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Sabotage, Success Traps & How to Avoid Them


I was taking my early morning walk and when I do this I often pray. These are usually prayers of gratitude and prayers of intercession … also prayers for wisdom and revelation.

On this particular morning, I remembered my journey to where I am now, both geographically here in beautiful, Southwest Florida and also in my business / ministry.

Success certainly has not been a straight line and like everyone else, I have had challenges and disappointments, both internal and external. But I have been persistent. Wrong thoughts have come but I have managed to navigate despite them. This led me to consider what people tell themselves that either stops, delays or sabotages their progress.

Do you have coaching or counseling clients whose thoughts derail their success? Maybe they are so subtle, they can’t see it for themselves. Or perhaps they are highly aware of these obstacles, which is why they hired you.

“Every excuse is good, if it works."
~ Italian proverb

Ok, so in other words, if someone has already decided that they’re not going to do something, any excuse will do.  And so much the better, if others believe it.

Often, the thing that keeps us from following through on what we say we want to do is what we tell ourselves … our story (also referred to as self-talk).

Without a coach or counselor at their side, folks can make all sorts of justifications, excuses, and in the end, create “loopholes” so they can put the thing off for a while longer or talk themselves out of it altogether.

Here are what some of these look like:

  • I haven’t done it because …
  • I don’t know how to …
  • So-and-so wouldn’t like it if I (or) What would (name of person) think?
  • I’m too old / young / fat / skinny / too much or too little of something
  • I don’t have the confidence.
  • I am afraid of failure.
  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I can’t figure out that ONE thing I am supposed to do, so I will do nothing until I discover it.
  • I am afraid to deal with competition.
  • I have to plan every detail out first.
  • I must get 5 more certifications before I know enough to begin.
John C Maxwell

"The whole idea of motivation is a trap..." John C. Maxwell

And how about this one …

  • I’ve got to pay the bills.

In our society, we have a tendency to allocate high priority to things like wealth, security and stability. And if/when we reach that point, it’s very difficult to think of life without them. It has been said that the three most dangerous addictions in life are to heroin, to carbohydrates and to your weekly paycheck. 

But should financial security come at the expense of pursuing big, bold ideas? Paying your bills usually won’t earn you a legacy nor will it make headline news.

Well-known leadership expert, John C. Maxwell explained it this way. “The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.”

Unlike most coach training programs, our Christian Life Coach certification courses address human weakness.  Most programs (even Christian training) pretend this does not exist and we are all capable of determining our own destiny.  I know that this is not true from my personal experience.  The Apostle Paul tells: 

'But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is
made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my
weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.'
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

I have a challenge for you this week.

I want you to make a list of the top 3 things you want to do, your goals, or items on your “bucket list”. Next to each one, write down why (and be absolutely honest!) it hasn’t happened yet. Then begin to think strategically. What would have to change, for you do complete the thing? Create a plan and take the first step, even if it is a tiny one.

Please post your thoughts, wins and challenges below. And feel free to respond any of the replies with your own thoughts on the topic.


© 2015 Leelo Bush PhD



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Leelo Bush PhD, Founder and Director of Training at the Professional Christian Coaching & Counseling Academy PCCCA


“Leelo Bush, PhD is recognized globally as a Christian Coach training curriculum creator, speaker, show host and innovator as well as a marketplace ministry and training expert. Discover your hidden potential with her FREE 5-Minute Success Predictor Quiz at https://pccca.org"

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