Hey, you’re getting in your own way! This is a gentle yellow light. A slow down sign, if you will. It’s time to halt and reflect. Things might be moving a little too fast and you’re running into obstacles. Did you stop to think that, maybe, life isn’t going as planned and you’re setting these obstacles up yourself?
When we set up our own obstacles, it’s a negative manifestation of our desires. We actually want to be better, but we just lose sight of how to get there. Instead of setting up stepping stones, we put up barriers and blockers because we are afraid of the unknown.
The obstacles you create for yourself are keeping you from taking those chances. But it’s okay. A lot of us do the same thing, too. We, too, run into our own fears and doubts sometimes. Often without even knowing it was us who set those blockers up in the first place.
How do you know you’re being your own obstacle? Watch out for some of these signs.
You’re being impatient about your progress
Self-sabotage happens when your expectations don’t meet your reality and you subconsciously do the total opposite thing to make those two align. So you become impatient because these things aren’t vibing. You want success now, and you don’t know why it isn’t happening.
What to do: These things take time. You need to know to rest in motion. Have a plan and know that plans come in phases. Use a planner, if you must, so you can visualize how long it takes.
So you compare yourself to others
The best thing about social media is we can connect with other people. The worst? We compare ourselves to them. Because you’re impatient, you think: Why are they more successful? Why is their life better than mine?
What to do: What you see on your feed is probably 98% untrue. It’s a highlight, a curated shot. The only person you need to compare yourself to is you. Detoxify your feed. Follow people who make you feel inspired, not insecure.
You’ve been overloading your schedule
Now that you’re so hungry for success or validation or happiness, you look for more and more avenues to get that gratification. A new side hustle, several extracurriculars, extra credit, passion projects. Warning: you can overbook yourself. Or worse, burnout. In the long run, this is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure.
What to do: Know how much you can handle, in the long run. Stop and smell the roses, too. Don’t let your fear of failure and stagnancy get in the way of your mental and physical health.
Alternatively, you’re scared of doing anything at all
Our fears often hold us back from leaps of faith. That nagging feeling of not being good enough gets in the way of a wonderful, creative life. You could lose valuable experiences, meaningful relationships, and even job opportunities. If you fail, there’s nothing to lose. If you win, you have all to gain.
What to do: Try, try, try. If you’re scared, there’s always a way to boost your skills—try workshops or short courses. You’ll never know what you’re good at until you try.
Procrastination becomes your default mode
It’s so easy to think of procrastination as laziness, but it’s not. Procrastination is a symptom of fear. Fear shows up as perfectionism. That’s why you put it off until tomorrow. You’re waiting for the right moment, the right spark of inspiration that, will never come.
What to do: Give yourself a time limit. Moderate your breaks. Set a 1-hour period of strict workflow just to get something done. If you go past that time, good job! If not, at least you did a thing!
And it fills you up with this guilt you can’t shake off
We feel guilty because we know the value of wasted time. And we can’t get that time back anymore. Again, procrastination isn’t just laziness; it’s the fear of not being good enough that we leave a task for another time. We feel guilty because of that sense of laziness but also a sense of failure. “I could have done something.”
What to do: Forgive yourself. Do something mundane, like walking or doing the dishes. Science says we find bright ideas and solve problems during these little tasks.
Maybe you’re doing all of this alone
You don’t want to bring anyone into your already messy life, so you take on your problems alone. Life isn’t that great so you keep things to yourself. You only tell people the highlights or bullet points. Is it so they’re not disappointed? Or is it so you can maintain an image?
What to do: Have a small but sure support system. You’re not alone. Get a journal where you can unload—a notebook will not judge you.
Or with the wrong group of people who bring you down
Maybe the company you’re around is keeping you stuck. They don’t support your ideas, or they shrug off your success. Are you being pressured into things you don’t want to do? Or are you in an environment that isn’t conducive to your ultimate happiness?
What to do: Know when to set your boundaries. And know when to say no to people. Guard your heart and your energy. Be around people you trust and people who uplift you.
You could be stuck in that Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome happens when you take your accomplishments for granted. No matter how much you’ve achieved, that little voice in your head still says you haven’t done enough. You feel so many doubts despite all the obstacles you’ve outmatched. If you’ve ever felt like a fraud, you’re not alone—70% of people feel it too.
What to do: Make lists of your achievements and things you’re grateful for. Separate real from feels. Your feelings are valid, but your fears are holding you back.
But you are good enough. You deserve success and happiness. And you got this.
Progress can be scary because it represents an unexpected and fulfilling beyond. But remember that you deserve the best. Past all these obstacles and after all these hurdles is a happiness you deserve. Whether these are struggles you’ve unconsciously set up yourself, or struggles life has thrown your way, you can get through them.
It’s a fulfilling and gratifying life out there that awaits you. Go get it! Push for your dreams! We’ve got loads more practical tips on our College Life section if you need a little push. To achieve your educational dreams, head over to Edukasyon.ph!