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20 Mar

In a recent article by my friend Don, he stated that one thing he looked for in people was self-awareness.  It got me thinking.  This is important.  

It is deeper than knowing your limitations.
I reflected on some of the problems I created in the past by undermining myself through my behaviour.  I used to “get in my own way”.   This is simply self-sabotage – we defeat ourselves though our own distorted beliefs and poor reactions to events around us.

Does this sound like you? 
In the work space a colleague appears to stop you getting your job done on time.  It triggers a negative emotion.  You get angry with your colleague and the people around you.

How you manage your reactions to what goes on around you is far more important than how smart you are or what skill sets you have.  Poor behaviour or inappropriate actions and responses sabotage you in life and career.

We sometimes fail to see that our constant complaints about things not working is the result of our own actions and decisions.  At its most extreme we blame everyone else but ourselves.  Our egos won’t let us think in any other way. 
When we recognise this destructive behaviour in ourselves it can be quite liberating.  We become empowered to make real choices.  We improve our lives.

Here are four ways we sabotage ourselves:

1. Refusing to speak up.

By not speaking up you feel powerless and this leads to resentment.  You become the victim.  It decreases your self-esteem.  You ignore your own needs and you hate that they are not being met.  A public example of this is the “me too” movement, women who were afraid to speak out about the bad behaviour of powerful men are now making a stand.
2.  Worrying and Obsessing

Worrying about things that you cannot control creates an emotional and physical burden.  You cannot enjoy the moment and get too involved in other people lives.  You lose sleep.  You’re constantly worry about what will go wrong next.

This stops you enjoying life.  It can even effect how you manage the things that you can control.  It is a form of self-deprivation.

3.  Striving for Perfection

If you strive for perfection you stop yourself from enjoying a job well done.  You will agonise over small imperfections and feel it is a personal slight when it is not exactly right.  You will sabotage all the good that you do by undermining your achievements.

4.  Avoiding your feelings

Many people go through life in an emotional neutral state.  They are not enjoying life and they don’t know what they need to do to enjoy it more.  They are missing a spark, a zest, a sense of self.  If you are one of these people, you sabotage any chance for fulfillment.  You will walk through life as passive observer.  You need to acknowledge what is happening and act.  Get beyond what you see as” life is happening to me”.

Becoming self-aware is an important skill to develop.  This skill will help you live and work better.  Recognising and avoiding self-sabotage will help you make better decisions.  You will avoid many problems.  Your life will become fulfilled and you will be empowered.
Start now: speak up, worry less, accept a job well done and develop a zest for life.