I’ve been helping women navigate making changes in their life for almost 10 years. I get emails, every single day, from women all over the world, pouring their hearts out. In these emails, you are telling me that you seem to be sabotaging your own success.
You know what is important to you in life and you’re willing to make changes. But, even with your tenacious spirit, you are struggling to get out of your own way. You’ve tried this and that to no avail and you might even be wondering if you’ll ever really make any changes.
So, what gives?
Why do you set an intention to be more mindful in your eating, only to find yourself face first in a pint of ice cream?
Why do you decide to be more loving in your relationships and then pick a fight with your partner?
Why do you set big goals for your business and then watch Gilmore Girls all day?
It sure looks like you are sabotaging your own success, right? WTF?
You probably think that something is wrong with you.
Or that you are somehow fundamentally flawed.
Or that it just isn’t meant to be for you.
I get it.
Been there, done that, built a whole business around it.
And here is what I want you to know, first and foremost:
It doesn’t have anything to do with who you are and has everything to do with the way change – especially long-term change – works.
See, in order to heal and grow into the people we want to be, we have to go through the alchemical process and the first phase of that is very uncomfortable.
In this phase, our primary goal is to create awareness about the things that hold us back from having what we want.
This alchemical phase is an opportunity to see your habits and your patterns with enough clarity to be able to make LASTING changes.
Which, isn’t that what we really want? LASTING change?
To show you what I mean, let’s talk about flossing.
I used to avoid the dentist like the plague. For years, maybe even decades, I didn’t go at all.
But when I realized that one of my core values is holistic well-being, I knew that I’d have to face my fear and go to the dentist.
It wasn’t pretty. My mouth was in not-so-great shape and I needed a serious intervention…about flossing.
I owned floss. And I watched my husband floss, without fail, every single morning. He even kept a box of floss in the car!
Despite his good example, it just wasn’t a habit that had ever caught on for me.
So, when the dentist told me that in order to bring my mouth back to health, I’d have to get my teeth cleaned four times per year (!) and floss religiously, I was a bit overwhelmed.
Even though I knew that flossing would help me, I’d get up in the morning and my mind would tell me all sorts of stories.
I can’t get the floss between my teeth.
I have more important things to do.
I don’t have time.
Skipping one day won’t matter.
I’ll do it later.
And, low and behold, I’d skip the flossing and the next appointment, the hygienist would ask me the same question:
Have you been flossing?
For those first few visits, the answer was no.
It sure seemed like I was sabotaging myself.
Eventually, though, I realized that if I wanted to be in integrity with my value of holistic well-being, I’d have to get out of my own way and just.fucking.floss, already.
So, I set a goal. By my next visit, I would honestly be able to answer her with a proud YES.
Even with my new goal in place, though, all of those excuses were still loud and clear.
And beating myself up about it wasn’t helping. If beating myself was helpful, I would have been an avid flosser for at least 10 years.
Trying to force my mind to think differently, after decades of the same story, wasn’t working, either. No matter how I thought about it, the excuses and other mind-fuckery were still alive and well.
And then, it hit me like a ton of bricks:
If I wanted a different outcome, I had to ACT differently, even if my mind was yammering on about my to-do list and crappy floss.
I had to let my mind do what the mind does – weave stories – and choose to floss ANYWAY.
And, so, I chose to act in integrity with my values.
That awareness was mission critical.
Had I not created the awareness of what was holding me back, I’d still be hanging my head in shame every single time I go to the dentist.
Instead, now, I floss every single day, without fail, no matter how I feel or how busy I am. And, most importantly, no matter what my mind thinks about it.
In fact, within a couple of visits, the hygienist stopped asking me if I am flossing (since, um, they can totally tell if you are or aren’t, lol).
And I feel in integrity with my value of holistic well-being every time I pick up my roll of floss. (This is the best kind of floss, in case you are interested). I get to feel “successful” every single morning.
My mind still tells me the same bullcrap stories and I keep flossing anyway.
So, hear me when I say this:
If you are waiting for your head to catch up, you are wasting your time.
Instead, start cultivating awareness of what is really going on when you are “sabotaging your own success” and decide, in advance, what you are going to do when those things come up.
Do you need to be able to ACT, even when your mind is weaving BS? Do you need new floss? Do you need to rewind and figure out what your needs and values are in the first place? What awareness do you need to cultivate so that you can move forward?
Treat your life as if it is an experiment and you are the scientist. Nothing that happens in the experiment is right or wrong, it’s just data that helps you understand the root cause.
With this kind of awareness and discernment, you can stop beating yourself up and start figuring out what is really going on. From there, you can get out of your own way, stop sabotaging your own success and move forward.