Frequently, people experience unexplained behavior that some would describe as self-sabotage. It’s like having in your subconscious mind a little gremlin who is very mischievous. Every once in a while, he does something odd — usually at an inappropriate time — over which you seem to have no control.
At least that’s the way it appears. It’s that misplaced comment during an important meeting that just kills the opportunity you were counting on. You walk out of the meeting muttering to yourself, “Why in the world did I say that?”
The Sabotage Gremlin: Is He Real?
Maybe that little gremlin doesn’t exist. What do you think might happen to someone in an interview who believed “I just don’t do well in interviews”? That person would probably say something unintended at the most inappropriate time. It might be called self-sabotage, but, more than likely, there is a limiting belief at work.
Several years ago, I was working with a client — I’ll call him Pete — who was conducting a nationwide job search. Pete was having a difficult time making a decision about what he wanted to do. It seemed that every day he was excited about something new and was off in a different direction.
Sabotage: Limiting Belief Systems
I had introduced my concepts about belief systems to Pete, and he had an intellectual understanding of what I was saying, but no real, major “aha” yet. I began to make notes of the limiting beliefs that I frequently heard him say:
“There is a price to pay for everything.”
“It’s not possible to have it all.”
“Nothing is what people perceive it to be.”
Pete was totally unaware that these beliefs were operating. Once we discussed these limiting beliefs openly, he was able to get in touch with them. He had grown up with them — they were the same as his father’s.
Can you see how someone operating with these beliefs would have a difficult time making a decision? He was setting himself up. There was only one right decision for him to make, and he had better make the right choice, or he would have hell to pay.
Sabotage: Focusing on What You Fear
What you put your attention on strengthens or expands in your life.
Scientists are discovering more and more evidence that we humans are not independent observers of a mechanical universe. Our attention, backed by the intent of our beliefs, creates what we experience as our lives.
Scientifically, one might say that focusing your attention on the energy field of consciousness, which contains the waves of all possibilities, creates the particles (events and materializations) that you experience as your reality.
This is a very important concept. Let me repeat it: what you put your attention on strengthens or expands in your life. This one idea alone can make a big difference for you.
Examples of Well-Directed Focus
Remember the last time you were considering buying a new car? You had your attention focused on it, and what happened? All of a sudden, you noticed many different types, models, and colors of cars, “for sale” signs in windows, ads in the paper, and people relaying information to you about a friend who was thinking of selling his car.
The moment you purchased your new car, your attention shifted. The same information about cars was available, but it was no longer attracted to your awareness. Your attention was focused elsewhere.
Imagine a coal miner with a helmet that contains a light to enable him to see directly in front of him. Now picture yourself with a similar light beaming from your forehead. Think of it as your attention beam. How often are you aware of where it’s focused?
It is important to focus your attention effectively. Without deliberate focus, you’re spreading your attention around randomly, achieving no real benefit for yourself. Keep your attention focused on something positive, and good things begin to happen.
Mental Focus Helps Achieve Goals
This is the real reason for goal setting. It’s the mental focus that helps you achieve your goals. Unfortunately, many of us have been oriented to the pass-fail aspect of goal setting, and so, to avoid failure, we don’t set goals. Yes, the concept of pass-fail is a belief — a very strong shared one.
If there is something in your life that you want, keep your attention focused on that goal. If things show up that seem to get in the way, don’t focus on them. Handle them, but stay focused on your goal. It’s when you focus on the obstacles that you tend to give up.
Focus on What You Desire
You might have a goal that you believe can be achieved only if you have a certain amount of money. Instead of focusing on the goal, you focus on the fact that you don’t have enough money. What gets strengthened is the thought form for not having enough money. Maybe there is a way to achieve the goal without money. By not focusing on the goal, you restrict possibilities, of which you may not be aware, from occurring.
Victoria Heasley, a massage therapist, constantly amazes me. She is the kind of person who says to herself, “I sure could use another couch,” and within days a friend who is moving out of town calls her to ask if she knows anyone who could use a good couch. If she focused on worrying about the money to buy a couch, she would miss these opportunities. Stay focused on your goal!
Remember the story about the little steam engine who believed he could make it up the mountain. He was really focused on his goal. How well do you think he would have done chanting, “I’ll never make it. My joints are sore. I’ll never make it. My joints are sore”?
Fear, worry, and doubt are probably the three strongest thought forms on the planet. If you can get in touch with and remove the limiting beliefs behind these culprits, you’ll be a new person.
Reprinted with permission of Hampton Roads Publishing
©2011 by Bruce Doyle III.
How to Think Your Way to the Life You Want: A Guide to Understanding How Your Thoughts and Beliefs Create Your Life
by Bruce Doyle III, Ph.D.
This accessible step-by-step guide simplifies the complex subject of how your thinking creates your life. You'll delight in learning how thought works, and how your thoughts connect you with the universe. You'll also discover why so many people place such a strong emphasis on the power of thought on the influence of beliefs, and on a positive attitude. In short, you'll learn why thought is a basic building block of creation. (expanded edition of Before You Think Another Thought with a new section covering ways to put thought and feeling into action.)
About the Author
Bruce I. Doyle, III, Ph.D. has over 25 years of experience as a corporate executive and business consultant. He holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Transformation. Bruce is the President of Growth Dynamics International. He is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential through the realization that their beliefs create their experiences. Bruce is also very interested in how the Indigos will impact our future - especially in the workplace. His forthcoming book, Indigos in the Workplace: Paving the Way for Tomorrow’s Leaders, will be released in 2011. Visit his website at www.indigoexecutive.com.