Today, we’re talking about the enemies of what we would call our abundant lifestyle. We will break up the word lifestyle into two because it’s about having a life and living it with an abundance that says there are no limitations out there. And the enemy of an abundant lifestyle is the self-sabotage aspects of being. But at the same time, the opposite of abundance or abundant is scarcity. And that’s obviously the opposite of having it all.

Abundance Mentality 

Let’s find out what Stephen Covey said about the term abundance mentality or abundance mindset, from his best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Although he was not the first one to say that. He is undoubtedly one of the people who popularised the phrase, which in contemporary culture is simply described as the belief that there are sufficient resources and achievements to share with others.

Overall, that is totally agreeable because power gives you the opportunity to choose. You can use power to share and help and make a difference in this lifetime. Or in the negative space, you can use power to basically control people, make their life hard, specifically get them to do things only for your purposes, as opposed to a win-win for everybody. There’s always a chance for you to look at it from a mindset standpoint and ask, “What is it for you right now that you’re looking, you know, assuming you want to live more abundantly.” 

So, in a simple way, abundance is basically maximizing every opportunity, having fun along the way, enjoying the moment, and at the same time knowing that life is short, and we’re not going to be here forever. There is an opportunity to have everything, especially when you’re born into an environment that provides that if you live in. There’s really no excuse for not living an abundant life. Of course, different countries have their own different challenges. Especially if you’re living in a war environment, or another form of a dangerous type of climate there, that becomes a little bit more challenging. But let’s get the show on the road.

The dream of living an abundant life

Living an abundant life is obviously everyone’s dream. If they drill down, we all want to live a prosperous life, be happy, healthy and of course, loved. While it might seem difficult for some people, but we already have what it takes to live an abundant life. And that’s going back to what I mentioned before, and the resources and the environment they live in. Even without that, the human spirit has got that possibility, if we choose to draw on that power. 

So, the first thing you need to do to live an abundant life is by having the right mindset to specifically decide the life you want to lead. Your first principles are the driver that makes everything else happen including your image development. The problem is there are many enemies that prevent you from having an abundant lifestyle out there. 

But these distractions are our self-perpetuating enemies, as opposed to some external force that is creating or desiring harm to you. And I will explain some of them to you and give you some tips on how to avoid falling into some of these traps. 

1.    Ignorance

The first enemy is ignorance. It is a chosen concept for a lot of people whether they prefer to be ignorant. There are also others that haven’t figured out themselves, those who don’t know what they don’t know. Ignorance could also be a form of intellectual dishonesty or wilful ignorance. Now, if you value critical thinking, curiosity, and studying concepts and ideas that are essentially created to benefit you as a person, then ignorance is not an option. This is especially true there is an occasion when you must act but choose not to. So that is undoubtedly a type of self-sabotage, right?

How do you avoid it? Again, this is going to be very simple. Stop doing it.

In the current world, when people are constantly seeking explanations for why things don’t work in their life and there is a global mental health problem including individuals losing their sense of identity, who they are, etc. It turns out to be not as difficult and complex as we’d like to think it is. Simple things like entering the conversation, continue learning, exploring, and looking for new possibilities are ways to stop being ignorant.

2.    Lack of patience

The next enemy is the lack of patience. It’s amazing because, during the past 20 or so years, I’ve met a lot of young people. But even in the most recent ten or five years, there has been a lack of patience. Because instant satisfaction is everything, especially in today’s age of social media. Everyone wants to be Zuckerberg, in one night. 

Success requires time, much like a seed. When you put a seed in the ground, it doesn’t immediately sprout into a tree; instead, it takes time. You must nourish the seed, develop it, allow the sun to touch it, provide it with water and other essentials, and so on. It requires effort, so when you’re expecting things to happen quickly and hear a lot of this stuff on the internet, let’s crush it, it doesn’t work that way. Everything essentially needs time to grow.

How you avoid this is by clarifying your goals, your aspirations, and what you want. Acknowledge when it’s going to start, progress to the middle and finally finish it. You obviously can’t just start and jump straight to the ending. 

3.    Need for control

The third one is a need for control. This could be a big one for a lot of people. In another word, control can also translate to a perfectionist mindset. It could be from an attitude that says, I’m not willing to fail again, all conditioning. Wanting to do everything yourself and being unwilling to share or collaborate with others could be dangerous in long term. 

You can deal with that by learning to go with the flow. And what does that mean? Well, if you ever have tried to swim upstream in a river, you know the experience of what that feels and looks like, how tough that would have been. Learning to go with the flow is knowing that the river flows downstream. Knowing how to pick the stream is an essential component of a metaphor for life. 

Some things are a lot stronger than you may think. So how to avoid this is basically get yourself centred. You want to get it right, but not controlled to the point where it’s self-sabotage.

Find your True North

Jon Michail

The main point regarding self-sabotage is, that you need control. But if you control to such an extent that you become a control freak and every time you do that, your body constricts, it basically tightens up again. This is important because, from a holistic point of view, your body is giving you all sorts of messages. But if you’re unaware, you might think that it’s normal. However, I don’t think it’s normal, it’s something that at times is self-created.

4.    Being trapped in judgement

The next enemy of an abundant lifestyle is being trapped in the judgment of others. I’ve spent more than 30 years working in the reputation management, self-perception, and image industries. This is one of those subjects that I specialised in from the inside out. In terms of soft judgement, I have a lot of clients who may have initially approached me from a coaching perspective. From that perspective, it may have been around their physical appearance, their looks, around how they communicate and negotiate. But the focus was on how they are comparing themselves to others. 

This is really sad for me, because the more you compare yourself to others, the more you’re drifting away from yourself. Looking at life esoterically, as opposed to occasionally looking at it. In today’s culture, judging is common. You log into Instagram, and before you know it, people are comparing their lives to others’ charmed ones. Most of it though is nonsense and probably does not exist outside of the fake image they made to deceive the online community

There is a lot of evidence to support this. I’m not just making flippant remarks here. There is no doubt that doing that causes a lot of people to experience stress, anxiety, and mental health issues over time. Even perhaps depression and worse later on. Therefore, it is crucial that you consider that. Naturally, letting go of that is a big part of the job when it comes to self-image and other things. And that is a field in which we strongly believe. A priority area for their clients that we virtually include in the matter. 

5.    Arrogance

The arrogance is highly noticeable. Something I have certainly encountered in a wide range of situations. That indicates that you are overly invested in your current knowledge. You are therefore unwilling to let it go since you are too attached. That remark essentially implies that everything you’ve discovered and learned along the way has helped you get to where you are now. However, if your ego is characterised by arrogance, then you are functioning from the viewpoint that you already know everything, which is what I would call an unhealthy ego. 

I’m sure you’ll encounter a lot more people like that in the world. You are aware that many of those individuals may be in your workplace. Therefore, you know what happens in that situation. If you’ve ever been in a meeting with someone or even in a social situation where someone is normal, you’ve probably noticed how arrogant they are in thinking they know everything. That is a serious problem because, in long term, that arrogance is holding them back without them knowing. However, holding them back is crucial in the relationship. People may be polite to them, but they will almost certainly be talking behind their backs.

To avoid this is by remembering that the journey of life is about knowing thyself.

Therefore, “know thyself” In a sense, you are a lifelong learner; you are never fully knowledgeable. And the sensible one would admit, “I don’t know anything.”   By essentially living upon it, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of new insight, ideas, and wisdom in your life. 

But once again, the question at hand is, “What else do you need to know, to make your life even more joyful?” Therefore, on occasion, I keep mentioning the PhD-holding man who is extremely intelligent. However, life subsequently spirals out of control and becomes what I would call educated, derelict. 

I can use that example to describe someone who is on the other end of the spectrum.  The point I’m trying to make is that there will be a time to leverage all the resources that humans possess, and that time may come when your arrogance may have served you. But if you want to go on this transformational road, you must be willing to say, “I don’t know, I’m willing to take in new knowledge,” and really deal with your ego about it because life is too short to do otherwise.

However, you must constantly watch for self-sabotage. When you are aware of it, act responsibly. And I tell my clients not to beat themselves or dare to fail in relation to this specific issue. It’s okay to make mistakes. Arrogance would claim, “I haven’t messed up,” and then you would engage in some sort of cover-up. However, you should accept that and own it because if you don’t, it will hold you back. There is no denying and just let it go. 

I kind of shared it right away, saying things like, “Stop it,” “Okay, this is important maybe put that on your wall,” and “Go back to the two words” whenever self-sabotage arises.


Let me in fact share with you my personal story of self-sabotage and how I overcame it. Well, looking at my early years as a designer, the many awards that were living, the lifestyle centred around fashion, style, and the beauty that comes with a beautiful person, beautiful surroundings, and lots of fun. When you imagine that scene, it can make you arrogant, it makes you think that you know that you’ve got it all. However, it’s all an illusion. 

Things might be different when you’re younger than they are when you’re older and have had a lot more life experience. But I discovered on the road that you must look deeper. Even if I was rude to others because of that ego. I didn’t feel good about it and I suppose that indicates that I was aware from a conscious perspective, particularly when you reviewed and evaluated the entire experience. So, I decided to go on a soft journey of constant growth.

Through that, I’ve done different programs, and different work on myself, including some edgy stuff that I suppose, is not that common in reference to dealing with ego. That gave me an opportunity and access to new internal power that was there but hadn’t been cultivated. This might not make a lot of sense to you right now, because I’m not going into a lot of detail. But what that means is, that I’m going on a self-journey. It could be a talk to a friend, a colleague, a mental therapist, right, or a personal development workshop

It’s crucial, but you won’t accomplish it unless you agree with the Know thyself philosophy. If you don’t, you’ll just be doing instead of being, which is what you shouldn’t do. You will undoubtedly continue to draw in a lot of this, and you won’t even realise that it’s possible; instead, you will assume that this is usually because you already know it to be true. This is who I am.  

You can also listen to the podcast Enemies of an Abundant Life from the branding expert.


Jon Michail, Image Consultant | Personal Branding Coach | Business and Personal Branding Strategist | Author | Group CEO and Founder, Image Group International |

Image Group International are Entrepreneurial Activists. Rebels With a Cause!

Jon Michail, Founder and award-winning Chief Imagemaker together with his team at Image Group International help executives and entrepreneurs to build, grow, and monetise their personal brands (online and offline). They help their clients by positioning them to stand out so they attract their ideal clients. 

They are committed to maximising an individual’s personal impact, influence, and value in the ever-changing and disruptive business environment.

Image Group International is recognised as Australasia’s leading personal brand image advisory, with over 29 years of proven results.

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