I've been working on this post off and on now for almost a month. Tonight I read something that just slapped me in the face.
It's funny that many of my self-improvement efforts seem to get sabotoged. I try to improve myself in differnt ways, but I often seem to do something or not do enough and sabotoge myself. I don't understand why or how, but I do seem to have the same problem over and over. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Diets are something that about a million people a day start and almost none of them succeed with sabotoging themselves. I'm more than guilty of this. I have done it with weight loss time and again. I've failed to reach many different goals that I've set for myself. Yet I'm always trying to improve myself in one way or another. Currently, I'm trying to lose weight, improve my step-family life by having a good relationship with my wife and my ex-wife, my work skills (with lots of things going on here), improving my ability as a dad and a teacher (since we want to work on homeschooling our children), and sign-language. I could potentially say that I'm spread thin, but I don't spend time every day working on everything, it's just that I want to do all of these and I spend at least some time every week working on these.
How is it then that when I am constantly trying to improve myself in lots of different ways, I constantly find a way to stop my own improvement? Why do I constantly find myself stopping myself?
Then tonight, I was reading "Yes or No". It asks "Do my actions show me I believe I deserve better". What??? "When you look at the pattern of your past decisions, what do you notice about what you really believe you deserve? Do your actions show you believe you deserve better in every area of your life, both business and personal? If not, why not? Could it be that the world we grow up in culturally supports our denying ourselves better. 'Better than what?' people may ask themselves. 'Better than other people?' 'Why should you deserver better than others deserve?' But that is not the point. It is not better than others. It is better than what you are doing for yourself. Everyone deserves that. Many people still seem to hold on to a subconscious belief that they deny, even to themselves, that sometimes they really don't deserve any better. People experience this in various ways. Some do well at work, but not at home, or vice versa. Some carry this subconscious belief only at certain times in their lives. Others always do."
Slap! What the hell is this. Who wrote this and have I been talking to this person? Spencer Johnson M.D. What is this guy a doctor of?
Why am I holding myself back. I've been asking myself these questions for over a month now. How can I stop sabotoging? "What can I do if I realize I do not really believe I deserve better?"
Spencer Johnson answers "You do not need to wait until you believe it. You just need to do now what you would do if you did believe you deserved better. When your actions are better, things get better."
This is one of those Eureka moments for me. While reading I actually thought "Holy Shit!" I wonder how common this phenomenon is. I now remember thinking back and seeing self-help books about how to get yourself to believe you deserve to be rich. No wonder all visualization books suggest you think as if the action has already taken place. Even if you don't believe it, you need to act as if it already has in order to get better.
This is just the start. Will the next step be something great, or will I continue to sabotoge myself.