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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.

Welcome to Episode 71 lovely one. I’m really glad that you’re here with me today. For the first in a three episode series on overcoming self-sabotage one of the most common problems that I see in people who are desperate to live into their potential, but keep getting in their own way they keep tripping themselves up. June 2022 is the month of overcoming self-sabotage for me. I have both my course Overcoming Self-Sabotage, which is a very deep dive into all the strategies that you can use to be able to transform your self-sabotage into the freedom of actually doing what you say you want to do, as well as the release of my next book Small Habits for a Big Life. So in this episode, we’re going to look at a snapshot from my course Overcoming Self-Sabotage. And in this episode, we’re looking at fear led energy, the things that cause you to self-sabotage and the types of self-sabotage that show up when you’re driven by fear. Let’s get into it.

Hi, lovely one. Welcome back to module one of Overcoming Self-Sabotage, From Paralysis to Progress. We are popping the hood, creating awareness in this first module. And continuing with our types of self-sabotage. In this video, we’re talking about fear led energy. That is the things that your unconscious does because it’s driven by fear. And the first one we’re starting with is perfectionism, something that you might be very familiar with. If you are, I see you. Anne Lamott says perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. And it is the main obstacle between you and the shitty first draft. That is of whatever it is that you’re trying to do. It’s the obstacle that will stop you from starting. If we’re going to define perfectionism, I love Brene Brown’s definition, she says, perfectionism is the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimise or avoid the pain of blame, judgement and shame. But it doesn’t work like that. Perfectionism covers up the fear of being judged, being shamed or embarrassed, the fear of failing, being rejected being seen to be a fraud or imposter, and feelings of unworthiness, inferiority, or inadequacy. It shows up by trying you to stop sorry, by stopping you from trying anything new, by stopping you from starting, by stopping you from completing, by blowing out the time it takes to do a task as feelings of anxiety and stress and as feelings of overwhelm. It also shows up as feelings of being stuck, as feelings of not being good enough, in filters on social media and by filters, I mean, this curated feed, that doesn’t really show people the way things really are. Now, I’m not saying you have to air your dirty laundry on Instagram, or Tiktok, or whatever it is. But I am saying that the, if we’re not aware that so much of what we consume from social media is filtered to look better than what it actually is, then we can get sucked into this idea that we are not good enough. It shows up as a sense of control over gold attainment. So in other words, getting very attached to how much you’re achieving. We’ll talk about overachievement in a moment, and as self-criticism or negative self-talk, and of course as procrastination. It blocks your progress by trapping you on a hamster wheel of details, unable to ever rest or complete the task because perfect is impossible. It blocks your progress by constantly keeping you reaching for unattainable standards, reinforcing feelings of not being good enough and seducing you into believing you’re helping yourself do or be better. But we don’t grow to be better if we’re constantly hanging over our heads the pressure of being perfect, because we never actually get the chance to do it imperfectly. It also blocks your progress by stopping you from starting in the first place, through an excessive focus on the completed product rather than the process and increasing overwhelm from setting goals that are, of course, overwhelming when they have to be perfect. I have a friend who is a gifted writer. And when I say that, I mean properly gifted, I absolutely love her work. She’s not just someone that says, I want to write a book, you know, and she doesn’t necessarily have the writing talent to back that goal up, she has a significant writing talent. But the thing is, she’s never actually finished a book manuscript she wants to get published. But without a book manuscript, you’re not going to get published, she has never actually submitted her manuscript to a publisher because it’s never gotten finished, because she continues to place these perfectionistic standards upon her work. And it’s stopping her from living into her potential. And I don’t want that for you either. So my reminder for perfectionist is done is better than perfect. Please remember that. Now, feel it energy also shows up as refusing to try in the first place. Rachel Hollis says maybe the hardest part of life is just having the courage to try, I’d agree with that. If we’re going to define refusing to try that I’m talking about thinking about doing something without taking action to try it. Even when the desire to do that thing is strong.

Refusing to try covers up fear of failure, fear of making a fool of yourself, feeling embarrassed or ashamed, the fear of being judged, the fear of not getting it perfect on the first go, the fear of getting out on the field and having a go. Refusing to try stops us from feeling any of these things, because we just don’t put ourselves in the position where we can risk it. It shows up as sorry, it shows up if you’re doing something for the first time, if you judge your previous effort as a failure. So sometimes we can give ourselves the option to try. But if we perceive that we fail at that first attempt, we don’t allow ourselves to be a beginner, then we can stop trying from that point on. If you see others having difficulty completing the task, it shows up when you assume that you won’t be able to complete the task. When people around you from whom you want approval or positive, sorry, when people are around you from whom you want approval or positive appraisal. And if you’ve been shamed previously, for not doing something well on the first go. Refusing to try can show up in all of these situations and that blocks your progress. Excuse me. And that blocks your progress. By not giving yourself a chance to learn, practice, grow, prove yourself wrong, widen your comfort zone and understand that it’s only your permission and approval that counts.

My wife Nyssa is a musician, she has a friend called Adam he has this voice that is just hypnotising hovering over that makes you drop your jaw in awe and want to cry for the beauty of it all at once. That’s exactly how his voice is it he’s phenomenal. Now he would love to release his own music. He’s a full-time teacher and he’s so incredibly overwhelmed by fear led energy, that he won’t even release one song. It’s stopping the world from having the musical magic that he creates, all because he won’t give himself the chance. Please don’t be like Adam.

My Reminder for refuses sorry, excuse me. My Reminder for refusers is I give myself permission to try and to try again. Next, fear led energy can show up in the form of overachievement. Rachel Simmons says I’ve spent years in therapy excavating my endless, often fruitless drive to overachieve. I have learned that being successful hasn’t made me happy. It’s just made me successful. I even call myself a recovering over achiever. Is that you? Can you relate? Because I certainly can. When we’re talking about over achievement, I mean a person who is motivated by their often perfection focused ideals and who uses achievement as a marker of their worthiness. It covers up feelings of not being good enough, feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, the fear of being judged as a fraud or imposter and feelings of worthlessness. It shows up as workaholism, perfectionism, hard driving leadership, management, parenting or relating to others. That is where you have really high expectations for others, and you place that pressure over their heads. High grades for study, not necessarily a bad thing, but it is if there’s no room for being imperfect, excessive self-criticism and goal-based motivation rather than journey-based motivation. We’ll talk about different types of motivation in the next module. It also shows up as being motivated by fear rather than being motivated by growth, and imbalanced future focus. So that stops you from actually being in the here and now. And instead, you’re just focused on the goal. That also shows up as dissatisfaction, overwhelm, being overly competitive with your peers, poor self-care, because you don’t look after yourself, you’re too busy achieving and that blocks your progress by risking burnout, preventing you from feeling satisfied with your progress in the moment, disrupting your peace by constantly focusing on the future rather than the here and now, causing distance in relationships – especially seen in workaholics. So you’re absent from your relationships because you’re too busy achieving. It also blocks your progress by creating extra stress and creating tension in settings where your expectations are too high of others.

The overachievement example is again, me. This was particularly the case in my 20s. Coming from a fragile sense of self-worth. I spent my 20s trying to gain other people’s approval by achieving, I’m talking achieving by getting multiple degrees in psychology. I ended up getting my pilot’s licence as well, I did. And then once I was in private practice, as a psychologist, I saw as many clients as necessary to make sure that I wasn’t letting down my referrers or referring agencies or leaving anyone untended to if they were in crisis. The more I focused on achieving, the more empty I felt, please be mindful of that. I don’t want the same for you. It is an entirely different world if you’re allowing yourself simply to show up and do what you can do in the moment with the resources that you have, rather than having standards that are simply unattainable. My Reminder for overachiever is good enough is enough.

And we step forward with gentle acceptance. Remember, this entire module is not about beating up on you. It’s about raising awareness so that you can notice what it is that’s happening when you’re coming from a place of self-protection.

Thank you for being with me for episode 71 of Hello, Rebecca Ray. I really hope you enjoyed this episode a soundbite or snapshot from my course Overcoming Self-Sabotage. If you want more, then dive into the entire course, which is going to take you from where you are – stuck, to where you want to be, which is living into your potential and doing the things you actually say you want to do but you haven’t been doing because you’ve been tripping yourself up. You can grab that course at rebeccaray.com.au/courses, the course is Overcoming Self-Sabotage. 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.