It's a subject I could never understand. After over three decades in the direct sales industry, it came up time and time again, people setting goals, having aspirations and desires, maybe tasting some level of success, only to find most of them abandoning their goals, failing to meet or even come near what it is they said they wanted.
And to say I experienced this phenomenon often would be an understatement since I coached hundreds in my various organizations over the years.
I couldn't understand why what folks said they wanted and what really took place, varied so often...until I did.
Welcome to self-sabotage. The cycle of setting goals for yourself, getting started on them but ultimately finding yourself "back at square one", every, single, time.
What's going on here you might ask since chances are you have experienced this at some point in your life? After all, you are a smart person, able-bodied and have the talent to achieve what you seek, you even know what you need to do to make things happen, yet you don't.
When you find yourself repeating the cycle of setting, trying, failing, there's more going on here than you just lacking willpower.
What's going on is an underlying story, a very quiet narrative playing itself out in your sub-conscious.
You are taking something someone else used to do to you and you are now doing it to yourself because it's familiar, even if it's defeating.
It's shame, unresolved shame and it's holding you back.
Allow me to give an example. Your parents get a divorce when you are say 8 years old. Your father leaves and even though you may not consciously say this to yourself, you believe you might have had a role to play in them splitting up and dad leaving, after all, they did disagree about things when it came to your upbringing. So you take on the heavy weight of guilt and shame at the tender age of 8 and when you are lugging that kind of stuff around, your worthiness comes into call.
Shame would say that you are not worthy because you "caused" all this trouble. Metaphorically, you are walking through life with your head down not feeling as if you deserve success, even though you may have never really considered this when you set goals to lose weight or were looking to meet the love of your life.
If you want to get out of the habit loop of self-sabotage, you will need to begin by looking at any unresolved issues around shame and worthiness that may be causing you resistance these days.
Once you curiously and compassionately look into that "source", you may find your ability to achieve what it is you set your mind to, much easier because you understand if that voice of resistance speaks up again, who is really doing the talking (shame) allowing you to resolve it so you can get on with the business of living your best life.
Self-sabotage. Something I looked at back in my very driven, judge-y "Type-A" days as weakness, today I see with empathy and understanding.
I hope you extend the same courtesy to yourself and those you love.
*Although I do work as a life coach, I cannot recommend strongly enough your seeking out the help of a mental health professional if you know that you've experienced hurt/traumas that run deep. I'm happy to provide referrals if you would like. Please take care of yourself.