are always within.
Seeking them outside is the ultimate betrayal you can do for yourself.
Who do you ask questions to? To an authority. Who becomes the authority when you search the answers outside? The others become the authority.
It is the easiest and sneakiest form of slavery that stems from laziness. Nobody lived life with you and nobody can know it better than you. YOU is the only one who can understand you in the best manner.
God already installed the best piece of software that will guide you as your ultimate compass. When you stop being desperate and start giving more value to yourself, it will offer its everlasting jewelry.
How will you do it? Simple.
Whatever it is, ASK YOURSELF FIRST. Do not worry about the answers. Just be bold enough to become brutally honest.
10- ACCEPTANCE AND TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
To fix any problem in your life, the first move is always acceptance. You cannot take responsibility for any event without accepting it.
For most people, the issue is always about others. You know you can find millions of excuses when you fail. Complaining is always an easier option and that makes you feel better.
Do good feelings always make you always better?
As we discussed in the addiction part, nope it doesn’t.
The resistance visits you in the form of short term pleasure and you end up solving nothing with an empty good feeling.
When you dig in the background reasons how depressed, unhappy, mentally ill people; there is always one common issue.
They never take responsibility for what’s happening in their life.
That is why they can never act on solving the problem. They are never aware of the natural law of “cause and effect”.
Maybe, just maybe you fucked it up?
When you tell them the truth, they show their teeth to defend themselves like a little rat.
If always bad luck in finding you, maybe there is a small chance that you send wrong signals to the universe?
It is very hard for people to accept they are some irresponsible piece of shit. Even a serial-killer would defend himself from his point of view.
The bad things happen in life but they do not come out of blue.
When you hurt someone, you actually hurt yourself. Everything is connected.
But hey! That means you can heal yourself. People surprisingly hate to hear this because hearing the truth loads up the responsibility on their shoulders.
It is so much comfortable to become witness to outside forces. You might get out of your comfort zone and fight with your demons. Who is going to do that?
Taking the easy path for the sake of living in comfort… A short story of how one can commit self-sabotage.
Remember, people will always defend their irresponsibility until they are strong enough to take charge of their life.
Meanwhile, you should be sharpening your blade and keeping your light brighter than ever. So, when they come back, they find it easily.