The Habit of Self Sabotage (Part 2)

Self sabotage is NOT a deliberate attempt to hurt yourself. Don’t picture a man consciously plotting the means by which to derail his own successes, interests or intentions. It is usually not something we are aware of doing.

Self sabotage is the demonstration or living out of a belief that acts in opposition to what you say you really want. It is the playing out of negative emotions that you allow a free reign in your life…whether consciously or subconsciously. Negative emotions like: Guilt; shame; fear; doubt; insecurity…

When these emotions play out, they also do so in a physical way. They show up in your life as activities and behaviour and circumstances that run counter to your intentions. They show up as self sabotage. They show up under a cloud of negative emotions that trick you into believing that there is something negative or wrong about you. And so you live into the negative emotion while striving to accomplish the dream in your heart. Then you act surprised when you see yourself doing things that will not help your cause. And before you know it, you start labelling your behaviour with a special name and laughing it off because ‘everybody does it’. You call it ‘procrastination’ or a ‘sweet tooth’ or you say tings like ‘that’s just the way I am.’ You even enlist friends in the activity of justifying the things you believe are unhealthy for you. But it is really just Self-Sabotage.

One of the primary ways self sabotage shows up is in our relationships and the decisions and actions we take in that regard. Let’s discuss that now as a Self-Sabotage paradigm. (We will discuss other self sabotage paradigms in the following 3 posts on this topic).

Relational Self sabotage is:

– Following the opinions of others although it runs counter to everything you know to be true about yourself. This self sabotage paradigm usually operates in a cloud of fear, shame and guilt.

Relational Self sabotage is:

– Spending all your time with friends who put you down or treat you less than the best…or even less than they treat each other. This self sabotage paradigm is a worthiness issue. You have somehow convinced yourself that you are not enough… and that you should be grateful to the persons who tolerate or accept you in their circle.

Relational Self sabotage is:

– Discrediting, undervaluing or otherwise ill-treating persons who support, inspire or lift you up. This self sabotage paradigm operates in a cloud of shame and unworthiness also. It is a way of cancelling good effects and blessings. The underlying belief is that if someone sees value in you and praises you highly then there must be something wrong with them because you KNOW there’s something wrong with YOU. After all, you are simply not enough- so if this person thinks you are good enough, they can’t be all that much, can they…? Can they…?

Relational Self sabotage is:

– Establishing no boundaries with people and allowing them to do things that insult your intelligence, hurt your feelings or threaten your own sense of self respect. We do this to look good and/or fit in… thinking that the more freedom we allow others in our world – in spite of our own clear preferences, the more they will like, love or appreciate us. It never works like that. That is classic self sabotage 101 which operates in a cloud of fear. The need to be liked and loved is a drug. In fact, the opposite is true. The more that people feel they can walk all over you is the less respect they have for you. No one likes or loves what they can’t respect.

The list could go on forever but I hope you get the point. Self sabotage is your undoing of the very thing you claim to want by allowing your unchecked negative emotions. Fear of rejection; guilt, shame and embarrassment about our preferences (whether career; sexual; spiritual; personal; interpersonal…)create a self sabotage paradigm. It takes a decision and specific actions to step out of this. More to come.

MW AH Michael Holgate