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Life Coaching|Dealing with Self - Sabotage T

his month local author and personal life coach Dave Robson explains how your mind can sabotage you so subtly you might not even realise it’s happening.

Ever tried to get something important done only to find a gremlin in your head keeps putting you off with a myriad distractions?

Meet your saboteur!

Although it seems your saboteur is inside your head, that’s because unwittingly you have let him in. In fact he comes from outside and comprises all the conditioning you have ever received, together with your interpretations of it.

From the moment of birth everyone receives conditioning, or influential messages from outside, that affect how we feel, what we believe and how we behave – messages we absorb unconsciously which also affect our values and sense of ethics.

Sometimes we interpret what we receive or what happens to us in ways that send us reeling. For example, your school teacher writes, “Dave could do better.” The teacher’s trying to encourage you and doesn’t realise you unconsciously translate his phrase into “I’m a failure,” or “I’m not good enough.” Even worse you might believe, “my teacher hates me because I got it wrong.”

This almost always takes place on an unconscious level. You might not realise you nurture such potentially damaging beliefs.

What does this mean in practice? You try to finish your third symphony and a voice inside your head, telling you “I’m a failure,” distracts you and scuppers your self-belief, so you avoid the task instead of getting it done.

A client I had wanted to finish her novel. She got 34 To advertise please telephone 020 8275 5307 or email:

two thirds of the way though the manuscript and hit a block. Then every time she sat down to write, she’d be distracted and she’d start doing household tasks. Everything

except writing.

Then it was bed time and the next day she’d repeat the same cycle. Though she had the cleanest house in the neighbourhood, she was seething with frustration because her novel was never finished.

I refer to the saboteur as a separate entity because his sabotaging messages have nothing to do with the real you, or who you really are. You have absorbed them, but they are none of your business.

You need to be aware of this if you are to empower yourself sufficiently to banish your saboteur so you can get on and fulfil your life’s purpose.

Only by ignoring the chaotic voices in your head and instead listening to your heart, which is urging you to write (or paint, play music, learn abseiling, or whatever…), and realise how you sabotage yourself, will you develop the motivation and self- belief to maintain the single-pointed focus you need to complete any significant creative endeavour.

Choose a goal that you absolutely believe in. It has to mean something if you are to successfully reprogramme and adopt new habits. Get to know your saboteur and his tricks inside out and learn to see him coming. Then you can tell him, “Get lost! I’m not listening to you any more!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For more information on Dave’s coaching work, or The

North London Coaching Community, please visit For more about Dave’s groundbreaking book, The Five Pillars of Happiness, or to buy a copy, please visit Dave’s blog:

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