I recently “came out” about being a network marketer. This weekend I went to a meeting of 20,000 other independent distributors of Forever Living Products which is the company that I represent. I want to share how I almost let my introversion make me do something that would have been very silly.
You might not have anything to do with network marketing, you might not even be an introvert but if you ever sabotage your own success then read on…
I say “reminded” because in all honesty I know this stuff already. I talk about this stuff every day to clients but the uncomfortable feelings when we are outside of our comfort zone sometimes mean we don’t think effectively and that causes self-sabotaging behaviour.
Behaviour is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. Common self-sabotaging behaviours include procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol and comfort eating despite having weight concerns. These acts may seem helpful in the moment. So maybe the bathroom does need cleaning, maybe you’ve been putting off cleaning the bathroom for a while so it seems like a good thing to do. But are you doing that rather than writing a report or making a phone call or something else that would help you achieve your goals. Those things we are doing instead ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly.
People aren’t always aware that they are sabotaging themselves because the effects of their behaviour may not show up immediately. Unfortunately, connecting a behaviour to self-defeating consequences is no guarantee a person will have the power to stop that behaviour. It is possible to overcome almost any form of self-sabotaging behaviours and replace them with new, resourceful success habits instead. People do it every day but it requires determination and working on your thoughts consistently which can be hard but it becomes easier over time and it is definitely worthwhile if you want more out of life.
If you are an introvert and you’re not always comfortable with that or you allow it to hold you back you MUST watch this video from Susan Cain
The reminders that I want to share with you are:
1 | Change your thoughts, change your results
Our thoughts, feelings and behaviours all affect each other. As human beings, we give meaning to situations. However, we often don’t realise that two people can give two very different meanings to the same event. It is the meanings we assign to the situation that affect how we feel and act, not the situation itself. These meanings are not always accurate, realistic, or helpful. Unhelpful thoughts lead to unpleasant emotions and unhelpful behaviours (e.g., avoidance) The unhelpful behaviour reinforces our negative thoughts which maintains the problem.
In other words, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours can interact and influence each other to create a vicious cycle. We all have negative or unhelpful thoughts every now and then, but when you consistently apply unhelpful meanings to events, then you will hold yourself back from achieving your goals and fulfilling your potential
So anyway let’s get back to the weekend and my introversion…
I turned up at the O2 arena for my first Forever Living event. It was the worldwide rally which means people come from all over the globe to meet fellow distributors and see the most successful distributors being recognised and rewarded with bonus cheques amongst other things. I didn’t really know what to expect to be honest but I know that to be successful you have to surround yourself with positive, motivated, successful people so it was the ideal place to be. Plus several successful network marketers say you should go to every event you possibly can so if it works for them who am I to argue :)
I stepped off the tube to see lots of people in national dress with whistles, flags and rattles and “Forever” branded clothing who were clearly going to the same event. I was early and the doors weren’t open to go into the O2 so I had a wander about. It got louder and louder and busier and busier. I was meeting one of my team there but she couldn’t make the start of the event so I found a seat and did some people watching. The more I looked about at all of the very happy, very loud, very confident people the more I thought “this isn’t for me” Not because I’m not happy or confident, I’m both and sometimes I can be loud too but I’m an introvert which means I’m energized by spending time alone. Introverts like to think and be alone.
Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to “recharge” afterwards. Extroverts however recharge by being around other people. The word “Introvert” has negative connotations but introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.
The more I looked at the thousands of clearly extrovert people surrounding me the more I thought “get me out of here” Of course there will have been lots of introverts there too but like me they were probably trying to blend into the background :)
If I hadn’t arranged to meet one of my team there I might have snuck out and gone shopping instead. I was even rehearsing what I was going to say to my sponsor (the person who introduced me to Forever Living) when I told her that I didn’t want to do this anymore. As much as I believed it was a powerful opportunity my thoughts were “I don’t belong here” “this business isn’t for me” and that the next 2 days would be awful.
But I was meeting someone there and I knew I could be miserable for 2 days or I could make the most of them. Luckily I knew my negative thoughts (I don’t belong here) were affecting my feelings (unhappiness and self-doubt) which had the potential to affect my behaviour (going home) so I changed my thoughts to “I’m going to learn lots from this”
Which situation would it be useful for you to change your thoughts about?
2 | Your natural personality doesn’t dictate your future
Despite knowing I’m an introvert I also know that to be successful in life we have to step out of our comfort at times. Every time you do something that seems scary you are developing yourself and your skills. The secret is not to jump so far out of your comfort zone that you scare the living daylights out of yourself.
As a newly qualified coach I knew a good way to reach potential clients was by doing free webinars. The thought terrified me but I knew getting the first one out of the way would give me a huge sense of achievement. I set myself a goal to do my first webinar within 6 months…. Ages away so not too scary :)
I started by listening to lots of other coaches webinars, they weren’t perfect, some even sounded nervous. My confidence grew. I bought some software and learned how to use it… now that I’d made an investment there was no going back. I wrote a script for how I would introduce myself, no big deal… I recorded myself doing the introduction. It was embarrassing and I didn’t like my voice but it was getting easier… I’m sure you get the idea. My confidence grew with every small step and I did the webinar within the 6 months as I’d planned. It wasn’t perfect but every time I did one I got better and my confidence grew.
What labels do you apply to yourself that you use as an excuse? Where could you push your comfort zone ever so slightly?
3 | Find a way to hold yourself accountable
I’m not sure if I would have left the event if I wasn’t meeting someone there, I hope I would have come to my senses but one of the reasons I stayed was that I felt accountable to my team member. I couldn’t leave her there alone, what sort of sponsor would that make me?
In the situation I mentioned above with the webinar I held myself accountable by promoting the webinar long before I was confident to do it. People signed up for the webinar so I had to deliver. When it comes to coaching clients I hold them accountable for the actions they say they want to take.
How could you find accountability to make sure you do that thing that is scary but ultimately leads to huge benefits?
I learned so much more that weekend but this blog is getting quite long so I’m going to share the rest in a part 2
However I will share that I had an AMAZING weekend, I learned loads and I came away SUPER MOTIVATED so leaving would definitely have been a HUGE mistake.
If you want to make sure you get part 2 and similar articles go to the top of this page and sign up for my free ebook; being tired is much more likely to lead to self sabotage and it means you’ll also get my regular newsletter full of midset and motivation stuff to help you develop a success mindset for a more authentic, more fulfiling life.
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Oh so true
Although I am more of an extrovert then introvert I definitely am prone to self sabotage so this blog is just in time read for me :)
I think everyone self sabotages to some degree Marla but not everyone realises that is what they are doing. Awareness is the first step, taking action is the next one :)