I get in my own way. There I’ve said it.
I’ve unintentionally undermined my own opportunities through self-doubt, procrastination, distraction. active sabotage and various other techniques I’ve perfected over the years.
It’s a strange expression isn’t it. How can I get in my own way? I’m right here in this body. I can’t be in two places at once!
That’s true. What’s also true is that we have amazingly powerful minds. I can see a situation play out : it feels real. I’m there in a flash. I don’t even go through the stages any more. I skip straight to the proverbial last page. The scenario is usually fear based. I’d better not do XYZ because I know how it turns out.
While other people may push through in spite of the fear, my response – and that of a majority of women and some men – is then to pull back.
I have, in the past, totally tripped myself up. I allowed an imagined situation to play out with disastrous consequences and then I acted as if it was real. I stepped back from opportunities I logically knew I could handle. I believed what others told me, giving their opinions greater validity than my own intuition. I allowed others to define who I am. At various stages in my life, I took everything personally as though all the challenges in the universe were put there just for me to deal with while others got a much easier ride (or so I thought). I said yes to situations I really didn’t want to get involved with and then resented the other person for asking. I kept my ‘little Spanish girl’ (the opposite to English and stitched up) firmly locked up, rarely allowing her to come out and tell it like it is, stamp her feet in temper, dance like crazy and live a passionate life.
I could go on … and I think you get the picture. I lived a much smaller life than I could have if I had dared more; if I had got out of my own way.
My prevailing view through so much of my life was – and I say it consciously – I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t measure up to other people and to their positively distorted views of me. In my darkest moments, I would rail at the universe demanding to know when I would be enough.
The answer wasn’t out there. I finally realised I was creating everything: the good, the bad and the ugly. I created my own reality. And I was interpreting the world through a pair of glasses that eliminated all evidence that I actually was good enough.
Each of us has an amazing and unique combination of talents, skills, capabilities and qualities. No-one else can do what we do in the way we do it. And when we take responsibility for the whole of our reality, we can operate – consciously at first – from the space of who we are, not the material outcomes we want from life.
Getting out of our own way is a journey to ourselves; a journey of acceptance for all the gifts and the imperfections we bring. Yes, the journey can be challenging. Realising we’ve been undermining our own opportunities, hopes and dreams can feel extremely uncomfortable. Doing the work that helps us identify the blueprint we have for life and rewiring it can feel liberating.
So, do you sabotage yourself? How do you get in your own way? And what has it cost you?
Do you remember – or have you ever heard of – the movie Network? Peter Finch played the role of a washed up anchor on a fictional tv station, UBS, during the depression. From the movie, there are two lines that became an anthem for people feeling helpless and frustrated with the way things were. It’s the catch cry for change. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”
If you’re tired of sabotaging yourself and living a smaller life than you could if you believed in yourself and felt you are good enough; if you have a dream you’re not getting any closer to, maybe you are mad enough to make the change?
The path to getting out of your own way involves recognising you are enough, there is enough and you have enough to do what you need and want to in order to experience life at its fullest. The journey includes reclaiming and valuing you, recognising and challenging your patterned thinking and beliefs where they undermine you, rewiring your neurology to develop greater resilience and optimism, taking full responsibility for the world you have created and can create, even if you don’t fully understand what that means yet.
The journey involves a commitment to you and participation in the greatest change programme there is – changing your mind about yourself!
If you’re mad as hell that you’ve denied who you are, that you’ve held yourself back and finally you’ve had enough, it may be time to get out of your own way. Visit my website and my February/March public programme Skirting Leadership or Open to Possibilities.