There is a lot of misunderstanding around the notion of self sabotage. The dictionary meaning of sabotage is to ‘deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct something.’ What we judge as self sabotage is by no means an attempt to damage or destroy our efforts to succeed. In fact, the opposite is true. We really don’t sabotage ourselves. That’s crazy. Why would we?
What is classed as sabotage is often the result of a futile attempt to protect ourselves from failing, from embarrassment, from fear or of being hurt. That’s a lot better than sabotaging ourselves, isn’t it? Our minds are like computers and they run on programs. We pick up these programs from childhood in response to events and situations we experience. Generally, we are unaware of them but their job is to protect us from fear or danger, real or imaginary.
Imagine this scenario. You are eight years old and you were laughed at in class a few times and that felt awful. Now perhaps you decided at that point that standing out from the crowd and having attention drawn to you was actually not safe? Would you feel like speaking in public if you felt like that? Of course not, but in your adult life, you make no connection with the earlier incident. And what if this was further compounded by the fact that your mother was continually put down by your father for speaking her mind? Might not you then decide that speaking up was something to be avoided? And do you think you’d feel slightly afraid of having the spotlight put on you? These incidents have created a potential ‘sabotage’ pattern, just waiting to be triggered in later life.
Now as you grow up and take small steps and become more confident about yourself, even a little brave, you decide to go into business and you want to get your message out there. You choose to write a blog, but for some reason you just can’t write one and even when you do, you never seem to finish it. It all just seems too hard and your inner critic has a field day with BS stories, like, ‘Who’d be interested in what I write anyway?’ Naturally the blog idea falls away. But at this point, you are running two conflicting programs, one that wants success and one that wants to feel safe. The same scenario could be applied to public speaking or any time you have to put yourself in the spotlight, so naturally you avoid them.
Is this self sabotage? Most people would call it that, but I’m not like most people. Even though you have forgotten the old decisions you made at age eight, the memories still have an emotional charge on them and that keeps the fear and reluctance fed, triggering your resistance to taking action.
These old programs are trying to protect us in some way. How then could that be labelled ‘sabotage’? It is definitely not sabotage and the more we label it as such the worse we feel about our inability to overcome it. How can we overcome it when we do not know it for what it is?
And people will tell you to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway,’ and some of you will do that. I work with those of you aren’t ready or willing to take that chance.
Self protection is naturally our strongest ‘driver’ and these old programs can hold on for grim death until they are upgraded. It might feel like sabotage sometimes when we seem to be behaving in ways that work against what we consider our best interests. It might seem like ‘self sabotage’ but it is more about confusion in the system and the jamming of mental circuits.
These old programs will continue to interfere in and disrupt our best efforts to success by causing resistance to the behaviour necessary to move us forward. And this will continue until the old file, which is obviously outdated is deleted from the system and the new program necessary for success is strengthened. We then reach the Tipping Point in which resistance is minimised or completely eliminated and we are strongly aligned with our challenge or goal.
That is why ‘sabotage’ is such a big problem and why most attempts at acting our way out of it fail. Only really very strong minded people with weak conflicting programs overcome sabotage through force and discipline. The rest of us take one step forward and two steps back.
It is by understanding the workings of the unconscious mind and by having processes that access those conflicting patterns that allow us to break free from these limiting conditions.
We can uplevel from these limiting behaviours we call ‘self sabotage’ by becoming aware of what creates the resistance that trigger us into inactivity or ‘stuffing up’ in some way. But if these outdated programs are strong or very emotional, then you might need some help in deleting them from your mind, which will in turn, change your behaviour. If that is the case, one of my Mindset Upgrades might just be what you need to put an end to the ‘self sabotage’ you engage in. If you are sick and tired of looking out through those glass walls, seeing your success within reach, but not being able to reach it, then contact me to find out more. I’d love to hear from you.