Your Moment of Ambition: Fighting Procrastination, Self sabotage, and Discomfort

Dream, Girl

Your Moment of Ambition

As apart of Mindthis Magazine’s new lifestyle section we teamed up with Dream, Girl to share Your Moment of Ambition ((YMOA)) which is a new web series featuring footage from Dream, Girl that was too good to leave on the cutting room floor. This series explores the issues that matter to female leaders and their allies right now. Whether you’re daydreaming about growing your side hustle or taking tangible steps to start your own business, you’ll come away from YMOA feeling inspired, uplifted and ready to conquer.

“Find comfort in the discomfort.”

At just 27 years old, Komal Minhas is a business-owner and the producer of a feature documentary. Her secret? Among other strategies, a big one is recognizing self-sabotage and stopping it in its tracks.

“The hardest part about starting my business was the self-sabotage, because I truly believe that if we are in love with ourselves and if we want to be our best friends, that is a true path to success,” she says. “Demons only get into our head if we let them.”

Self-sabotage can take many forms, but social science researchers agree that the end subconscious result is to avoid potential failure by creating conditions that prevent success. In other words, our subconscious is saying: ‘I might not succeed at this thing I really want, so I’m going to manufacture something I can blame that failure on.’

Take procrastination as an example. While some see it as plain and simple laziness, it’s actually a very common self-sabotage tactic. It’s easier to internally justify failure if we do something rushed and last minute than if we invest a lot of time and effort and it doesn’t pay off.

Fending off this kind of thinking is a lifelong process, and it’s one that many successful women really struggle with.

Why? Societal messages about how successful women can be – or should want to be – find their way into our subconscious minds. One study found that self-sabotaging women all had one thing in common: the messages they received from their parents in childhood, subliminally telling them how high (or low) to aim in their future careers.

Since the 70’s and 80’s, researchers have been referring to women’s ‘fear of success’, and while times certainly have changed, there’s always more work to do. So many of us experience self-sabotage, and the way to not let the cycle take over is to eliminate the shame surrounding it.

That’s why we need open and honest discussions with successful female entrepreneurs about how they broke the cycle. It’s the kind of discussion you can expect from Dream, Girl.

“I think what women have a tendency to do which makes it more pronounced and self sabotaging is the process of rumination that keeps us moving in a downward spiral, and stuck in negative thought patterns, that in fact stop us from taking the next positive right action… It is a vicious circle that we only get out of when we learn tools to build our confidence, check our mind-sets, and turn our thoughts into action,” says Megan Dalla-Camina.

Megan has devoted her career to advancing the female economy, as a business and leadership coach and author of Getting Real About Having It All.

And she’s not the only one talking about self-sabotage. Life coach and hugely popular web TV host (and a Dream, Girl-featured entrepreneur), Marie Forleo often talks about a similar concept. She refers to it as an ‘upper limit problem.’

It’s a term coined by psychologist and author Gay Hendricks, who says each one of us has an internal limit on how much success and happiness we think we deserve or can handle, so when we start to approach that limit, we often self-sabotage.

“If you did make a commitment to fully using your unique gifts, you might fail. This belief tells you to play it safe and stay small. That way, if you fail, at least you fail small,” Hendricks writes.

It’s similar to another mental block gaining a lot of attention lately: impostor syndrome. It’s this internal voice, very common in women but men experience it too, telling a person that they’re a fraud, that their accomplishments have been due to luck or happenstance rather than hard work, and everyone could find out at any moment. It’s yet another way women are conditioned to internally block or discredit our successes.

So how do we break the cycle?

“Understanding that we are not our thoughts is a good place to start,” says Megan.

“We have between sixty- and eighty-thousand thoughts a day, and we are constantly telling ourselves stories about who we are, what we think about ourselves, what we can and can’t do and all of our self limiting beliefs. These are some of the biggest internal barriers to overcome, because if we get to the point where we can catch our stories, challenge them by asking ourselves ‘is that true?’ and reframing our response into a thought, that leads to positive action,” she says.

One of Komal’s personal mantras comes from activist and author Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Female entrepreneurs are powerful beyond measure, and we only stand to build on that power by leaning into our potential.

What about you? Has there ever been a time in your career where you have hit an “upper limiting” belief? How did you work through it? Join the conversation in the official Dream, Girl facebook group.

Your Moment of Ambition was produced by the Dream, Girl team.

Video Production by Erin Bagwell (Director), Mary Perrino (Director of Photography), Victoria Ng (Camera Operator), Francesca Kustra (Camera Operator), Sharon Mashihi (Sound), and Daisy Zhou (Lighting). Video editing by Victoria Ng and Erin Bagwell with help from Diana Matthews. Music by Sal Mastrocola. Articles by Kylie Kendall with help from Komal Minhas.

Your Moment of Ambition video editing sponsored in-part by our friends at Adobe.