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Self Development

Don’t Self Sabotage

Achieving success at any level requires having a great relationship with oneself.

Femi Adebanji




Now, I’m not talking about going about hugging yourself the whole day with a big smile on your face, rather what I’m talking about is having a healthy dose of self-esteem, self-respect  and powerful self-belief. In years of providing motivation counsel, I have come across countless people who find it hard to achieve their goals, actualise their dreams and accomplish success. This difficulty to achieve success usually manifests in the form of things just not seeming to work out, too many challenges and difficulties popping up, the right opportunities not presenting themselves, the right contacts not showing up, ‘bad luck’ and the list goes on.

Self perceptions

On digging deeper, I tend to find that one of the main reasons why people fail to achieve success is not the presence of challenges or difficulties or the lack of resources, rather a great degree of failure stems from self-sabotage; and self-sabotage is the result of not having a great relationship with oneself. So many people sabotage their own attempts at success often without even realising that they are doing so and without an inkling of the fact that the  way they perceive themselves is in fact the stumbling blocks to their progress.

We often find that those with phenomenal levels of success have a great deal of self-esteem, self-respect and self-belief. In short successful people tend to see view themselves positively and really like yourself (after all, you’ve got to like yourself in order to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve the things you want out of life).  On the other hand, an inability to succeed has often been linked to low self-esteem and low levels of self-belief. The fact is this – you cannot have what you do not believe that you can have and unless you like yourself enough you will find yourself unconsciously stalling your own attempts at success.

Low self esteem = low success rate

There are two main reasons why low self-esteem makes it difficult to achieve success:

Firstly, those with a low self-image generally do not believe in themselves or believe that they have the ability to achieve phenomenal levels of success. They cannot seem to see pat their limitations, challenges and past mistakes. Simple answer to this – You are not an exception; neither are you weaker or less deserving than the next person. You must come to realisation that everyone has made mistakes, met challenges and encountered limitations. It was their ability to push through all of these issues that allowed them to become successful, earn their success, live the life of their dreams and be revered by those around them.

Secondly, and possibly more important is the fact that those who have a poor self-image generally do not have a great relationship with themselves, do not like themselves enough and do not really really believe that they deserve to be successful…This is where the self-sabotaging behaviour creeps in. When you do not really believe that you deserve to be as successful as the next person, you will begin displaying behaviour (often times without even being aware of it) that will stall your attempts at success.

Self-sabotaging behaviours manifest in the following ways –  continuously making excuses for not taking the necessary actions required to achieve your goals, procrastinating, constantly citing challenges and problems as excuses for your failures, you find yourself constantly “busy” but unproductive, failing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve our goals, feeling fatigue or tired when you are about to take some sort of action related to your goal or objective, distracting yourself with entertainment when you should be working towards your goal (movies was my thing until I came to the realisation), jumping from one  goal to the next without fully accomplishing any of your goals and so on.

Asking touch questions

The truth of the matter is that when we are displaying self-sabotaging actions, on some subconscious level, we tend to know. However, bringing the issue to the conscious level and asking ourselves the tough questions – well, that’s tends to be the challenging part, but it needs to be done. When we find ourselves not doing what we know we must do (or all we must do) in order to achieve success, then we should consider the fact that we may be undermining our own shot at success. In such situations, we need to access ourselves and ask the following guiding questions:

  • Do I really, really want to achieve this goal or is it just a passing fad? If I really desire to achieve this goal, then can I clearly see how it’s accomplishment change my life?
  • How do I rate my self-image and self-esteem on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being great and 1 being poor). Do I have a great relationship with myself and do I firmly believe that I deserve to enjoy success?
  • Why do I believe that I deserve success?
  • Am I doing everything necessary and possible to achieve this goal or am I making excuses?
  • If someone else was placed in my position with the same situation, challenges and issues, is it possible that they would be able to do a better job than I am currently doing?
  • Do I really believe I can achieve the goal or do I doubt myself on some level? If I fail to accomplish this goal, what will my life look like in 5 years?

Such questions will not only get us thinking more about how we see ourselves but will also allow us to become more aware of which actions are helping us and which actions are undermining us.

Self-sabotaging actions are almost never done on purpose but are often a reflection of the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves and whether or not we truly believe we deserve success as much as the next person.

Femi Adebanji is the director of the Mind-Advance Institute and a sought-after speaker and motivator. As a performance consultant he works with individuals and companies to design plans of action to realise their potential, achieve their goals, become more effective and maximise performance. He holds a Masters degree in Financial Economics and an Honors degree in Economics. For more information visit the Mind Advance website.


Self Development

3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

Erik Kruger



3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Goal setting as a concept makes perfect sense. At the most basic level you decide on the destination and then plot the way to get there. But as with many things, we like to overcomplicate that which should be simple.

Before you know it, you end up with 2 big goals in 15 different areas of your life and 100 micro goals that will help you reach your 30 big goals.

Complicating something simple. Some of the biggest obstacles to people in reaching their goals are:

  • The overestimate the effort it will take to achieve those goals
  • They want to go from 0-100km/h in the blink of an eye
  • Life is dynamic and static goals often do not make sense
  • They get so entrenched in the day to day running of things that goals get pushed aside.

What if instead of goals, we just focused on giving our best every day?

Of course, you still want to have an indication of where you are going.

But, if you are giving your 100% every day then you can forego the micro goals for a better way of calibrating your compass… using questions.

Related: Goal Setting Guide

I suggest you ask yourself these three questions regularly:

1. What does better look like?

The question at the heart of development and incremental improvement. This question allows you some creative space in which you can imagine a better future.

  • What does better health look like?
  • What does a better business look like?
  • What does better customer service look like?
  • What does better leadership look like?

By reflecting on this question, you materialise the gap between where you are and where you could be. Now, the only thing that is left is to align your daily actions with the better future you imagined.

2. What can I control?

Borrowed from Stoicism this question highlights the power of decision in your life. Epictetus said we should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”

Once you ask this of yourself regularly you will feel more in control of your life and more in control of your business.


Because your focus is solely on the things that you can influence. It restores the belief that you can actually impact the world around you in a meaningful way.

3. Was I impeccable with my actions today?

One inherent flaw with goal setting is that the goal setter often feels judged. As if we need more of that. In addition to the constant negative self-talk we have to endure we now have an additional source of judgement – whether we reached our goals or not.

As we discovered in question #2 We cannot control everything. Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

So, instead of judging yourself, commit to giving your best every single day.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win


What I love most about these questions is that they provide a built-in layer of accountability. Use them every day.

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Self Development

To Be Successful Stay Far Away From These 7 Types of Toxic People

You need a network of talented people, not toxic personalities who undermine you.




Surrounding yourself with prospective mentors is an excellent way to build lifelong success. When Steve Jobs founded Apple, he learned from colleagues like Steve Wozniak about what it took to build computer hardware. And he learned from early investors like Mike Markkula about what it took to build a successful company and market a product. Now imagine if Jobs had surrounded himself with toxic personalities instead. It is likely that he would not have been able to create a company that is on course to be valued at $1 trillion.

If you interact with people who demonstrate questionable behaviour, you’re more likely to model that behaviour yourself or to become stressed as a result. At the very least, you will be missing out on the opportunity to network with more successful and inspiring individuals.

This article will review seven personality types that should be eliminated from your life in order to build your most successful self. Once these people are gone, you can work on building a network of people who influence you positively.

1. Micromanagers

According to a report by NPR, micromanagement is one of the biggest factors associated with employee dissatisfaction, lowered motivation and lack of professional creativity. To be successful, you must learn to solve problems independently. Micromanaging can make it difficult to develop these skills.

Related: Keep An Eye Out For Toxic Employees

2. Short-term thinkers

If you surround yourself with short-term thinkers, it will be difficult to know if an idea is destined for long-term success. Those who are narrow-minded may be more likely to dismiss one of your ideas because it will take time to develop into a meaningful success.

Take the creation of Airbnb as an example. The company was founded in 2008. At the time the “sharing economy” did not exist, and hotel chains like Starwood and Hilton dominated the lodging market. A short-term thinker would have criticised an idea like Airbnb.

In order for the company to be successful, Airbnb would need to change people’s attitudes and expectations about travel. They would need to encourage people to be comfortable staying with strangers, and they would need to find ways to mitigate possible liability should something tragic happen during a customer’s stay.

Well-respected venture capitalists decided to pass on Airbnb because of these short-term concerns. The Airbnb founders were only able to find success once they connected with people who were comfortable thinking long term.

3. Pessimists

pessimistsPessimism is not always a bad trait; at times it can help entrepreneurs to recognize certain pitfalls that might otherwise be overlooked. However, a steady diet of pessimism is toxic when it comes to taking big professional risks.

As David Armor, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University, says, “An entrepreneur starting up a company, for example, might drive himself to work 18-hour days for months and even years because he optimistically believes that there will be a big payoff for him at the end.” Conversely, a pessimistic attitude would make it difficult to tolerate such a prolonged stressful situation.

For those interested in taking on stressful professional situations, pessimistic people should be avoided in most cases.

Related: Tips on how to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic Workplace

4. Selfish people

Relationships that contribute to success are mutually beneficial. This dynamic cannot exist when dealing with selfish people. As a result, it is best to eliminate selfish people from your life in order to make room for more giving relationships.

A recent study found that a job applicant who is referred by an existing employee is 15 times more likely to be hired than someone who applies via a job board. If you befriend a selfish person, you probably can’t rely on them to introduce you to new career opportunities. However, forming connections with someone who is altruistic could give you a professional leg up.

5. Risk-averse personalities

Business success is about making informed decisions by weighing risks and rewards. If you are surrounded by people who over-index on possible risks while ignoring the possible rewards, it will be challenging to identify good business opportunities.

Take Amazon as an example. In 2014 Amazon launched a smartphone called the Fire Phone. In the end, the phone was not successful. Following the unsuccessful launch of the Fire Phone, risk-averse people might have avoided developing another piece of computer hardware.

But instead, Amazon correctly assessed the opportunity for an in-home smart speaker, and launched the Amazon Echo just one year later. Today, Echo has 75 percent of the smart-speaker market in the United States.

6. Unmotivated individuals

People who lack motivation or work ethic set a bad example for those interested in working diligently to become a professional success. There is no worse colleague than someone who simply does the bare minimum to get by.

Rather than associate yourself with people who cut corners or avoid hard work, try to surround yourself with people who are motivated to succeed. Collaborating with people who have a healthy drive for success can instill an extra dose of motivation in you.

Related: 3 Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People

7. Spendthrifts

Financial responsibility is a critically important quality to develop if you want to become successful. Warren Buffet is perhaps the supreme example of a financially responsible and successful person.

Buffet is the third wealthiest person in the world, worth nearly $80 billion. But despite his professional success, Buffet does not spend his money on flashy cars or large homes. In fact, Buffet still lives in the modest home in Omaha, Nebraska, that he purchased in 1958.

Those who associate with spendthrifts may be more motivated to make irresponsible financial decisions in order to fit in. At the very least, it will be harder to associate with people who make good financial choices, as these personalities are frequently diametrically opposed.


Business is all about who you know. From landing a new job to launching a new company, your network will enable or prevent future professional success. When developing a network of talented people, it is best to avoid toxic personalities who could set a bad example or demotivate you.

Be sure to avoid people who are micromanagers and short-term thinkers, as they can make it difficult to think autonomously. Risk-averse individuals or pessimists may cause you to think twice about great business ideas, and spendthrifts or selfish people may hamper your ability to grow. Last but not least, stay away from unmotivated individuals, as your success is dependent on your willingness to work diligently in order to succeed.

This article was originally posted here on

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Self Development

Are You Seeing What You Want And Not What Is Actually There? Take This Simple Test

Do you see what’s really there, or what you expect to see?

Nadine Todd




Without looking at your watch, think about what it looks like. Are the numbers Roman Numerals? If the answer is yes, picture the number four. Now write down the symbol that your second hand will be pointing at, at 4am or 4pm each day.

Was it this: IV?

If you made that assumption, you’re forgiven. Known as the Roman Numeral Clock study, this simple experiment has become a hallmark showcasing how often we assume we know what something looks like, or what someone did or said. We often don’t see what’s in front of us, because we don’t look. We expect something to be what we think it is.

Related: Why You Should Be Unreasonable With Your Expectations

On all Roman Numeral watches, the number four looks like this: IIII

This is based on ancient sundials. Popular theory says it’s because IV was the symbol of Jupiter, and it was considered bad luck or sacrilegious to be on a sundial.

Whatever the reason, tradition has maintained it.

And we have a nifty experiment to prove we don’t always pay attention to our surroundings.

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