..and become more real in the process...
IT OFTEN STARTS OUT INNOCENTLY but over time it becomes disruptive to daily life and your general feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Curiously, even when we become aware of it, we put off or avoid really getting into it in any substantial way, even though we know going into the dungeon where we’ve buried “our stuff” will help us in the long run…
…that’s Self-Sabotage too. Self-sabotage isn’t just things like:
– leaving relationships or jobs before they leave you
– self-medicating with alcohol or cigarettes to stop thinking
– over-eating the sweet stuff when you’re trying to be healthier
– procrastinating submitting an application for the perfect job
– partying all night when you know you’re on a study deadline
– flitting from one relationship to another
– buying things even though you’re saving up for a holiday
– failure to complete stuff that’s important to you
or, at the other extreme, self-harming by cutting or other self injury. It can also be what we tell ourselves is the “helpful, positive stuff”:
– reading dozens of self-help books
– going to lots of “amazing” workshops (we said this in our workshop)
– trying lots of healing modalities
– taking off on a “spiritual odyssey” or “escaping” overseas”
– going nuts buying loads of healthy food that ends up in the bin
– doing lots of excercise
– going out on a limb for extreme experiences
– having a full social diary with always places to go and people to see
All these, in themselves aren’t so destructive – it’s when they become the norm, the habit, the pattern, the survival strategy, that something’s beginning to go skewiff. There’s not one reason why we self-sabotage. It’s likely to be layers of reasons, because life itself is layered. In healing and therapy we’d all like to pinpoint that “one event” but it rarely goes that way.
Self-sabotage starts out as self-protection. A way to shield yourself from a painful event that maybe you didn’t have control over or situation that’s just too traumatic to keep thinking about: loss, shock, trauma, shame, stress, fear of failure, other people’s beliefs and values that we’ve swallowed down as our own, feeling stuck in a situation and looking for a way out,
Self-sabotage happens when we haven’t learned to live in the world as we are. When we find ourselves unacceptable in some way. When we fear others will find out our darkest secrets – which we all have by the way. We become used to living behind a facade, and unfortunately, Social Media is one of the best self-sabotage tools that enables us to continue to live behind the facade. It’s an Enabler that reinforces that somehow we’re “not enough”.
Self-sabotage is the untamed Ego at work – always projecting the Past into the Future, never able to exist in the NOW, although it tries to convince you that it is. Self-sabotage is a way of devolving self-responsibility because it allows you to put the blame of failure somewhere else.
Right at the bottom of self-sabotage there will be a Fear – one that is so disabling, confronting and disempowering that we’ll doing anything to avoid coming into contact with it and try to prevent others seeing it. Which goes back to how Self-sabotage starts out as Self-protection.
It’s the Fear and the threat of it being revealed that reinforces low self-esteem and self-worth and creates high levels of anxiety and worry. If you’re very good at something, there’s the fear that at some point you will fail and failure is unacceptable – which is another way of saying “I’m not acceptable”. If things have come easy to you in one job and then in another it’s hard going, the Ego starts to tell you that maybe you’re not as good as you thought and you better be careful in case they find out you’re a fraud. And so it goes on…
Starting the Healing Process is a challenge because you’ll want to run away or avoid or find an easier option – that’s the Self-sabotage in action. But when you KNOW that’s what it is, then you can start to work with it differently.
Healing Therapies, Holistic Counselling, Workshops, Self-help Books – they can all be part of the healing process and help you to understand yourself.
And, if you make understanding yourself better the goal, instead of healing or stopping Self-Sabotage, then you’ll outwit the Ego and be on your way to a much happier, healthier and fulfilling life.
Self-help ideas: Book a 1:1 Session with a Wise Guide and talk it through. Enrol yourself in the Path to Paʻa Course – this course takes you through some of the most foundational teachings of our Lineage. Teachings and tools that have been used for 50+ Generations to make daily life feel good – good relationships, fuflilling work, feeling purposeful and generally respecting and honouring your own sacredness. Path to Paʻa is an excellent self-help course to do. Because itʻs the foundation of our Practitioner courses too, it runs regularly throughout the year. More about Path to Paʻa here.