Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's Stopping You?

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Maybe a little self-sabotage. A few years back, I started asking myself why I seemed to always get in my own way.

The other day, I found a journal entry I wrote some years ago and thought it might benefit some of you out there struggling with the same issues and questions.

Entry: December 2006

I have finally figured out why I continue to sabotage myself. It hit me in a series of epiphanies over the weekend and even spilled into a Monday.

About three years ago, I was given a blessing. I figured out, after much self-study, what I needed to be doing on this earth. I gained insight. You’d think after finally figuring out what I am here to do that I would be elated and find contentment and joy. Instead I found an entirely new way to torture myself. Everything I had done and experienced seemed to meet and finally a direction was mapped out for me to follow. I knew that I was going to research and write a book
about women, specifically women in the south.

I started immediately on my project only to be thwarted at each turn. It was so frustrating that a year after my discovery I was actually no closer to my goal than when I started. I told myself that it just wasn’t the right time and that things would work according to a bigger plan, but I wasn’t really convincing myself. Actually, I was mad.

I was mad that I didn’t have more money. I was mad that I had to continue to hold a job I no longer enjoyed. I was mad that this job interferred with my ability to write. I was still in the same place with the same troubles and well, it just pissed me off. I would watch my cherished weekend pass me by only to be faced with a blue Monday and a list of things to do. Things to do that I had no interest in doing.

Someone finally confronted me and asked me what was going on in my life...They were concerned and sensed that I was running off course. Initially, I didn’t get it. “Everything is fine,” I commented. I was even a little perturbed by the question. What did they mean asking me how I was? I was perfect, thank you. But, I wasn’t and their concern started me on a completely different path. The path I am on today, actually.

Fast Forward...back to 2009

As I looked back on that time in my life, I know that I continually got in my own way. My anger and lack of focus, primarily, thwarted by abilities to move forward. I created my own obstacles. Yes, everyone of them were self-made. And on top of that my delayed reaction to finally coming to grips with what I was here to do caused me more pain and confusion—every bit of my angst was self imposed.

Very recently, I was talking to a friend. She ranted about all the problems in her life and provided reasons she had for doing certain activities. She also talked about how all these activities inferred with her ability to move forward. We continued to talk and then finally she had a revelation. The revelation was that all her anxiety and worries were self imposed. She had created made-up deadlines to get projects and tasks completed and the stress of it all had her in a tizzy. Not only that, but the deadlines and long list of things-to-do meant she was detracted from her primary goals and aspirations. Soon after she "got it," she set her priorities straight, pledged to move away from unintentional self-sabotage and found more opportunities for herself . I am sure, she'd report that she is finally moving in a forward direction again without the tizzies.

Today, I am hoping that if you identify with what is written here, that you will take some time to evaluate where you are and where you'd like to be. I also hope you will think about how you are stopping yourself. And if you feel unprepared to "name" your direction or goals, then take a little longer to figure it out and then to create a plan of action so that you can focus.

In later posts (coming soon), we will revisit something I have written tons about and that is figuring out what to do with yourself (if you don't know). Also, we'll talk about how to untangle yourself from over-commitment (another self-sabotaging tactic) and much, much more.

Happy March! We had snow today. Ready for summer! :)

Allyn Evans
info at allynevans.com

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5 comments:

Beth Blair said...

Self sabotage - I think it's more common than people think. It's terrific you realized what was going on. That must have been a freeing feeling!

Have a great trip!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Allyn, I've always said that I hit every obstacle out there and made up a few more just to make it challenging...

Yes, we are our own worst enemies.

My frustration at the moment stems from going in too many directions. Mostly because I have taken on too many responsibilities and I just can't do it all. (Long story - won't expalin here.)

I just need to be careful with the time I have and do the best I can in all areas...

L. Diane Wolfe
www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
www.spunkonastick.net
www.thecircleoffriends.net

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

This all feels so familiar to me. People dread getting older but I wouldn't go back. I like myself so much better in many ways. Wisdom IS the fountain of youth.

Best,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick, www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com
Tweeting tips at www.Twitter.com@frugalbookpromo

Camellia said...

I know that I continually got in my own way. My anger and lack of focus, primarily, thwarted by abilities to move forward. I created my own obstacles. Yes, everyone of them were self-made. And on top of that my delayed reaction to finally coming to grips with what I was here to do caused me more pain and confusion—every bit of my angst was self imposed:

looking foreard to more details on the journey, since it's one we all take.

Barbara Techel said...

What a wonderful article, Allyn! It is so true that it is only ourselves and our thoughts that stand in our own way.
I'm an avid follower of Dr. Wayne Dyer and so often he says, "What if you didn't have that thought?" We are just a thought away from living our dreams... really!
We get in our own way, but I think when we do it is so important to stop and reflect and adjust again to continue to move forward. One of the best things you can do is to keep in touch with YOU.
At least that is what works for me.
~Barbara
Author & Mom to Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog
www.joyfulpaws.com