There is truth in the expression, “you are your own worst enemy”. We all get in our own way every now and then, but do you make it a habit? Do you self sabotage?
As a Life and Health coach I see this all of the time. Self sabotage is when we set out to achieve something and then go about doing everything we can to be sure we don’t get what we want. It’s not generally something we do consciously, so let’s take a look at some reasons people self sabotage and see it any of this resonates with you.
Classic examples of life events where people tend to self sabotage are when trying to lose weight, in relationships and when trying to get that dream job. These are by means the only times we self sabotage, but these are the biggies.
Based on life experiences we develop in very early childhood a little inner voice. As children we take comments made by our parents, siblings or friends and internalize them. As an example if a parent says “that was a stupid thing to do”, then you may grow up feeling that every time you make a mistake it’s because you are stupid, so why bother.
Our surroundings will also shape that inner voice. If one of your parents had very low self worth then by example you may also have very little self worth. Perhaps your parent was timid and felt as if they were not capable of doing anything of their own initiative. As a child looking to your parent, you may develop the same feelings about yourself.
Very often we are entirely unaware that certain events have impacted us in such a profound way. As a Health and Life Coach, during a session I was working with a client on connecting with her subconscious. This session was a simple and relaxing a time to breathe, be still and just listen for that inner voice, her subconscious. She was just to observe her thoughts and any visuals that came to mind. What she discovered was life changing for her.
What came to her mind was a voice that said, “you’re stupid”. She was almost speechless because she had no idea that was there or that it may have been affecting her life. However she knew exactly where it came from AND she immediately knew where it was showing up in her life.
As a child due to circumstances in school, she felt stupid. No one had done anything to her deliberately to cause her to feel stupid, but through the eyes of a child, that was the resulting affect. She had carried that with her into her adulthood and whenever she made a mistake she would tell herself, “your’e so stupid”. She had become her own critical voice and she had also allowed others into her life that were at times making her feel stupid.
This little voice had kept her stuck in a pattern of feeling low self worth and that maybe she really wasn’t smart enough to achieve the things she wanted. Once she was aware of this iceberg, she vowed to never tell herself she was stupid again and to never allow anyone in her life to make her feel stupid whether done intentionally or not.
That one single moment changed her life. She began achieving her goals and mind you these were not goals that were in any way related to what she heard when she listened to her subconscious. She had goals regarding the healthy lifestyle she wanted and to start her own business. Both of those goals began to materialize at lightening speed as she moved forward with a new found self worth.
The past is the past, You can’t change it. However as an adult if you can identify those limiting beliefs, the patterns you may have developed and their source you can begin to move on, leaving those beliefs behind. That is where a Life Coach and Health Coach come in. I can help you identify those limiting beliefs.
There are many ways we self sabotage.
- Initiating disagreements
- Feeling defensive
- Eating for comfort
- Over drinking
- Sometimes people even go to the extent of hurting themselves
Seeking help to find out why you keep repeating these destructive patterns is the first step. Recognizing the self sabotaging patterns and learning what is at the core is powerful. Sometimes we bury these feelings so deep, we don’t even know they are there. However, our subconscious is aware and very active. We need to become more in tune with it, because that inner voice is speaking from there.
Once we know where the inner voice is coming from and why, the next step is to notice when self sabotage occurs. When you recognize that you have just sabotaged yourself don’t judge, just take notice of it. What is going on at the moment. As an example, you are trying to eat healthy. You have committed to no more junk food and to limit sweets. But then one evening, maybe out with family or friends, you just don’t care anymore. Pizza with several beers and then you top it off with a giant hot fudge sundae.
First of all don’t beat yourself up excessively, it’s going to happen. Instead stop and think about what is going on. Is there a need to fit in? Maybe you don’t want to be a party pooper. Or maybe, just maybe there is some sabotage coming from the family or friends you are with. How to deal with others sabotaging your efforts is a whole other discussion which we will save for another day.
Simply become aware of when you tend to falter. Change will not come easy and may cause anxiety. Believe it or not these destructive habits have been a source of safety throughout your life and making positive new changes can be frightening to a part of the brain who’s job it is to keep you safe.
When those moments strike, gently assure your inner voice that it’s ok. That inner voice may have protected you as a child, but you are an adult now and ready to move forward. It’s time for positive change and everything will work out. You’ll be ok. Sometimes it will take a little extra convincing, but stay persistent, don’t give up.
As you move past these old destructive habits, it is important to keep building new positive habits, developing good memories.
Facing the past is part of the process. Identifying the ways in which we sabotage ourselves is another. Armed with this knowledge you will begin to feel lighter, more energized and in control of your future. As a life and health coach I am here to for you as you begin taking steps towards becoming the best you can be.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The recommendations above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
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