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Self-sabotage when starting something new. Fear of success or failure?

Self-sabotage is allowing fear to guide you. Start your day with the determination to succeed and let it show you the way.


When we start a new venture (business, passion, hobby) we are full of optimism and celebrate every little step we take towards the goal. With time and real or imagined obstacles on our way overthinking and catastrophizing come into play. This leads to tunnel vision and distorted interpretation of a situation. The more weight you add to it, the more it weighs you down.

What is self-sabotage?

Self-sabotage is you choosing not to succeed. It’s not up to circumstances or other people when we choose to put limitations on ourselves and decide not to move forward. Once we make this choice we do everything not to let ourselves grow.

How does self-sabotage work?

Self-sabotage happens when we don’t trust ourselves, don’t believe in ourselves for no specific reason. We become too self-aware and focused on the end result but not on what the journey or process can give us. We get overwhelmed and get frozen or trying to escape the situation.

Self-sabotage is initiated by fear.

You are no longer focused on reality, you are following your fear. It can push you to try to relieve the feeling in different ways or to escape from the situation.

You don’t allow yourself to achieve what you want. And there’s no logical ground to it, only physiological. When we experience fear our subconscious mind does everything it can to stop or relieve this sensation.

What are the signs of you sabotaging your success?

Procrastination and avoidance. You put things off as they feel daunting and scary. You feel that you have no energy to do these things. You choose to do something that can give you instant gratification and comfort instead. This may lead to scrolling through social media, binge eating, watching movies or something that feels good in the moment. You also notice this makes you feel worse and more anxious after.

Negative self-talk. You keep supporting your inaction by different versions of the “not enough” belief:

  • Not talented enough

  • Not lucky enough

  • Not smart enough

  • Not skilled enough

Loss of motivation and creativity. You don’t believe you can do this so you have no enthusiasm. You have high expectations and this puts a lot of pressure on you.

How to stop undermining your success?

It is important to switch from the destructive state to an empowered one.

Step 1 - Recognise

Recognise it and acknowledge that it’s blocking your success and progress.

Step 2 - Why

Think of the reason why you started the new venture and your main goal behind it.

Ask yourself what if you give up on this now, will you regret it in later.

Step 3 - Focus

Focus on the process, not the end result. Get absorbed in the task at hand without projecting into the future.

Step 4 - Attitude

Change your action source from fear to enthusiasm. Start your day with determination. Break down your way to success into small and achievable steps. Plan completing one of the steps daily or regularly.

And finally, there’s more to life than this. Energy and positive experience from other areas of your life are supporting blocks for your moving on and expanding your vision.


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