Time and again I see people start to make their plans for their future – pursuing a new job or career path, or starting their own businesses. They are initially excited by the possibilities that lie in front of them and eagerly set out on their path, only to see road blocks and work ahead. Soon, they are feeling frustrated and defeated; some go on, only because they have to (job seekers) but some give up (career changers). Why does this happen?
These people live in “self-defeat”. They allow their fears and insecurities to overtake them. They base their future on past perceptions of failure, either from their own or from someone else’s. Often, these types of people don’t rely on, or trust, themselves and seek out the opinions of others who can’t grasp their head around lofty goals or change. They allow that “little voice” to creep in and take over, leaving them feeling so frustrated that they give up or give in. Eventually, they feel angry, anxious and depressed and go about doing what they did before. Or they take the first job that comes along.
This type of self-defeatist behavior can be attributed to a myriad of issues, but usually has to do with a lack of self-esteem and confidence, mixed in with fears. From an adult developmental perspective, we have different stages that we pass through from infancy to our adult years with each of these stages presenting challenges and learning opportunities on how we act and react. Our learning and behaviors become imprinted at an early age and we master them as we grow up. But there are also outside influences that impact us and, dependent upon our personality, we may hold onto that impact for a long time and will revert back to it as situations arise. Here is an example: if you can remember when you were a child and had your first spelling test; you studied hard and thought you did well, only to find you got a B or a C. You thought you did well. You bring home your test and are yelled at by one of your parents who thought you did not study hard enoug and could have done better. You now have a fear when you take the next test because you don’t want to be yelled at again. This is how we get imprinted.
It is possible to overcome and banish this self-defeat attitude but it takes conscious awareness and work. Changing self-behaviors is tough – it does not come automatically although there are people who have that ability. It will take some behavior modification, some motivation, mixed in with some positive psychology to set your goal and determination to face your fears and to think more positively. If you believe you can achieve your goals, you can. How do you overcome your fears and self-defeating behaviors?