At first glances why would we ever do this… surely not of us would ever consciously decide to be unsuccessful… but maybe that’s the point… how often do we consciously decide to be successful? How often do we sit down and decide what success is and how we can best go about it. There are general ‘rules’ of acceptance about what success in society is; achieving good grades at school, owning your own home, winning the local footie league … but they’re not for everyone….everyone is an individual and your success will (most likely) be very different to that of your neighbour… So what is success for you? You can think about it as a whole or for a particular role you play eg parent, team member, office manager etc but take a minute or so to decide what success is for you…. then (as I always say!) write it down!
Now we’ve got your definition sorted, let me get back to where we started and talk about why is it that we sabotage our own success….in my view there are two key reasons; firstly we don’t really know what our ‘success’ is & secondly we’re actually afraid of achieving it. Now that second point may seem a little daft, but let’s think about it for a second or two… ‘success’ is usually something we’ve not done before, it’s a ‘place’ which is unknown and something which will mean some sort of change for us. So, all of a sudden we can see that there might be (what I like to call) little gremlins in our subconscious which, even though we’ve defined what ‘success’ means and are committed to getting it, are working against us and eating away at our efforts, commitment and motivation.
So what can we do about our gremlins? The first thing to do is to identify them & figure out what’s feeding them.. is it a fear of the unknown? of new responsibilities? of a new social group?.. is it a fear of failure if you don’t make it exactly how and when you want to? And then you need to sit them down for a good talking to and explain what you’re going to do to stop them winning… how are you going to ‘cut off’ the thing that’s feeding them? And then do it! You are stronger that your gremlins and by resolving to eliminate what it is that is feeding them (& stopping you) you will stop sabotaging your success.