How to get out of your own way

2021 is turning out to be a year of self improvement and discovery, yet we still tend to self sabotage, this post focuses on the reasons why we self sabotage and the methods we can use to overcome it and become a new person

Self Sabotage

Why do we self sabotage and how can we change it? First of all let us define self sabotage:

"You set a goal yourself and then just before you achieve it you actually sabotage your own success you get sick or you just mess it up in some way shape or form"

A good example of this is through the concept of yo-yo dieting where a person puts in huge amounts of effort to lose weight but puts it back on, then loses it, then puts it back. You see where I'm going with this? Self sabotage is not an unique thing, no we all experience it at some point in our lives.

Why does it happen?

Self image

Well we have this thing that we call self image, imagine that in your mind you have a mental picture of who you think you are and then you have who you truly are on the outside, and it is true that most people are not in touch with their true selves. Instead they get stuck inside their heads and focusing solely on their self image. Our self image focuses on "who we think we need to be". Who we need to be to be loved by others, admired by others or simply to be accepted.

Self image starts being developed at a young age especially prevalent in the ages of 0-7yrs, so many big moments happen in a life filled with these markers that develop questions about oneself. Continuously asking what does that say about me? We start making these huge generalizations and assumptions about ourselves and who we really are. This all forms our self image.

For example you become a person who sets a goal and maybe that goal is larger than your self image or your identity confirms that "you're someone who has to be there for everyone else but you can't put yourself first." This then forces you to create a goal that requires you to put yourself first where you now have to self sabotage; and unconsciously there is a part of you rejecting the idea firmly saying nope. The goal is out of alignment with who you truly are. There is good news.


The self image we have is just a story we tell ourselves, its not really who we are; we are in fact always far more greater than the idea that we have of ourselves and we can change that story. 

Here are some things you can do to make that change straight away, it is a start to changing your self image and retelling your story. It is all about welcoming success into your life and when you experience the full spectrum of success, savor and allow it to stay in your body.

It is very common for a person who experiences success to minimize that success. Even if that person has just accomplished their first talk as a public speaker or they have just completed their first coaching session as a new coach. They are super excited about it but when some one says that they are amazing they go "Oh yeah I'm not that amazing it was just my first one".

Matt, Ilse and students at the Coaching Success launch


This is such a common mistake and its really driven by this idea called tall poppy syndrome which is the idea that you don't want to be too successful rather settling for being mediocre enough that no one will ever notice how awesome you actually are. This does no real good for your self image it keeps you small and no one benefits from you.

So challenge yourself!

The next time someone gives you a compliment allow yourself to savor it and when they say " You're doing a great job", try that compliment on. Think about it for a moment, accept it  and go "Okay I am doing a great job what does it feel like if I allow myself to actually feel that I'm doing a great job".

Do that instead of what a lot of people do is just block everything nice someone says about them. For example if someone says "I love you" they question whether the statement is true or is there and ulterior motive. They cannot simply believe and savor the truth in the statement. They push everything away because the image doesn't match what is inside their mind of the world that they should be living, of the reality that they have been creating.

This is the place where reality bumps against our self image and this is what drives self sabotage. No, we want to open ourselves consistently, update the story of who we are, it is not set in stone, who you were will not determine who you will become.


Unless you let it and we can change our story by continuously in every moment every day open ourselves up to the new.

Seek out people that will encourage, that will give you compliment, that will inspire you to be your best.

When you have these new moments of success, take a moment let it sink in, breath it and savor that feeling.

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