“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.”-Alyce Cornyn-Selby
I haven’t related to any other quote in a long time more than the one above. To give you a little background, I have a tendency to plan huge goals for myself. get excited about it, be motivated by it, plan detailed schedules around it, YET, not work on it! Sounds absurd right? I managed to break this toxic pattern 2 years back during my weight loss journey. I had to force myself to take each day as it comes and work on my goals everyday. That immensely helped me achieve my weight loss target.
For the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a resurgence of this toxic pattern and it’s not pretty. I had scheduled a long run today, woke up at the designated time, had kept my shoes and clothes ready the night before, yet didn’t show up for the run. My mind gave me various reasons to abort the plan and I LISTENED TO IT. The same pattern accompanies me with my preparation for CFA Level 1 exams to be held on February 21st 2021. I have started studying for it, I utilize my office travel time for it but when it comes to studying at home, it’s a NO SHOW. The other time my mind is engulfed in this toxic pattern is during my preparations for a job interview. I am never able to prepare for an interview beforehand, I just go through whatever material I can scan within an hour or two before the interview schedule.
While wasting my time, NOT STUDYING for my upcoming exam today in the afternoon, my brain finally realized that there’s a toxic pattern in play. I don’t know for sure but it looks like it’s my anxiety acting up, preventing me from working hard so that it doesn’t hurt when I fail. We know our brain’s “survival” mode becomes extra effective when it notices an upcoming threat to our existence. Facing failure is the BIGGEST blow to our self esteem and our brain wants to protect us from it at all costs. However, the results of my hard work is UNKNOWN in the present moment and will be determined in the future. Hiding away from the pain that the end result MAY or MAY NOT have restricts my learning process and GROWTH. While I haven’t been able to figure out a one stop solution to my anxiety yet, switching the purpose of my goals from an ACCOMPLISHMENT mindset to a GROWTH/LEARNING mindset should trick my brain into being less dramatic about the consequences. I’m planning to put this into practice right away and will share my findings in about a month or two. Let’s see how this little change in my thinking affects my life’s BIG PICTURE.