by Jovhannah Tisdale

No More Self Sabotage! Develop a Success Mindset and Change Your Life!

February 25, 2023 | Mindset & Mental Health

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All successful people have at least one thing in common: A success mindset.

It doesn’t matter if they are a business person, an artist, a successful athlete, or an inventor. They all have the attitude and qualities to rise above their own personal troubles and to see things others can’t or don’t see. 

Why is it that some people are more successful than their peers are? They may be average and come from backgrounds with various struggles and little money. Yet they become very successful.

Your lot in life isn’t what determines what you can or cannot achieve. 

Having the right state of mind is a key factor to being successful in business and life in general. The way you think about succeeding can help you move ahead or keep you stagnant. 

Many times our thoughts are what hold us back from succeeding at something. We second-guess ourselves. We have doubts. We have negative thoughts or opinions. We tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, talented enough, or whatever fits the situation. This is all self-sabotaging behavior, which can be changed.

There are many reasons why we do this. It could be fear of the unknown. It can come from the action being outside our comfort zone. It might be we were raised to think in a certain way. Whatever the cause, mindset has a profound effect on how we succeed in life.

Anyone can develop a success mindset and harness the power it has to change your life. One of the first things you need to realize is that to be successful you have to be prepared for it in your mind.

What is mindset and why does it profoundly affect how we see things?

In this article, we will look at what mindset is and how the wrong mindset can be sabotaging your success. The reasons behind this behavior will be discussed. Finally, we will give you tips for developing a success mindset.

What is Mindset?

Everyone has heard of the law of attraction and positive thinking. Mindset is that and more. Mindset is the way we perceive success. It is the negative, fear induced thoughts that hold you back versus positive, self-supporting thoughts that help you grow. 

Your mindset has three basic parts: your IQ, the behavioral patterns you’ve learned, and your abilities or skills. It's your beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. It’s what you believe about your intelligence, your talent, your personality, and your abilities. It’s the belief of whether you believe these traits are fixed traits that can’t be changed or if they can be learned and improved upon throughout your life.

There are two kinds of mindsets: Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset.  

Fixed Mindset

People who have a fixed mindset believe they were born with everything they need to succeed– intelligence, skills, talent, etc. They believe they are guaranteed success simply because of the characteristics and talents they already have. They seldom try new things, take chances, or look at things from a different perspective. 

People with a fixed mindset often worry about their mindset traits and their suitability. They often feel that they have to prove things to themselves and others. Yet, they only do what they feel comfortable doing. They can achieve some success but more often than not, they reach a ceiling that keeps them from moving any further up the success chain.

Growth Mindset

People with a growth mindset believe anyone can achieve success with hard work and a believer’s attitude. They don’t believe in quitting. This allows them to strive while others run into roadblocks.

These people believe everyone is teachable. They are willing to learn what they need to in order to grow to the next level. People with a growth mindset believe they have some natural abilities in certain areas but it must be cultivated in order to take full advantage of it.

They know there is always room to improve on what they know and they’re not afraid to fail. They know trying and failing are important parts of learning and achieving. They are willing to put in the effort to succeed by taking action that moves them toward their goals.

Your mindset is made up of your skills, your intelligence, and your behavioral patterns. Some believe they are fixed and cannot be changed or enhanced. Others see them as the starting point to growth and change.

Why do You Have Self-Sabotaging Behavior?

Self-sabotage is when part of your personality acts in conflict with another part of your personality. If you want to succeed, why do you sabotage it with your behavior? Bad habits, negative self-talk, and other self-defeating behaviors can come from many sources. 

Self-sabotage is often associated with poor self-esteem, low self-worth, and no self-confidence. You can suffer from this type of behavior pattern because you can’t effectively control your emotions. You react to circumstances or people in ways that prevent you from reaching your goals. 

Self-sabotage is used to cope during difficult situations or times when you feel like you are not capable or worthy. 

Here are four causes of self-defeating behavior:
  1. Anticipating failure. You may be accustomed to situations failing or not turning out as you hoped. Dysfunctional or negative people may be pulling you down. You could be afraid to try something different because you don’t want to risk failing. 
  2. Bad habits. Unhealthy behaviors or thoughts like excessive drinking, smoking, uncontrolled anger, or overeating can cause you to stick with what is familiar. You tell yourself you can’t change these habits so why try.
  3. Internalized negative thoughts. If you grew up with a parent who always saw the negative side of everything, worried about what could go wrong, or how they looked to others, you may have taken on a similar attitude without even knowing it.
  4. Listening to your critical inner voice. This voice is formed from experiences early in our life. You internalize the attitudes of others directed toward you. Because others may have seen you as lazy, you may have grown up feeling useless. Your self-sabotaging inner voice might tell you not to try. For example, “Why bother? You’ll never succeed anyway.”
Self-sabotage is often an unconscious thought or behavior that is in direct conflict with our desire to succeed.

Avoiding Self-Sabotage 

Now that you know why you are sabotaging your success, you need to learn how to avoid these thoughts and behaviors to achieve the success you desire. To do this you need to be aware of when you are in this state. 

Here are some characteristics, thoughts, and behaviors to watch for: 

  • Fear of failure, taking risks or making mistakes
  • Not being able to plan ahead
  • Inability to say “no” to others
  • Not considering the consequences of your actions or not thinking carefully before making a decision
  • Inability to admit mistakes or errors
  • Worrying constantly, procrastinating
  • Having unrealistic expectations, expecting perfectionism
  • Critically judging yourself or others and comparing yourself to others
  • Always complaining about people, circumstances, or perceived bad luck
  • Spending more than you make
  • Limiting beliefs, emotions, and attitudes
  • Focusing on what’s not working or on wishful daydreams

Recognizing and counteracting self-sabotage:

  1. Fear of failure, success, taking risks or making mistakes – Everyone has this fear at some point on the journey to success. This is often just a fear of change. Think about what is the worst that can happen? Then turn it around….What’s the best thing that can happen? Don’t dwell on what could go wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. The key is to learn from them.
  2. Inability to move forward because of too many options – Having too many options can lead to decision paralysis. The best way to avoid this is to take action. Pick one thing to do and get started. 
  3. Giving up when things get tough – This is a big one for many people, especially in the world of doing business on the internet. It’s so easy to start a blog but, when you don’t see success quickly, you give up. To avoid this behavior, set smart, realistic goals and work towards them. Set up daily tasks toward achieving these goals and stick with it.
  4. Spending more than you are bringing in – Invest in the tools and resources that will help you grow and succeed. Avoid spending money on junk and everything that comes across your monitor. Think carefully about purchases. Decide how you will implement them before you spend anything.
  5. Inability to say “no” – Your time is your most valuable asset. It’s non-renewable. Don’t be afraid to tell others you can’t do something or that you aren’t available at this time. Being able to say no frees up your time for what is important to your success. 
  6. Denying responsibility – Accept the part you play in the success or failure of a project. Be responsible for your success by doing the work and admitting when you make a mistake or fail just as often as when you succeed. 
  7. Negative self-talk – You tell yourself you aren’t good enough, smart enough, or technically savvy enough. It’s best left out of your thoughts. Focus on positive stories. Tell yourself you are good enough, you can learn what you need to know, or you are smart enough. Back those stories up with facts of “a time when” you proved you were good enough, smart enough, or overcame a technology hurdle.
  8. Disregarding behaviors – Identify the self-sabotaging behavior that prevents you from moving forward. Be consciously aware of your actions and the decisions you make. Pinpoint specific triggers and remove them if possible. Identify limiting beliefs and work on transforming them into empowering beliefs. 
  9. Ignoring mistakes – Learn from your mistakes. Take time to reflect each day on how you reacted to circumstances you encountered that day. 
Counteracting self-sabotage takes practice, vigilance, and constant control over your thoughts and actions. If necessary, write down any self-sabotaging thoughts or behaviors when you become aware of doing them. Then work on changing them.

Tips for Ensuring Success

Everything you experience in life can create a habit of sabotaging your success.

Even when things are going right, you may be afraid. You might start giving yourself self-sabotaging talks about how you're going to fail or mess thing up.

Preventing this behavior means, you have to recognize and counteract the negative with positive.
These tips can help you ensure success:
  • Don’t say “Can’t”. Every day you give yourself all sorts of reasons why you can’t do this or achieve that. Stop it. You have the ability to take the actions you needed to get closer to your goal of succeeding. Instead of saying I can’t, figure out what is causing you to think that way. Is it a fear of doing something? Are you unwilling to do what is necessary to make something happen? Find out why and then face that reality.
  • Avoid telling yourself “someday”. Being afraid to take action often leads to procrastination and telling yourself that you will do it “someday”. But that someday often never comes. You never get to it. Instead, stop putting off what you want or need to do or learn to be successful.
  • Quit putting off taking action. Your brain will often convince you you’re not ready, you don’t know enough yet and you must do more research before you take action or make a decision. This analysis paralysis leads to mentally being unable to take action on anything. Time flies when you use excuses for not doing the work to follow your dreams. Start taking action and learn as you go.
  • Stop saying you don’t have time to build success. Turn off the TV. Stay off Twitter and Facebook. Spend one less weekend partying. Instead, use that time to build your business. Prioritize your goals for success over these other activities.
  • Get away from negative people. Misery loves company. If you want to be miserable and unsuccessful, hang out with your negative friends. It’s often hard for unhappy people to support others who are on the road to success. Distance yourself as much as possible from negative people as you go for your goals. Find and hang out with people who are positive and committed to creating their own success.
  • Forget justifying why you did or didn’t do something. Instead, watch yourself. Observe what you did and why you did it. Was it fear, control issues, or a need for attention? Once you know why you are doing something, you can begin to make changes to avoid repeating it.
  • Don’t just assume you know what success means. Visualize what true success will look like to you.
  • Don’t be a perfectionist. If you mess up, don’t give up. Tell yourself we all make mistakes and mistakes can be fixed.
  • Quit jumping all over the place. Learn to focus on what is most important to your success. For example, concentrate on one ways to make money at a time. Trying to balance multiple moneymaking projects at one time just leads to frustration. Successful people develop the ability to concentrate on what they need to succeed.
  • Don’t try to please everyone all the time. Work hard and take risks. You can’t. When you see yourself doing this, take a step back and define who really matters and what you can do to please yourself and them.
Falling into the self-sabotage trap keeps you from reaching for the success you desire. Recognizing when this happens and learning how to move away from those traps is key in growing a successful mindset.

Tips for Developing a Successful Mindset

Even if you are a self-sabotaging thinker, you can develop a success mindset. There are many helpful things you can do to counteract negative self-talk.

  • Be grateful. Practice gratitude in different forms. This can include writing in a gratitude journal every day. This allows you to recognize what you have daily. Another way to focus on gratitude is to say what you are grateful for aloud. Try to find something new each day. 
  • Gain clarity on what you want to accomplish. Then commit to accomplishing this. For example, maybe you have a goal to write a book. Ask yourself why you are writing a book? Who is the book for? When you’ve answered those questions move on to actually writing the book.
  • Take a leap of faith and start. Summon the courage to get started on what you want to achieve. Grand ideas or intentions don’t mean anything if you never take action on them. Action builds your confidence, driving you to do things you’ve avoided before. 
  • Don’t go for the quick fix or the shortest path. Be persistent and stick with it even when it gets hard. Write down the negative thoughts and doubts – why you can’t or shouldn’t. Then tear up the paper and throw it away. This releases you from all these thoughts, allowing the positive ones to take their place. 
  • Be willing to fail. Part of success means learning how to fail. Developing a mindset for success requires you to step out of your comfort zone and adopt a can-do attitude. You will have challenges and setbacks but owning up to them and being willing to make a mistake keeps you growing.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek help. It’s not a sign of weakness. When you get stuck, seek out others who can help you move forward. 
  • Show up even when others don’t want to see you succeed. It’s your life. Drop the crappy excuses, remove your limitations, and take control of what you can. Take bold massive action.
  • Have the desire to do things differently. Be willing to explore all options. Step out of the box and be adventurous in opening your mind to alternative ideas. 
  • Create a list of goals you want to accomplish. Then create a vision board of these dreams and goals. Put it somewhere you will see it every day.
  • Build a positive attitude. A success mindset means having a positive attitude towards everything, even your challenges. A positive attitude helps you respond calmly and with confidence. It does away with the victim mindset. Monitor your thoughts on a daily basis until it becomes second nature to think positively.
  • Meditate daily to slow down an overactive mind. Meditation helps you gain control over your thoughts. 
  • Associate with inspiring people. Network online and in person with others who are successful and inspire you. 
  • Invest in a mentor. A mentor can be a valuable asset. They can help you get unstuck, hold you accountable, and help you eliminate your self-limiting beliefs.

Acknowledge your need to change and take the steps to make changes to your mindset for success.

The Next Step in Your Journey to a Success Mindset

Your success depends on your thought process and your behaviors. A mindset for success is positive, looks outside the box, and is willing to make mistakes. They follow through and don’t give up when things become challenging. 

A success mindset thinks bigger and bolder. They do away with the self-sabotaging patterns of behavior of having a narrow focus and being unable to see the bigger picture. A person with a success mindset takes the time to expand their understanding and think bigger in any situation.

A person with a success mindset will not only ask questions, they ask better questions. Asking questions that are more effective allows you to gain a different perspective about the situations you find yourself in. These questions include:

What have I learned from this going through this experience?

What would I do differently if given another chance?

How will changing my response help me get what I want?

What are the potential benefits in this situation?

A person developing a success mindset treats the process as an experiment. They know that change doesn’t happen overnight, that it’s a process.

Those with a success mindset seek advice from other people who have been through what you are going through. They can give you helpful advice and suggestions to move beyond your self-sabotage beliefs.

Those wanting to develop a success mindset learn to make plans in advance. They set goals and the steps necessary to reach those goals. They focus on the solutions and not the limitations or inadequacies that lead to problems and setbacks. 

A success mindset allows you to adjust your expectations to the situation, the conditions, and the resources available. On the other hand, they are more likely to take risks than those who play it safe. They can handle uncertainty and change. 

A self-sabotage mindset sees the negative side of things. They believe they can’t do something or they give up when things become difficult or challenging. They don’t see the solution in any way except the normal one. 

Self-sabotaging behavior is often what keeps you from succeeding. Bad habits, negative self-talk, worrying, and fear can limit your success. It’s a part of your personality, behavior, and conditioned responses from your environment. 

It can be due to low self-worth, poor self-esteem, or lack of self-confidence. It can be something we learned as a child or from others in authority. These behavior patterns can be changed though, with time and actively thinking about what you are doing.

By realizing what is causing your behavior, knowing when you are doing something that is self-sabotaging your success, and learning how to counteract that behavior is the first steps in changing.

Owner of The Kulture Spa

Peace & Blessings! I'm passionate about healing my community as a Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist, Energy Healing Practitioner, and Master Spiritual Life Coach. My mission is to help you Feel Better: Body, Mind & Soul.

The Kulture Spa was birthed so that I could be a beacon of healing and educate my community while providing transformational, holistic healing and spiritual wellness services #forthekulture.

I'm an avid reader, lover of tea, crystals, tarot, learning, traveling, tacos, and journaling! I live and work in Wake Forest, North Carolina. And am Mom to two beautiful and smart daughters.

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