If you are dissatisfied with your progress toward the goals you set, or just dissatisfied with your life in general, you probably need to look at the issue of "self-sabotage."

People tend to operate at two levels. They consciously have a direction they want to go, but subconsciously, there may be a conflict. For those who aren't familiar with the terminology, "subconscious" (as I am using the term) refers to the part of you that is usually outside of your awareness. This is the part of you that manages your body–it breathes, beats your heart, digests your food, and allows you to dream when you sleep (and sometimes other times). Your subconscious stores your memories, manages your needs and in general knows you better than you may even be aware. Your subconscious mind listens to everything you think and say to yourself.

As a result, your subconscious mind may be sending you in directions you had not intended. When you tell yourself you are likely to fail, for instance, your subconscious hears that as a request and is happy to help you do it. Many people have critical self-talk that keeps them focusing on what they are doing "wrong" as opposed to what they are doing "right."
Also, some people have a running commentary on how things outside themselves are going wrong–for example, the country is going in the wrong direction, the economy is hurting, their spouse is an insensitive lout. That self-talk colors perceptions and sure enough, all those things come true. The subconscious mind thinks you want it that way.

Our thoughts and perceptions can sabotage our best efforts. Many people form beliefs that limit them, rather than empower them. "I can't..." is one of the most destructive limiting beliefs because it will completely stop you. If you believe you cannot do something, you will not be able to do it. Unconsciously, you will sabotage yourself to make sure that belief comes true.

We may also sabotage ourselves because our conscious mind–our intentions and best laid plans–and our subconscious minds are in conflict. For example, you might want to excel in your job, but you also may want to spend time with your family. This tends to be a major conflict for many people. We want to take pride in being successful in the work world, but end up torn between work and home. Our focus gets divided and forward progress in either area is inhibited because we are in conflict.

Sometimes we are aware of such conflicts; at other times we just know that we are not succeeding in some area. That conflict sabotages us.

What can you do about this? First, remember that you get what you focus on, so focus on what you DO want rather than what your DON'T want. Make sure that your focus is clear and undivided. State your intention out loud, clearly, and state it positively.

Make sure when you say it, that it resonates throughout your whole being. If you feel any resistance at all, you will need to examine what that resistance is about. Is there a conflict? Is your unconscious mind worried about what achieving that goal might mean for you? Is it concerned about what you would have to give up or lose if you reach that goal? Is your subconscious concerned about what reaching this goal will require of you?

Let me give you an example. When I worked with underachievers in school years ago, I found that many times the kids secretly did not want to do well in school. Despite the fact that they would get praise, get their parents off their back or sometimes even get rewards, they continued to sabotage themselves. Why? Because they worried that if they did well, people would always expect that sort of performance from them. They doubted themselves and didn't think they could do it consistently. They didn't want the pressure. They would work for hours on a homework assignment, then "forget" to turn it in. Although they consciously wanted to do well, they sabotaged themselves frequently.

How do YOU sabotage yourself? What do you "forget?" What beliefs do you hold that hold you back? When you start identifying the ways in which you sabotage yourself–and bring the subconscious sabotage into your consciousness--you can begin to work on the self-sabotage and get rid of it.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach, trainer and owner of Inner Resource Center, LLC. She has more than 30 years of experience helping people overcome obstacles, change their lives, and reach goals they had not thought possible using her solution focused approach. She specializes in helping people get unstuck from negative emotions and limiting beliefs that cause stress and sabotage their happiness. Get additional free tips and challenges for getting unstuck from her Inner Resources report . Or contact her for a free 20 minute consultation at http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com .