How to stop self-sabotaging your goals

how to overcome self-sabotage, how to achieve your goals, advice to overcome self-sabotage

Self-sabotage is a strange phenomenon. Sometimes it just hits you out of the blue.

How do I know this?

Because I have been hit with a nasty case of self-sabotage lately.

It’s strange timing really. In many ways I’m more focused and motivated than ever before. So why aren’t I ticking things off my list? Why am I struggling to do the things that I know I need to do to turn my vision into reality?

While you may associate self-sabotage with your health or weight loss goals, in this instance I’m talking about taking on big, challenging career goals (though, these tips will probably still be relevant for you).

Perhaps you are like me, and are known to take too many things on. Or maybe your fear comes from the difficulty in putting yourself out there? Suddenly you realise that you are a little lost, or being counter-productive… so how do you get back on track.

Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.

I’m know I’m not alone with my case of self-sabotage. People often tell me that they have a great idea, but they don’t know how to turn it into action. Or they delay acting on their goals or big dreams because they are scared of what might happen. I get it: the unknown can be scary. But this is just self-sabotage. It’s like eating a donut (or five!) when you are on a diet. 

So what do you do when your goals are more of the big and scary career changing kind, and less of the looking like a Victoria’s Secret model at the beach kind?

(because honestly, if you live in Melbourne like me, you have probably given up hope of ever being warm again)

Here’s how I’m going to stop self-sabotaging my goals

Break it down

It’s time to start breaking down big, meaty goals into tasks that are actionable and achievable on a weekly/monthly basis. Darren Rowse (ie Problogger) chatted about this at the Problogger conference: he had promised at the previous year’s conference to start a Podcast. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a few months out from the conference Darren hadn’t started the podcast yet. It wasn’t until he broke down this big goal, into smaller, actionable tasks that things really started to happen and the podcast came to life. 

This is what I’m finding with some of my bigger goals or action items. I’m full of motivation, but then can’t get past the 80% complete mark (I’m not joking, I have not one, but TWO eBooks almost finished!). Taking a leaf out of Darren’s book, I’m breaking these bigger tasks down into all the small tasks that I need to do to get them done.

Now, who wants to teach me how to use Photoshop?!

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. How to overcome self-sabotage getting in the way of your goals

Enlist accountability buddies

Last year one of my friends and I used to meet up for breakfast once a week and go through our goals for the coming week. Although it’s always great to catch up with her, this time was locked in like a meeting – we were really committed to working towards our goals. It was a great way to work through some challenges that we were both having with our respective jobs.

Unfortunately life got in the way of this arrangement, but the idea is still really useful: having someone to hold you accountable can be a great asset to achieving goals and blowing self-sabotage out of the water.

One of the best developments in the last month has been enlisting two incredible women as accountability buddies. They are both at really different stages in their career and journey, but still have quite a few goals in common with me. I know they will hold me accountable, and similarly, I’ll be keeping them on track to achieving their goals. I’ll let you know how this goes!

FOCUS

Focus, focus, focus, focus. I can’t say it enough. FOCUS!

I know you have a million awesome ideas. So do I. And that’s great. But as I have found, none of them will come to life unless you can’t focus on the key goals that you really want.

One of the key takeaway messages from the Problogger conference was to focus on the “One Thing” that you want to achieve.

On this note, I recently read a great article about breaking your goals down into 90 day plans instead of yearly goals. The logic behind this is that yearly goals, like New Years resolutions can be too tricky to keep because you never know what life will throw at you over the course of a year. Cast your mind back to this time last year: could you have predicted everything that life threw your way? I doubt it. Take the time to create some shorter term goals and get moving!

Share my goals with you

My final step to smashing through this little rut is to publish my monthly goals on Career Chronicles. I have been inspired to do this by Melyssa from the Nectar Collective who publishes an overview of her blogging and business goals at the start of each month, along with a honest recap on how she went in the previous month.

I actually find it really interesting to know what goals other people are working towards, and I really believe that telling people your goals is a great way to hold yourself accountable. Also, I think that this exercise will help me focus and break down my goals.

Who knows, you might find my goals interesting too and perhaps feel a little motivated yourself? Please keep me accountable!

Have you ever self-sabotaged or found yourself in a bit of a rut? How did you get out of it? Comment below, or get in touch – I’d love to hear your tips!

Phoebe

5 Comments

  • AJ says:

    Awesome article Phoebe!

    I do think a lot of people are scared of success – which like you say, sounds incredibly weird but it comes down to what I call a baseline.

    See we all have a baseline, or comfort zone in our lives and that zone is filled with things that make us comfortable, but also things that make us deeply uncomfortable.

    Which again sounds completely insane but when you live with something that is uncomfortable for so long, you get used to it and the idea of it disappearing out of your life forever – even if it means attracting exactly what you want, can be extremely daunting. And it’s easier to self sabotage to stay in your comfort zone.

    That’s why a lot of people stay in less than ideal relationships at home or put up with terrible jobs. In terms of goal setting and achieving, many people feel content with the struggle because it gives them something to complain about all the time. And they get used to it and self sabotage opportunities to achieve their goals.

    I love your suggestions on breaking things down to bite sized chunks because that is an extremely practical way to push past the blocks. And the flip side of that is to give yourself time and space to embrace exactly what you want in life and allow that come through to you as you work hard to achieve it.

    Good luck with your e-book projects,

    Dream, Build, Inspire, Lead!

    AJ~

    • Hey AJ, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I like your point about the baseline and why people will actually stick to their comfort zones. I have certainly seen a lot of this behaviour before – particular as a lawyer – people are more than happy to complain but not happy to make the tough decisions. I’ve definitely done the thinking about what I want in life… so now it’s time to take action! The e-books will happen!

      Have a great week and look forward to chatting again soon!

      Phoebe

  • Oh Phoebe, such a great article. I LOVE the idea of the weekly breakfast dates for accountability. Wish you lived in Sydney !!! And well done on the new site, great to see you putting yourself and your goals out there. Inspired xx

    • Thanks so much Sian! I’ve been loving your travel pics, seriously jealous. It’s been awesome to watch your journey over the last year, I’m inspired be you! I will be in Sydney soon, so we will need to lock in a catch up x

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