Thursday, September 10, 2015

3 Essential Steps to Stop Self-Sabotage Once and for All

"To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will."
-Sugar Ray Robinson




There are plenty of cynics in this world. Even if someone doesn't self-identify that way, we all have that dark little voice telling us the reasons we can't accomplish something, the reason things are destined to fail. What's worse than telling ourselves something isn't possible? Telling someone else that their dream isn't possible. One side step to that that's even more insidious, is telling other people that someone else isn't capable of something (ahhh, vicious gossip).

While you may not choose to acknowledge that you are indulging your inner bully, what else can you call it if you're being straight up about it? Start by making a choice to listen to your inner bully, then tell him/her/it to "take a long walk off a short pier". Or you can tell it to "Go F**K itself!" Whatever you need to break from that pattern of thinking long enough to get something done.

Step 1: Choose to believe you're capable of more than you can ever imagine. In some respects, you might be in the paradigm of fake it til you make it here. When you get to the point you believe in yourself, know that this isn't a permanent condition, nobody transcends that inner bully, at least nobody I've met yet.

Step 2: Surround yourself with people who are adult in their self-respect, and childish in their belief in chasing dreams. The adult part is important, as people who behave as children across the board are prone to childish jealousy, gossip, and feeling bad for themselves when you succeed. Your victory becomes their insecurity. The part that is childish (dream chasing element) is key because a lot of so-called grown ups are bitter, jaded and cynical. As far as I can tell, a very high percentage of these people have lived responsible, reasonable lives, and have at some point in time given up on something they really, really wanted to chase after.

Step 3: Foster an environment where you empower others in their goals and dreams, you become a champion vs the inner bullies of others. This can take many forms, but it starts with recognizing the red flags of others' inner bullies, and taking a stand for them to overcome. Interestingly enough, Step 3 is the most essential to maintaining Steps 1 & 2, as when our focus expands to community (instead of self), it's much more difficult to indulge in bad habits. When you put your focus on others, I find you also elevate your personal game. When you stand for excellence in others, you naturally trend towards maintaining your own excellence. Vanity helps here, nobody wants to be viewed as a hypocrite.

To expand a bit on the community focus, I have long had a rule for myself as a coach, but even more so as a human being:

"Never tear down the dreams or goals of another human being."

That's the baseline. But when I am living and breathing it, "another human being" will also extend to me, I'm not allowed to tear down my own goals and dreams.


A shout out to my friend (and mentor) Robert Mills, a man who hired me to coach one of his marathon programs before I had even really run a marathon myself. Yes, you read that right. Marathon program #1 (I'm now closing in on my 40th program coached), I had not even RUN a 26.2 mile footrace myself. Now, looking back on 13 years of marathon experience, I've finished over 60 races of 26.2 miles up to 135 miles in a single shot, having coached 2,500+ athletes to achieve their goals and dreams. But it started with believing in myself even if not 100%, and finding others who did too. Again, thanks to Robert and Euri, and especially that champion who's been at my side for all of that, my beloved Kate.

Call to action:
1- What big goal / dream are you chasing after actively now?

2- Is there a back-burner goal/dream that you haven't taken any action on in a long time? (i.e. something you keep telling yourself you'll go after when you're ready, just not now)

3- Who could you share these with that would stand for you being accountable to chasing these goals and dreams?

4- Who could you stand for to get on track with their goals and dreams?

"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at."
-Bruce Lee
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