Do you ever?
Why can’t I do what I want?
Why can’t I get to where I want to be?
Why can’t I get what I want?
What is getting in the way of living my dreams?
Why not me?
Before I give you the answer, let me ask you a question:
What is self-sabotage?
To discover your full potential, because after all, is that not what you often wonder about?
We need to discover what it is, how it works, and why it is present in our lives.
We need to know what Self- Sabotage is.
Let’s dive in.
A behaviour is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.
These acts may seem helpful in a given moment, but they ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly.
Thing is we often ask ourselves
Am I “Self-Sabotaging?”
It’s soon followed by.....
“But why would I do that?”
Often my clients ask me these questions, and I will say to them:
“What’s your definition of self-sabotage?”
The reason why I ask this question is to help them direct their own personal positive outcome.
By me telling them the definition the impact is not as great as us working together on their personal relationship with self-sabotage.
As you read this have a think about these questions:
What would your definition of Self-sabotage be?
What does it feel like and sound like for you?
Your interpretation will always be more important in developing and understanding than anyone else’s.
With that said, here is my experience and the experiences of my clients.
I invite you to consider it for yourself.
Here is a breakdown of self-sabotage:
It all starts with US. I work with my clients on an inside-out approach, so we start with “Self.”
Looking towards ourselves, not towards others or to external circumstances.
My experiential definition:
The intent to misdirect or distract me from what I say I want/need.
Sabotage is not meant to initially hurt or harm me, but to hinder or hide me.
This hindering and hiding, if going on long enough, may hurt me emotionally, physically and get in the way of creating the best life and connections with opportunity and people.
So in basic terms.
Self Sabotage = Getting in our own way.
What Self Sabotage is:
An internal challenge that requires inner awareness.
What Self Sabotage is not:
An external challenge that requires an outer change.
This is the thing; we are not alone in thinking that we need to fight an external challenge if we want to reach our goals.
Let me explain…
The root of self-sabotage is originating from within us.
The shift comes when we look inwards rather than looking outside of ourselves for change.
Trying to change those around us will do little for our self-sabotaging behaviour.
No one is immune from getting in their own way.
We all do it, even me from time to time. Most people sabotage some aspect of their life, whether that be their health, career, finances, or relationships in various degrees.
Our sabotaging behaviour may be inconsistent with other's style of sabotage, and may even be inconsistent with how we have sabotaged ourselves in the past.
My experience tells me that whether it is health, career, money, or love, self-sabotage comes from negative core beliefs. The behaviour and what is “at stake” is the only thing that changes.
65% of people sabotage themselves at some point.
The other 35% do not think they are sabotaging themselves.
You're probably wondering where this figure came from, well the stat was made up, similar to the stories we tell ourselves of how we did not get in our way.
When do we Self Sabotage?
Self-sabotage happens anytime when we get in our own way of achieving something.
Anything, from losing weight, making money, studying, going for that promotion, setting up that business we are dreaming off and finding love. The list goes on.
Whenever we set our mind on doing something, we go through different stages.
1. The idea, the Dream - Creating
2. Daring – Planning – Strategy
3. Doing – implementation – seeing it through
In what stage do you find you are Self Sabotaging?
Think about it:
When you are asked to think about what you want to accomplish in life, do you struggle with the answer?
If the answer is yes, it could be that you are sabotaging yourself in the idea stages.
Do you struggle with accomplishing your dreams or making them happen?
If your answer is yes, it could be your sabotaging yourself in the Daring stage.
Do you write plans, sign up for a course, or say you are going to do something and then find a reason for why not?
If your answer is yes, it could be your sabotaging yourself in the Doing stage.
By exploring where you are and why you do what you do, you have a better idea of discovering where it is coming from. Then you are in a better position to do something about it.
Let’s get honest; let's get real, dig deep.
Are you ready and able to spot the times when you got in your own way?
How does Self Sabotage happen for you?
When we start looking inward, we can start noticing our patterns of behaviour.
There are several ways self-sabotage shows up:
1. It’s obvious
3. Direct (by doing something)
4. Indirect (by not doing something)
Can you think of some ways you might have sabotage yourself in this way?
Why does Self Sabotage happen?
This is a question for you if you're ready to examine your personal relationship with self-sabotage.
The first step is to acknowledge it.
Then it’s uncovering the thoughts, feelings and experiences.
For my client Sam she wondered why her salary was the same for the last three years.
When we dug deep, she had the opportunity to apply for jobs with a higher salary and even a promotion in her current company.
What we discovered was that she would talk herself out of applying for the promotion or she would apply for "safe" jobs because she believed that she was “not good enough”.
The self-sabotage conversation she would have “If I get the promotion I will not have time to do the things I enjoy, I don’t have the skills or the qualification, I like my job.”
Did you notice the message in Sam’s Self Sabotaging behaviour?
The bottom line, it’s all very personal and deep, which requires you to get honest and become self-aware.
For Idress, despite attending matrimonial events and using the apps, he said he was just not meeting anyone that interested him. What we discovered was that there was a fear of making the wrong decision
The fear got in the way of him allowing himself to share his true self and engage in conversation that would allow the other person to show their true self. Instead of looking inward he was looking outward and claimed that there was just no one out there for him.
Here are my tips to Master the Art of overcoming self-sabotage:
- Master YOU! Know YOU and Do YOU!
Self-sabotage feeds on inner confusion – not knowing what you want.
The moment Idress discovered what he needed in a relationship, his dating experience changed, and he was confident in making a choice. (It's easy to get confused with what we want over what we need. Do you know what your needs are?)
He started having conversations that allowed him to connect with women on a deeper level.
- Know your values
Know your values and then value them.
Our beliefs about what is important in life are strong indicators of what we truly want from life. Don’t get confused with what others want for you.
Helen wanted to set up her own business, but her parents believed that having your own business does not give you the same security as being employed. She found herself talking herself out of taking the plunge.
The breakthrough came when she asked to go part-time and discovered that she was able to establish a flourishing business and have the security she needed. She is now working full-time in her business and loving it.
- Turn it inside out – What do you believe?
Dig deep and then dig deeper and look at negative core beliefs.
Core beliefs are the way we see the world. We learn these core beliefs as children and assume as ‘facts’ – when very often they are anything but.
They can are hidden in our unconscious; we don’t even realize what they are, or how much they are informing our decisions.
Negative core beliefs are also the main driver behind self-sabotaging behaviour.
Zain thought he was not “worthy of love” (his father left when he was five years old, and he grew up believing it was not lovable), even though he was doing everything he could to find love. He found himself sabotaging his attempts.
Taking the time to identify our core beliefs empowers us to choose new beliefs that lead towards, instead of away from, the things that we truly want and need.
- Be Kind to YOU
Negative core beliefs such as “I am not experienced enough, good enough, pretty enough” "Young enough" or “It will not happen to me; maybe it’s not in my fate” are fed by low self-esteem, another contributor of self-sabotage.
The one sure fire way to develop your self-esteem is self-compassion. Commit to taking one step at a time to take care of YOU.
- Breath – be present
Most self-sabotaging behaviour is driven by negative thinking patterns; we don’t even know we have.
Practicing deep breathing, visualisation techniques like mindfulness bring your attention into the present moment, so you can actually hear such thoughts and train yourself to not take action on them.
Being present to your feelings can be a navigation tool to help you determine what feels like sabotage and what feels like something you actually want.
- Small steps
Remember you cannot run before you walk, keep it simple.
When we see things as complicated, we can convince ourselves to think it can’t move forward and sabotage our progress.
Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals.
Tap into your memory to remember all the times you did achieve and use that memory to move forward.
What will your answers be to the questions i have asked above?
Then give the above tips a go,
Let me know how you get on.
I would love to hear from you.
If you need a helping hand, why not attend the experiential workshop on Saturday 27th July.
We will dive deep and unpick what self-sabotage means to YOU, practice some tools to help you grow.
Live your life out loud proudly and boldly!
***Names have been changed
Here is what one of my clients said while working with me:
"I applied for that job we spoke about. I have been invited for an interview. Usually, I would have talked myself out of it and cancelled. Funnily enough, I am looking forward to it. I am not going to say I am not nervous because I am. I do feel more confident and I am going to give it my best......
Wajeeha they offered me the job! :)"
“The best workshop I have been on, the perfect blend of practical and theory!”