How To Get Out of Your Own Way

Image for post
Image for post

Have you ever felt, despite pushing yourself, setting goals and genuinely trying hard to do your best, that the feeling of success simply eludes you?

We could, and often do, choose to blame external factors when things go wrong. The people in your team are not delivering what you expected, your manager doesn’t understand you and what you need, that book you read on goal-setting was not really helpful.

When we choose to reflect on how we might be acting as our own saboteur however, clarity comes. These acts of unconscious self-defiance get in the way of our achievements and can be exhausting as we hold a list of things ‘to do’ and say that somehow never get just attention.

If you’ve ever felt that life is not going your way no matter how hard you try, then it’s time to take a deep breath and consider what is going on for you.

It is the awareness that it’s time to pause that is the first step to getting out of your own way.

Let’s begin by misquoting Yoda (of Star Wars fame) — “there is no such thing as try, there is only do or do not do”. ‘Trying’ holds us in a place of stasis, it is neither commitment to succeed nor permission to leave. Making a conscious, assertive, decision to do one or the other is liberating.

What instances can you recall when you’ve felt frustrated, out of control, unable to get things done? What are the recurring themes or patterns you can identify?

Ask yourself, ‘How did my beliefs (or the way I think) contribute to this?’ For example you may find yourself continually frustrated with managing your team. A contributing (and limiting) belief may be, ‘I have to do it all.’

For each unhelpful belief or mode of thinking you’ve identified, ask yourself,

  • ‘How is this belief serving me?’
  • ‘What would be a more helpful belief?’
  • ‘What support do I need to change or modify my beliefs? ‘Where can I get it?’

Getting out of your way is about removing your self-imposed limitations; it’s about identifying and dealing with that which gets in the way of your creativity. Asking yourself these questions allows you to start getting back into flow and being clear about what you want, need and can achieve.

Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store