When I think back to the beginning of the year, when I was still struggling with my quarter-life-crisis, there were so many things I was doing that were totally sabotaging my happiness and success, I just didn’t realize I was doing them. The main two things came in the form of 1) an unhealthy mindset, 2) and trying to do everything on my own.

The mindset had me believing I wasn’t capable and that there was no hope for me. And trying to get out of it on my own led to a whole bunch of confusion, overwhelm and loneliness.

One of the biggest and most valuable lessons I have learnt in my training as a coach is that the story you are telling yourself is just a story and it can be changed. 

I recently helped out a friend with a photo shoot for her business, I spent a very chilly morning in November trying to do Yoga poses (never having done Yoga before, I’m a Pilates girl) in the park while wearing the workout gear she sells. As we were hanging out we got talking about her business and I instantly recognized the same two self-sabotaging traits in her. The coach in me dug a little deeper and discovered that the underlying cause was the same as mine had been: fear of failure and judgement!

These two fears are responsible for stopping countless amounts of people from going after their dreams. Often we’re not consciously aware that this is the case, we think that it’s just the way we are and that we’re just not good enough. This isn’t true! One of the biggest and most valuable lessons I have learnt in my training as a coach is that the story you are telling yourself is just a story and it can be changed. Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true and you are never going to uncover the truth about your potential if your inner monologue is sabotaging you at every turn. 

There is a metaphor that I made up about the importance of a healthy mindset, here it is: Imagine that all your dreams, goals and your ideal life were represented as a big beautiful house. Now, imagine that your mindset is represented as the foundations of the house. If those foundations are weak, the house will fall down. If the foundations are strong, the house will stand tall and beautiful (and you can even build an extension)!

I really felt for my friend because I know what she’s feeling. It’s a crappy, lonely struggle trying to figure out a way to the life you want when you’re sabotaging yourself. The bit that makes it even worse is that you don’t know you’re doing it. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to people, find a coach or a mentor, read books and educate yourself, work on your mindset and find a community of like-minded people who are also trying to take control of their lives and create something that they’re passionate about.

I know it sounds simple and kind of obvious when it’s laid out this way, but I also know that when you’re unconsciously sabotaging yourself… it’s the last thing you think of. 

A great place to start is online: Search for groups on social media that relate to what you’re doing. Pick one or two (any more than that can get overwhelming!) and really use them. Make connections, offer your own knowledge and learn from the other people in the group. Try the Meet-up app. There are so many meet-ups that are fantastic to be a part of. You can learn, grow and make friends in a supportive and friendly environment. Ask people for great book recommendations, the most successful people in the world read everyday, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Book discovery calls with coaches or mentors that resonate with you and invest in your success. The writer and speaker Mike Dooley puts it perfectly when he says, “Do all you can with what you have, from where you are.” 

On the other side of fear and frustration lies the most amazing things life has to offer, it’s also where you find out what you are really capable of. Go and find it! 

This post was originally published on The Fierce Flamingo