We can prevent ourselves from reaching our full potential in many ways. When we become aware of the fact that we are holding ourselves back, we are often able to move forward. Don’t stand in your own way! This year, give up the following self-sabotaging behaviors—for good.
Feeling like you can’t lead your best life. When we read or hear stories about people who have done amazing things and accomplished a great deal, we often think, Well, she could do that because she’s special, but I can’t. Living a larger life isn’t for a chosen few—we all have the tools to do so. Think about what moves you. What are your passions, talents, and skills? What have you always wanted to do? Go to your intuition for answers.
Letting discomfort stand in your way. Discomfort can occur when we tackle positive changes, as well as when something goes awry. We may be tempted to shy away from actions that take us out of our element, but doing so keeps us from moving forward. Stay present to in the midst of change. Discussing your feelings with a supportive friend or writing them down in a journal may help soothe your uneasiness.
Not appreciating your whole self. When we only appreciate parts of ourselves and exclude weaknesses due to shame or embarrassment, we don’t bring our full selves to the table. Acknowledge your talents and skills, but be aware of places where there may room for improvement. Take responsibility for your entire being.
Not expressing how you really feel. Sometimes, we say “yes” when we really mean “no.” We seek to be nice or agreeable in order to avoid confrontation. If we do decide to speak our minds, we try to anticipate what the reaction will be beforehand. The next time you feel yourself biting back something you should (or want to) say, push through the awkwardness and share what you truly feel. Eventually, being honest will become easier.
Second-guessing yourself. Doubting ourselves is human nature. Even if you don’t feel confident, act “as if” you do, and you’ll be there before you know it! Find a “confidence mentor”—someone who believes in your capabilities even when you may not. Finally, honor your accomplishments instead of brushing them off. By acknowledging all the good that you do, you’ll realize how far you’ve come, even if you still have a ways to go.
Not getting the support you need. Seeking out people we don’t know can be intimidating, especially when it involves reaching out to those who work above us. Remember that no one is perfect, and even the president of your company was at your level once. Everyone – including you! – has something to bring to the table. Keep that in mind the next time you feel reluctant to ask for help.
Once you start letting go of the behaviors that were previously holding you back, look for someone to whom you can pass along your insights. You may be moved to join an organization or to reach out to a specific person. Either way, it’s important to pay it forward—after all, think of where you’d be without the people who were there for you!
If you find yourself getting cold feet on the mentorship front, keep these affirmations in the back of your mind:
I reach out to people who share my interests.
I use my talents to support other people to thrive.
I look for opportunities to help others empower themselves.