Are things always working out the way you want them to? If not, you could be self sabotaging. In this article, we’ll explore how to identify, understand, and release self sabotaging tendencies.
What is self sabotage?
Self sabotage is the process of acting upon, or reacting to, negative, or even destructive, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It happens all the time. In fact, it’s actually so ingrained in us, that often times we don’t even realize that it’s happening. It’s not problem. The reason for that is that we are consciously aware of about only 10% of our thoughts and sensory perceptions. The rest is mostly subconscious, or unconscious.
You don’t even have to be acting upon or reacting to your negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions through destructive behaviors, or actions, to be self sabotaging. The simple act of thinking, feeling, and emoting negatively can, in an of itself, be self sabotage. You may not know, or understand, when, where, how, and why it is affecting you, and it is.
How self sabotage influences us
When we dwell on negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions, without understanding the root source and root cause for them, we’re continually and unknowingly subconsciously influenced by them. This can happen at different levels of our system, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, without us being able to comprehend the implications of this influence, and when, where. how, and why it is affecting us. An extreme example of such mental and emotional self sabotage is seen with people who experience despair, suicidal tendencies, and depression without being able to pinpoint exactly why they feel the way they do.
Why do we self sabotage?
For the most part, the reason why we self sabotage is because parts of us – some conscious, others not – don’t feel worthy, deserving, or good enough of the good things in our lives. We may have come to certain conclusions about ourselves as a result of our life experiences, and continue to look at, and experience, ourselves through the lens of these limited understandings and interpretations about when, where, how, and why things unfolded the way they did for us.
Another main reason why we self sabotage is because we are inherently fragmented. Not that this will always be the case, and for most people, it is. Most of us have many parts of ourselves that want many different things. And more often than not, those different things that we want are inherently incompatible with each other. (An obvious example of this would be to have the intention to eat whatever we want whenever we want, not have to exercise, while also holding the intention to stay slim and fit.)
Those fragmented parts – all of which believe that they know what is best for us – essentially compete with each other. They compete for our attention, time, and energy. This creates inner conflict, dispersion, confusion, self doubt, feelings of being overwhelmed, run down, or of not having enough time, and a sense of not really knowing what we want or what is truly good for us.
If we inquire within, deep down, we actually realize that we always know who we are – i.e. what our soul’s intentions are – what we want, what is in our highest and best good, and what leads to deep fulfillment and God alignment. We just have to let our minds become quiet to feel it. Your emotions are like a guiding system pointing you in the direction of clarity, intentionality, alignment, and fulfillment.
How to stop self sabotage
If you want to permanently free yourself from self sabotage, here are a few actionable steps you can take to achieve this goal.
1. Self Awareness about Self Sabotage
The first step is to recognize that you’re doing it. If you don’t know you’re self sabotaging, how can you stop doing it?
Some people believe that unfortunate series of events in their lives are the result of bad luck. Bad luck doesn’t really exist. There is an explanation for everything that happens to us, even if sometimes it’s not clear to us, and so we can’t see it. In time, we can and will understand the inner workings of everything that happens, not from a place of knowledge, but from a place of deep inner knowning-feeling.
Other people believe that there’s something wrong with them, and that they don’t deserve to be happy, at peace, loved, or successful. That can never be true. Everyone of us – no matter how lost we may feel right now – is a child of God, and therefore we all deserve goodness, love, happiness, abundance, and success. It can’t be otherwise.
Recognizing that you are self sabotaging can be as simple as realizing patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that close doors that were opening.
Not hearing your alarm clock when you have an interview for your dream job, getting drunk and then driving home, eating sugar all day when you’re wanting to lose weight, chain smoking when you’re wanting to stay healthy, not letting go of a toxic relationship that would allow you to then attract a new and more aligned one in, staying stuck in negativity without trying to get to the root of it, eating too much, not exercising, not being clear about our life intentions, having an affair when you’re in a committed relationship with someone you love, not facing and resolving your fears, holding onto limiting beliefs that contradict your intentions and goals, not prioritizing the things that truly matter to you, etc…
There are so many ways in which we sabotage ourselves and limit our capacity to experience consistent joy, love, happiness, inner peace, fulfillment, and God alignment. Now that we know that, and that we’re shining the light on subconscious parts of ourselves that were actively engaging in self sabotage, we can change that.
2. Identify the mental and emotional patterns that lead to Self Sabotage
Once you’ve recognized that you’re self sabotaging, you have a choice. You can either keep doing what you’re doing – don’t expect different results if you do – or you can identify the precise thoughts, feelings, and emotions that keep you stuck in self sabotaging.
Once you’ve identified the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that trigger self sabotaging mental and emotional states, behaviors, and actions, now you have a path forward and out of self sabotage. Of course, we’re not saying that it will always be easy to do. Life is messy sometimes. Extricating ourselves from destructive, self sabotaging patterns takes focus, attention, energy, intentionality, effort, and commitment. But truthfully, what’s the alternative?
You can keep doing what you’re doing, and most likely, things won’t change. You can keep feeling pain, reacting to pain, blaming your pain on yourself and others, feeling more pain as a result, and do it all over again until it becomes unbearable. Pain is a great teacher. It will teach you what you need to learn to transcend pain.
3. Introspect into the nature of your mental and emotional process of Self Sabotage
Alternately, you can introspect, intend, explore with the intention of understanding, and understanding only, and this extricate yourself from the jungle of your own mind, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and start getting different results. This process can take a bit of time, though as you start understanding it more and more, you will be able to understand precisely how your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and your reaction to them, leads to self sabotage.
4. Define and refine your intentions
Clarity is essential if you want to live a life of meaning and fulfillment. When you define what your deepest intentions and goals are for yourself, your relationships, and your life, all your choices can become a reflection of what you are building and striving to achieve. When you align yourself to your intentions, you experience less and less self sabotaging tendencies.
5. Prioritize what is truly meaningful to you
Prioritizing what is most meaningful to you, and what will bring you the most joy, love, happiness, inner peace, fulfillment, and God alignment will allow you over time to completely release all self sabotaging tendencies. The more content, equanimous, and fulfilled you are, the less you’ll be triggered into self sabotage.
6. Releasing the Ego parts that are not serving you
All of that said, defining and refining your intentions, and prioritizing what is meaningful to you in life, is not enough. Ultimately, the most powerful way of completely resolving all self sabotage is to release all the ego parts of yourself that operate from pain, fear, or doubt.
When you resolve past pain and misunderstandings, release your fears and limiting beliefs, let go of any and all expectations, judgments, tendencies to control, and negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions, you gain the capacity to become much more effective, joyful, peaceful, and aligned.
This process of releasing self sabotage doesn’t happen overnight, although it could. It usually happens over time as you learn to understand and know yourself more, as you introspect and come to deep insights and realizations about subconscious parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed, and as you learn to release any parts of yourself that is not serving you in the achievement of your goals.
It’s good to be patient, accepting, and to love and nurture yourself while you go through the process of releasing self sabotage and start becoming more aligned, and able to manifest the things that truly matter to you. It’s process, and a journey. It’s the process of getting to understand very deeply that, you’ve always been good enough, that you are always worthy no matter what, and that, just like all the other children of God, you deserve goodness.