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Start before you are ready.

Have you ever noticed yourself say something like

I’d really like to do/ be ….. but I don’t have (time, money, skills, other)

Welcome to the world of Self-Sabotage.

We semi-consciously stop ourselves from ever achieving our dreams or reaching our potential.

Instead we settle for Plan B, or perhaps just go with what someone else has planned for us… which might be great, but more often is closer to mediocrity or perhaps even misery.

We could have, should have, might have… but didn’t.


So what is this Self-Sabotage beast?

…and why do we let it stop us from being more than we are right now?

In our evolutionary past, self-sabotage was probably better known as Self-Preservation. We are naturally programmed to avoid change (Danger Will Robinson, Danger!). We stayed safe by being part of the group, not standing out, not putting ourselves or others at risk by change.

But… the world we are in is somewhat different now (although sometimes it does feel very much the same).

We have the opportunity to explore our dreams, to try new things, to get to know more about ourselves, and to give back in new and creative ways. But lets pause on this, and come back to pulling apart this self-sabotage beast a bit more. Like the monsters in stories, it has many different faces…

  • Procrastination
  • Negative Self Talk
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Giving up

What did we learn from watching the cartoon Scooby Doo? The monsters are always human… and in the case of self-sabotage, it is a more fearful, very risk averse version of ourselves.

Starting before I am ready sounds very risky!

Starting before we are ready is not about staking all of our savings on an idea and hoping it will pay off.

Rather, it is about working out what you want to achieve, mapping out a realistic way to get there, and then start by taking the first steps.

Realistic means that we consider:

  • the time we have available (or can make available)
  • the money we need (what we can afford to spend, what we need to earn in the short and longer term)
  • your personal energy levels
  • any other commitments (time, energy, emotions, other)
  • the skills, knowledge and experience you have (and what you might need to learn)
  • other support available to you (obviously and creatively)

Starting before you are ready means that we accept that we may not get it right straight away – sometimes it takes 10 years or more to be an overnight success – but its all part of the learning journey.

It defines us as entrepreneurial, not as failures. Failure is only when we give up – not because we try and don’t succeed the way we expect the first, second, third (or more) time.

So long as we learn, check in with our values, adapt, adjust, seek feedback, explore options and try again… we are on the path to our future potential! And sometimes where we end up is different, but even better, than what we first imagined.

Self-sabotage is always lurking in the background… so long as we recognise it for what it is (labeling it can help), and we have the support in place to help us keep on track. To be kind to ourselves, and treat ourselves as we would a close friend…

Starting before you are ready means getting started…

…because who is ever really ready?


“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~ Oprah Winfrey