How to Stop Undermining Yourself

Over years of working with individuals and organizations to help them realize their full potential, I’ve discovered that the most common roadblock to success is self-sabotage. The number one reason that people don’t achieve progressive realization of their full potential is that they undermine themselves. Before embarking on your own journey of progressive realization to find fulfillment, joy, and meaning, it’s important to understand how to avoid this widespread pitfall.

There are three key ways to stop undermining yourself on your journey to self-understanding: 1. Be in the moment; 2. Clear your schedule of secondary commitments; and 3. Listen and contemplate.

The first concept—being in the moment—entails fully focusing your mental energy on each step of the self-discovery process. To put it simply, if you don’t pay attention, then you’ll miss everything. The only way to achieve the realization of your full potential is by applying your given gift in the right environment, and then confirming your gift through its correct application. But if you’re not paying attention when this happens, you’ll never make any real progress. I refer to it as being captured in the moment of true reality.

Think about it this way: If you meet someone for the first time, but you don’t remember their name a few minutes later, why have you forgotten it? The answer is that you’re not in the moment. When that person introduced himself or herself to you, you were probably thinking about something else—such as what you were going to say next in the conversation. If you had truly been in the moment, focused on the person’s name, then you would remember it.

The second key way to avoid undermining yourself is to clear your schedule of secondary commitments. If your schedule is packed full of unimportant tasks and various activities, you simply won’t have the time—or the attention—available to fully engage in the pattern of self-discovery. The pattern of progressive realization requires you to embrace effectiveness over activity. It’s about the quality of your activities, not the quantity of them.

The third strategy to stop undermining yourself is to listen and contemplate. Don’t just jump from activity to activity—make sure you listen to what’s going on around you, and that you contemplate the meaning of each result you get throughout your journey. If you fail to listen and contemplate, you’ll end up being surprised by sudden insights that should have been obvious to you. Instead of allowing yourself to be continually surprised, you should contemplate anything that surprises you.

Ask yourself, “What did I do that caused the surprise? What gift was I applying? What environment did it happen in?” If you don’t ask these questions, then the value of surprises will diminish over time. You’ll ultimately fail to accumulate any progressive realization.

Once you employ these three methods to avoid undermining yourself, you’ll be primed for understanding where you gift can be best applied to the highest need of each situation or opportunity you encounter. You’ll be able to define the characteristics of that environment, so that you can start to build confidence around applying your gift and eventually place those environments around you strategically.

For example in the speaking part of my life’s journey, I have discovered that the group of individuals with the greatest need for my gift was independent business owner who employed more that fifty people. As such, I spent my time searching out those groups so that my success was predetermined to a certain extent. I went into those situations knowing that they were ideal for the application of my gift. This type of confidence builds lifelong momentum to continue the journey of progressive realization.