14 July 2017


{Image from Pinterest | Original from Her Lovely Heart}

Until I began working with Gemma Sands (she has been coaching me for a while now and I have all the love in the world for that lady!) I hadn't really thought of self sabotage being 'a thing' (doh!) but, over time, as the interest in running my own business evolved and I began listening to amazing podcasts and reading inspirational things, I started to understand and resonate with the idea that we all, at some point or another, are guilty of self sabotage. 

I wanted to talk a bit about it today as, once I realised what I was doing and became more conscious of what my behaviours were/are, I was more able to 'move out of my own way', as Gemma would say! Believe me though, it is an on-going process and something that I am working on getting better at every single day. Just because we suddenly become more aware of what we are doing to prevent ourselves moving forwards it doesn't automatically mean that we stop creating barriers. Sometimes our barriers are our comfort zones and to step out of them can seem super scary!

I am going to share some of the ways I have self sabotaged and how I am working on getting better at not doing it and I am going to start with the one thing I have had issues with for most of my life, food.

As someone who was an overweight child and teenager, my ongoing goal has always been to lose fat and get fitter. I used food as a comfort when I was younger and that is very much a habit that has stayed with me throughout my adult life. I have more control now then I used to but I know what my willpower is like and how I work in my head with food. Having got to the point where I have lost weight and am probably the fittest I have been in a long time, I naturally started to want more physical, aesthetic results. For a long time I blamed the fact that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) on the reason why I couldn't shift fat, despite working really hard in the gym. I was in a position where I would believe my own bullshit about how healthy I ate and how I put on fat super fast. To a degree, my body type does gain weight easily but, what I was hiding was the sneaky treats here and there or the three bits of toast covered in a thick layer of chocolate spread right before dinner and maybe before bed. I would know that all these things added up and I would still do it. I would know that I was basically taking steps backwards by binge eating on crap but would not stop. I was totally blocking my own progress and, not only that, I was punishing myself in the gym to try and make up for it. Last year, when I started taking nutrition much more seriously, I saw a huge difference in my fat loss and my gym gains. I finally 'got out my own way' and this is something that feels amazing. It is also the one that I will probably have to work on forever, but it's worth it. 

There are similar things that can be said around dealing with mental health, specifically depression and anxiety. The first thing for me is that I know healthy eating and regular exercise is paramount to maintaining a constant mood. The binge eating on sweet foods, which we all know gives us extreme dips and highs, did not help one bit and I knew it (but still did it, because it was a temporary comfort). Likewise, if I am feeling down, the best thing I can do is go outside, when all I want to do is stay in, and that is not helpful and will not help me move into a brighter mental space. By staying home and exhibiting all the 'usual behaviours' that make me feel safe I am self sabotaging my future health. By getting out and facing the day I will, as a rule, feel better, faster. That said, of course there are one or two days I just need my bed, but they are rare!

The last big barrier for me has been starting my business. It was inevitable that I would hit a fair few blocks whilst this journey happened because I had never done it before but seriously guys, if I hadn't have been so damn scared of my own shadow, Leaf Lane Studio would have been launched years ago. It has taken all this time for me to step out of my own way and let things progress more intuitively and naturally. My biggest fears when I started on the journey of making my dream actually happen were that my work was no where near as good as other peoples, I don't know how to do my own finances in terms of business, what if the printers I need to use think I'm a joke, I don't know how to build a website and many, many others! To be honest the whole contacting a printing company took up a shed load of head space for me. I was so worried about it that I just didn't do it. Classic Lucy move. What makes that worry even more ridiculous is that, now I have a printing company, and they are amazing, I feel a bit annoyed with myself for giving that fear so much time. 

Fear is such a big part in overcoming our issues though isn't it? We are often scared of the unknown or scared of taking the leap or scared of what someone will say, so we just don't do anything and that is exactly what self sabotage feeds off!

Strangely, I am now almost addicted to pushing myself into new situations and asking the questions I feel I would normally shy away from because I like the excitement behind it. It is all about creating new possibilities and having no regrets. If you are standing in front of yourself, frightened and worried for all the 'what ifs' then ask yourself whether you will regret it if you don't try. Choose to move forward, even if it is a shuffle! 


  1. Hi Lucy! Wow, what a great post. I just had to read it when I saw the title, because it's recently been pointed out to me that I might sometimes 'get in my own way' and self-sabotage. And, hard as it is to admit, I have to agree!

    Huge congratulations on starting your business, it sounds like it's been quite a journey! Do be kind to yourself, though, the point is that you've done it. It doesn't sound like it was an easy thing for you to do, but sometimes I think that's what makes it feel like an achievement.

    I think a lot of us are automatic 'what if-ers' and it takes a lot of mental effort to think about what could go right first, instead of what could go wrong. Maybe it's a self-protection thing? Maybe we're trying to protect ourselves from failing, but of course what we end up doing is preventing our own success.

    I love the last thought in this as well - I'm definitely a shuffler sometimes ha!


    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful comment! You are so right, I think that sometimes it is totally self protection but, as you say, we only end up regretful for holding ourselves back so much! I am a believer that, ultimately, the hardest roads are the most rewarding and I would never want something to just 'appear' without the hard work because, without the work, we would never appreciate the end result would we?! Have an amazing rest of week. Lucy xx


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