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How to stop self-sabotaging

One of the biggest barriers to success many women face is self-sabotage. This can be as a result of anxiety, self-doubt, stress, decision-making or self-judgement. Mental health & wellness coach Su Orosa talks to SLOAN! about self-sabotage behaviours and how to stop them from getting in the way of your success.

Su Orosa at work

I believe whole-heartedly that humans are born with immense potential and that we all deserve to find fulfilment. But for so many people and especially women, self-sabotage can stop us from living the life we deserve.

Childhood

In my experience, issues with self-sabotage usually stem from the all-important childhood years. When we are young and bursting with life, it is easy to be honest about everything we want from life and feel positive about the future. But at some point that all changes. We face pressure to conform and fit in, and this can stop us from speaking up about our dreams if they seem too unrealistic, or cause us to distort our personality to make others happy. It may seem like childhood was aeons ago, but it is important not to underestimate how much impact that period in our lives has on us as adults.

Adulthood

When we reduce ourselves as children, we lose our sense of self. Without being honest about what we truly want from life, we will never aim high enough or have the confidence we need to go after the things that make us happy. This can lead to anxiety, stress and self-doubt, which hold us back even more. We shouldn’t entertain these negative thoughts and diminishing beliefs though because they cause us to get in the way of our own progress and happiness.

Once you decide that there is more to life than what you allow yourself to experience, you will start to realise that there is a more joyful path waiting for you. You may have to take steps that others will disapprove of, but remember that you are living this life for yourself and no one else. Remember that you and you alone know the things that will make you truly happy, and that the only way to discover your true purpose is to listen to your heart and learn to ignore the negative voices. You are stronger than your self-sabotaging beliefs, and there is more to life beyond your limits. Learn to accept and love yourself and you will see the truth behind what I am saying.

The Future

Do not allow yourself to live only half a life. The world is full of endless possibilities and there is so much you are capable of, whether you believe it yet or not. If you are still unsure, ask yourself what your life could be like if you achieved all you wanted to achieve, and be as honest with yourself as you can. I guarantee you that your answer will give you the motivation you need to start making changes.

Learning to overcome self-sabotage is probably the most important journey you will ever undertake. To take that first step, you have to face down your demons and learn to say “no!” to them. It isn’t easy but it is so worthwhile. I have seen the lives my clients live after counselling or coaching, and it brings me so much joy and pleasure to know I have helped them experience true fulfilment. If it was possible for them and for me, it is possible for you.

About the expert

Su Orosa is a mental health and wellness coach who helps stressed professional women to rediscover peace, joy and purpose in life. She offers a package of self-development programs to help women understand their anxiety and stress as well as learning tools and techniques to manage their inner critic. She also runs one-day wellbeing retreats and a signature workshop on Finding Meaning and Purpose – looking at the Inner Critic. Her mission is to help as many women as possible to start living the life they were always meant to live.

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