If you’ve been ‘trying’ to leave a career or job you hate for a while but can’t seem to break free, there’s a very good chance that you are an expert self-saboteur. If you aren’t a victim of your own sabotage, you’d be doing the job you’ve been dreaming about instead of just talking about it. The truth is that because self-sabotage often hides beneath decisions that appear very logical and reasonable, it can be very hard to spot. Not sure if you’re the thing that’s standing in your way of career success? Take a look at these 4 sure-fire signs of self-sabotage.
Saying one thing and doing the opposite
How often do you reflect on what you say you want and what you actually do? Not often? Then it’s time to begin, and that’s because it’s very common to say you really want to do something, but then do things that move you further from that goal.
Hands up if you’ve ever accepted a promotion at a job you want to leave. Or, perhaps, you’ve left a job because you need to earn more money and then accepted another badly paid job simply because the role sounds more fun.
The key thing about this behaviour is that it’s very hard to spot unless you perform a self-audit on a daily basis. This means that you’ll need to get clear on what you want and then write it down.
At the end of each day, reflect on the actions you have taken. Have they moved you closer or further from the goal? If it’s the latter, you’ll need to start pausing before you make any work decision and ask yourself ‘will this move me towards or away from my goal?’.
Talking yourself out of ideas before you’ve even tried
If there’s one thing we hear all the time from women who are thinking about making a career change, it’s the phrase ‘yes but’.
‘Yes but that probably won’t work’, ‘Yes but, they’re probably too busy to help me’, ‘Yes but what if I fail?’.
Guess what we always say in response to this?
‘Have you tried?’
The answer is ALWAYS a sheepish ‘no’.
So many women shut down great opportunities by deciding they won’t work before they’ve even tried. This is a classic self-sabotage behaviour that stems from the belief that if you don’t try, you can’t fail.
However, if you believe this, you could not be more wrong. If you don’t try, you’ve already failed.
If you’re guilty of shutting down ideas without trying them, it’s time to make a change. Spend the next seven days saying yes to every hare-brained scheme that pops into your mind. We promise you’ll be shocked at how many of them bring positive results.
Constantly changing your goals
The problem with having goals without accountability is that you can change them when the going gets tough. Maybe you wanted to launch a business by December, but you’re too tired to work on your business idea after your 9-5, so you simply move your launch date to next May. It’s easily done because no one is affected by that change… or so you think.
Alternatively, you may want to apply for five jobs per week, but as you get started, you find it’s more work than you first anticipated. So what do you do? Settle for five per month instead.
The problem here is that without setting firm goals and finding a way to make yourself accountable, you will continue to fall short of your goals and downgrade your vision.
And the ultimate outcome from continuously doing this is that you’ll be full of regret about what you ‘could have’ done years down the line.
Don’t become one of those ‘I could have’ people. Find a way to follow through on your goals.
Refusing to try new and uncomfortable things
Newton’s First Law states that an object will remain at rest or continue on the same path unless acted upon by an external force. This could not be truer where work is concerned. While it is possible to get headhunted and offered your dream job without taking any action, this rarely happens – especially if your dream job is in a field you have no real experience in.
The fact is that if you want to leave a job you hate and launch a new career, you have to do something different to make that happen.
Start going to networking events, reach out to that stranger on LinkedIn, sign up for that course or set up that website. You don’t have to do everything, just start with one or two actions that will logically move you towards your goal.
And don’t sabotage yourself further with the ‘I haven’t got time’ excuse. Here at the Ambition Plan, that phrase does not exist. Self-saboteurs say ‘I haven’t got time’ when they mean ‘it’s not a priority’.
If it’s truly important to you, you’ll make time for it.
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