In this first episode of 2022, I’m talking about career self-sabotage and the sneaky ways you may be holding yourself back and sabotaging the success you’re really capable of.
To make your 2022 career goals inevitable, you have to build some awareness to how you might be sabotaging your career and learn how to stop.
What You’ll Learn
The 3 ways you may be sabotaging your career success
What self-sabotage really is and how to avoid it
Featured in This Episode
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Welcome to Navigating your Career, the only podcast that blends personal development, professional skills and psychology to help you get happy at work and live the life you want. If you want to stop feeling stuck and start feeling better, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Melissa Lawrence. Let’s get started.
Welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. Today, we are talking about a topic that you are really going to love, and that is sabotaging your own success or being resistant to what you are really capable of achieving. And this is the first episode of the podcast of 2022. So there’s not a better time than right now to talk about this because you’re going to be working on goals, and that’s an important topic, too. Career planning is important as well.
But also, I think a lot of people you listening me myself have struggled with really sabotaging our own careers, our own success kind of having an intolerance for success, and we might not even know it. So I wanted to start off this year by talking about this topic because I think if you have awareness of this going into the year, it is going to help you just achieve bigger goals than you even think are possible right now. And so this is something that I have struggled with myself.
It’s something that most people struggle with at one point or another, especially women, and it can be scary to go and do things that haven’t been done before to be more visible, to be a higher earner than your partner, to be vulnerable and go after what you want. So before we get into this topic, I want to give a shout out to my client, Renee, Renee, and I just wrapped up coaching one on one together, and I think she is a great example of doing the work even when it’s hard, because it was a bit of a Rocky start, but she never quit on herself.
She kept coming, doing the work in and outside of our coaching sessions. And as a result, she feels more like herself. She knows what she wants for her career and has some exciting plans for her future. And more importantly, she is happier, more empowered and confident. It’s having a ripple effect with her family, too.
So I just want to give her a huge shout out because I love that she didn’t give up, that she faced the hard stuff and ultimately got on the path to what she wanted because of it. She did not let Sabotage get in her way. So I am just so happy for her. All right, let’s dig into this week’s episode sabotage.
I feel like action movie or something. But to get started, I want to talk about what sabotage is. So the dictionary definition is to deliberately destroy damage or obstruct something. And so I’m talking about self sabotage, which is more the thoughts or behaviors that prevent you from doing what you want. So I want to combine these to really get clear on what I’m talking about today, which is where your thoughts and behaviors destroy damage or prevent you from having what you want.
This is my definition. So I’m going to say this again. It is where your thoughts and behaviors destroy damage or prevent you from having what you want. So I see this coming up with my clients. I’ve experienced this too, like I said.
So let me share how this can come up so that, you know, if this is something that you might struggle with. So there are three specific ways that I’m going to talk about this. One way that you can sabotage your success is to convince yourself to settle. You know, you want something different for your career, that you’re not happy. But you’re really good at coming up with all of the reasons that you cannot make a change.
It could be because of the inconvenience to yourself or to others. It could be because the work involved is going to create a change. It could be because of an investment you’d have to make. It could be that you’re having to maybe face some things that you don’t want to. So you tell yourself that what you have is good enough, that you should be happy with what you have, that time will help, that what will be will be, what is meant to happen will happen.
And in the meantime, you don’t do anything. And this is a way that your thoughts and behavior are sabotaging your success, because instead of listening to that voice that tells you there is more for you, instead of doing something that will help you get to where you want to be, you convince yourself to settle with what you have, and this is a problem because settling creates resentment. It isn’t just going to go away. You aren’t going to wake up one day and suddenly think that what you have is good enough and you’re just happy with it.
When you know, deep down, you want something more or something different, you can’t wait for opportunity to come to you.
You have to go after it. Look at me in my business. For example, I am an excellent coach. But if I didn’t go after what I wanted, if I wasn’t stretching to make myself more visible, and if I wasn’t building my business to help as many people as possible, especially women and underrepresented communities advance in their career and feel better in the process, then I wouldn’t be helping people like I am, no one would know who I was or how I could help. And I wouldn’t be helping if I settled and just thought, Well, if people are meant to come to me, they will.
No, that is not okay. So I have this podcast and I’m active on LinkedIn. I have my network. I have to be out there. So what do you think about Pepsi.
Imagine if Pepsi was like, Well, this is an amazing soda, and I want everyone to have it. And if it’s meant to be successful, then it will happen. People will find Pepsi and drink it. And if not, then that’s fine, because at least I made Pepsi, and at least some people buy it. No, Pepsi had to go out and sell it and say, hey, taste this Coke with the Pepsi blindfolded and tell me what you like.
They had to take risks and be vulnerable. They had to own their success. They could do things that made them uncomfortable. Just like me. And just like you, you have to stop convincing yourself to settle because settling is self sabotage at its finest.
So another way that you could be sabotaging your success is to make your success a fluke. You know what I mean? You rock a presentation with senior leaders and you tell yourself it wasn’t you. It was just that you prepped a lot for it. Or it was that the senior leaders are nice or the weather was just so it just made your presentation better, right?
Like you come up with some justification, some reason why it’s not that you just rocked it. It’s like luck, right? And you kind of minimize or diminish your accomplishments and you pick a part and say, yeah, it was great. But it could have been better, right? Like, that is a way of self sabotaging, because you are taking something that you are doing that is positive.
That is an accomplishment and you’re ripping yourself away from it. Or let’s say you get a promotion and you dismiss it is not a big deal. It’s like, well, everyone’s getting promoted or me and five other people got promoted. So it’s not special or you get offered an opportunity and you decide it’s because of some other reason other than you’re amazing and you earned it. This type of thinking is keeping you small.
I want you to own those wins, own your success. Your success is not a fluke. It didn’t just happen. You made it happen. When I work with my clients, I always have them track their wins.
And I encourage you to do that, too. When they have a big win, I ask them what they did to create that for themselves. It’s a great question. Think about that. Next time you accomplish something great, big or small, what did you do to create it?
One of my clients said when I asked them this, they said, Well, the leader is just really nice. That was kind of an immediate reaction. No, as nice as leaders are, they don’t create positions, promote people or go out of their way to impact the bottom line of a business. You created that opportunity. So when pushed, she was able to come up with the actual steps that she took and what she did over the last several months.
Really, to create this opportunity for herself but your brain, the way that it operates, it is constantly distorting and deleting information. It is always creating a narrative for you that supports your beliefs good or bad. So if you don’t believe that you are worthy of this next level, if you don’t have a healthy amount of self confidence, your brain is going to offer that immediate response of like, it was just a nice leader. It was something outside of you. But if you really push for it, if you ask yourself, what did you do to create your success, then you’ll come up with those deeper responses and see that you actually took the action necessary to create what you have.
No one else did this for you. It’s not a fluke. The third way that you may be sabotaging your career success is to turn down opportunities for comfort. I am so guilty of this until I embraced a phrase just say yes. When I led a network of women back in my corporate days, I actually bought everyone these just say yes buttons to put on their lanyards to remind themselves to say yes to opportunities.
So how this would look for me is I’d be asked to deliver a big workshop for hundreds of people, and I’d think, oh, no, I’m so busy, I couldn’t possibly fit that in. I’d find other work that was higher priority just to not have to do it. And there was no reason other than fear. What if I failed? What if my workshop wasn’t effective?
What if I made a mistake? It was a lot of work. It was daunting. The plus side is that it would have been great experience, great visibility, and it was actually aligned with the work I wanted to do. But I was afraid to be so exposed, so visible to kind of step into that power.
Do you do this, too? When you think about it? Do you shy away from opportunity? It doesn’t just have to be an opportunity that you’re asked to do. Like, in my example, it can be an opportunity that you’re not raising your hand for.
I cannot stress enough that you are in the driver’s seat of your career and your life and truly what you want. You can create. I know there are work, politics and hierarchy and all of the things, and you may think I’m making it too simple, but trust me, it really is simple. It might not be easy, but it is simple. The three ways that I see people sabotaging their career success again are convincing yourself to settle, making your success a fluke and self sabotaging opportunities so that you can feel comfortable.
And I want to add this. The longer you struggle, the more comfortable you are struggling. So if you haven’t been happy in your career for a long time, you have gotten comfortable being unhappy in your career. It may have become part of your identity. So if something goes wrong at work, you use it as evidence that you can’t have what you want, that your goal is too big, but you’re wrong.
You’re making decisions from a subconscious identity, that things have to be how they are. But they don’t. They really, really don’t. You are worthy of exactly what you want in this life. You are worthy of having a career that you love.
You are worthy of respect and kindness. You are worthy of happiness just as you are. So don’t settle. Don’t make your success as a fluke. Don’t stay comfortable.
Make yourself a little uncomfortable. Do something today. Go and do something that is going to help you get to where you want to be. Know that a part of your brain may be working against you, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be a problem.
You can still decide what to do and what you want. So before we go, have you heard that I am teaching a brand new training for free on January 13? If you haven’t, you need to register. It is five mistakes people like you make when you create a career plan. So I want your 2022 to be set up to be the best year yet.
So if you aren’t where you want to be in your career, if something is missing skills, you aren’t using an impact you want to make that you’re not making a level in your career. You’re not getting to and you want to make sure 2022 is your year. I want you to jump on this because I know where company guidance, even well intended, can fail. And I’m going to help you get on track. So this training is an hour long.
It’s January 13 at 12:00 p.m.. Eastern. You have to register. I’m delivering this training on Zoom Live and I haven’t done a training like this in a long time. I don’t do this very often so you don’t want to miss it so you can register at my website.
It’s www.Melissamlawrence.Com/career-plan I’m going to put a link on the show notes for you for Connected on LinkedIn and you can access it right from my profile. We aren’t connected on LinkedIn. Why not send me a message on there. Let’s connect.
All right. I will see you next week and in the training on January 13. I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful week and that this is just the beginning of a fabulous year for you. This year. I will talk to you soon.
I get asked all of the time. How do I know if I’m in the right career? Now? You can find out. I created a free quiz using my criteria for what makes a great job fit.
You can take the quiz at my website www.melissamlawrence.com/quiz, and in less than three minutes you’ll know the answer so you can stop guessing and take some action. And as a bonus, if your job isn’t a great fit, you’ll get some resources to help you decide what to do about it. Head there now.