Self Sobatogae is a really interesting area for self-reflection, not just for me I think for anyone reading this. I am completely aware that I purposefully sabotage myself and I have been doing so for many years. It’s only been over the last 5 years that I have been really present in that awareness of understanding why I have been practising it. And only recently I am understanding why I’m so addicted to it and have an issue with breaking that cycle. It’s a very safe and familiar place to hide whenever I feel vulnerable, I’d assume that’s normal and typical of anyone practising self-sabotage in their life. If you are wondering what classes as self-sabotage well, for me it’s destroying the pursuit of happiness and positive self-belief. I have an incredibly challenging time being able to get what I truly want because there’s an internal voice, let’s call her my “inner mean girl”, who tells me that I don’t deserve happiness and that I am not worthy of receiving all the good things that other people have. It usually plays out in forms of anxiety, procrastination and general stress. Essentially self-sabotage stops you from mentally and physically getting where you want to be in life. No one else is sabotaging you, and you will find every excuse under the sun to avoid getting to your end goal. That’s usually to prevent feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable in order to protect ourselves emotionally, usually stemmed from painful past events that our subconscious mind tries to protect us from. We generally feel vulnerable when we are out of our comfort zone in transitions of change which typically is the root of growth.
There are so many contributing factors for everyone individually and I always say peoples mindset and circumstances are so relevant to their own situations and upbringings. I think it’s important to state that no two persons are the same, nor are their experiences of life, so, therefore, everyone experiences events differently but they can all contribute to the subconscious behaviour of self-sabotage. Whether in your childhood you were told certain things that were detrimental to your inner voice, or having experienced a traumatic event that’s changed your perception of the world around you. The things that happen in our childhoods really blueprint the rest of our lives and how we see the world and talk to ourselves about it. So how do we break these self-beliefs that aren’t real? Self-beliefs that are based on the stories we tell ourselves from the past that aren’t necessarily the reality of a situation today? Well, that’s a good question because in order to make a change you need to understand the root cause of why it’s happening. I have fortunately been able to work with the amazing Debbie Spellman https://debbiespellman.com/ to understand why I self-sabotage. Over the last 5 years working with Debbie I have been able to understand and recognise my triggers and be able to address them (most of the time). But to be honest, at the moment it is something that I am struggling with. I am at a crossroads in my life where it’s the blanket of safety vs. the unknown and it’s not like I haven’t been in this position before, but now I have a child it’s really heightened. I’m responsible for him so any decisions I make don’t just affect me, they affect the entire family and that’s new and unnerving territory.
It’s hard not to be anxious whenever you’re placed into new unchartered waters, we all want to feel safe and be in a place where everything feels nice and familiar. But staying in such a place isn’t going to make changes happen. So what’s the answer, how do you keep moving through when want to stop yourself? I think one of the answers is self love and really believing in what you’re doing. It’s too easy to sabotage yourself and then say “see I knew it wouldn’t work out, you’re not going to get what you want” or “you didn’t deserve to be at the same level of happiness as others because you’re not really worthy of it”. That inner voice has to STOP! It has to be challenged with love, respect and guidance. Understanding why you have this type of dialogue with yourself is the first step. But what comes after is probably the most challenging, which is breaking the cycle. I think it’s important to say you have as much right as anyone in this world to receive all the good things that you want. There’s not right or wrong, regardless of your upbringing and circumstances, you are entitled to have whatever it is that you want. The only thing stopping you is you is that inner mean girl! When you get to a place where she comes out and starts niggling away the most important question you can ask her is WHY. Why is she saying these mean things and where is it coming from. Question her and even more importantly sit with the feelings that come from questioning her (if you can), no matter how painful and vulnerable it feels. Once you feel something, it no longer has power and you can start to process them and let go. This technique takes practice especially when it comes to the level of emotion you want to understand. But sitting in it will start the flow of change. Be mindful to thank your inner mean girl for trying to protect you and tell her that it’s going to be fine and everything will work out! Journal your feelings and what you want. Set goals and have visuals to put in to place the steps that are going to help get you what you want. Everything good is out there, you just need to start believing that you deserve it and that it will come to you. Everything good comes from change! You have to process the barriers, I genuinely feel you can not move forward until you let go of the past and your inner mean girl. This is what I am currently working on and I’ll update you how this goes on my next blog post. In terms of metaphors, it’s like a brick wall you can’t go around it you need to break through it. You have to widen the cracks to make progress.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourites:
“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”
― Jim Morrison