In Part 1 of this series I broke down how self-sabotage, or emotional hijacking, impacts our professional lives. Years of excuses or avoidance can hurt our relationships, make us feel shameful about our living situation and cause us to stay stuck in bad patterns.

This week’s series will look at how deep rooted shame/self-sabotaging behavior can hurt our professional lives.

Playing Small

When we don’t believe in our abilities (maybe because old messages of not being “enough” keep playing in our head) we play small. We don’t raise our hand. We don’t take challenges. We may look in amazement as we hear our friends’ stories about how they are getting out of their comfort zone.

We may even stay in the same town because we’re comfortable blending into the background.

Please banish those old messages. Whoever told you that you weren’t enough is carrying their own garbage and throwing it onto you. Click To Tweet Yes, even our family members can say these harmful things. There’s a difference between being motivating and discouraging. People are either for you or against you. With affirmations, scriptures, prayers, self-talk or whatever you can re-train your thinking to tell yourself that you’re more than enough. That you’re worthy, smart, kind, cute and a good person.

The definition of discouraging is to lessen the courage or confidence of.

Flip the script and play a little bigger. Take baby steps and count your successes to build momentum.

Self-sabotage isn’t always one deliberate act. Sometimes it’s a lack of action….which brings me to the topic of procrastination.


Ooooh the dirty word we all know yet hate to admit. Well, admitting it is the first part. When we actually look at why we create disarray in our lives, it seems daunting to fix it.

Let me share one positive quality of a procrastinator – They plan things in their head. Sometimes the planning in their heads is beautiful. It’s full of rules and research but it’s all counterproductive. Unfortunately, the THINKING outweighs the DOING.

My question to you is: When you’re overthinking and under-doing, what barrier does your thinking create to make you procrastinate? Write down all those thoughts. Many times we can give great advice to others and to our kids but fail to tell ourselves the same thing. If your friend or child said the things you wrote on that paper what would you tell them?

Also, look at the systems that aren’t working for you. Are you unorganized in your work space? Is your calendar full of unnecessary appointments/meetings? Are your work boundaries non-existent? Are you continually behind and don’t get a chance to catch up?

Procrastination may seem to work for us because we’re always handling the next crisis. Depending on what type of work you do, this may be hard to break from.

Are any of those crises self-imposed? Did we fail to plan on our days off or over-schedule ourselves against our better judgment?

A way to break these patterns is to recognize it and ask how we can do better. There’s no need to beat ourselves up for this last crisis.

Write down how you can do better.

Write down what needs to get done better next time. It sounds cheesy but the solutions need to get out of your head. They need to be visible, on paper, on a sticky note or on your computer.

Guided Imagery Exercise:

Imagine the space in your head being full of noise, complaints and self-criticism. Throw that noise on the table.

Take a deep breath and enjoy all that space in your head. Now fill it with belief in yourself.

Deposit calming statements.

Deposit praise for yourself because you didn’t procrastinate and actually got shit done.

Fill more of that space with gratitude.

Procrastination is just clutter.

That immaculate closet space in your head can now envision self-care, setting boundaries and doing what you WANT to do.

There’s even walking space for manifestations, dreams and all that good stuff.

When we learn that self-sabotage is self-imposed we can get control back by taking action.

Taking action reduces future resentments, which lead to heavier bags of shame. Let’s not unpack the past just yet. Work on actionable steps you can take today or this week that line up with your short-term goals. Find friends or motivational strangers on Instagram who have webinars, coaching programs, workbooks or workshops that can teach you to be more efficient. Research hashtags on Instagram or Twitter like #inspiration, #motivation, #hustle, #health, #wellness, #bossbabe or #goals.

The title of this series asks you to examine how you get in your own way. Think of the power you have knowing that you can pivot, shift a little to the right and stop repeating what doesn’t work!