“Most of us don’t fear that we are not enough; what most of us really fear is our own greatness. Most of us have a fear of success. Why? Because we don’t think that we deserve to be successful in anything. This is why people recklessly spend their money or don’t work as hard as they could or do things that they know are wrong. They are hindering their own success on purpose, because they don’t think they deserve it. They cut their own legs out from underneath them on purpose. They are self-sabotaging.” ~ Lisa Bedrick
“Sometimes you hit a point where you either change or self destruct.” ~ Sam Stevens
Self-Sabotage has its own gravitational pull. You are like a planet stuck in an orbit of insanity – a never-ending loop of doing the same thing over and over, even when you don’t want to. If you’ve ever been in this situation, if you’ve ever had things self-destruct, or if you’ve ever started something you didn’t complete then you know the helpless feeling of being affected by this force of inner gravity.
How Self-Sabotage Manifests In Your Life
We each have our unique blend of self-sabotaging behaviors.
Here are 3 common ways it may show up in your life:
You aren’t feeling well and need to go to the doctor but you keep putting it off, thus creating a much bigger problem than it needed to be if you’d just made the appointment earlier.
You need to balance your checkbook but you’d rather not look at your finances so you ignore it, and now you have extra fuss and the embarrassment associated with bouncing checks.
You have a work project due and instead of managing your time you avoid it until the very last minute so your final result is much less than it could have been if you had put more time and energy into it.
Instead of focusing on an important project due in a few days, you turn on Netflix to binge watch your favorite show.
You want to have a closer relationship with your daughter but when you have an opportunity to be together you both end up parallel playing Angry Birds.
You have an important To Do list but you fritter most of the day away checking emails, looking at Twitter, or getting lost on Pinterest.
You stay up late on the computer or watching TV, even when you know that you are torpedoing the energy and clarity you need for work the next day.
You plan to go by the grocery store and cook dinner at home but you get on Facebook and 3 hours have passed so you just pick up fast food instead.
You mean to go the gym but you are just so “busy”! Somehow you can’t seem to get done the things you want to, yet at the end of the day not much else has happened either.
This list can go on and on. Basically, any behavior that keeps you from the outcome you want is how your self-sabotage manifests. You are probably all too familiar with your special pattern of self-destructive behaviors so we don’t need to spend too much time on discovering them.
How Self-Sabotage Became Part of Your Life
We all have self-sabotaging behaviors. They may not look the same and they may show up in different aspects of our life, but they are universally present. That’s because self-sabotage is a manifestation of some fear-based belief rooted in our childhood.
Believe it or not, your self-sabotaging behavior that you dislike so much is actually trying to be your friend and protector!
Your subconscious is repeating a pattern you created in early childhood because it worked, or was meant to work as a protection, an explanation, or some other helpful reward in response to something going on in your world.
As children we could only perceive the world from a child’s point of view so the decisions we made, the interpretations we created were the best we could do at the time.
How To Discover the Gift Buried in Your Self-Sabotaging Behavior
The hidden gift is the immense power encased in this gravitational pull. What would life look like if this power were harnessed to support your success?
Recognize the helpful nature of these behaviors. They are there as a protection, keeping you safe, secure, and unhurt. That’s why they only pop up when there is something new, scary, stressful, or exciting. Because they are all situations that trigger this self-protection shield. Your mind can’t distinguish between “good” or “bad” so there is no way to have it work only 50% of the time.
But what if you could access this wonderful energy and use it to propel your life forward?
How to Use the Gifts Hidden in Your Self-Sabotage
All your childhood information got encoded in your subconscious as your unique view of the world. And that tape is still playing that same song, even though things look very different now, or so it seems.
The reason your subconscious hasn’t evolved over time as your outer world has changed is because it is hardware instead of software. (For all you computer people out there please know I’m using these terms metaphorically so please excuse any inaccuracies.)
To update software you just download the new version, the code gets rewritten, and voila you easily have upgraded to the latest and greatest.
Hardware is a different matter. If you want to change the size and resolution of your computer screen you can’t just download an update. You need to remove your old screen, replace it with a new screen so you can have a successful outcome.
Here’s the formula: Extract Old Version + Get New Version = Success
Here is an explanation of this 3-part formula. I’ll use an example so you can see how to access and use the gifts buried in your self-sabotage.
- Extract Old Version
First of all, go behind your self-sabotage to uncover the belief system fueling your behaviors.
For example, your procrastination could be a result of the belief, “I’m not good enough”. Something happened that birthed that belief and ever since your procrastination has been trying to help you avoid repeating that situation.
Once you’ve uncovered that underlying belief, create a picture of it as an entity outside of yourself. You may see it as a blue dragon, or a polka dotted cat, just create some picture that separates it from you.
Then have this representation say this belief to you in the 2nd person. We often hear our limiting beliefs as “I” statements, but frame this as a “You” statement. “You are not good enough.”
Now as a 3rd level of distancing from this belief, imagine where this belief came from, who it sounds like when it speaks to you this way, or what it reminds you of. It could be what it felt like at school, or sound like your critical mother, or reminds you of how your father felt about his life.
- Get New Version
Now that you’ve extracted this belief, create a new version. Turn this belief around with an “I” statement that supports what actually is real in your life now.
So if your sabotage is work related an example to, “You’re not good enough” could be, “I’m good enough. I produce good work and my skills are growing every year”.
Give this new belief color, depth and shape by creating a happy, supportive image, like a smiling puppy or a beautiful rose. Visualize this image hugging you, sitting on your shoulder, or patting you on the back. Feel it attaching to you in a nurturing, constructive way.
- Use This Gift for Success
Now that you’ve invented a newer version, continue to replace your old belief with this more supportive one.
Siphon off any energy that comes up from your old, self-sabotaging belief and use it to fuel your new, supportive belief. Whenever you catch yourself either thinking your old belief or acting in a self sabotaging way, stop, thank your old friend for meaning well, and engage with your new, better version of support. This will begin the power transfer and before you know it your newer version will become stronger & stronger.
If you need more help turning around your self-sabotaging beliefs I’d love to help you. You’ll be amazed at how much joy is waiting for you on the other side of your pain.
I love to hear your comments and stories, so please share your comments below.
Have a Happy Spring!