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On my flight back to Paris after a rejuvenating trip to Costa Rica, I decided to watch the two Papillon movies back-to-back.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Papillon, it’s the true story of the famous prisoner who escaped from the French Penal Colony of French Guiana in the 1940s. It’s an epic and tragic tale of resilience, friendship, and resourcefulness.
It turns out Papillion was incarcerated in my hometown of Saint-Laurent, on the west coast of French Guiana. And as I watched the story of Papillon (twice), seeing all the familiar monuments and buildings… it took me down another well known street, i.e. memory lane. Seeing my hometown got me thinking about my own past, and how I was able to overcome my own self-sabotaging habits through decisiveness, goal setting, and powerful habits.
Many of us struggle to even clearly identify what it is that we actually want in life, and this lack of clarity usually causes us to just “puddle along.” We settle for what we think we can get, instead of working toward what we actually want. Moreover, puddling along often leaves us feeling unfulfilled, unmotivated, and further hinders us from actually taking action toward building the life we want.
Without clarity and decisiveness, we can’t make empowering choices for our lives, which often results in self-sabotage. Let’s face it… even when things are going well, sometimes we end up working against our own best interests – whether it’s unhealthy snacking, procrastinating, overdosing on mindless entertainment, or just being inactive.
Learning how to define our goals ensures that we’re are not just fumbling around, and are instead moving consistently toward the lives we actually want. While working with me, my clients learn how to kick self-sabotage to the curb by honing their goal setting and decision-making skills.
So once you’ve clarified your goals, it’s time to take action – and you’re going to need a bit more than just motivation. Don’t get me wrong, motivation is all fine and good, but it doesn’t always defeat self-sabotage.
I like to think of it this way: motivation is the firestarter. Can motivation get you started? Sure. And much like a firestarter ignites a fire but doesn’t keep it going, it is habits that are the continuous kindling to keep your fire blazing, not just motivation. By putting powerful habits in place, you’ll make sure that you’re carrying out your plan every day, and not falling prey to self-sabotage or other debilitating behaviors.
As I’ve said, I’ve certainly been guilty of self-sabotage at different points in my life. Even now, for instance, I don’t always feel motivated to do my morning yoga, or manage my personal finances, or hit the gym, but I end up doing it most of the time, because of the powerful habits I’ve put in place.
Bullet point: The way to say sayonara to self-sabotage? We must first decide we want to change, then we set goals, and then powerful habits will see us through.
What are some habits that you’d like to put in place for 2019? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. Is it time to be a Papillon in your own life and break free from the prison of indecisiveness and self-sabotage? I’d love to help you finally get out of your own way.