10 Ways to Think Your Way into Self-Sabotage

In my previous post, I mentioned that self-sabotage was one of the main ways executives lose personal power and influence.  And yet, many don’t see themselves doing it because it can be so extremely subtle.

There are many ways we unintentionally lose power and confidence and stay stuck in comfort zones and old patterns. Then we wonder why we’re not making the progress we should, or we get passed over for promotions.

Here are 10 errors in thinking that set us up for self-sabotaging decisions and actions. Do you recognize yourself engaging in any of them?

  1. Resting on laurels (positive thinking to avoid risk-taking)
  2. Negative thoughts (“not-good-enough” thinking)
  3. Silence (not speaking up at all)
  4. Freezing (not taking, or delaying, action)
  5. Making excuses (no time, no resources)
  6. Blaming others instead of accepting responsibility
  7. Not trying or risking (staying in one’s comfort zone)
  8. Focusing on the small picture (i.e., to-do lists), while avoiding big-picture thinking
  9. Focusing on feelings instead of facts
  10. Allowing distractions to derail purposeful pursuits

In the work I do coaching some pretty smart and successful executives, one of the most common forms of self-handicapping is #1, resting on one’s laurels. And why not? It’s energizing and powerfully positive to remind yourself of your success.

The problem is that it shields you from taking risks and going outside of your comfort zone. But if you continue doing what you’ve always done, you won’t make the kind of successful results needed to achieve stretch goals and promotions.

As a wise person has said, what got you here, won’t necessarily get you there. Instead, remind yourself that you can do better. Because you can. We can always do a little better each time we reach and stretch.

Got questions about this? Give me a call (316-634-2328), or leave your comment here.


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