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Archive for the ‘self-sabotage’ Category

Self-Sabotage and Healthy Habits

Understanding Why We Self-Sabotage

I’m a procrastinator. The more my mind sees a task as disrupting my life, the more likely I’ll do everything in my power to avoid it.

Still, over the last couple of years, I’ve managed to temporarily shut my inner procrastinator down to set some incredible habits which are now non-negotiable:

  • Make the bed every morning
  • Go to the gym 3 times a week
  • Eat healthy meals (most of the time)
  • Write my morning pages every day
  • Clean the kitchen before I go to bed every night

To some, these might seem pretty easy. They’re things a “normal” person would do without thinking twice. But for me, they’ve taken time and tenacity to build into habits I am no longer willing to break, except on rare occasions, and usually with good reason.

Getting Past the Blocks to Completing My Memoir

My biggest obstacle these days is the rewrite of “Forgotten Victims”. I start each day with every intention of picking it back up again, but, until yesterday, hadn’t been able to bring myself to do it. I realize it’s merely another obstacle I must conquer, but to do so, I need to grab hold of the ladder and put my foot on the first rung.

Instead of just sitting my butt down, opening the file, and starting, I used the time, when not contemplating my navel or playing games on the computer to psychoanalyze myself and my lack of motivation.

Getting Out of Our Own Way Towards Setting New Habits

Every new habit we set out to establish was daunting at first. It’s easier to make excuses, or worse, analyze our reasons for avoiding the thing entirely than to dive in and do it.

Years ago, I had an employee who tried my patience excessively. Every time I’d ask her do something a little different from what she was used to, she’d spend two hours whining and complaining about what I was asking her to do, and making excuses for why she couldn’t. Eventually, she’d do what I asked, in about 1/10th of the time she’d spent complaining about it.

I see a little of her in myself when I do everything in my power to avoid something, whether it’s going to the gym (which nowadays I am excited about instead of dreading), cleaning house (I still hate it, but I hate walking barefoot across gritty floors more), marketing my business (still trying to figure that one out, but building relationships in the meantime), or working on one of my five (yes I really do have five going at once) writing projects.

Focusing on Our Accomplishments

So why is it I can conquer the menial, boring, passionless tasks, but when it comes to what I really love, my passion projects, I am continually mired in excuses and, let’s be honest, an Everest-sized mountain of self-doubt? With everything else, I learned long ago to look at what I have accomplished rather than what I have left to accomplish. Where am I losing sight of it with my writing which I truly love?

With that in mind, let’s take stock. What have I already accomplished writing-wise?

  • Consistently writing 3 blog posts a week
  • Completed several writing projects for clients
  • Wrote and revised over 103,000 words for “Sasha’s Journey”
  • Wrote over 90,000 words for “A Dubious Gift”
  • Wrote over 70,000 words for “Hannah’s Chair”
  • Wrote over 70,000 words for “Forgotten Victims”
  • Re-wrote an entirely new first chapter for “Forgotten Victims” which I LOVE!
  • Re-wrote 4 more chapters (as of 6/6/18) for “Forgotten Victims”
  • Wrote 4,500 words for “Frederick the Gentlemouse”

Not to mention what I wrote during my years as an Accountant

  • Wrote volumes of detailed desk instructions
  • Wrote procedures for an ISO 9001 project
  • Wrote Cost Volumes for government RFP’s (Requests for Proposal)
  • Wrote countless responses to management, government agencies, clients, and more

My mind is especially blown when I realize I recently started the 6th 200-page spiral notebook of Morning Pages, and have filled the better part of another with writing prompts. And let’s not forget more than 1,200 blog posts for my website and blog site.

Do More, Think Less

The point I’m making (more for myself than anyone else) is when I didn’t waste time making excuses or talking myself out of moving from the safe, boring place in which I was currently sitting, I did some amazing things. In fact, from the day I swore to my daughter I couldn’t possibly write 50,000 words in a month, and did it with words and time to spare, I have consistently overachieved—as long as I got out of my own way and didn’t over think it.

Therein lies a problem many of us face. We see, not the first step in a journey, but the entire mountain we believe we need to climb. We allow the part of us that hates change (and maybe exercise too!) to fill our heads with negative self-talk, excuses, and fear. And for what? So we can remain in the rut we know we hate forever? How dumb is that? Yet every one of us is an expert in self-sabotage.

That doesn’t mean many aren’t wildly successful. Just because you develop expertise in something doesn’t mean you have to pursue it. Sometimes, we need to learn everything about a particular topic or behavior pattern so we understand what’s needed to overcome it or conquer it.

It Isn’t Always Necessary to Know Why

A few days ago, I was talking to Linda Clay about my lack of motivation to finish “Forgotten Victims” and she started throwing out questions to help me figure out why I was self-sabotaging. When I finally picked it up and started re-reading so I could start re-writing, I realized something really important. The time I was spending trying to figure out why I wasn’t writing was keeping me from writing! (cue light bulbs, fireworks, and neon banners blazing across the sky)

I suddenly realized it isn’t always about understanding why you’re avoiding something. Trying to figure it out is adding to the list of avoidance measures you’re using. Sometimes you have to stop overthinking the reasons behind the problem and get back to the business of doing what you do best. In my case, remembering that I could be the most amazing writer on the planet, but if I never finish and publish anything, none of my lofty dreams will ever bear the fruit I seek.

Our minds will do just about anything to maintain our status quo. It’s safe. It’s known. It requires little effort. But it’s also boring as hell. Our amazing brains atrophy from disuse just as our muscles do when we do nothing but sit in front of the TV all day. We need to scramble those brain cells. Keep them moving and stretch them in new and different ways.

Between you and me, a healthy, challenged body is nothing without a healthy, challenged mind. Is it time to stop asking “why?” and start asking “why not?” Each of us has to answer that question ourselves, but if you’ve been stuck in a rut too long like I was, I can pretty much guarantee it’s time.

A Gratitude a Day…

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for a mind which, despite the odds, thrives on being challenged.
  2. I am grateful for new people and ideas which are coming into my world these days. Whether or not they ever know, they challenge me to strive to be the very best me I can.
  3. I am grateful for finally breaking the writing block that kept “Forgotten Victims” from becoming a reality.
  4. I am grateful for people who continually encourage me even when they don’t know exactly what it is they’re encouraging me to do. They know the what is less important than the why.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; perseverance, motivation, inspiration, encouragement, role models, support, entrepreneurs, friends, family, my cats who are there to encourage and sometimes distract me from myself, peace, harmony, love, happiness, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She specializes in creating content that helps entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Hidden Demons of Self-Sabotage

Removing the Tendency to Self-Sabotage

Most of us are guilty of self-sabotaging behavior at one time or another. It’s human nature to try to protect the position we’re in from the unknown. Whether we’re waiting for feedback on our writing or a proposal, a new job or client, or even a budding friendship or romance, we often find ourselves self-sabotaging without even realizing it.

Too often, we try to fend off disappointment by convincing ourselves beforehand that we’re somehow unworthy, under-qualified, unlovable, or harboring other such mucky, ugly-feeling thoughts. To that I say, in the immortal words of Tim Conway: “STOP THAT!”

You are worthy. You are lovable. You are qualified. You are perfect just the way you are. The fact that something you’re waiting for either doesn’t come through, or is delayed has nothing to do with you! There are a million and seven reasons why you don’t get picked, or in all too many cases, wait longer than you anticipated. Shake it off. Go for a walk. Clean the house. Go to the gym. Immerse yourself in something you love. Do whatever it takes to shove those negative thoughts back into the void where they came from, and out of your head.

Learning to Expand Our Own Reality

I’m not telling you to fill your head with fairy tales and nothing but happily-ever-afters (though doing so without getting too deep into the hows, whens, whys, and wherefores isn’t a bad thing either). I’m saying every time one of those negative thoughts starts to creep in, you fill the spot it’s trying to occupy with something better, something that will lift you up rather than dragging you down. If you can’t find anything yourself, call one of your favorite cheerleaders. Even hermits like me have more than we realize!

By now you may be wondering why this topic came to the top of my list of blog ideas. Like you, I have my moments when that scared little girl who lives deep inside wants to ensure she’s not disappointed yet again if the Universe decides not to grant her dearest wish. That’s when I grab the jaded, world-weary adult by the throat and say “Really? Are you going to let her get away with this? After all the times our disappointments turned into triumphs? When every disappointment turned out to be a blessing in disguise? When you know full well passion and positivity bring what we want and need every…single…time???”

My inner adult spends a lot of time daydreaming and doing her best to live in the moment, but there are times she’s hopelessly out to lunch and lets the child within take the wheel for a little too long. The adult has learned that though life may not always seem fair, things always turn out the way they’re supposed to, and get there more quickly if we don’t turn into a whiny 5-year-old while we’re waiting for most of the ducks to stop wandering around aimlessly and line up in at least a semblance of a straight line. (I have learned to never expect perfection before I move forward. I’d still be sitting on my arse doing nothing, and would certainly not have 5 books in various stages of publication readiness if I didn’t move until everything was perfectly aligned.)

Let’s Get Physical

The best way to get the adult’s attention these days is to do something physical: lace up my sneakers and hit the gym, clean the house (an adventure in itself when my ADD joins the mix), rake leaves. Anything to get my mind out of my head and into my body for a while. Focusing on something physical still allows my mind to wander, but now it’s not wallowing, or fretting, or expecting the worst. Instead, it’s seeing something accomplished or, as it did today, finding I needed to sit and write some thoughts that came up when Nelly Negative stopped getting her way.

Coming up with a blog topic is a win all across the board for me, since I’ve committed to a completely manageable two posts per week. So far, I’ve managed to write and pre-schedule posts about 5 times out of 8 as a result of my mental re-directions. Invariably. changing the direction my thoughts want to take brings up a talking/writing point. I get the first few paragraphs written (or the first 1000 words or so), then get back to whatever I was doing that took me out of the “woe is me” mindset.

Don’t Let the Prospect of Change Dull Your Sparkle

As I’ve mentioned an a few other occasions, change is scary, and our inner child will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo unless we assure her the change will bring some new adventure which, while exciting and a bit scary, will be the most fun ever. Of course, if we want to convince said child, we must first believe it ourselves, and not allow ourselves to be derailed by those flickers of doubt swimming at the edge of our consciousness.

While listening to a video today, the speaker said something I found very profound. He said “I’m not asking you to believe, because that lets in doubt. I’m asking you to be open to the possibility.” I never thought of it that way before. More often, I’d do my best to at least suspend disbelief, if not try twisting my mind until it believed what it might not be able to see, feel, or touch. By simply being open to the possibility, we remove action from the mix, and become a receptor. We no longer unconsciously throw up blocks because we’re not actively involved in allowing or disallowing a concept to take root and grow.

Being Open to Possibilities

As you go through your day, bombarded with opportunities to change how you think or feel about the world around you, I encourage you to take a few moments to simply be open to whatever thoughts, ideas, and opportunities arise. Release the need to judge them worthy or not, viable or not. Look at them impassively, and be open to the possibilities. You’ll gently and easily absorb the ones that cause a little glimmer of interest or feel like bottled potential. You won’t feel the need to fight with yourself or consider all sides of the matter, ad infinitum, ad nauseum until the opportunity passes. Sure, it would make your inner whiner happy that another scary change was averted, but what about your conscious self? Don’t they deserve a little adventure in their lives?

As I write that, a question pops into my head: “When is a rut not a rut?” and the answer comes loud and clear. “Never! A rut is always a rut. No magic ever happens there.”

The comfort zone is the biggest and most tenacious rut we fall victim to. I use the word “victim” intentionally, because the comfort zone is the biggest block to progress, to a happy and fulfilled life we’ll ever run into. It does its best to thwart ideas which lead to those scary leaps of faith and trying something new without any guarantee of a positive outcome. Yet nothing worth having is without an element of risk. Even as a child, we took those risks and most of us have lived to talk about it.

We crossed streets alone, without the benefit of Mom or Dad’s hand. We learned to ride a bicycle or roller skate. As teenagers, we learned to drive a car. And the list goes on. If you were to sit down and write down all the things you do today which were once scary and foreign, you’d be amazed at how often you took a chance on the unknown. So why stop now?

Taking a Moment for Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for all of the opportunities to step out of comfort and into magic.
  2. I’m grateful for the ability to either calm or silence my inner child and her misgivings.
  3. I’m grateful for opportunities that make my stomach drop 10 stories, and my mind soar with the possibilities.
  4. I’m grateful for the scary moments when I have to tell myself whatever happens will be exactly what I need, even if it’s not exactly what I thought I wanted.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; opportunities, lessons, challenges, friendships, roller coaster rides, riding the crests and the troughs, love, joy, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook at Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Succumbing to Success

Avoiding the Easy Way Out

How many times throughout our lives do we decide the road is too hard and succumb to defeat? How often do we take the easy way out, or stop mere centimeters shy of a breakthrough because we believe we’re too tired to go on?

Are we creatures of self-sabotage? Do we really want to keep stumbling through life with nothing to show for it? Are we afraid of succeeding because it means we’ll have to show up and keep doing what we do most excellently?

Not to discount them, but I’m not talking about the times in our lives when we have no choice, but must go on whether we like it or not. For years, I stumbled along because I had kids to feed. That was a motivating factor and kept me in a long stream of soul-sucking, dead-end jobs so I could be close enough to home to get to my kids quickly if need be. No, I’m talking about those dreams you have and plans you’ve made yet so quickly discarded. I’m asking why you gave up on them so easily.

Letting Self-Sabotage Steal Our Future

Self-sabotage is a well-known concept for me. I look back and boggle at the number of times I came through for other people, yet when it came to committing to something for myself, I often fell short. The answer to the dilemma is rooted where most things are, in my childhood. My own mixed bag of experiences and resulting emotions created one, gigantic roadblock: I didn’t deserve success. I would always be a disappointment to myself, to my family and to anyone else who cared too much about what happened to me.

If you’re not screaming in outrage by now, you had the great good fortune of skipping this part of the life lesson. You are one of the fortunate ones. But I know I’m anything but alone in these feelings. If nothing else, people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars every year on self-help books, therapists, coaches, and programs to get past this most debilitating of blocks. Learning how not to succumb to those deeply ingrained lessons is a multi-billion dollar business, and one that has touched most of us in one way or another.

Finding Help from Without and Within

Consciousness On the RiseThough I’ve pumped my share of cash into the industry, my best and most consistent therapist is my writing. I may get a not-so-gentle nudge from the outside now and then, but when I do, I go back to the keyboard (my version of drawing board) and pound away until I develop some sort of plan or clear more of the debris so I can, once again move forward.

Today is no different. I discovered at least one of the places where I’d learned to give up on myself and I began taking steps to be more caring to the one person who will always be there for me, no matter what. Part of that is realizing when I cannot do it alone. Part of that is being willing to not only ask for help but to receive it as well.

An interesting thing about asking for help is that plenty of people are willing to give it. But if you keep rejecting it and throwing it back in their faces, they’ll take their efforts to someone who allows them to actually help and leave you to your own dysfunctional devices. Before you chase off the willing and put a bad taste in their mouths along the way, make sure before you ask for help that you’re willing to receive what’s given without qualification and without rejecting it out of hand when it’s not exactly what you think you need. Chances are, whatever you think you need is dead wrong anyway. Give those who offer the opportunity to prove you wrong and offer something better.

Are You an Island or a Community?

None of us achieves the success we want and deserve in isolation. Somewhere along the way, there are people who give us a leg up when the walls seem too high, support us when we are ready to give up, and encourage us when we lose sight of our amazing gifts. Allowing ourselves to accept their help, but even more, believing in ourselves enough that we know in our hearts we deserve that help makes the difference between a mediocre mouse and an amazing lion. Since my 3 outside cats bring me vanquished rodents on a regular basis, I can assure you, I’d rather be the lion.

What will you do today to allow others to help your inner lion roar?

Gratitude is the Cornerstone of the Laws of Attraction

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the people who come into my life to teach me to be remarkable, and to teach me I deserve to shine my light.
  2. I am grateful for the tough lessons and the giant leaps outside my comfort zone. It’s a beautiful world out there!
  3. I am grateful for the guided meditation I listened to today, and will continue to listen to daily. Those 8 minutes have already opened my heart to new possibilities.
  4. I am grateful for my new resolve and confidence that I’m still on the right path. The bright white light that signaled the end of today’s meditation was exactly the message I needed.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendships, love, caring, kindness, compassion, passion, inspiration, motivation, confidence, supportiveness, giving and receiving, potentiality, positivity, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

Check it another post using today’s prompt from A Ray of Sunshine

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

Self-Sabotaging Money Story

When My Thoughts Bring My Brain to a Screeching Halt

This morning I was up early to take two of my boys in for their long-delayed checkups. I knew at least one of them would need dental work soon and wasn’t surprised when Dylan needed his work sooner rather than later.

As I handed over my credit card to pay the $521 bill for blood work and office visits for the two boys, I found myself thinking It’s only money. WHAT???

I realized I’ve been telling myself that almost every time a large expense came up. I was horrified by the thought that I’d resigned myself to my lack mentality! What a crock! After all the time I spend being grateful for having everything I need, to discover I’ve been undermining myself all along was quite a wake-up call.

How Our Conditioned Responses Kick Our Butts

The Laws of Attraction say the Universe will always respond to our requests and give us what we ask for. My dismissing money in this callous fashion is counteracting all of the times I express gratitude for being able to give my kitties and me the life I envision, and all of the charities I’ve been envisioning funding. Just 3 little words are turning all of my best intentions upside down.

It started me thinking, how many times I allow conditioned responses to crumble the inroads of progress I’ve made towards my goals; to dissolve my visualizations of my perfect life like a puff of smoke?

In Neurogym’s “Winning the game of {money/weight loss/fear/etc.}” series, one of the things they mention repeatedly in every single course is mindfulness. Whether it’s eating mindfully to lose weight or being mindful of the steps you’re taking and the signals you’re receiving to achieve your goals, it’s important to be aware of how you’re truly thinking about those goals. If you’re wishy washy about them, the likelihood of seeing them materialize is pretty much nil.

My errant but all-too-frequent thought I had today is clearly a huge part of what’s been holding me back and allowing me to make excuses for not accomplishing squat. So here’s what I’m doing to change my money story for the better.

Seeking Clarity by Asking Questions

I’m asking myself to answer the question: What is money?

Money is:

  • A tool
  • A means of exchanging one product or service for another
  • A way to value something I have to offer
  • A universally recognized thing which allows us to help others by giving them something they can then exchange for something they need
  • An arbitrary unit of measure
  • In and of itself, neither good nor evil
  • Used by some to differentiate between the haves and have nots
  • A way to convert my visualizations and effort into the tangible realization of my dreams

I’m sure you can add a dozen or so more definitions to my list because we all see it as something a little different, just as we value its possession in different manners. But there is really no question that it can be useful to have more of it than less, right?

Stop the Self-Sabotaging Behavior With a Well-placed Pivot

I read a blog post today which reminded me of the concept of “pivoting” which I first read about in “Laws of Attraction”. It is the perfect example of what I realized was needed when I noticed the direction my thoughts were taking. I realized that when I find myself thinking It’s only money, what I need to switch my thoughts to is something like: I’m so grateful I have enough money to give my animals the very best possible care. or I’m so grateful I have enough money to support Cat House on the Kings and Fixnation in their efforts to improve the lives of our feline population.

Then, I firmly affix that beautiful visual of my private peninsula overlooking the ocean where I rescue cats, grow fruits and vegetables to share, and have a couple of secluded cabins for my artist friends to use when they need to get away and work on their craft.

Sure, it might “only” be money, but it is the means to achieve my dreams. It is the validation for giving up the corporate world and pounding away at my keyboard for hours at a time. It is the reward for stepping so far outside my comfort zone that trying to look back makes me dizzy. And it is what gives me the freedom to work my own hours and make my own rules; to work from home or a cabana on some tropical island or a hotel room high above Sedona.

Giving Myself the Necessary Re-set

In short, to me, money is freedom. And there’s no “only” in freedom.

What’s your money story? Is it serving you or thwarting you? What can you do to ensure that it takes you where you want and deserve to go? Please share your thoughts and experiences. We can all benefit from what you’ve learned in your spins around the sun.

Gratitude: The Ultimate Attractor

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and the way they show up when I need them.
  2. I am grateful for the words of others which often clarify what I’m trying to sort out.
  3. I am grateful for money and all of the things it can do for me and the things and people I care about.
  4. I am grateful for my new money story.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; knowledge, lessons, money, friends, mentors, coaches, wisdom, sustainability, goals, dreams, visualizations, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Picture courtesy of Pictures of Money via Flickr

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