Resolve Self-Sabotage

At this point in the Aspiration Pillar, if you have followed the exercises, you have identified and magnified one or more aspirations, translated them into SMART goals, and prioritized them by allocating resources to make them happen. Now it’s time to face the biggest obstacle—the one big challenge that is so powerful that it can render all your efforts futile.


There are different parts or “voices” inside of us. They are different aspects of our personality, and they vary from person to person. Each inner part has its own function, beliefs and needs. You could have parts such as the resentful-self, the “I know it all” self, the dreamer, the hurt child, the “control freak”, the needy-self, the optimist, the protector-self, the anxious-self, the conqueror, the workaholic, the inner critic, the inner bully, and others.

The challenge is when part of you really wants to achieve your goal, and part of you doesn’t. This internal conflict can lead to self-sabotage. Your heart is divided; your mind hesitates; your energy is not focused.

Some examples:

  • You want to work on that dream project, but part of you procrastinates so you don’t risk disappointment or failure.
  • You want to get fit, but a part of you is afraid of what will happen if you become more attractive, or a part is unwilling to do the work.
  • You want to double your business, but part of you is afraid that success will cost you your friends or make you greedy.
  • You want to speak out more, but part of you is afraid of being judged.
  • You want to stop using social media, but part of you is afraid you will lose connections, be seen as the “weird one”, and end up alone.
  • You want to be kinder and control your anger in your relationships, but part of you fears becoming a pushover.

In coaching, we call these things “secondary gains”. It’s when there is a benefit for you in not changing your behavior, and not achieving your goal. The examples are endless, and most people engage in self-sabotage in at least one area of their lives. 

Are you self-sabotaging your aspiration? If you were paid to hold yourself back, would you be rich or poor?

Take a moment to reflect deeply on that. Become aware of the resisting part in you. What does it want? How can you give it what it want’s without it spoiling your goals?


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