These 4 saboteurs account for 90% of the reason why we don’t do what’s best for us, the first two are external, the last two are internal, and they are all interrelated:
Saboteur #1. Information Overload & The Paradox Of Choice: we are living in an era of abundant information, ask Siri or Alexa, type in where you want to go or what you want to know, and pages of answers magically appear. Information comes from everywhere at an alarming rate.
For example, according to an article written in Forbes in 2018, “over the last two years alone 90 percent of the data in the world was generated.” It went on to say that “2.5 quintillion bytes of data” were being created each day.
We also enjoy the freedom of abundant choice. We, for the most part, are the designers of our life, from who we hang out with, what we eat, wear, live, and believe in. We have choices to make in every direction.
When you add these two enormous forces together, infinite information + copious choices, a paradox effect of overwhelm can crash down our system, rendering us totally overwhelmed, feeling like we are drowning.
Instead of living and pursuing our creative freedoms, we take the first life raft available and that’s often not the one that serves us. Typically the most available life rafts have been meticulously designed by profit-motivated companies, which is the perfect segway into saboteur #2.
SABOTEUR #2 - Living In The Convenience Economy
The Convenience Economy: you live in a convenience economy meticulously designed to distract, deter, and entice you to do the easy thing. The convenience economy is masterfully designed by profit-motivated experts with a boatload of resources. These experts also know more about the forces of human behavior and brain science than you’d be comfortable knowing.
In the convenience economy, the easy answer is right there, beautifully packaged to solve your every need or at least take you away from your current pain.
It sounds like: bleep, bing, zing, ching-ching, gulp-gulp, munch-munch.
It looks like: amazing boxes of circuits, soundboards, and grapes filled with wondrous adventures perfectly designed for you.
The convenience economy of click-click joys keeps us numb and distracted just long enough to make it through to the next day, following the familiar habits that feel safe and keep you exactly where you are.
Even if that’s not where you want to go anymore, your feet seem to just carry you there almost as if it’s happening subconsciously (SPOILER ALERT - that’s because it likely is!!).
You spend time and money on distractions that give short term relief, you know it’s happening, and yet it’s still easier to submit another round lost to the convenience economy.
Remember that we live in an economy where businesses have the means (financial), the mediums (Social Media, TV, BillBoard, Print…), and the know-how (many marketings have spent more time understanding brain science and psychology than you wish to know, and the embedded algorithms and machine learning in the technology you use give businesses selling things more information of who you are, then you may even know yourself) to manipulate and direct us. So it can be very easy, and you shouldn’t feel defeated about it, to invest in things that don’t give you what you need.
SABOTEUR #3 - BLINDSPOTS
What totally sucks about blindspots is you don’t and can’t see them, so even when viable solutions and wisdom comes your way, you will reject it, sometimes actively.
And then one day, something will shift, and you’ll wonder who that person was that used to think the old way.
SABOTEUR #4 - FEAR
The last saboteur is a B-I-G one and it attacks from the inside!
Fear of making the wrong choices, of trying and failing, of being left alone, judged, of not being good enough. When we approach with fear, we have no confidence. Our stance is closed and defensive, our body is tense, we expect the worst and are preparing for it.
Fear is an emotional sabotage with anchors that run deep into our history and positive psychology does not offer enough to push through it. Fear hangs on tight, keeping you stuck in habits, relationships, and jobs, even when they aren’t serving you.
Well, after that bundle of cheery news about the real saboteurs that we face daily, let me say that we do stand a chance, we can win.
To win, it takes work, which includes building your internal and external resources. To stand up against these powerful saboteurs, it starts by studying the enemy, revealing their weaknesses, and striking with relentless force reclaiming your life!!