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Stop the Self-Sabotage and Improve Job Performance


If you’re less successful at work than you’d like to be, the solution might be as simple as figuring out how you’re getting in your own way. Ron Willingham, author of Integrity Selling for the 21st Century, says that the first step is to examine your core beliefs … and see if they match up with one another.

To do that, he says, you need to ask yourself five questions:

1. What are my basic values about people and life?

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2. What do I think my job is all about?

3. Do I believe that I can take the necessary steps?

4. How committed am I to taking these actions?

5. Do I believe in my firm’s products or services?

As you answer each question, see if the value you’ve uncovered is congruent with the answer to the previous question. Geoffrey James, who writes the Sales Source column on, explains the process like this:

For example, if you’re an honest person who’s pursuing a career in Sales but you believe (in your heart of hearts) that selling is “inherently deceptive,” you will never be successful. You’ll constantly self-sabotage because selling assaults your concept of who you really are.

To be successful at selling, you must either 1) decide that you’re NOT an honest person, thereby putting your values into congruence with your concept of selling, or 2) decide that selling is a process of helping customers understand issues more truthfully, thereby putting your concept of selling into congruence with your values.

What if you can’t reconcile your core beliefs? Are you doomed to fail? Not necessarily, but you probably won’t be as successful as you would have been, if you’d been able to put your whole heart into your work. So the key here is either to get those values aligned — or consider a career change to something that will let you really give your all.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! Do you self-sabotage at work — or did you used to? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

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(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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