Unmask the Fear Behind Your Self-Sabotage

I came so close to self-sabotage.

The moment is very clear. I wanted to stop the publication of my book. Yup. Stop It. I actually phoned my publisher and said forget about it! I don’t want the book to be published ever.

Her reaction was the best – she laughed and asked me “What are you afraid of?” And at that moment I realized I was terrified. I had let a million (no exaggeration) “what-if” questions ruin my calm, rational thinking. What if no one bought it? What if everyone hated it? What if they laugh? The snowball effect of my “what-ifs” led me right to my greatest attempt at self-sabotage – stopping the presses.

Fortunately, I was asked the right question in the moment and was able to roll the snowball back up the hill, take a deep breath and quietly remind myself that I have a story and a message to move out of the victim-hood and embrace life in all it’s glory. It’s important and relevant and good. I’m so grateful for my publisher’s intervention.

As humans, we experience fear. To mask our fear, we engage in self-sabotaging behaviors. It can happen in relationships, our careers or when we’re pursuing our dreams or passions. It begins with self-doubt – that nagging feeling that if I try something different and I fail, I will have nothing to go back to. Better to stay where I am because it’s safe. In relationships, self-worth can cause fear. We can self-sabotage by breaking up first, making accusations because you lack trust or waiting for your partner to guess what it is you want instead of speaking out and asking for it. This is all fear based.

Self-sabotage can show up as procrastination, getting to the mid-way point of your project and throwing it all away to start over again or compulsively analyzing – looking for fault, quitting jobs because you’ve made up your mind that you will never be promoted or recognized, or dumping that guy/gal before they can dump you. Any of those scenarios sound familiar?

When you’re feeling doubt about your ability, feel not worthy of a great relationship or that you’ll never get that promotion. stop and ask yourself:

What Am I Afraid Of?

Failure? Hurt? Betrayal? Success?

Once you identify what it is you’re afraid of, you can start to change your mindset, your internal chatter and move into the fear instead of running from it with self-sabotaging behaviors.

Choose to take the chance on the guy/gal and see where it goes. Have an open mind and a sense of adventure and curiosity instead of closing down when you sense a negative response. Stand confident in your abilities and your authenticity and let your unique work, self, personality shine through. Take the chance and put yourself out there with an open mind and knowing that the very worst thing that can happen is someone will say “No” and that’s okay. Regroup, refocus and keep going. We are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Even though I was afraid, I took the chance with my book and I’m happy I did. Stepping into my courage and putting myself out there was scary but worth the confidence boost. On to the next book!

If we don’t take chances in love, business or anything, we cannot succeed in our goals, dreams and passions. Failure is not black or white. Success is what you determine it to be and it comes in all sizes. Create success on your own terms and stop comparing yourself to others.

Step into the fear and go for it. It will be worth it.

Susan Ball is the founder of Empowered Her, an abuse recovery expert and a bestselling author. "Empowered Her" blossomed from Susan's own abusive relationships and is built on the belief that all women are entitled to live free, fulfilled and fearless.
Susan is on a mission empowering women to Rise Up, Show Up, Free Their Voices and Move Out of Victim-Hood.
You can connect with Susan on her website or join her Healing Narcissistic Trauma Facebook Group.

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