top of page

How to stop self-sabotaging

These past few weeks, ever since returning from Antarctica, I've been feeling nervous about something.


You see, juggling multiple careers at once (researcher, polar expedition guide, lecturer, musician, podcaster, coach...) sometimes means having to temporarily put some things on hold in order to invest more time and energy into other things. It means having to trust that you'll be able to pick those things back up when you're ready.


One of my priorities as a coach has always been to lead by example, and show my multi-potential clients that it is indeed possible to combine a variety of interests, income streams, and career paths at once. That's why one of the main characterizing features of my coaching approach is the and/and approach, rather than the either/or. Sometimes, we don't need to choose. Instead, we can do and be whatever our heart desires.


Living such a rich, diverse, and stimulating life does require a different approach to planning. Part of that approach is a process of flexibly shifting your focus back and forth, and trusting that your efforts won't go to waste when you temporarily deprioritise an activity.


Joining expeditions to Antarctica has meant that I had to put on hold some of my Smart Rebel activities. Out of the past 8 months I spent 5.5 months living on ships, often without internet. I travelled to Svalbard, Greenland, and Antarctica. To accomplish this, I had to accept that I couldn't keep up with my Smart Rebel newsletters, podcast, social media posts, and the masterclasses I regularly offer. I couldn't promote my business or take on new clients, and had to trust that my current clients would be willing to schedule their remaining sessions for after my return (and thank god they were!).


Most business experts would tell you that consistency is key. And that such a long period of silence would probably kill one's business. So yes, of course I was (and still am) nervous about how this Smart Rebel 'come-back' is going to go.


I noticed that these worries brought up some self-sabotaging behaviours: I found myself procrastinating a lot with adding new events to my website, afraid that no one would book their ticket. I kept putting off sending out a new email, afraid that people on my mailing list would no longer be interested in hearing from me.

Woman behind laptop nervously bites her pencil

But, as you know, I did add those events to my website. And I did announce them in my last email to you from a few days ago.




Because I know that if I listened to those self-doubting tendencies, I would ruin my chances of success: the longer I'd wait with adding those events, the less time I'd have to sell tickets. The longer I'd wait with restarting my Smart Rebel newsletter, the harder it would be to finally press 'send' on my new piece of writing. I would sabotage my own business success.


So, I chose to act despite the fears and doubts. I reminded myself of that core priority I have as a coach to lead by example and show others that it is indeed possible to pursue multiple careers at once. That it is safe to sometimes put down a ball or two, and pick them back up later, when the time is right. I have never wanted to be a coach who only coaches and has no other career(s). Because I myself would never want to be coached by a coach whose entire career is coaching. I would want to be coached by someone who models the type of rebellious, interesting, and accomplished life that I aspire to live myself.


Yes, this approach might be riskier than sticking to one thing only. But it's worth it. Beneficial even, I dare to say. Because I trust that my unconventional business decisions will attract exactly the right client who sees their own aspirations reflected in how I design my own career.


Your turn now: how could owning your unconventionality benefit you?


Another priority I have as a coach is to be as transparent as possible. I don't want to appear to be free from self-sabotaging tendencies, because - well, quite frankly - I am not. That's also not the point here: the aim isn't to be free from self-sabotaging tendencies. Instead, I support my clients to (1) recognise and spot those tendencies, (2) understand them, and (3) honor themselves enough to act despite them.


Which is exactly the process I apply to myself. And which is why I wrote this honest article about how I have dealt with self-sabotage these past couple of weeks.


Luckily, after pushing through the nervousness and sending you my email about upcoming events, I woke up the next morning to notifications of people who had already purchased their ticket. What a relief! I could calm down my nervous system with some self-assurance that everything was going to be fine. That I could indeed trust that this different way of leading a business was the right decision for me, and for the people I work with.


Self-Sabotage Masterclass


Coming Saturday, March 9th, I am giving a masterclass about this exact topic: self-sabotage behaviour and how to stop it. I will be unpacking some of the most common ways in which gifted people sabotage their own success. After having coached hundreds of gifted individuals 1-1, I have collected lots of stories and examples to illustrate what these forms of self-sabotage are. And I will be sharing my best practices for understanding and dealing with them, so that you can get out of your own way and reach the levels of success you deserve.


It's an intense masterclass. At times confrontational. But oh so useful. You'll take away insights that you can instantly apply to your own life.


Can't attend live? No stress. The ticket includes a link to the replay. Hope to see you there!


Please note: the masterclass on the 9th will be in Dutch. But if there is enough interest, I will offer it in English soon! Please check below for upcoming English-spoken events...


What else is coming up?


Masterclass: From Imposter Syndrome to unstoppable (in English)

16 March, 10 am - 11.30 am CET. Book here.

I will be pulling back the curtains to show you exactly how I design my own life and how I have made my biggest accomplishments happen. This is where I show you the raw, unfiltered reality of what it's like to become what I like to call a 'gifted go-getter'. Especially for those of you struggling with imposter syndrome and never feeling good enough, this masterclass will change your perspective. This session is all about strategy and making sh*t happen.


Free 1-1 coaching session (recorded for the podcast - in English)

Slots available every day between 9 - 17 March. Book here.

Bring me any question, challenge, dilemma, doubt, or problem. We'll work through it together, with some seriously deep coaching. You'll come out the other end with invaluable insights and clarity about next steps. Please note, these free sessions will be in English and will be recorded for publication on the Smart Rebel podcast (no stress, you will remain anonymous).


Free discovery call (for those considering coaching - Dutch or English)

Slots available every day between 9-17 March. Book here.

Interested in coaching? Considering working with me as your coach? Let's meet to discuss your questions and see if we're a good match. Coaching is an investment you need to carefully think through, so during this discovery call, we'll go through your aims and goals and discuss whether my coaching is the right next step for you.

84 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page