Why do we sabotage ourselves?

When we really, deeply want something in our lives, why do we get in our own way?? If we don't support our dreams, both big and small, who else will?

The topic of self-sabotage has been coming up a lot for me lately. I agree with the discussions about how our subconscious is at the root of self-sabotage, even at times to the point where we don't even realize that we ARE actually sabotaging ourselves! Crazy right?!

I love this quote by Marianne Williamson. I think it captures precisely what is going on when we continue to stay in a place of cutting ourselves down before we even begin–

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

Are you someone who dreams BIG, but it all ends there? Are you someone that takes action on your dreams, but after a while gives up entirely? Are you someone that realizes you self-sabotage and wants to do better, but doesn't know how?

For me, I've experienced all of the above. Gabby Bernstein, whose books literally lifted me from my rock bottom and guided me to find myself again, talks about how teaching is the way to truly learn (which comes from A Course in Miracles). So my friends, I want to teach you how to stop self-sabotage in its tracks because as Marianna Williamson beautifully wrote, "We are all meant to shine, as children do."

How to stop self-sabotage

  1. Recognize where you are sabotaging yourself in your life. Sit down with a journal and get really clear. If you aren't sure, ask yourself where you feel unsettled, stuck, upset, anxious, sad etc. Life is meant to flow and whenever and wherever we are not in flow, we are most definitely getting in our own way.

  2. Ask yourself "How is this behavior serving me?" or "What am I getting from continuing this behavior?" If we are unwilling to correct certain self-sabotaging behaviors, it's usually because we are somehow benefitting from it. Do you feel safe by doing this? Is this a learned behavior from a time in the past where behaving this way helped you?

  3. Then write about how this behavior keeps you playing small. How are you hurting yourself by doing this?

  4. Feel it in your body. Close your eyes and ask yourself, "How does it feel to play small?" What does it feel like in your body? Does your chest tighten? Do your shoulders round? Does your stomach sink? Then ask yourself, "How does it feel to make my dreams a reality and really go for it?" Does your heart beat just a little bit faster? Do you feel a surge of energy? Isn't this how you want to feel every day?!

  5. Create powerful next steps to help you stay on track. This is KEY! With your eyes still closed, ask yourself "What is the next best step?" Write down whatever ideas come up and actually DO them. If taking huge steps scare the heck out of you, take several small steps. It doesn't matter how quickly you get to your final destination, the only thing that matters is that you are making progress!

  6. If you're like me, you love real-life examples so here you go...

Recognize: I have a real problem with staying up later than I would like. I know I shouldn't get on my computer, phone or iPad as I crawl into bed, but I still do it.

How is this behavior serving me? Well, I love to relax, and watching something online barely takes any effort and is either informative or makes me laugh (hehe). I enjoy connecting with people, so in a way, watching YouTube videos or going on Instagram helps me feel connected. Oddly enough, I've always been the kind of person who follows the rules, does the right thing, doesn't ever get in trouble, so doing something I know I shouldn't be doing, is a little exhilarating :P

How does this NOT serve me? I never sleep as well on the nights I stay up watching YouTube videos or going on Instagram right before bed and then I wake up late, don't feel as energized and end up not having as productive a day. It also doesn't make me feel so great about myself, knowing that I wasted hours and hours on social media doing something I know doesn't benefit me too much.

Feel it: It doesn't feel so great playing small and continuing this behavior, knowing that it ultimately hurts me. I feel my torso slump and get really heavy. I feel my stomach tighten and my breathe is shallow. When I imagine myself going to bed early, I feel my body lift. I feel lighter and happier and my breathing deepens. HECK YA, this is how I want to feel every day!!

Next steps: Turn off all devices before bedtime. Meditate before getting into bed. Get a book I'm really excited to read.

Those BIG dreams you have in your beautiful, amazing, loving heart deserve to be your reality!! Let's make it happen for you! I would love to hear how this process helps you, so let me know in the comments below :)

If you are looking for more support around this, let's set up a time to talk!

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