How To Stop Sabotaging Your Success

March 8, 2012 by  

Thanks to Forbes, I came across a beautiful article written by Sara Rosso for Women 2.o,which is a website whose mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. Women 2.0 also enables entrepreneurs with a network, resources and knowledge to take your startup from idea to launch.

I tweeted some of the principles shared in the “How To Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success” but I thought it was good enough to also share here.

This is not the full article, you can read the rest HERE. It’s worth checking out. :

How To Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success:

You’ll need to use confidence as a tool in risk-taking:

“What it taught me was you have to be very confident, even though you’re so self-critical inside about what it is you may or may not know. And that, to me, leads to taking risks.”
Virginia M. Rometty, HBR’s Why Women Leaders Need Self-Confidence

You’ll have to do things you haven’t done before:

“You can’t let what you know limit what you can imagine. As you try to do something special, exciting, important in your work, as you work hard to devise creative solutions to stubborn problems, don’t just look to other organizations in your field (or to your past successes) for ideas and practices. Look to great organizations in all sorts of unrelated fields to see what works for them — and how you can apply their ideas to your problems. Who are the most unlikely organizations from which you learn? Do you have new ideas about where to look for new ideas?”
Bill Taylor, HBR’s Don’t Let What You Know Limit What You Imagine

You’ll need to push yourself to continue when that something is uncomfortable and even painful:

“But here is an E that we need to always be working towards getting more comfortable with…Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Pain. That little red alert gauge starts to light up when we feel that pain, that burning, the lactic acid shuffle. Our mind starts telling us to back off and cool it, but here is where we need to play chicken with that blasted little needle and E alert sign.”
The Arty Runner Chick – Redlining and the All-Important E

You’ll need to stop worrying about what your success looks like to others:

“Success and likability are positively correlated in men, and negatively correlated in women. Women must worry about how ambition ‘looks’ because appearing ambitious negatively impacts their success.
The Next Women, Busting the Myth That Women Are Less Ambitious Than Men

You’ll have to do as other successful people do, until you’re successful yourself:

“When we expect to do something perfectly right out of the gate, we make tons of mistakes…Intelligence is malleable, and it grows with experience….Anyone can get more willpower – it’s developed over time like a muscle.”
Harvard Biz IdeaCast 273: What Successful People Do Differently

You’ll have to adopt a growth mindset - basic talents & abilities can be developed over time through mentorships & experience (and you need to start today!):

“These are the people who go for it….they’re not worried about how smart they are, how they’ll look, what a mistake will mean. They challenge themselves, and grow from that…Challenges are exciting rather than threatening. Instead of thinking ‘I’m going to reveal my weaknesses’ you think ‘here’s a chance to grow’…You’re focused on the process instead of just the outcome.”
Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

You’ll have to accept that self-promotion doesn’t have to be annoying or “dirty”, but it can be useful and relevant when done right:

“Perhaps the challenge isn’t learning to become more comfortable with being self-promotional, but rather learning to play within the range of what your community considers acceptable (defined by your own bullshit meter). That means if you tend to feel uncomfortable promoting your work, endeavor to squeeze in a bit of personal PR thoughtfully and remember: There are some real freaking crazies out there who actually want to read your stuff, see the pics of your trip to LegoLand, take your teleclass. And who are YOU to not deliver? You see? It’s really not about you.”
Jory Des Jardins, Do Nice Girls Self-Promote?

You’ll have to start defining yourself by what you want to become, not only what you’ve accomplished so far:

“Which leads to a question about how do we define ourselves? Is it just what we’ve done? You’ve already heard me say that, we are always 2: Who we’ve been, and who we aspire to be. Each of us is bound by our past, our accomplishments, and our failings. But I believe we are ALSO our aspirations and dreams. If each of us has a self-definition that allows us to appreciate the creative act of the moment…then we will stop denying energy to it. We will be okay with the trying and experimenting. Look around at any innovative company, and notice….they are okay failing because their self-definition includes the idea that they will ultimately figure it out.”
Nilofer Merchant, 2 Ways to Skirt Self-Handicapping

You’ll need to raise your hand to be called upon, and expose yourself to judgment, or risk doing nothing:

“In these circumstances, people who don’t raise their hands don’t get called on, and people who raise their hands timidly get called on less. Some of this is because assertive people get noticed more easily, but some of it is because raising your hand is itself a high-cost signal that you are willing to risk public failure in order to try something…. To put yourself forward as someone good enough to do interesting things is, by definition, to expose yourself to all kinds of negative judgments, and as far as I can tell, the fact that other people get to decide what they think of your behavior leaves only two strategies for not suffering from those judgments: not doing anything, or not caring about the reaction.”
Clay Shirky, A Rant about Women

You’ll have to start taking action to get results:

“Own It. It’s time. If we don’t have the confidence to take a shot at what we want in the business world, there’s a 100% chance we will fail. Basic math. Lack of confidence plus lack of action equals zero opportunity for success. It’s a game of confidence, action and results.”
Amy Jo Martin, Let’s get out of our own way & start owning it

You’ll need to learn how to negotiate:

“I work for a large multinational tech company, I regularly hire woman for 65% to 75% of what males make. I am sick of it, here is why it happens, and how you can avoid it.
TwoXChromosomes on Reddit

You’ll need to keep yourself in check:

“And if you don’t check yourself before you wreck yourself, you’ll damage your own self-esteem, stand in the way of your own goals, and maybe even sabotage precious relationships.”
Fearful Adventurer

You’ll need to hold yourself accountable:

“I am so done with letting my own insecurities, self-doubts, and regrets hold me back.”
Sarah J. Bray

You’ll need to act:

“If you have a lightening bolt idea, just DO it. Execute the bare minimum to get your idea out into the world.”
@maggie #altsummit via @nicoleisbetter

You’ll have to take a seat at the table:

“Believe in yourself, negotiate for yourself, believe in your own success.”
Sheryl Sandberg, Why we have too few women leaders : some insights on how women evaluate themselves

It will all start with YOU.

So inspiring!!! 

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7 Comments on "How To Stop Sabotaging Your Success"

  1. Bee on Thu, 8th Mar 2012 3:51 pm 

    Great piece. and I will remember to use some of these tips.

  2. anytime on Thu, 8th Mar 2012 4:49 pm 

    Just Curious: Entertainment Beyond The Usual…

  3. Nalizo on Thu, 8th Mar 2012 5:47 pm 

    I need to start reading these books.God knows I need some motivation in my life.

  4. Nerlee on Fri, 9th Mar 2012 5:17 am 

    Am very comfortable with myself,confident and always motivated, but once in a while we all need these REMINDERS coz fear of the unknown gets in the way sometimes, thank u JC—> Cheerz to the freakin WEEKEND

  5. Jahara on Fri, 9th Mar 2012 6:41 am 

    Hi everyone.

    I think we need to look at ‘success’ & exhaust its mean for everyone of us coz we all have a different meanin of success.

    So,before we stop sabotagin it,we need to ask ourselves ‘what is success?’, ‘when can i say im successful?’
    Coz for some people success is ‘getting’ while for others its ‘giving’, for some people success is ‘destiny’,while for others its a ‘road to destiny’.

    Nna success for me is a road to destiny. I work hard to achieve,& once iv achieved,i dont call that success coz there is always somethin else that i need to achieve. So i cannot say i have reached success at a certain point in time,my road to destiny is success itself for as long as i see progress.

    And u may ask, ‘what is destiny?’. Frankly,i dont know,i dont know the plans my Creater has for me on how its all gonna be at the end,but i believe He will bring the end once iv served my purpose in this life,so until then,i will keep strivin to achieve.

    Ok,now to take it further. Are my achievements only for my own benefit? No,coz that would be plain greedy & what purpose would i be servin in life? My achievements are the type that have a direct or indirect positive impact on other people. Now that’s servin a purpose. Reachin for my goals has to come with contentment that im doin this not only for myself but also for somebody who will benefit from my success.

    In a nutshell,i dont define success by the car i drive,neither the house i live in,nor my bank balance,nor my popularity/status,nor the clothes i wear…etc. I define it by how my achievements have impact on other people.

    So lets hear from u bloggers. Are u successful? What makes u successful? How do u measure ur success?


  6. K.S. on Mon, 12th Mar 2012 9:36 am 

    Thanks for this article Brown Shuga, I really enjoyed it.

  7. Feet Problems – 9 Tips for Feet Problems on Sun, 1st Apr 2012 10:57 am 

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