Don't Sabotage Yourself

Risk of disappointment or Risk of never reaching your potential? You are in charge.

Beloved,

I'm just rousing from a very deep sleep to write you this. My room is dim and I can hear my sister in the kitchen making dinner. My parents are back from the outing they went to, and I'll have to go welcome them in a bit. For a moment tho, I'm here with you. How are you, Beloved? How's your heart? How are your relationships, how are your people?

I've had an interesting couple of weeks, and one of the interesting things that's happened was me sending a follow-up email to a place I pitched to weeks ago and getting a response almost immediately. That was what prompted my tweet here.

You see, it was at night, I was a bit bored and was going through my mails when I just shot a mail.

This particular incidence has made me think a lot about self-sabotage.

Shalaye-ing Self-Sabotage

Have you ever been scrolling on Twitter or Instagram, seen an invitation to apply for a job, post, internship, competition etc and you just scrolled past thinking ‘there'll be too much competition’, ‘I'm too slim to apply for that modelling shot’, ‘oh, it's a video submission, I don't do well in front of a camera’? Or maybe it's a thing a friend sent you get in for, but you didn't even apply, just providing yourself with excuses why you won't succeed? If yes, then you're probably in the Self - Sabotage WhatsApp group.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), this behaviour is fairly common and certain behavioural psychologists refer to it as ‘self-handicapping’. It involves anticipating a real or imagined obstacle that might get in the way of your success, and using that obstacle as an excuse. This behaviour allows you to protect yourself from the pain of assuming responsibility for your failures, and people do it all the time. But it also prevent the possibility of you attaining success!

Self-sabotaging can be so subtle and habitual that you might not realise you're doing it; and you might often have valid reasons for it. While your ‘reasons’ might be genuine and even real, you have to recognize that most often than not, they serve to hold you back. Perfectionism or ‘not recording failures’ might do magic for your self-esteem but you'll be less motivated to improve, and what's more dangerous to your growth than setting up camp at the place of your last achievement?

In conquering this habit, being aware of it is a huge first step in tackling it. I hope this mail does well in making you conscious of this. Being aware of the excuses and stopping them in their tracks.

Other steps include:

  1. Quit ruminating about weaknesses, mistakes, and failures. As a self-handicapper, you're probably strongly motivated to avoid small mistakes and you think and think about it, giving yourself decision paralysis and you end up not going for that that opportunity.

  2. Develop a set of criteria to help you in achieving faster decision making and action taking. A little list of rules of thumb that'll propel you into making good decisions most of the time (and prioritising your wants/goals). A personal rule of thumb is ‘Apply for opportunities in healthcare, writing, leadership or Women empowerment’, which means if I see notifications about openings in these sectors, I'll be more likely to stop my scrolling and pay it more attention.

  3. Ask yourself what you're willing to do to improve even by 1%. We self sabotage in instances that are going to challenge us or take us out of our comfort zone. Realising this, being aware and welcoming of these challenges that are potentially going to make us better will make it a bit easier to stall the overthinking that characterizes self-sabotage.

To be honest, going for what you want requires considerable courage. And putting in your best effort does not always mean things will turn out as you like. But by reaching for the unknown and taking the risk of failure, you are also opening yourself up to the possibility of learning, growth and improvement. I know you'll choose the path of self-actualization.

Share The Urge to Shalaye


The Gist

It's proper dark in here now. The generator is on but I don't want to stand up yet to switch on the light as I fear the flow will be disrupted. I hope to get this to you tonight.

Past couple of weeks has seen me putting up my feet a lot and just chilling. We're trying out different food recipes at home and we've had a cake baked, doughnuts made, Zobo drinks etc. This new week is for chicken and meat pies and another cake. I'm just here stuffing them and hoping to add a bit more weight but I'm not holding my breath sha.

On writing, it's been mainly freelance work for a while. But I've got a news for you. You're the first to know😉 An anthology I contributed to would be out soon. It’s a collection of short stories compiled by BookCracks and I’m really excited about it. I'll sure be letting you know as soon as it's out.

Also, my longlisted article on Punocracy is up on their website and you can read it here.

Over the couple weeks, I've stopped reading Beloved by Toni Morrison, gone through a reading slump, overcome it and now I'm halfway through ‘The Girl with The Louding Voice’ by Abi Dare. I'm enjoying it so far.

My sister came in now to switch on my light and plug in my stuff. She's chiding me for straining my eyes looking at my phone and sitting in the dark, but we're ignoring her.

I've started a new medical drama like I said the last time but I might not finish it. I keep comparing it to Grey's Anatomy’s characters and it seems the acting is forced. I'll probably watch ‘The Social Dilemma’ and ‘On The Basis of Sex’ tonight. I've gotten really good reviews about them from friends with good movie judgement.

Aside: A friend asked how I seem to watch a lot of movies now, and the secret is that I actually watch movies at a playback speed of x1. 3 - 1.5. This seemed to be a terrible idea to her, what do you think?

Ọmọ, my back aches a bit. I might just get dinner and sleep again. Anyway, a new start tomorrow, WeMove💪

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Till next time,

Affection and Illumination❤️

Maryam.

:::: My mail has been landing in the primary folder a couple times now, hoping this makes it thrice in a row. If it lands in Promotions, please change the label🔖