Have you ever noticed those self-sabotaging behaviors or thoughts that stop you from being as successful as you might want? The gremlin that gets in the way of forwarding motion that digs the hole we get stuck in. Put the kibosh on your self-sabotage today with these tools. You don’t have to let yourself ruin a perfectly lovely life with all that negative self-talk.
If you sit down for a minute and assess how the elements of your life are going, how would you score yourself? Take a look at the wheel of life below and fill in the sections. Sit back and notice what areas are not looking as you wish. If you are not consistently moving in the direction of your vision, then you can be quite certain, somewhere you are sabotaging yourself.
Meet Your Saboteur
All of us have those parts of ourselves that tell us we aren’t good enough. These voices might tell you to give up, that your dream is too hard, an impossible pipe dream, or anything else that stops you. This saboteur is made up of your fear. Ironically you might be as fearful of success as you are of failure. And, this part of you may think it’s helping you stay safe, yet instead, it’s sabotaging any success you might want.
The way that you change your relationship with your saboteur is to begin the process of self-awareness. Breaking through your fears, anger, denial, avoidance, and any other difficult emotion is step one. Then making peace with yourself, your pain, and any regrets you have will invite your saboteur to release control. It’s the unconscious saboteur that does the most damage.
Learning from the Past
Like any negative narrative, our fears make up the brunt of our self-sabotage. I mentioned earlier the fear of failure and success, which I think are the foundations of most of our saboteur fears. What is your relationship to success and failure? What is your relationship to being perfect? Or, being human? These questions are the beginning of the exploration. These factors drive most if not all, self-sabotaging behaviors. Notice where you procrastinate, pay attention to where you avoid addressing things, and look at where you are still beating the crap out of yourself. These are all doorways to explore. Ask yourself:
- What is blocking my success?
- Where am I holding onto past pain?
- How am I avoiding actions that move me forward?
- What might I need to forgive myself for?
- And, what regrets are still lingering?
All these questions can help you to begin to notice and name the issues that are keeping you stuck. Then ask yourself, what are you willing to let go of, so you can get unstuck?
In the article, How to Move Past Your Old Baggage into the Life You Want, I give more tools.
How the Saboteur Shows Up
Consider all the ways that your saboteur shows up. Do you avoid boring tasks, or have excuses for how hard your dream will be to manifest? Maybe procrastination is the version of self-sabotage that arrives upon the scene for each new endeavor. I know for myself, procrastination comes in the form of resistance, to do the next step that needs to be done. I can watch myself avoiding. And, this is the very place to be curious.
What is in that avoidance?
I might tell myself that I am busy enough, with the undercurrent meaning that my avoidance protects me from feeling overwhelmed. So, instead, I sit with regret or disappointment. This is a difficult choice once you become conscious of it. The awareness of my duel motivations forces me to choose. Which choice will I regret more? This then guides me. What is my goal? And, what am I about to say, think, or do, and will that take me towards or away from what I say is my important goal?
Rewriting the Future
When you spend time exploring what is getting in your way, you open yourself to new awareness. From this awareness, you can create the pathway forward. Maybe the goal is important, or maybe you are not that attached, and there is something else that is more important. You are always at choice to determine the direction of your dreams.
Awareness and insight are lights that illuminate the dark shadows and bring clarity. Once we discover the unconscious saboteur’s narrative, we can challenge it. Maybe that sounds like reminding ourselves of what is truly important to us. Then find the courage to do what needs to done and so we can keep moving forward—pushing thru all the blockers we use to stop ourselves.
Taking your time and creating a new relationship with your dreams requires this awareness. Being courageous and exploring what your saboteur is telling will you, challenging the narratives that no longer serve, and getting out of your own way are all important steps. Remember, when you are in alignment with your goals, and you have cleared the path, the journey is much, much, easier.
I would LOVE to hear from YOU!
- How does your saboteur show up most often?
- What is your saboteur trying to protect you from?
All Photo copyright retained by photo owners, everything else ©2014-2022 Lyssa deHart
article originally posted on Dec 2, 2019. Updated April 23, 2023.