I recall going through the selection process for companies to help me create leadership training courses that would be available online. It was a pretty major undertaking for me, and as you can imagine, a big step forward.
There are no guaranteed successes in business, so everything has some degree of risk, right?
So it probably comes as no surprise to you that I woke up some mornings in a bit of a sweat, worried about what it was I was undertaking.
What will surprise you, though, is what I was worried about. Have a guess?
Nope, that’s not it!
I would wake up worried about what I would do if this were a success—how would I handle it, how would I cope? Oh my god, what was I going to do?
How crazy is that? I wasn’t worried about failure; I’d gone beyond what I had believed, but now I was worried about being successful.
This is all down to self-sabotage. Basically, we all hate change, we don’t really like to take risks; it’s safer to do nothing and maintain the status quo.
My brain, having realised I’m not afraid of failing, is now trying another approach to get me to give this up.
I did genuinely wake up sweating, worried, and fearful of success, and it was only when I thought about it rationally that I realised it was just my subconscious trying to get me to give up on my dream.
We are so sneaky about the way we go about talking ourselves out of things, and we need to be really conscious of what we are doing.
It’s bad enough having to overcome all of the obstacles we face when we take on a new challenge—all of the naysayers who question what we are doing and try to raise doubts within us—without adding ourselves to the list.
But we do that, we self-sabotage, and it all comes from the fear of moving out of our comfort zones and trying something new.
Self-sabotage includes trying to convince ourselves we will fail; telling ourselves that actually now is not the right time; worrying whether we have the money to be able to do it or not; and failing those, getting us to worry about what we would do if it were a success.
We are very sneaky when it comes to self-sabotage; our ingenuity is truly amazing.
To get beyond self-sabotage, we need to keep getting positive affirmation that we are doing the right things, but if our brains are working against us, where is this going to come from?
One approach is to have a coach who understands, who is not emotionally attached to the venture, and who can see self-sabotage for what it is. If you don’t have a coach, then maybe join a mastermind group or get a mentor—anyone who can give you an external perspective.
Let’s face it: when you start to worry about how you will handle success, you have nothing really to worry about, and you need someone to be able to remind you of that.
If you just rely on yourself, you could end up self-sabotaging your dreams.
If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader click the link to view our course.