As a psychologist in San Francisco, I see people sabotaging their success on a regular basis. We all do it to one degree or another, but for some it becomes a lifelong strategy. Finding success in anything – career, relationships, education, etc.. is hard won. It takes dedication, hard work and commitment to achieve success of any kind. The “overnight success” is rarely overnight. Unless someone discovers you sitting at a deli and hands you a contract for big bucks to do the thing you want to do, you’re probably going to have to work hard to achieve that which you desire.

Nothing wrong with hard work.

We all want to be more than just some cog in the system and so we dream big. Many of us will act on our dreams and start reaching for success. Of those who try, many will achieve success. Still, many of us will sabotage our success – whether it’s in relationships, career, or any other area where we want to excel – some of us can’t help but hit the brakes and careen off course.

We do this for a multitude of reasons, but self doubt is usually at the heart of it. We don’t think we deserve the success, we may fear the failure that often found on the road to success, we might actually believe we have no right to pursue the dream. The list could go and on. Ultimately, we don’t want to fail so we never try that hard. We create hurdles that are nearly impossible to jump over and we never actually get out of the gate. It’s time to stop sabotaging yourself and start achieving the success you deserve.

Believe in yourself

This is so fundamental it’s silly to have to write it, and yet most people don’t believe in themselves. We do this because we focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. Everyone does. We see the flaws in our skin when looking in the mirror instead of our stunning blue eyes. We see that our dress size is larger now than it was 20 years ago instead of seeing the beauty in the growth we’ve achieved. Interestingly, we don’t look at others this way. When we see friends or family we notice the good in them long before we notice the scars, faults or blemishes. Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend. Offer yourself encouragement and be supportive. Don’t give in to that little voice that says you can’t – you’d never let your best friend do that.

Give it a Try

What if I just ….? That’s been my motto for a while now. Why don’t I just give it a try and see how it works out? I do this with cooking new dishes to trying new experiences. The worst that can happen is I fail. I might burn a casserole or I might never get the hang of salsa dancing. It doesn’t matter if I fail because I tried it. More importantly, I learned something from my failure which will help me in my quest to success.

Stay Focused

No matter what you want to accomplish it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize. There needs to be an incentive for you to go to the office every day or to spend your evenings writing 1000 words after everyone else has gone to sleep. Keep your eyes on the end result and you’ll find success is easier to reach.

Fall down, get up again

When you fall down you can stay down or you can brush yourself off an try again. There’s really no two ways about it. If you want success you’ll have to get up again and again and again. That’s part of the process, so build falling down into your plan. If you need some time to feel a feeling about the failure – take it. Acknowledge how it made you feel and then let it go and get back on the horse.

The difference between those who achieve success and those who remain in mediocrity is often as simple as trying one more time.