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Show Notes:

Welcome to Hello Rebecca Ray, our collective home for courage, growth, and human to human connection. I’m your host, Dr. Rebecca Ray, human, clinical psychologist, author, and educator. I know only too well how fear, comparison, and self-doubt can stifle your potential. This podcast is all about brave and meaningful living, and how you can make your authentic contribution to the world today, and everyday.

Hi, lovely ones. Welcome to episode number 69 of Hello, Rebecca Ray, Are You Sabotaging Yourself or is the Goal Just Not a Great Fit for You? Now, this episode, this episode has kind of sprung up because I’ve recently been in a conversation with a friend of mine who really, really, really wants to write a book. And has been talking about this for years now. And I spoke with said friend about whether or not she really wants to write a book, or whether she just thinks she should write a book, whether it’s just like a cool thing to do that other people have done. So she thinks she needs to go do it. And she asked me and said, why would you ask that, of course, I want to write a book, I’ve been talking about it for so long, it’s really important to me. It’s something that I want to do for me, and I thought about it and I thought, oh maybe I should clarify this question so that it’s not taken the wrong way. And I then explained to her that the reason that I asked was not because I thought that she was just kind of following the masses and had some kind of designs of calling herself an author just because someone else was. But instead to try to get to the bottom of whether or not this was a case of self-sabotage that it was getting, she was getting in her own way and not writing a book or whether or not it was a case that the goal just didn’t fit her.

Now, let me take you back. Some decades now, because I want to give you an example of this, that’s not just with my friend who I can’t identify, because I haven’t checked with her to share her story. So instead, I’m going to share my own story. And hopefully my friend does write her book but we will get to the bottom of that and maybe I’ll report back on subject with around that and how this episode came about. But what I want to talk to you about occurred for me back when I was 18. So we’re talking decades and decades ago now. And some of you might be aware, if you’ve followed me for a time I’ve shared this story in different ways before. But I started studying psychology straight out of school, so I was 17. And a fragile, 17-year-old with kind of vulnerable self-esteem. And I had a grandfather still have a grandfather, but he’s no longer with us, Ronnie, who was just the most amazing grandfather ever. And one of the very many things that were amazing about him was that he had a pilot’s licence, and he had his own plane.

And he would take me flying. And it was something that we shared together. And I loved flying. And it occurred to me when I was 17, he was explaining to me that you can actually be 16 in Australia and get a full-blown pilot’s licence. So that’s before you can legally drive a car by yourself, which is at the age of 17. You can get your driver’s licence here in Australia, you can actually fly a plane. And so I was thinking or maybe, maybe I could kind of do something with my life. Maybe I could do something unusual because it was unusual back then. Females flying, were definitely in the minority in aviation, and I wanted to kind of prove something to myself and because I was quite anxious, I thought that doing something big, something courageous, would fix my anxiety. That part is bullshit listeners.

So please be mindful of that. I did learn quite quickly that flying was not the thing to fix my anxiety. So I set that goal for myself. No one set it for me. Although Rouhani was super excited when I started to learn to fly and we spent lots of time studying for tests. He helped me study for my tests and we did lots of flying together. And he was very interested in my training and very invested in seeing me do this thing that he so loved in his life. But I discovered that it wasn’t a great fit for me. And I discovered this by the time I got my private pilot’s licence. So that’s the first licence that gives you the ability to be able to go and fly wherever you want in Australia. And I kind of stopped and thought about the fact that I’d achieved that licence but I still felt incredibly anxious. I still felt very much like I couldn’t trust myself, I wasn’t good enough. Look, I’d never failed a flight test or a flight exam at that stage. So I had no evidence. But I constantly needed validation from my flying instructors who said, you can fly, it’s fine. But I’m not very maths driven person. I’m not a visuospatial person, I am a person who feels very comfortable writing. And I did really well in English at school.

But I didn’t, I just did basic maths, because maths kind of doesn’t, it’s not how my brain operates. And so I can do the maths that we need to do to live. I can do finances and things like that, but I don’t love it. And certainly visuospatial skills, you know, flying a small piece of tin the sky, just made my brain work in a way that wasn’t its natural state and so it just made me more and more anxious.

Now, where I’m going with this story is that I decided the answer for that must be to do more flying that to fix the anxiety and prove to myself that I really could fly, I would go ahead and get a commercial pilot’s licence. And it didn’t stop there. I then went and got a multi-engine rating, which means that you can fly planes with more than one engine, I got a night rating, which meant that I was allowed to fly at night. And I also got an instructor rating. Which meant I could teach other people to fly, which is a lot of flying, right. And yet, I still at the end of that felt so incredibly anxious and didn’t trust myself and I had to stop and really look at the situation that I had created and acknowledge that this constant trying to prove myself, to who I’m not sure, to myself, really, I guess, to the world at large, I’m not really sure, was just not great. It was a form of sabotage in and of itself, I, I was operating from a place of very fragile self-worth, and pursuing a goal that just wasn’t a great fit for me.

And I know that because the moment that I made the decision to give up flying, I felt relief, not regret. But total relief. Now I actually haven’t flown a plane in command that is, with me being the pilot in command, since I was 21. Since I stopped flying, and not once have I missed it. I have flown with friends, we’ve been out flying, and I’ve taken over when we’ve been in the air. And that’s been a bit of fun, but I’ve had absolutely no responsibility and not once have I missed lodging a flight plan with CATSUP and doing that flight plan in the first place. I just don’t miss it. It just wasn’t the goal was not a great fit for me. Pursuing that goal over and over again, was kind of a form of sabotage in and of itself. But the goal itself wasn’t a great fit for me. And that’s why I needed to walk away.

And so I want you to think about something in your life that you’re either pushing yourself to continue doing against your intuition, or something that you’re not doing that you desperately want to do or so you say and let’s work out together whether or not it’s a case of you sabotaging yourself, or whether or not the goal is just not a great fit. So how do you know that you’re sabotaging yourself is that you really, really want to achieve the goal and that perspective doesn’t change for you. The fact that you’re not doing it frustrates you, you’re incredibly frustrated with your lack of progress, and you constantly think about wanting to achieve the goal. It’s likely that you’re sabotaging yourself when you start again and again and again. And then get off track and that process happens over and over again. It’s likely that you’re sabotaging yourself. If you consider that if you passed away tomorrow, not having completed the goal that you would deeply regret it.

It’s likely that you’re sabotaging yourself if you start to lose trust in yourself because you’re not doing the thing and it’s likely that your sabotaging yourself if not doing the thing that you want to be doing negatively affects your relationship with yourself. And this was the case for or is the case for my friend who’s the writer. So she is experiencing all of these things about writing her book, she desperately wants to have written a book, but because she’s not doing it, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to. The goal is actually incredibly important to her and if she died tomorrow, she would actually be really deeply regretful, not having written her book.

Now, it’s likely that the goal is just not a great fit, if you think you should do it, or if someone else has told you that you should do it, and you’re doing it for them. If you like the idea of the outcome, but you don’t care that deeply about it. If completing the goal doesn’t bring you more closely aligned with your values, it’s just something that kind of sounds good to do. The goal is not a great fit, if you passed away tomorrow, not having done the goal and you think to yourself that you actually wouldn’t regret not doing it, it’s not a make or break for how you want to live your life. And that’s likely the goal is not a great fit if not pursuing the goal doesn’t change your relationship with yourself.

So let’s go through those again. You’re likely sabotaging yourself if you really, really want to achieve the goal and that doesn’t change, no matter how much you don’t do the thing. You’re incredibly frustrated with your lack of progress, you start and then you get off track over and over again. If you passed away tomorrow, not having completed the goal, you know, you’d regret it. You’re starting to lose trust in yourself, because you’re not doing thing and not doing the thing negatively affects your relationship with yourself.

And it’s likely the goal is not a great fit, if you think you should do it, or someone else has told you that you should do it and you’re doing it for them. You like the idea of the outcome, but you don’t care that deeply about it. Completing the goal doesn’t bring you more closely aligned with your values. It’s just something that kind of sounds good to do. If you passed away tomorrow, and you hadn’t completed the goal, then you know that you wouldn’t regret not doing it. And not pursuing the goal doesn’t change your relationship with yourself. It’s just not that important.

So I wonder what you’re answering for yourself right now. I wonder if you’ve identified are you sabotaging yourself or the goal is not a great fit? So once you’ve done that, what do you do? If you’re asking that question, good on you. Because that’s the $64,000 question. The first thing I want you to think is, if the goal is not a great fit, the answer is pretty simple. Take it off your goal list, stop doing it. Stop saying that you want to do it, give yourself permission to walk away. Because the more energy that you spend on this particular thing, the more energy you’re wasting that you could have spent on something that was deeply important to you.

But if you’ve identified that you’re sabotaging yourself, then I want you to know that arriving at this place of awareness is a really powerful juncture, because it allows you to make a choice about how you want to move forward. Now overcoming self-sabotage is a whole other thing. It’s a big topic. So much so that I have an entire programme on overcoming self-sabotage, that you’ll find at rebeccaray.com.au/courses. So it’s a really big topic and I set up an entire programme to take you through how to overcome self-sabotage. But if you just want some tips on how to move forward, then I want to leave you with five things that might be helpful in at least to get you started again.

Number one is reconnect with why the goal is important. Remind yourself what the values are behind this goal. Why are you doing it?

Number two, make a commitment consciously to yourself when are you going to start, what time what’s it gonna look like?

Number three, make the commitment public. Now by public, it might be that you just tell your partner it could be that you announce it on social media, it could be that you go and find a group that’s making the same change as you and commit out loud to them and then set up regular accountability check-ins, so that you can’t just kind of sneak under the radar.

Number four, ask for help. So there is sometimes our goals are you know, big, they require a lot of effort. They require specialised skills, and there could be a case that you just don’t have the skills available within you to be able to complete the goal and that’s completely okay. We can’t always do the things by ourselves. So ask for help, whether it be personal or professional help. And then allow yourself to get that help that you need.

And then number five, remind yourself that every time you start again, you are wiring your brain in the direction of the goal that you want to be part of your experience to be part of the life that you are creating.

So just finally, let’s review those. If you’re sabotaging yourself towards this goal, it’s probably part of your experience that you also really, really want to achieve the goal and that doesn’t change, that you feel incredibly frustrated with your lack of progress, that you start and then get off track over and over again, that if you passed away tomorrow, not having completed the goal, you’d regret it, that you’re starting to lose trust in yourself because you’re not doing the thing and not doing the thing negatively affects your relationship with yourself. And if the goal is not a great fit, then it’s likely that these things are part of your experience as well. You think you should do it or someone else has told you that you should do it and you’re doing it for them instead of doing it for yourself. You like the idea of the outcome, but you don’t care that deeply about it. Completing the goal doesn’t bring you more closely aligned with your values, it’s just something that kind of sounds good to do. If you passed away tomorrow, not having completed the goal, then you wouldn’t regret not doing it. And not pursuing the goal doesn’t change your relationship with yourself.

So I hope this has been helpful for being able to identify whether you’re sabotaging yourself or if the goal is just not a great fit for you. And if you want to explore more about overcoming self-sabotage, jump on over to rebeccaray.com.au/courses. c o u r s e s. I’ll catch you very shortly for the next episode of Hello Rebecca Ray.

Lovely ones. Thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray. If you’ve got something meaningful from this episode, then the most meaningful thing you can do is jump on over to wherever you listen to your podcast episodes and leave a review. Because it’s those reviews that help this podcast stay here. Make sure to subscribe and if you’re generous enough to share this episode, thank you so much. I love seeing your shares on social media. So please tag me catch you next time.