Why do we sabotage ourselves? And how do we stop? The first step is to understand WHY we do it. On the subconscious level, we limit ourselves for any of the following reasons:
- we feel fundamentally flawed, unworthy or undeserving
- we fear being abandoned or humiliated
- we believe success isn’t good or will bring with it problems
- we fear outshining others.
Positive energy is forever flowing in the Universe, wanting to flow through us at any given point in time. This is what allows us to grow and become more, and yet it is us who blocks this energy. Who in their right mind would do that? Nobody, because when we self-sabotage, we are not in our right mind. We are in the ego mind.
The ego mind is the disconnected fearful self who is attached to its old stories. If there is nothing to worry about, the ego mind will look for something to become worried about. If things are going right, it will look for what is wrong. The ego mind’s comfort zone is to feel incomplete and anxious. It is anti-growth, anti-expansion, anti-optimism, anti-infinite possibilities. It likes to focus on the worst possible scenario. Its comfort zone is anything from mediocrity through to full-on catastrophe.
Our True Self, that is connected to the Source, feels whole and complete. If we’re awake, we are in the process of becoming more and more our True Self and becoming aware of and taming the ego mind. We can’t destroy it, because that very notion comes from the ego. Our True Self accepts everything including the ego! We must accept our ego mind, become aware of our ego mind and then transcend the ego mind – that is to recognise it and go beyond it – by not relating to its fear.
So back to this positive flow of energy and how it wants to come through us and help us ascend into higher and higher versions of ourselves. The ego says NO! The ego likes its comfort zone, it likes its predictable negative patterns, the drama, the negative thoughts and its attachment to worry, lack and feeling victimised. It likes the known, even if the known is involves pain. And it’s a trickster – it will weasel its way into our consciousness in any moment of unawareness. All it needs is an opportunity and it will take over.
Become aware of your story
We all have a victim story which the ego mind feeds off. The old saying “never argue for your limitations” is rubbish to the ego mind. It’s good to become aware of what that victim story is. In fact there will probably be quite a few stories. When we know what they are, we can become aware of when we’re reliving them. If we are not aware of the story, it feels real and it’s much harder to disconnect from it and observe it. It is this story that will show up when we’re sabotaging ourselves.
To the extent that we love ourselves and know ourselves, we will be sabotage-free. We sabotage ourselves primarily because we unconsciously want to stay in our comfort zone – even if that comfort zone is one of lack, failure, worry and misery. It’s a common pattern for most of us that when something positive happens, we sabotage our circumstances so as to bring ourselves back down to our old comfort zone. The ego mind only wants to stay in the known. It cannot bear being in the unknown (which is the field of all possibilities) for long, so it will create a sabotage so that we revert to our old vibration. That is why most lottery winners don’t stay wealthy for long and why overweight people, unless they deal with the issues behind the weight, will revert to their old weight after going on a diet. So here are the most common ways we sabotage ourselves.
Worry and negative thinking – this is by far the most common self-sabotage. We have been programmed over thousands of years to think in terms of the worst possible scenario in order to survive. Worry is usually not a sign that we’re thinking about something useful, and if there is nothing you can do about the issue in the here and now, then it’s a sabotage. Example – I am aware that when things are going well in my life, my mind will look for something to worry about.
Blame or criticism – retards the flow of positive energy. Blame or criticism are addictions and they are very costly addictions. They are the Number One destroyer of intimacy in close relationships but also other relationships such as work. Become aware of feeling the need to blame or criticise others, particularly when a relationship is going well. It’s your ego trying to prevent you going beyond the existing level of love and connection.
Getting hurt – accidents aren’t random. Louise Hay tells us accidents are brought on unconsciously by the person who has the accident, sometimes as an act of self-sabotage. It may be self-punishment or a way of getting out of something.
Getting sick – sickness is created by us. Sometimes we create sickness as a self-sabotage (not always). For example, some people get sick the moment they go on holiday and explain it away by saying “I didn’t have time to get sick before I went away; it’s only when I relax that my body gets sick.” Hello! The ego mind is thinking “Now that I’m away in a beautiful place with time on my hands, I can’t expand too much into joy and positivity.” Workaholics often get sick when they go on holiday because to relax and enjoy themselves is beyond their comfort zone. Another example – most people who get migraines will get them just as they are coming down from pressure and stress. Again, the ego mind is preventing them from expanding into something greater.
Creating conflict – there’s nothing like creating a big argument to stop us from enjoying a golden moment, or getting closer to others, or to deepen a relationship. In fact the conflict can take on a life of its own going forward, ensuring that positive energy is blocked for some time.
Hiding significant feelings/not speaking significant truths – this is a form of passive conflict and by withholding feelings (positive or negative) from those we care about, or not speaking our truth, we create an energy block because we are out of our integrity.
Not keeping agreements – breaking promises will sabotage any relationship, personal or business,
Deflecting – you will blocck the flow of positive energy by avoiding it all together. How often have you received a compliment and not been able to receive it? This is deflecting positive energy. Many of us deflect significant opportunities for the fear of being out of our comfort zone.
Money, business and success
We all have a story about money (from our family of origin and past experiences) such as “money doesn’t grow on trees” and about achievement and success. We’ll have a story about our abilities too, and some of these stories may not be true and cause us not to believe in ourselves. They block us from expanding into our full potential. It’s good to examine your beliefs about yourself, your abilities and your right to abundance and success, because you will sabotage yourself with your self-limiting beliefs. We do not believe possible what we haven’t yet experienced.
If we start something new like a new business or want to find a better job, the ego will be on the lookout for any reason to keep us in our old limited way, playing it safe,
If we have any negative relationship patterns (and these usually begin in childhood), we will keep re-creating our old story until we become aware of it. Once we are aware, we can see how our ego-mind will attempt to bring us down to your old wounded self in relationship.
It takes awareness and commitment to aspire to transform into a higher version of ourselves.
How do we address our self-sabotages?
- Adopt a kind and playful attitude towards yourself and your shortcomings – remember that we are de-programming from thousands of years of conditioning. We are only just waking up out of a self-limiting trance that has kept us in survival mode. We are now able to see that there are infinite possibilities, but clearing our sabotages is a process. Say to yourself everyday “I commit to discovering my sabotages, and to having a good time while I’m learning about them.”
- Commit to being consciously aware and on the lookout for sabotaging behaviours – we may know about it intellectually, but if we get comfortably numb, the ego mind will slip in and take us unawares. This is why I am passionate about learning to be present.
- Take a few minutes out each day to reflect upon your day:
- Reflect upon what felt good and what you achieved
- Give gratitude for that
- Reflect upon what didn’t feel so good and where you didn’t achieve
- Take responsibility for it
- Ask yourself whether your ego mind tried to limit you in any way today
- In what way did that play out?
- Is there a better way you could have handled the situation?
- Feel into your body and feel and sense where positive energy is attempting to flow through you. Focus on where you feel good in your body.
- As you sit with yourself, allow yourself to open up to all the love, abundance and joy that wants to flow through you right here, right now.
The more present and aware you become on a daily basis, the more you will be able to bring some spaciousness into the present moment when the sabotage is happening, and to address it in that present moment. See it for what it is – your ego mind trying to keep you at the same old level of consciousness and choose consciously in the moment to respond to circumstances in a way that expands you, not contracts you.