One of the biggest problems that people face (if not THE biggest), is that they stand in their own way when it comes to getting what they want out of life in general, or even out of any given situation.
Self-sabotage is not just some cutesy catch-phrase, but rather a state of being that is every bit as real as poverty, obesity, homelessness, and any other world-class problem that you can think of. The human capacity for beating the crap out of our own dreams is, sadly, one of our greatest talents.
Don’t despair, however, because there is an easy way to get the ball rolling back in your direction, and it starts with 3 simple things to consider whenever you are faced with any lifestyle challenge, or even just a momentary challenge that you are trying to get through.
Focus on what you WANT, not on how you are going to get it
When it comes to getting what we want, our attention immediately go to HOW we are going to get it, and immediately on the heels of that comes our belief (or lack thereof) in whatever methods we came up with.
If you wanted to cross the street, you would know that you just had to look for cars, then put one foot in front of the other, and you would believe 100% in your ability to to do that. However, when we want something more complicated, our belief in our ability to get it runs in direct proportion to our belief in whatever method we come up with.
Here’s a clue: You don’t know everything!
Just because you came up with some “master plan” for attaining your desires does not mean that your plan is going to come to fruition. You could attain what you want by your plan working out, or, you could get what you want through some other method that you could not possibly have foreseen.
Coming up with a plan is awesome, and you should plan to your little heart’s content. However, you must also be open to attaining whatever it is that you want through means other than the means that you came up with. If you fail to do that, you will be a slave to your own plan, and if your plan doesn’t work out, then your belief in your ability to get what you want will disappear instantly.
Once the belief is gone, the chance of getting something is gone just as instantly.
Get out of your own way by coming up with a great plan, and working diligently on that plan, but at the same time remaining open to your desires coming at you from a direction that you never even considered.
Mentally prepare for the worst-case scenario
Directly on the heels of our ability to get something being based on our belief that we’ll get it comes our attachment to having it. Whether you want world peace, or if you just want to get a decent cup of coffee, you want whatever it is that you want for some reason.
Whatever that reason is, you want it because you want it, and you are attached to getting it. You feel that you will not be happy – over the long-term or the short-term – unless you get whatever it is that you want.
Here’s another clue: Your happiness is NOT dependent on you attaining that one desire!
No matter what it is that you want, unless your very survival depends on you getting it, your life will continue even if you don’t end up with it. You may not have world peace or that award-winning cup of coffee, but your days will continue to clock away just the same. In the end you’ll find that you getting what you wanted was not the “end all, be all” to you attaining happiness.
Get out of your own way by mentally planning for the worst-case scenario. What would happen if world peace never came about? What would your life be like if you didn’t get that cup of coffee? Once you have answered those questions, embrace the fact that there is a real possibility that you won’t get what you want, and then come to terms with it.
By releasing your attachment to getting whatever it is that you want, you also release your need to find a rock-sold, fail-proof plan to attain it (see above). Put simply: Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
Have a back up plan
What if your worst-case scenario actually happened? What if world peace went the way of the dinosaur (doesn’t something have to exist before it becomes extinct?), and what if your perfect cup of coffee never got brewed?
What would you DO?
In the step above, when you mentally prepared for the worst-case scenario, you helped yourself to release your attachment to getting what you want. However, the critical next step is to actually PLAN for a life that doesn’t include getting what you wanted. By doing this step, you further release your attachment to getting your desire, and you also increase your belief that you will be happy even if you don’t get it.
Sure, most people want world peace or a good cup of coffee, but let’s not fool ourselves – there has to be an existence that we can be happy with even if those things never happen right?
Maybe we turn inwards for peace, or the wars of today are the building blocks of an incredibly wonderful future.
Maybe we decide that coffee isn’t all its cracked up to be, and we develop a real appreciation for water, and its many health benefits.
Get out of your own way by planning for the life that does NOT include you attaining your desires. Call it your “back up life” if that helps you to feel like you aren’t giving up on your dreams. Practice this concept by thinking in terms of some real-world examples:
- What if you don’t get that job? What will you do?
- What if your business fails? What happens then?
- What if your girlfriend dumps you? What will you do?
- What if you can’t become a super-model with P90X? What’s next?
- What if your boss really DOES hate you? What’s the next step?
None of these examples are meant to insinuate that you should just give up – far from it! Rather, the goal here is to encourage you to plan for your goals, work toward your goals, and be happy when visualizing your goals. However, by releasing your attachment to actually attaining your goals, you will remove the biggest roadblock that you have to getting them – YOU!