by Suzie Doscher, Professional Life and Executive Coach
I have witnessed all too often with friends, family, clients, and in my own life, how easy it is to go in circles or bang your head against the same wall when you try to get something done. It feels like you are blocked. You keep ending up in the same place, repeating the same patterns.
A coaching client of mine never quite achieved the goals he set for himself. Despite taking proactive steps, he still ended up going around in circles. On one level, he believed in the success of his project. Yet deep down inside, a little voice kept repeating, “What is the point? You will not succeed anyway."
In his case, the little voice was his impatience, which kept him going around in the same circle. Instead of taking a little extra time to deal with issues that appeared, he would push forward, overlooking them until they had accumulated to a point where they blocked the success of the project. We reframed his limiting belief, “Things have to happen quickly in order to be successful,” to a healthier one: "Taking more time and care allows the project to come together more easily." The result was he had more patience, which lead to a successful outcome of his project.
Years ago when I was faced with one of my own recurring patterns, I asked myself, “What is making this so difficult for me?” My first thought was that someone else was to blame, but I got honest with myself eventually and realized that my own behaviour pattern was the problem that blocked me. Being open and honest with myself helped me acknowledge that I was standing in my own way.
This was not really the outcome I had hoped for! At that time I thought blaming someone else was easier! I know for a fact now that in the long run, blaming is not easier.
With self-coaching, I managed to reframe my own limiting belief, “I do not know how to do this,” to "I will figure out how I can do this." Changing that limiting belief allowed me move forward on a more successful, happier and calmer path. On this path I take one small step at a time, when necessary. As I tell my clients, "I know it can be done if you are motivated to change!"
Our fears are fed by underlying beliefs – beliefs that limit us. These limiting beliefs make us repeat patterns which hinder our growth and development. In my coaching practice I refer to such patterns as self-sabotage routines.
Fears need to be managed. Success means the fear is no longer ruling you, but rather you are ruling how much power the fear has. Some fears might never go away, but they can be managed.
Nobody ever said it was going to be easy, but it is possible to handle your life better.The way out of the maze of stifling behaviour patterns is awareness. The first step is to find out specifically which thought is driving the pattern. Once you recognize the thought that drives the behaviour pattern, you are in a position to slowly start taking small steps to change your behaviour. I emphasize “small steps” and “slowly" because In my experience, any changes that are made too quickly have been made mostly in the mind. For behaviour patterns to really change, you must be patient and kind with yourself. It takes time. The mind and your emotions need to work together here.
The difference between someone who seems to do it all with great ease and the person who keeps stumbling is:
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