How does one break a habit of self-sabotage?

Michał Stawicki
5 min readNov 29, 2016

I have never really believed in the overwhelming power of the subconscious mind. I knew the subconscious is powerful, but I’ve thought that with a focused and conscious effort, I can steer this power as I will. I’ve believed it up until yesterday.

The day before I was reviewing my journal from 2014, looking for questions to share with my audience. I found the entry on 21st of December about my goals for 2015.

Goals elude and frustrate me. Nonetheless, each year I diligently set a bunch of them. Jim Rohn advocated goals setting, and I’ve never found him wrong yet. So I set some audacious goals for 2015.

On the next day, 22nd of December, I asked myself another question in my journal: “What do you really think will come out from these goals?”

I read the entry, and I couldn’t believe my own eyes! This entry was like a pin-point accurate prophecy. I wrote that I will probably double the number of subscribers reading my broadcast from 100 to 200. A few weeks ago one of my broadcasts was opened exactly 201 times.

I wrote that I’ll probably earn around $500 per month from online sources. This prediction was less accurate, but still only a couple of a hundred dollars short of reality (in my “goals” entry I aimed for $3,000 monthly income).

I wrote that I’ll publish 5–6 books. I published six. The 7th will be published around Christmas only because my editor sent it back two weeks earlier than we anticipated.

That was unbelievable. I rarely have reached the yearly goals I set for myself with anything resembling accuracy; so rarely, in fact, that I cannot recall a single case.

Yet, I have achieved, almost to the letter, the goals my subconscious “set” with marksmanship accuracy. Listening to Bob Proctor talking about the power of the subconscious or reading Psycho-Cybernetics was one thing. This journal entry was, however, the first time I actually experienced the power of my subconscious.

I can believe in coincidences, like any other man, but you know the saying: once is a chance, twice, a coincidence, three times, it’s a pattern. I couldn’t deny facts: my subconscious dictated my life.

I didn’t realize how sneaky my subconscious was. I worked incessantly on achieving my goals by slogging it out like a slave, working long hours and cutting on sleep. But my subconscious mind was in control all the time working very subtly.

I worked hard, so I started expecting better results. In fact, my expectations were inflated. When the reality didn’t match them, which was a great lodgment for my subconscious. Instead of focusing on my actions, I started to compare with others. I was frustrated. My head was full of wrong questions: How long will I wait? When will the success happen?

This frustration wasted a whole load of my time and energy which I could have spent more productively. My results decreased, which prompted more frustration and self-doubts. My pace slowed down and I needed even more energy to get the momentum I had on previous levels. My subconscious won that fight. It trimmed my efforts to the exact effects it wished for.

It seems like magic, and I don’t understand this process at all. Here I am, a reasonably bright guy who painstakingly designs and executes to reach certain results. I skillfully and diligently think everything over. I choose and discern. I set priorities and hustle.

And I cannot make that happen. And there is a dumb subconscious which can execute its plan with supernatural accuracy over a long period of time.

A few observations that can save this situation (for you, too):

1. Know thyself.

If I had not asked myself that question almost a year ago and hadn’t gone back to it, I would never have discovered how my subconscious tricked me. Well, maybe I could have counted on a random epiphany. However, a part of my personal mission statement is the omnipotent importance of self-knowledge. The subconscious mind is sneaky, but in the end, it couldn’t escape a daily habit of self-questioning.

2. Persevere.

Last year was extremely frustrating. My sales were getting low, my publisher cancelled our contract, and my sales all but fizzled out. I published a couple of bestsellers in a row, inflated my hopes and published a third book, which was a flop. The fourth one was better, but still far from those two blockbusters. Four months without a good launch undermined my sales even further.

But I kept going. I kept trying new things (and they all, one by one, failed to improve my situation). One of those things was an idea to offer questions from my journals as a lead magnet for Six Simple Steps to Success series. This idea prompted the ferreting of my old journals. If you try long enough, you will find a way.

3. No experience is wasted.

It’s true that I basically flushed a big chunk of this year down the toilet, but I also learned how to deal with frustration. This is a precious experience. Many people struggle with impatience and frustration, and I can remedy that having gone through it myself. When I wrote a guest post about the comparison trap on Rob Cubbon’s blog, it sparked a lot of interest.

4. You can mold your personal philosophy.

Once I’ve discovered that my subconscious beliefs as to what’s possible hinder me, I can start working around them. I’m determined to adopt the mindset that everything is possible, not just in theory, but in my life as well. I’ll include “It’s possible” as one of the building blocks of my personal philosophy. I experienced it so many times, that it’s time to accept it as the fact. Serendipity can come true.

Your intelligence may not be enough compared to your subconscious, but you have other resources too. Use sheer grit to break through the hindering influence of your powerful and dumb companion. All in all, you just can’t beat the man who won’t give up.



Michał Stawicki

Authorpreneur. Progress fanatic. I help people change their lives… even if they don’t believe they can. I blog on