This is a guest post from Mitch Tarala from www.ExploringInfinity.com.
Do you ever feel like you for some reason always seem to sabotage your own best intentions?
Like when you tried that diet and couldn’t stop cheating? You told everyone the diet ‘just didn’t work’, but really, it was you that didn’t work for the diet. Or how about that time you blew that really important job interview because you forgot to set your alarm the night before and slept in.
Maybe you’ve been trying to save up for something you really want, but you just keep spending over your limit and draining your savings account.
Perhaps you’ve been trying to launch your home based internet business and you keep telling yourself ‘Today I’m going to write 3 articles and spend at least 1 hour doing site promotion.’ but then you only write one article and spend the rest of the day walking the dog, playing with the kids, buying insurance, watching the news, reading a book, or anything other than what you wanted to do, and need to do if you want your business to be a success.
Trust me.. I know all about it!
We’ve all sabotaged our own best efforts and later looked back and thought “WHY did I do that?!” at one point or another.
Well it comes down to two things — your self discipline and learning to deal with the fear of success. That’s right, I said fear of success. Let’s start with that.
Fear of Success
For many people the fear of success is much more problematic than the fear of failure. Many people say they aren’t afraid of failure, but they never mention their very real fear of success. Perhaps this is because most people aren’t even aware of their fear of success, because the fear of success is often deeply rooted in the subconscious mind and it is not present in the conscious mind that is doing most of the thinking.
Fear of success can stem from many different places. Some people subconsciously (or even consciously) feel that they are unworthy of the success that they would like to achieve. They don’t see themselves as ever being able to achieve success and believe that ‘success is for the successful’, and in their minds the definition of ‘successful’ certainly does not include them.
Some people stop themselves from fulfilling their own dreams because they believe that if they were to be successful that would mean that their current friends and family would turn on them or try to use them, like they would become a target because of their apparent success. This is a fear that many people share, and perhaps it might be true. But is it really a reason to sabotage yourself?
Much of this fear stems from inner conflicts due to improper visualization and planning for achieving your goals. When you haven’t really thought about what will change in your life and how your success will effect you, you will remain in fear of the unknown effects of achieving your biggest goals subconsciously, if not consciously as well.
The best way to remedy this situation is to learn proper visualization techniques and do some dream building. Dream building is when you imagine having completed your goals, living your dream. While imagining this you try to clearly experience all of the differences in your life when your goals have all been completed. Who would your friends be? Would some of your friends be jealous? Would you lose some of your friends because of your success? Would you have better friends? Different types of people? Be honest. What kind of clothes would you be wearing? Where did you get the clothes? Are they different or more expensive than what you’re wearing today? Why? Where would you live? What kind of food would you eat? How would it taste? Imagine every single thing about your life, what would be different? What would be the same? Why?
To accelerate this dream building process you could go and physically do, see, smell, taste, and feel the things that would be different about your life. If you would eat only organic foods then go to the market and buy a few organic apples, examine them, feel them, smell them, eat them. See what it’s like. Imagine what it would be like if you were successful (you already are, you just don’t know it yet). If you would live in a big fancy house go look at big fancy houses, take a tour if you can. Try to experience what it would be like in real life to be successfully achieving all of your goals.
Get more familiar with what you want your life to be like and what it would truly be like if your goals were achieved. This way the change is not so ‘unknown’ and mysterious to the subconscious and conscious minds and it’s much less of something for them to fear.
Another problem is when your subconscious view of yourself and your conscious perceptions are not congruent with each other. Perhaps consciously you think you’re fairly outgoing, you put off a happy-friendly type of vibe, and that people perceive you as very personable, but to most people you come off kind of quiet, a bit shy, but overall pretty nice. In this case there are two different perceptions of you, one that you have of yourself, and one that other people pick up from you. This is because your subconscious and your conscious minds are not in line. Your subconscious might see you as shy and introspective, so you appear to be somewhat of a cross between your conscious self-image and your subconscious self-image to your friends, family, and colleagues.
To help bring your two minds together and help them see you in more similar terms you can practice doing some whole brain thinking exercises to begin getting the two halves of your brain working together. These exercises help work both sides of your brain and encourage ‘whole brained thinking’. Instead of constantly battling one another these exercises can help train both sides of your brain to work as a whole which will also improve the strength of the communication going on between the conscious and subconscious minds.
Here are 3 Whole-Brain Games to get you started:
- Infinity Signs – Draw the infinity symbol (a sideways figure 8 ) with one hand, then try to add the second hand in doing it in the opposite direction. Keep practicing! Do this for several minutes per day if you want to improve. You can also use a pen and paper to do a similar brain game, draw the infinity symbol on a piece of paper with your right hand, then do it with your left hand, keep alternating.
- Cross & Touch – Use your right hand or elbow and touch your left knee, then use your left hand or elbow and touch your right knee. Do this at least 25 times for each side.
- Opposite Hand Writing - Practice writing everything with your opposite hand. This is a fun and challenging exercise to practice frequently.
There are lots of other ways to improve your connection to the subconscious mind as well. I practice Qigong which is a fabulous way to connect with other levels of the self. I highly recommend some sort of meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi, or yoga as a way to improve the communication between different aspects of yourself. It’s also a great way to explore deeper levels of your mind and body.
You may also want to use your personal mission statement every day as this will help reinforce the self-image that you consciously want into your subconscious. If you don’t have a mission statement, you should create one. It’s simply a few sentences or paragraphs that you write out about what your mission is. You write it in the present tense as if you’re stating the way your life and experiences are. An example of a personal mission statement is:
“I am confident and well-spoken. People respect what I have to say, and they respect me as a person. I feel great every day when I wake up and feel thankful for having such a sharp, clear, mind. I seem to have success in each area of my life that matters most to me. My friends are great and I feel so lucky to have been blessed with such a great family….”
Your statement can be as long or short as you like, but it’s best to add some detail to it and really feel it. You should read this every day when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. Doing this simple action every day can literally transform your reality into the one you want with astonishing speed.
Now let’s talk about self discipline, something that most of us would like to have more of. To have self discipline is to be able to do the things you want to do whether you’re happy, sad, angry, or whatever your state of being is. It’s the ability to push yourself to keep working even when you don’t want to, and it’s extremely important in achieving your goals.
If you lack self discipline you may frequently find yourself sabotaging your own intentions. In this case it’s not particularly your subconscious that’s responsible for your self-sabotage, it’s your lack of discipline that’s causing you to fumble.
There are ways to build your self discipline so that you can succeed in achieving your most important goals, here’s some good ones:
- Choose a small task that takes no more than 15 minutes. Set a time to do it every single day and practice following through with it. You could start by doing it every day for a week. If that’s not a challenge bump it up to a month. Do it every single day, don’t skip a day. The more you practice this the more self discipline you will develop.
- Practice setting routines and following through with them. Remember to start these off as what you might think of as easy, you’ll soon find out that it’s a lot harder to stick to it than you might think. That’s why your tasks should be quick and easy at first, so that you can practice simply sticking to it. If the task is difficult to do it’s that much more likely that you’ll not follow through.
- Use old habits to remind you of the new ones, if you’re trying to drink more water, remember that every time you pee you should drink a glass of water or two (not at the same time!) This is an easy way to remind yourself about a new habit. You can do this to remember to take your multivitamins or medications by associating your vitamins or medications with food. Each time you eat, you take a vitamin. It makes it so much easier to remember when you’re first trying to build your self discipline.
Building your self discipline can take time but the more you work at it the less you’ll find yourself sabotaging yourself because of you lack the ability to follow through with your plans.
I hope this article has helped you understand why you might find yourself getting in your own way of achieving your greatest desires.