Self-sabotage is the one thing that will destroy your chances of having the relationships, luck, confidence, happiness, success, and life that you want more than anything.
Self-love and self-sabotage can never coexist. If you self sabotage, it means that you embody the enemy while making it your life’s mission to take down the enemy.
When you self sabotage, you get off the road of life and onto that attractive and fancy treadmill. The treadmill comforts you because it not only provides proof that you’re going the distance and burning calories, it secures proof of productivity as well.
And if you’re in a destructive pattern like this, proof will always supersede having to feel and deal. The treadmill also guarantees the same terrain, weather, and outcome every time. And when you’re emotionally compromised, certainty is everything.
The problem with running on emotional treadmills is that no matter how hard you run (and try to convince yourself that it’ll be different this time), you never actually get anywhere. You always end up back at square one.
Self Sabotage? Same.
Certainty = Safety and as humans, we will risk our own values, goals, best interests and moral compasses to secure a feeling of the kind of safety that certainty provides. Even if that certainty is our own misery.
Self-sabotage is nothing more than an inability to get out of your own way. It’s that hidden mechanism that pulls the rug out from under your life, proving that happiness is never to be trusted – always chased.
Self-sabotage murders who you could become. No matter what you’ve gone through in life, self-sabotage is the only way that your destiny can ever be hijacked.
And because you can’t get out of your own way, you end up getting bulldozed every time – surrounded by a manifested environment that does nothing but affirm the necessity of you having to live on your emotional knees – now and forevermore.
I’ve self-sabotaged for much longer than I’ve been lucky enough to live without the “bad luck,” that I would always tell myself I suffered from (due to the superficial of course: not being pretty, smart, sexy, cool, interesting enough, etc).
Here’s how to know if you self-sabotage, why you self-sabotage, and 3 ways to put an end to it once and for all.
It’s not that I don’t get triggered and try to sabotage myself anymore. I still get triggered and to this day, I find myself trying to cut my own happiness at its Achilles. The only difference now is, I notice it right away and I’m able to deactivate it immediately.
Here are just a few of the traits I had when self-sabotage was a way of life:
- Procrastination. If I failed, I could blame it on the fact that I procrastinated. It was so much easier to do that than to not procrastinate, give it my all and experience the pain of inevitable failure. At least with procrastination, I had an emotional airbag (that had holes all over it).
- Making every Monday/start of the week all about how it was going to be the start of “a new me.” A few minutes into a new Monday, I would inevitably f*ck up. So, I would delay my goals to the following Monday (my perfectionism would never allow mid-week evolution).
- Addiction. Although I’ve never been addicted to substances, I desperately needed a 12-step program for the addiction that I had to my “I am not and will never be enough,” thoughts. Self-sabotage is not an action as much as it is a habit. It’s a process that over time, will pine you against your own thoughts, fears, impulses, and self, AS it simultaneously erodes any pride and backbone you have left. Your life then becomes all about trying to fix your mistakes by making even more bad decisions. Excuses will always be an addict’s best friend.
- Laser focus on the past/future. All I did was either rehash the past or rehearse the future. This disallowed me from ever living in the present moment.
- Emotionally and spiritually suicidal. I was hopeless. Every time that I was stupid enough to trust happiness, the other shoe always dropped. As humans, when we experience heartbreak, abandonment and are let down enough times, we go into ESM (a term I made up, Emotional Survival Mode). While in this mode, we adopt emotional defense mechanisms that we are convinced, will lessen our pain. And it does in the short-term but ultimately, proves to be the most potent salt in our unhealed wounds.
- GOSSIP, pathological lying, and exaggerations. Lying, gossiping, and exaggerating are three forms of escapism. I engaged in all of them because they served the double purpose of that short-term-ego-inflation-feeling-significant-for-a-hot-minute escape as well as the long-term affirmation that I deserved the pain that would always, boomerang right back to me for engaging in terrible behavior.
- REPELLENT. If you self-sabotage, know this: you’re driving people away. I used to feel so inadequate and be so scared of failure that I would push people away by being overly critical, gossiping, lying and just being an all-around negative person. I’d do so much for other people on a superficial level (because I couldn’t connect emotionally), but it was never enough to override my ENERGY. I basically kept stirring the sh*t in the toilet and then cried because the bathroom smelled worse as a result.
- SETTLING. I settled for sh*tty jobs, toxic relationships, fake friendships, and worst of all, I settled for a toxic relationship with myself. Bottom line: if you settle, it’s because you believe that you don’t deserve any better. Your past, your future and your present will ALWAYS be in direct correlation with what you tolerate.
Do you know what’s weird? My own body hopped on the self-sabotage game. In school, would never sweat unless I wore something tight or a certain color that would make perspiration visible. No matter how much deodorant I put on, I would perspire. ONLY in certain clothing and EVEN IF it was cold outside. This trigged massive social anxiety.
After I tackled the self-sabotage, the problem went away.
Why do we self-sabotage?
Looking back, no matter how much I knew that I needed to take action so I could reap the emotional, physical and financial benefits that I claimed to have a burning desire for, something always happened to justify inaction.
I knew that I was on a crumb diet in my relationships, I knew that certain people were toxic and I knew that I wasn’t stepping up for myself, having my own back, and following through on my own needs, expectations, wants and desires. I KNEW IT.
I’d then get so mad at myself that I’d make these “big announcements,” post moronic quotes on social media or take some extreme form of initial action, ALL to collapse as quickly as constructed.
FEAR. It’s the same reason I used to drink alcohol. I have no problem with alcohol, I just don’t drink now because I don’t need it anymore.
I never drank alcohol because I liked the taste or because I liked pairing it with my food. I needed alcohol because if I drank two margaritas, put myself out there and got rejected, I could blame it on the booze and not on the fact that I knew all along… I wasn’t enough.
It hurt less to get rejected while drunk (because I had something to blame) than it did to actually PUT myself out there, try my best and get rejected in a sober state.
In this way, self-sabotage is the ultimate insurance policy.
Self-sabotage f*cks you over the entire time it has you convinced that if you play by its rules, you’ll get what you want.
I was addicted to getting in my own way because as much pain, humiliation and heartbreak as self-sabotage inflicted, it was MORE COMFORTABLE than the pain of putting myself out there and having LIFE affirm all of my fears and insecurities.
At least with self-sabotage, I knew to a certain extent what was coming.
And that’s why it’s so addicting. When you’re on that emotional treadmill, it’s predictable, but the cost for that predictability is a steep one: you don’t ever get anywhere. Yeah, if you’re on the road, the weather may be bad and there may be an uneven terrain. You may even fall, but AT LEAST you’re getting somewhere.
Exactly how much of your life are you willing to waste?
3 ways to end self-sabotage NOW
Awareness and Expansion.
By just being aware of the mechanism driving a pattern that you have now identified, guess what? That awareness alone will substantially reduce the destruction of your delusion. Next, EXPAND on that awareness by acknowledging the urgency of your situation.
You’re terminal. You’re suffering from a condition called life and as far as I know, none of us are going to make it out alive. Make the decision now to not waste this time because it’s the only time you have. I promise, you’re not going to be at the end of your life one day and wish that you would have self-sabotaged more.
I think that having a false sense of self is more dangerous than having no idea who you are. If you do this one life that you were given right, who you are will be ever-changing and evolving. Focus on who you are NOT instead of who you think you are.
Who you are not is directly tied to what you’re willing to tolerate – in yourself FIRST, as well as in others.
Complication and Absolutes.
As much as you claim to hate it, if you suffer from low self-esteem, you LOVE complication. Complication is the “bad boy,” that you keep saying no to as you’re undoing your bra.
Where there are complication and absolutes, there’s fear and fear is the rocket fuel of self-sabotage.
Some examples of absolutes:
“I will never be a,b & c,” “I always get cheated on,” “I’m big boned and will never lose weight,” and the list goes on. Absolutes from others also trigger massive complication. You hear something along the lines of: “I’m not a good guy. You deserve better. I can’t give you what you want,” and instead of folding, you complicate it by further investigating. You tie your value to disproving the absolute of a cat meowing, as you keep investing in the hope of being good enough to get it to bark.
One of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite poets:
“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” – Rumi
Don’t rig your life by handing over the pen for others to write YOUR story.
The keyword in Rumi’s quote is LIVE. Stop operating at the expense of your destiny by sabotaging the life that you’re supposed to be living NOW.
Your future will thank you.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.