5 self-sabotaging thoughts holding back your personal brand


Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of being afraid. Useless, good-for-nothing thoughts.
pliers snipping a wire that is already cut elsewhere
Debilitating thoughts seem to arise just when we are about to venture outside our comfort zone. 

We all do it, and on the path to putting ourselves out there it can be dangerously subtle. I am talking about self-sabotage and the debilitating thoughts that seem to arise just when we are about to venture outside our comfort zone. 

For most of us, the idea of sharing our thought leadership and becoming more visible, is enough to turbo charge the negative internal dialogue that leads us to want to give up before we even get started. 

According to Dr Mark Goulston, psychiatrist, and author of Get Out of Your Own Way, “Human beings invent just as many ways to sabotage their lives as to improve them.” International recording artist, Michael Buble summed up the sentiment perfectly when he said, “I have a tendency to sabotage everything. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of being afraid. Useless, good-for-nothing thoughts.” 

Here are what I believe to be the top 5 self-sabotaging thoughts to be aware of on the path to creating a powerful personal brand: 

“I am not saying or doing anything new, why would anyone care?”

Whatever you do, you bring it to life in your own way and that is what makes it original. In the words of Mark Twain, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” Rather than focus on being new, focus on being you. 

“I will just be another person who thinks they are an expert”

Sharing what you know is an act of generosity. Keeping it to yourself out of fear is ultimately selfish. While there may be others out in the market saying similar things to you, your personal stories, experiences, and the unique lens through which you see the world cannot be replicated. Being seen for who you are and sharing what you know doesn’t require you to be positioned as an ‘expert’. 

“How can I talk about something I need to master myself”

You do not have to know everything to be a person of influence, in fact, there is nothing more appealing than an influential individual admitting what they don’t know. It offers a great reminder that we are all human. People will not follow you simply because of what you know, they follow you because of who you are and to be honest, how much you care about them and their life. 

“I will put myself out there when I feel confident”

Steven Pressfield addresses this perfectly in his international bestselling book, ‘The War of Art’ where he writes, “The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.” Taking confident action comes before feeling confident especially when it comes to putting yourself out there.

“I need a clear strategy before I do anything”

Even if you do not know exactly what you want to say, knowing how you want to make others feel is a perfect place to start. Allow time and space to experiment with how you put yourself out there and the way you share your ideas, stories, and messages. Your biggest idea might be out there waiting for you. 

I have a quote featured on the back of my business card that says, “There are people less qualified than you, doing the things you want to do, simply because they decide to believe in themselves. Period.” Now that is a thought worth thinking about. 

Carlii Lyon is a personal branding coach and speaker. Find out more about Carlii at www.carliilyon.com.au