You know how you have this idea or goal and you’re pretty excited about it? When you start to implement it, you find it hard to focus. Your productivity tanks. The distractions then begin to pull your excitement down, down, down. Pretty soon, you’re questioning the idea, yourself, your abilities.
Increasing excitement and productivity
Start by figuring out your favorite “flavor” of self-sabotaging beliefs. These seem real, but they are based on fear and false beliefs. Because we accept them as real, they linger in the subconscious mind, driving our actions (and inaction in some cases). Becoming aware of them allows us to begin the process of dissolving their power and replacing the beliefs with a more conscious mindset that is based on truth.
The first belief is feeling inadequate or not enough. This is so engrained that it comes with a best friend fear that if you showed up fully, live your purpose, and shine brightly you still might fail. This belief and it’s associated fear keeps you playing it safe and staying small, hiding behind procrastination, excuses, and even a victim story bundled with blame, shame, and guilt.
The second belief is that you are a burden. This is a deeply engrained belief from childhood. I’ve seen this one play out in some many different stories, but always the message is the same, “You’re a burden.” Even though this one is not at all logical- how can success make you a bigger burden? – it feels incredibly real. It carries with is a heavy load of shame and nothing that the person does feels like it’s enough to alleviate the burden.
The third belief is two sides of the same coin- disloyalty and abandonment. This belief keeps us self-sabotaging because if we were to reach our full potential we might end up alone or have to leave the people we love who aren’t living up to their potential behind. There may be some old family scripts playing in your subconscious. I remember a saying where I grew up, “Don’t get too big for your britches.” But there are other beliefs around money, power, and people who have money and power. You may have seen “leeches” who feed off the people who worked hard for success. Certainly, disappointing the people you love by not meeting their expectations can contribute to the same guilt and fear that drives this belief.
The final belief is shining too brightly. I don’t think I ever heard anyone say I shouldn’t shine my brightest, but I sure felt it. It was obvious when I would see people react around me when I did shine my brightest. They’d same up against their own self-sabotaging limitations, often getting sick or sinking into a depression. It was easier to shrink than to feel bad about how they felt.
These four beliefs are not necessarily isolated or independent of one another. They can co-mingle and supersize the sabotage. You’ll know you’re engaging these beliefs when you find yourself worrying, deflecting compliments, starting arguments and getting sick to tamper our joy, excitement, and inner light from shining too brightly. Those certainly are not the only behaviors that reflect the limitations.
Pushing the limits
Make a commitment to pushing the inner limits and self-sabotage, but have fun while doing it. Put on your Indiana Jones hat and go exploring how you most often limit yourself. Increase the mindset and activities that bring you more joy and fulfillment. It’s often easier to simply replace a bad habit with a good one than trying to cut out a bad habit and then replace it.
Make expanding your joy and fulfillment a whole body experience rather than just trying to think your way through it. Tony Robbins has shared that part of his morning “priming” is to think of something he is grateful for and try to feel that gratitude all through his body before switching to the one or two ways he wants to feel that day and expanding that through his whole body.
Then write a new story.With love and forgiveness for whatever greater the limitation in the first place, decide how you will show up now, shining brightly in this world! Allow yourself to move through your life with gratitude. Be in service, compassionate, kind and generous in your unique gifts and beautiful light. Allow that to grow daily, raising the bar of your own threshold of joy.