When we speak about self-sabotaging habits, we’re typically focusing on areas such as procrastination, over-eating, drug and alcohol abuse, hiding our emotions or being in dysfunctional romantic relationships. My intent with this article, is to focus less on the main stream habits and redirect our thinking to those areas that aren’t typically thought about or discussed.
For the past 25+ years, I have been working and speaking with high achievers from all walks of life who have displayed types of self-sabotaging habits. These habits not only have a negative impact on themselves and their effectiveness, but also cause harm and demise to those in their orbit. Their orbit includes those who they lead, serve, as well as had a say in their career progression and success.
It is critical that we are cognizant of our thoughts, perspectives, limiting-beliefs, opinions, isms that unconsciously have a negative and many times debilitating impact on our quality of life. We owe it to ourselves and others to be responsible for our own self-sabotaging actions and/or non-actions. In turn, keeping silent in the face of negative behavior, is just as bad as having the habit yourself.
When a habit is demonstrated deliberately or even unwittingly, it still leaves you as well as others to be a victim of your actions and can ultimately lead to serious negative consequences. So here is an example of a self-sabotaging habit, that is not typically discussed or addressed.
This blog comes as a 5-part series. As you read through each of them, read with heartfelt honesty and reflection, and discern if you see your behavior and actions in any of them, because “when you know better … you do better” (Mya Angelou).
Knowing and not taking action for your betterment is just as damaging, as not knowing.
“Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile.” (Abu Bakr). If you know how to do something that can help you and you don’t take positive action and implement it effectively, it is just as harmful as not knowing or acting as if your skill or talent doesn’t exist. You are now a liability to you, your success, your forward movement and the success of others.
You are gifted with talent and/or have invested, time, money and resources to acquire your expertise and other positive qualities. Now you take this expertise and positive qualities and choose not to utilize them for your benefit and the benefit of others – my father would label you as being an “educated fool.” I could vividly remember his parting words to me when I was leaving home to go to North America to study. He said to me, very emphatically and as if it were dogma, “remember, Ulwyn it is very easy to be a fool. It requires no effort, no expense, and you do not even have to leave Trinidad to achieve fool-hood. However, if we are going to invest our hard earn money, our resources and our time to have raised you, being an “educated fool” is not an option. You owe it to yourself to be the best at whatever you do! So, choose now, before you take one more step forward on this journey.” These words have been carved in my conscious and sub-conscious mind. They have been a motivating force that has driven and guided me to push past many obstacles and to be as successful as I am today.
Another example to drive this self-sabotaging habit home – not utilizing your talents and gifts is like having millions of dollars stored away, doing nothing with it, and living a life of scarcity. You only go through life once. So, why not chose to live your life full out, cause positive ripple effects and leave the world a better place as a result of you being given or having the privilege to be born and occupy space on this planet?
Don’t let these self-sabotaging habits rob you of being your best self. So, live authentically and full out, celebrate your successes, love boldly, and serve genuinely, Respect the freedom of others, and, of course, have fun doing it. It is a Win-Win Combination.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances [your freedom and]
the freedom of others.”
~ Nelson Mandela
(Part 1 of 5)