The Number One Thing Holding You Back
The above is a quote I stumbled across while writing this post. The subject? Self-sabotage — the behaviors that stand in the way and create problems and interference when it comes to pursuing our purpose and goals. So many of us want to blame our environment and outside circumstances as the reasons why we're not successful, when majority of the time, we are the only ones standing in our way. It’s not a lack of resources that is holding you back. It’s not your qualifications preventing you from applying to that higher salary job. It’s not another person dictating your success. The number one reason why you’re not reaching your goals and living out your God-given purpose is you.
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From my own personal development journey and through coaching my clients, I’ve learned that we often engage in self-limiting behaviors that hold ourselves back. About a year ago, I had a laundry list of reasons why I couldn’t grow my blog and launch my coaching business. As the Lord instilled my purpose and assignment inside of me I retorted, “But Lord, I don’t have the resources or money that I need to get started. I don’t even have my coaching certification yet!” I was defeating myself before I even got started. How many of us do the same thing?
I spent so much time being discontent and feeling inadequate, not because of my reality, but because of my beliefs. I believed that I didn’t have what it took to be a blogger or a coach, so I was immediately disobedient, because I had chosen to opt out of what God had for me.
The #1 Thing Holding You Back
So many times we hold ourselves back. We let fear, anxiety, and overwhelm rule our lives. We let those negative thoughts control our course of action or lack thereof. Before we know it, we’ve climbed back into bed or have watched three more hours of Netflix than we’ve intended because we’ve already decided that success isn’t for us. So, then what happens? We successfully take ourselves out of the game.
This is what self-sabotage looks like. It’s setting yourself up to fail by engaging in actions and behaviors that will in the long run cause yourself physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual harm. You may be sabotaging yourself if:
- You find yourself always making excuses
- You use scripture to pacify/ justify your poor behavior
- You engage in avoidance mechanisms (sleeping, planning/perfecting)
- You constantly procrastinate
- You engage in the same harmful/debilitating behaviors (binge eating/drinking, self-harming)
- You put things off until the "next day"
- You’re forever dwelling on the past/ or your regrets
- You avoiding dealing with your feelings
- You disqualify yourself before you even try
- You avoid the work because it’s hard or challenging
- You have a fear of failure or success
- You doubt your capabilities
The list really does go on and on. Anything you do knowingly or unknowingly that causes you to forfeit your God-given purpose or goals is self-sabotage. For some reason, one of the biggest things that we struggle with as women is believing in ourselves — believing in our God-given gifts, talents, strengths, and capabilities to make things happen. If God has told you to do something, why do you believe that you can’t do it?
There are so many dangers in engaging in self-sabotaging behavior.
1) Unfulfilled Dreams
Dreams aren't seldom unmet because of the lack of trying, they are left unmet because of the lack of belief. One of the models that I teach in my coaching program is the Self-Coaching Model, which explains how are actions and results stem from our beliefs. What ill-belief is causing your dreams to stay unfulfilled?
2) Disobedience to God
When God tells you to do something, and you don’t do it, that is disobedience. James 4:17 reminds us, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” It would be a shame to live in disobedience by not operating in your purpose when He has already validated your assignment.
3) A Purpose Unfulfilled
God has already predestined a wonderful plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), but it does take action on your behalf. A lot of people forfeit God’s plan for their lives because of fear and other forms of self-sabotage. God wants what is best for you, but He’s not going to force anything on you. He stands knocking, but it’s up to you to hear and open the door (Rev. 3:20).
Your goals and purpose are terrible things to waste. God had to isolate me in order to show me that He had already equipped me with everything that I needed to succeed. I had to silence my inner thoughts and think intentionally and positively to overcome my self-sabotaging behavior. Here’s how you can overcome self-sabotage too:
1) Recognize your self-sabotaging behavior — Identify the reasons behind your self-sabotaging behavior.
2) Monitor and cast down your negative thoughts — What thoughts are causing these harmful feelings?
3) Challenge your self-sabotaging thoughts — What scriptures or affirmations can you say to cast these thoughts down?
4) Renew your mind — Foster a mind full of supporting thoughts and beliefs.
You will always struggle to achieve your goals and to pursue your purpose if you have a self-defeating mindset. Don’t let yourself stand in the way of what God has for you. If you find yourself being consumed by self-sabotaging thoughts or behavior, I’ve created a mini workbook to help you overcome self-sabotage. Click the button below to download yours for free. **(Please Note: If you’re on my email list, this mini workbook is available in the Resource Closet).**
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