Do you ever feel like you’ve never succeeded at anything? It can feel that way sometimes, but if you were to dig deeper into your accomplishments, you would find that you have succeeded at many things. Unfortunately, they may have gone unnoticed…

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares how to break free of the self-sabotage cycle.

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Highlights:

00:17 – The story that many cling to
00:42 – Taking inventory of successes
01:28 – Self-sabotage
02:19 – How to overcome self-sabotage
03:48 – Keep doing what’s working

Transcript:

I don’t have any successes, and nothing I do ever works. That’s a story, but many people do believe it. Trust me, I’ve felt that way too, but it’s a feeling. It’s not logical. It’s all based on emotion. The idea that you’ve never succeeded at anything. It’s simply not true. You have succeeded at some things.

What needs to happen is you need to sit down and start taking inventory. When did you have those successes?

It could be getting 100% on your English essay in grade 12. It could be that YouTube video you posted that got 100,000 views. It could be the song you released that somehow made it into the iTunes or Apple Music charts. If you go digging for things, you will find them.

Now, they may not have led to the magnitude of lasting success that you were looking for, ongoing success, or building on successes. Trust me, I’ve experienced that too, and you don’t even know how human that is, but hopefully, by the end of this podcast, you will discover.

So, here’s what happens, right? We’re on our merry way. We’re trying things, trying things, trying things. Enjoying ourselves. Pursuing our passions.

And then suddenly something kind of hits. Maybe not on a massive viral million-views kind of scale, but something stands out. Something gets more listens or views than anything else you’ve ever done.

And then, magically, for some reason, you stop doing that thing. The thing that worked in the first place.

Chances are that’s some form of fear of success, right? It’s like, “Okay, you this thing did well, better tone it down, back off a bit, and go back to doing some average, ordinary things that are never going to lead to the same results.”

This is not happening consciously. It’s happening subconsciously. Your subconscious or the thoughts that are stored in there are sabotaging you.

So, what can we do about that? If it’s so human to find success and then stop doing the things that get us to success… And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve repeated that cycle. What can we do about it? What can we do about staying on course, not becoming fearful, and not letting our subconscious thoughts sabotage us completely?

And the main thing that you can do that I’ve discovered is to catch yourself. Catch yourself when this happens. When one of your songs suddenly gets 10, 000 streams in a week, stop. Notice.

Are you about to go back to something subpar, ordinary, or average, in favor of doing more of what works? Because if you want to build on that success, you’ve got to identify the things you did right and do them again.

This takes some mental work. It’s not always immediately obvious what you did right. It’s not always immediately obvious the steps that led there. But you’ve got to stop and think about it. You must be willing to do the intellectual work to find what it is that made that thing a success.

And then, as soon as possible, follow it up. Follow it up with something that uses the formula, or at least the best you can understand that formula. Do that again.

I’ve been reflecting on things lately, and it’s just astounding to me how many times I’ve sabotaged myself on some level. I switched mediums completely, jumping from maybe a video or a YouTube channel to a podcast, or maybe a podcast to a blog. After I found some success in those fields.

So, the number one thing you can do to avoid that is to notice, catch yourself doing it, stop, and get back to the thing that was working.

And of course, in between that, or during that phase, identify the formula. What was it about what you did that led to the success you managed to capture?