Recognizing the Red Flags of Self-Sabotage
Tai Goodwin
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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? Recognizing the Red Flags of Self-Sabotage


An excerpt from my book, Reclaiming Your Brilliance: 7 Steps to Embracing Your Truth and Living Your Purpose

Finally! You get the perfect opportunity, the one that you’ve been waiting for. The thing that will put you in perfect position to reach more people, change more lives and grow your wealth.

You get excited. You start imagining just how awesome everything is going to be. You tell everyone about this great opportunity that has landed at your feet. You start planning and preparing, doing the work to make the most of this open door.

And then you hear it.

It starts off as a whisper and steadily grows to a roar that fills your head with a hundred thoughts of why it will never work. Your light-hearted enthusiasm turns into a knot in your stomach and tension in your shoulders. Before you know it, you are at a fork in the road. Both forks lead to your opportunity but one path is lined with light, self-confidence, and self-love. The other path is dark, lined with pointy-edged criticisms and self-sabotage. The only problem is it can be hard for you to see the difference, until it’s too late.

redflagsHere are five red flags that you are on a path to self-sabotage:

You’re setting your expectations low

Settling for less than what you want means you stop short of unleashing your fullest potential. Maybe you settle for less to avoid the disappointment of failure. Other times, you settle simply because you lack awareness of your own strength. Begin testing your strength by going out of your comfort zone. Instead of running from your fears, face them. Your fear is the biggest obstacle between you and your purpose.

You’re feeling sorry for yourself

If you feeling like something is missing from your life, do something about it. Instead of dwelling on what could have been or focusing on the unfortunate hand you’ve been dealt, look for the lessons you can learn. Focus on your options and possible solutions. Allow those unfortunate situations to steer you toward success, instead of deterring you from pursuing your purpose. Your success is your responsibility. Hold yourself accountable for the results you want.

You don’t have a second plan

If your initial plan gives you less than desired results, your only chance at success is your ability to adapt. Everyone needs a Plan B. Keep in mind it’s not the destination, but the plan for how to get there that’s changing. You may feel like a pessimist by creating a back-up plan, but you are actually being proactive. Coming up with another way to reach your goals shows resilience and tenacity. It means you’re serious about pursuing your purpose no matter what.

You refuse to rely on your support system.

Being independent, resourceful, and responsible is great. And there’s also value in knowing how to lean on others when you need to. Don’t go it alone. At the very least you need cheerleaders to help drown out your inner gremlin and remind you that it is safe to dream big and pursue your purpose. If you know that self-sabotage is something that repeatedly creeps on your path, ask your inner circle of supporters to be on the look out for invading thoughts and distracting behaviors.

You’re depending too much on others.

It’s great to have a support system, but be careful not to make them your crutch. When you automatically expect help from others, or anticipate that others will bail you out of a tough situation, you’re expecting too much. Ultimately, you are responsible for your success. Even if your friends and family have helped you in the past, they have the right and may choose to let you handle your own challenges and support you from a distance.

The Solution: Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Being aware of self-sabotaging behaviors is half the battle. Until you decide that you are capable of and deserving of success, you will continue to be the biggest hinderance in fulfilling your purpose. Want to make sure you stay on the right path?

  • Be on the look out for the red flags listed above.
  • Pay close attention to the fears and negative thought patterns you are holding onto about success, and
  • Change your inner game by replacing “stinking thinking” with solution-oriented affirmations that better reflect your brilliance.

What “Red Flags” pop up on your path that let you know you’re heading towards self-sabotage?

About the Author Tai Goodwin

Tai Goodwin on a mission to help 10,000 women entrepreneurs create more joy and wealth in their life and business. She's the CEO of Aligned + Bankable and creator of the Bankable Brilliance Course. An intuitive business growth strategist and teacher, her specialty is helping clients create bankable business models that allow them to increase their impact and income without burning out. Tai is a former corporate trainer with a master's degree in instructional design and over 20 years of experience designing course, training programs, and certifications. She is also the author of Girlfriend, It's Your Time and founder of Brilliant Business Girlfriends.

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Lynne says

I don’t think Im on the path to self sabotage but I must say that sometimes I set my expectations low so that I do not get disheartened. I do feel I can do more but I’ m afraid of failing that is why I opt for second best… A habit that I do need to break.

    Tai Goodwin says

    Isn’t disappointment one of the worst feelings ever, Lynn. I’m working on an article about how to let go of the fear of disappointment so we can get on with being our full brilliant selves. Thanks for sharing.

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