How to Beat Self-Sabotage

 

Mel Robbins is a best-selling author, life coach, and CNN contributor. Recently, Mrs. Robbins gave a speech on how to stop patterns of self-sabotage. Below are some of the key points from her speech.

Permission to be Selfish

Mrs. Robbins starts her talk by stating that for the last 17 years, she has done nothing but help people get everything they wanted. According to Mrs. Robbins, 1/3 of Americans currently feel dissatisfied with their lives. In order for her to help however, Mrs. Robbins says we first need to reflect on what it is we really want. In answering this question, we can be selfish. According to Mrs. Robbins, our answer does not need to sound good to other people; it is is strictly for us. So, we must first get clear on what it is we really want.

According to Mel Robbins, getting what you want is simple, however, this does not mean it’s easy. Today, we live in an age of incredible resources, and no matter what it is you want in life, if you’re reading this, you have access to at least ten books written by credentialed experts on how to get that thing. According to Mel, today we have all the information, contacts, and tools we need to achieve whatever we want. So, why don’t we?

The Other F-Word

According to Mel Robbins, too often we use the word ‘fine’ as a crutch. When we use this word too much, we can convince ourselves we are fine not having the thing we really want. According to Mrs. Robbins, this is why we are not pushing ourselves. It is the areas of our lives where we’ve given up in which we say we are fine.

We Are Never Going to ‘Feel Like It’

According to Mel Robbins, we constantly have ideas for what we want to make of ourselves. We constantly have ideas of things we’d like to pursue and endeavors we’d like to undertake. However, just as often, we hit our own internal snooze buttons. According to Mrs. Robbins, in any area of our life we want to change, there is one fact we need to know: we are never going to feel like it. Motivation will not come, and you are not going to feel like doing it.

A Simple and Effective Challenge

According to Mrs. Robbins, scientists call this ‘activation energy’: the force required to change from ‘auto-pilot’, to doing something new. In order to combat this, Mrs. Robbins challenges us to try this: tomorrow, set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier, and when this alarm goes off, throw off the sheets, stand up, and start your day. According to Mel Robbins, the reason this challenge is so effective is because it forces us to come face-to-face with the physical force required to change our behaviors.

Parenting Ourselves

According to Mel Robbins, no one who needs to go on a diet ever feels like it. However, according to Mrs. Robbins, the activation energy required to go to the gym, or to start a diet, is the exact same activation energy needed to push ourselves out of a warm bed, and stand up. According to Mrs. Robbins, no one tells us when we turn 18 that it will be our job now to parent ourselves, or to make ourselves do the things we don’t want to do so you can be everything you’re supposed to be. But as adults, we must parent ourselves.

According to Mrs. Robbins, it is very simple to get what we want, but it is not easy. In order to get what we want, we must FORCE ourselves to do it. Mrs. Robbins states our mind has two settings: auto-pilot, and emergency brake. Auto-pilot is our default setting, and any time we do anything that deviates from this auto-pilot state, our minds immediately pull the emergency brake and try to get us back  into the more comfortable, familiar state. Thus, by ‘force’, what Mrs. Robbins is referring to is anything that is a break from our routine. That is a ‘force’.

Often, this auto-pilot is a result of our routines. However, just like when we need water we feel thirsty, or when we need food we feel hungry, according to Mrs. Robbins, when we feel stuck, our bodies is sending us a signal one of our basic needs is not being met. Often times, this is our need for exploration. Thus, according to Mel Robbins, the only way to get back into growth is by forcing ourselves to be uncomfortable.

We Must Force Ourselves to Get Outside

According to Mrs. Robbins, we must force ourselves to get out of our own heads. We talk too negatively to ourselves and too often we rationalize ourselves out of what we should do. As stated above, we will never feel like doing the things we must do in order to get what it is we truly want. So we must force ourselves past our feelings and past our own comfort zones.

The Five Second Rule

According to Mel Robbins, when we have an impulse to do something we feel we should, if we don’t marry it with an action within the first five seconds of having it, our minds will pull the emergency brake, and kill the idea. For example, if we have the impulse to get up and run, or to strike-up a conversation with a stranger, and we don’t act on this impulse within five seconds of having that initial urge, we will likely not act on it at all. According to Mrs. Robbins, our problem is not coming up with ideas, our problem is we don’t act on them. Thus, Mrs. Robbins ends her speech with a simple directive: go do it. That is all.

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