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  • Writer's pictureLaura Greer

3 Steps to Stop Self-Sabotaging and Develop a Growth Mindset



a woman breaking free of chains at sunset

What's the place of discomfort you find yourself in at the moment?


When you sit with that question, does it lead you to think there is a goal you might be able to work toward that would help you out of that feeling of discomfort?


Perhaps it's physical discomfort, and you know you need to move more or eat better. Maybe it's a headache and you know drinking more water would help. Maybe you want to learn a new skill and you know there are videos and classes out there for just about everything.


We know these things, but why, when the rubber hits the road, do we not actually take the steps necessary to reach the goal?


Enter self-sabotage.


Why do we do the things we don't really want to do, and not do the things we know we need to do?


Does fear or inconvenience outweigh your level of discomfort?


There are many reasons we could claim as the cause of a self-sabotaging mindset, but it really boils down to our thought process and core beliefs about ourselves. And guess what?


Our mindset can grow! We don't have to be stuck in negative self-talk and stinkin' thinkin'.


If your thoughts automatically turn negative when you think about a goal you'd like to accomplish, here are 3 steps to stop self-sabotaging and develop a growth mindset:


  1. Stop and examine the thought. Sit with it. Ask yourself why you think that way.

  2. Recognize the inaccuracy of the thought. Identify extreme words you may be thinking such as never, always, etc. Understand those are extremes and do not reflect reality.

  3. Flip the thought! Once you've recognized the inaccuracy of the negative thought, flip it on its head.


For instance, let's say you have a goal of eating healthy, but you end up at a birthday party and give in to a slice of cake.


Are your immediate thoughts something like:

I can't do this, I have no willpower.

I always mess up.

That's it! I never get it right, no point in trying.


Let's stop and examine these thoughts. Each one is a negative falsity. Words like can't, always and never are extreme words that tell us these statements are inaccurate. The one thing we are always doing is growing and changing.


So let's flip them.


I can do this, and one piece of cake is not going to derail my overall efforts.

I do have willpower, and allowing myself an occasional treat is okay.

Sometimes I make a decision that is not fully in line with my goals. That's okay, as long as I keep taking more steps in the right direction.


The more we practice this type of self-talk, the more we develop a growth mindset. The more we learn to give ourselves grace along the way, the more likely we are to actually achieve the results we're aiming for when we set our goals.


Fear of change can also get us stuck in a self-sabotaging cycle. Many of our fears come from a place of an experience we had at some point in our lives, which we allowed to snowball into something bigger than reality. Likely you weren't even conscious of the snowball effect, but now you may be looking back at something that happened and realized that it has caused you to self-sabotage.


There are so many times in my life when I've been too afraid to try something because of an experience I had previously. The funny thing is, often when I look back and really think about it, I may realize that more of the experience was my self-created narrative than what may have truly happened.


For example, I once sent an email to a person who was helping us out with some financial paperwork. I offered to help because I was familiar with the process from my professional life at the time. My message to this person was taken as me saying I thought they were incompetent and couldn't do the paperwork without my help. Of course that's not what I meant, I was just trying to help take some of the burden off of them helping us!


As an aspiring writer at the time, that hit me hard. I thought, my goodness if I can't even write a simple email and get my intentions across, how in the world could I ever put my writing out there, wherever there was supposed to be?


Thankfully we worked it out, but you can see how easy it is for a negative thoughts to snowball. I am so grateful I re-examined that scenario and understood that it was a moment in time, a misunderstanding, and not an I could never be a writer experience.


Why is this so important?


Because you're worth reaching your goals!


Because doing something with my writing was one of my goals. It gives me a sense of purpose. It allows me to put words of positivity and hope into the world to help combat all the negativity out there.


It's also exactly what I needed in the moments that I was at points of fear and discomfort in my life.


What self-sabotaging thoughts do you have about the goals you want to reach? Take a moment to re-examine them in the light of a positive growth mindset.


You'll be surprised of what you're capable of achieving if you just believe in yourself at least as much as I believe in you.


If you ever need a helping hand to get started, I'd love to share the journey with you. Book a free consult today to explore how women's Intentional Growth and Wellness Coaching can help you reconnect with yourself, reach your goals and live a more authentic life.


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