We all self-sabotage ourselves. I see it in my actions and I see it in my friend’s actions.

For example, as much as I would love to tone up and slim down, if a banoffee pie is offered to me, I WILL eat it.  No questions asked. One of my friends has been in debt for a while, I recall her saying something along the lines of “I really need to get into shape and out of debt.” Twenty minutes later her extortionately priced pizza arrives…

It sounds dumb, and it is. But I also believe this self-sabotaging has become the norm in first world countries. We self-sabotage to stay in our comfort zone. By staying in our comfort zone we subconsciously think we are keeping ourselves safe. During caveman years that may be true. Explore outside your comfort zone and you get eaten by a bear. The priority was survival.

But guess what? The world has changed. We are privileged enough to live in a first world country. In general, we have mastered survival. Our priorities have now evolved to creating things, finding connections, and ‘fulfilling our purpose’.

Inspired by Mel Robbins talk “How to stop screwing yourself over” here are seven cures to self-sabotaging behaviour in property.

1. Stop over analysing and pick one

toothpaste, decision making
Sometimes, decisions can be REALLY hard to make Image Credit: Clean Wal-Mart

How many of you still haven’t picked an area to invest in yet? Or your wealth strategy? We analyse our choices to death and never pick one. That’s why we stay exactly where we are.

Want to know a secret about picking an area? IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE YOU CHOOSE. Pick any of your options. There is no wrong answer! The point of picking an area is to help you focus your efforts in one place. Researching an area and building relationships with tradesmen and property managers is time consuming.

My advice? Do some basic research about rental demand/selling demand. Then pick the area that’s a) closest to you or b) you love visiting. If you are a property newbie you need an area to PRACTICE on. The area itself is irrelevant. The value comes from the experience; from messing up and using those mess ups to refine your property skills.

2. Stop using lack of knowledge as an excuse

books, education, wealth
Read one, implement what you’ve learned. Then if you need more knowledge, read another book.

Anyone else been accused of having seminar junkie syndrome? It is basically where one continuously goes to seminars  until they think they are “ready” to start achieving their goals. If we take the BS out that sentence it looks like this, one will continuously go to seminars until they get over their fear of starting.

If you are using lack of knowledge are an excuse, the root may be fear. That’s OK, property is scary. But hear this, real education comes from experience.

One thing I am trying to do is take a small piece of information, apply it, and practice it. If someone comes at me with more information I ask them to hold it until I have practiced the first bit.

The What-If syndrome is equally unproductive and annoying. You know that person at the front of the class who keeps asking the teacher “What-if this, what-is that?” What if they shut up and actually applied the basic theory. I promise you they would not ask such dumb questions  already know the answer to their questions.

The what-if girl

I was the “What-If” girl with my Dad (still sometimes am). It drives him mad. It also tells him that I haven’t even attempted to start a task if I am asking these types questions.  My view is I want to be prepared. My dad’s view is I don’t need to know how to deal with all the what-if situations my brain can conjure, immediately.

Dad’s view is to wait until those situations happen. Otherwise it will dilute the current theory in my brain with information overload. What do I do when a What-If situation actually arises?

If I have a problem and have no knowledge of how to deal with it, e.g. a tenant situation. I post it on one of the many Facebook forums. Call the National Landlords Association. or Google it. There are so many ways to find an answer to my problems. The Facebook group I find most responsive and helpful is HMO – Houses Of Multiple Occupancy Network (Official)

3. Stop lying to yourself

self-sabotage, lying, success
This a reference to this vine [NFSW language]
We lie all the time.

One lie I find myself saying is “I can’t do this.” What I actually mean is “I have never done this before and I am scared of messing up.”

What I am changing my thinking to is “By having a go I will either get it right or I will quickly learn how.”

So how can we stop lying to ourselves? This question is a blog post in its self. Personally, when I catch myself thinking or telling myself something unproductive and limiting, I do two things:

  1. Take seven deep breaths
  2. Ask myself questions like; Why am I thinking this? What emotions am I currently feeling when I think this?

These two steps usually help me realise the truth about what’s going on. The answer is usually a fear of something. Then I force myself to adopt the “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” attitude.

4. Realise that your very existence is a statistical miracle

miracle, wealth, success
Image Credit: searchquotes.com 

Scientists have calculated the probability of you being born at the exact time you were born, to your parents, with your DNA structure, is 1:400 trillion. What are the chances?

You are a miracle.

If you think anything else you are defying science. The probability of you being born is exactly the same as Bill Gates being born, or Richard Branson, Gill Fielding, even Arnold Schwarzenegger. Do you know how special you are?

The difference between these guys and us is they chose to make their ideas happen.

How does this piece of information stop us from self-sabotage?

Self-sabotaging behaviours sometimes happen when we don’t feel good enough or that we are insignificant. For me, having scientists say my existence is a miracle is some good reassurance that my Mum was right, I am special. Jokes aside, I usually have to spend some focused time completing the idea I am a miracle but it motivates me. But when I get this idea in my head without any opposing thoughts then it motivates me to live the best life I possibly can. While in this headspace all that flows into my mind is gratitude, positivity and a strong desire to succeed at whatever I choose.

5. Listen to your thoughts 

Doctor Who, success, wealth
He IS a Doctor Image Creadit: BBC

We have ideas that flow to us all day, every day.There is a reason why they come into your specific head. Ideas that will change our work environment. Ideas that will change how we feel. Ideas that will change the world.

My gosh what an incredible thing to have flowing into our minds! Then what do we do with them? Nothing. Even if it is an idea we really really really want to happen, we do nothing. Below I explain why we do nothing and how we can change this.

6. Just move!

Snooze, self-sabotage, success, wealth
Ah, my nemesis… we meet again… and again… and again Image Credit: Sean McGrath

When we wake up, what is the first thing we do? Hit the snooze button because we don’t feel like waking up yet, most start the day with a mini self-sabotage. We do exactly the same to our biggest wants and ideas. We hit our inner snooze button.

As much as we would love to lose weight, we don’t feel like going to the gym. As much as we would love to be financial free and attract lots of good deals, we don’t feel like putting out leaflets or goldmine adverts.

The truth is WE WILL NEVER FEEL LIKE IT! (Unless we have attended a Tony Robbins seminar. Then we will feel like it for two days.) That may sound foreboding but don’t worry. There is a cure. A cure which will help us turn any idea into reality. Are you ready?

…Activation Energy!Acti – what?

“Activation energy: the force required for you to change what you do on auto-pilot, to do something new.”

– Mel Robbins

Sounds great Jess, but how do we create this activation energy? 

Activation energy is created by making a conscious choice to do something. Start a task as quickly as possible before excuses get a chance to come into your brain.

If I have already made excuses to not do something and recognise that, here is one trick I use:

Take the emotion out and pretend I am a robot (only healthy in certain situations). For example, if I want to go to the gym but don’t feel like it, I break down the task and look at in a pragmatic way. Step 1: Put on gym clothes. Step 2: Put on trainers. Step 3: Walk to gym…

Once I am at the gym I have built enough momentum to feel like having a gym sesh. Step 1 is the hardest. But if I look at it in a pragmatic way, how hard is changing my clothes?

One VERY important point I want to make is; I mentally congratulate myself after Step 3 for taking action and make a big deal out of it (all in my head of course – I am already wearing a power rangers backpack. At my present state of evolution, I doubt I could deal with any judgement if I physically patted myself on the back and loudly complimented my action taking efforts).

Congratulating yourself after taking action is so important for the long term! It trains your brain to associate taking action with reward. Once your brain automatically associates taking action with reward, it makes it much easier to take action in the future.


Maradona, success, self-sabotage
Maradona doing it right! Image Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

For those keen beans, let’s practice activation energy with a fun challenge.

The second you wake up tomorrow throw your sheets onto the floor. Immediately scramble out of bed and enthusiastically shout “I’m up!” then start your day.

For you competitive folk, see how many days you can do this is a row and I will attempt to beat it providing this is not already your norm).

The key to succeeding in this challenge is scrambling out the split second you wake up. If you leave it for 5 seconds your brain will have graced you with a plethora of excuses to stay in bed: I’m cosy. It’s warm. I will get up in 5 more minutes. Or my favorite – “I’m awake I am just going to ‘meditate’ here for 15 minutes.”

For all non early birds, these excuses come to the fore front of our conscious mind within seconds of waking up. Do we have the strength or desire to argue with them first thing in the morning? Hell no. So the only way to by pass them is to TAKE ACTION before they come into our minds.

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