Several dozen people joined me today at 40Plus of Greater Washington for a workshop called “Keeping Your Self-Sabotage at Arm’s Length.” 40Plus is a super organization that equips people who are over 40 and looking for work with the skills they need to find their next job.
The workshop participants each had decades of experience in their respective fields. We established at the outset that everyone had plenty of expertise in two fields: 1) looking for jobs and 2) putting things in their own way.
Together, we examined the next logical steps each person knew there was to take. We identified the ways we each sabotage taking those next steps—including pride, fear, and judgment—and what stories we tell ourselves to justify not taking them.
Next we looked at what it’s costing us to get in our own way and stay there. Some of the priciest consequences included losing peace of mind and confidence, having a marriage fall apart, and deep-seated resignation.
Finally, we considered the actions we could take to override habitual self-sabotage. We acknowledged that there is no silver bullet, that no insight generated in today’s conversation will change anything without taking new action. The participants came up with several new actions they could take, each idea generating many others. Several of the ideas included ways to hold each other accountable to stay on track in the job search.