three questions to overcome self-sabotage

How’s your heart this week?
Mine has been aching a little.

I want to share my truth, and my process with you, in case you’re struggling too.

In 2020, I became aware of a life-long emotional addiction {one of twenty different forms of self-sabotage}.

Do you ever feel like you’re sabotaging yourself?

Has it ever felt spooky to you that you end up in the same situation or relationship that causes unnecessary pain or struggle?

Have you noticed yourself creating the same patterns and problems, despite a desperate desire to do something different?

Raise your hand if you’re with me … higher.
You’re not alone.

Every human I know – client, friend, family, gym buddy, barista – has some type of unconscious programming that keeps them stuck in cycles of self-sabotage.

Sometimes this looks like addictions to substances, food, and unhealthy habits.

Sometimes this looks like an attraction to dysfunctional relationship dynamics.

Sometimes this looks like addiction to strong emotions, drama, and conflict.

We pick up most of these unconscious imprints when we are little – maybe we were taught them directly, maybe they were subtly modelled to us, maybe they were developed as defence mechanisms to keep us safe, or maybe, they were mimicked as a way to create a sense of belonging.

Regardless of where they come from, they served a purpose at some point.

From there, we developed a series of beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world that either support us or keep us stuck.

These beliefs become a subconscious story about our lives, that create certain emotions, which trigger specific behaviours, which create our reality.

Over time, and with enough repetition, these subconscious stories create deep neural grooves {those annoying automatic responses we don’t like, but we have} that keep us stuck.

Through a process called ‘selective attention’ we subconsciously choose people, events, and circumstances that confirm our subconscious story and lock us into self-sabotaging patterns.

Our mind believes the subconscious stories we tell are true {even if they are not}. Because of this, our mind will work hard to keep us stuck in these stories to conserve neural energy.

Why you wonder?
Good question.

Because what is familiar is safe and what is predictable allows us to feel in control of our reality.

But, the truthtruth is that deep down, these patterns hurt us, limit us, keep us stuck, and prevent us from living a life we love.

Instead of living our lives from a place of choice, freedom, and love we react from a place of unconscious patterns, defence mechanisms, unhealthy coping strategies and sticky fear.

If you feel trapped in a reality – a way of thinking, feeling, and acting – that isn’t in alignment with who you want to be and how you want to live, you’re not alone.

The good news – your mind is changeable {the science-y people call it neuroplasticity}

I’ve spent my whole life aware of how, as humans, we all get stuck in self-sabotage. Because this is such a common human experience, I’ve worked hard to hone my skills to help my clients {and myself} get unstuck.

Here are some things you may notice if you are stuck in a pattern of self-sabotage:

  • engaging in gossip or drama
  • unhealthy relationship patterns
  • procrastinating and perfectionism
  • turning to unwanted coping strategies
  • using substances you don’t want to use anymore
  • compulsively checking news, media, entertainment

Back to my 2020 epiphany: I was unconsciously seeking suffering by recreating patterns that kept me stuck in my own pain. Settling into Joy for long periods of time was outside my comfort zone because I was conditioned for the struggle.

I’m fluent in loving, trusting, and healing myself, but along with that came the emotional addiction to the swamp of life. I’d revert back to old painful patterns because I believed ‘I can’t prioritize my Joy’ and ‘healing has to be hard’ and ‘it’s not safe to trust the good’ {my subconscious stories}.

In 2020, I broke free from a generous handful of subconscious stories that were keeping me stuck. It became even more clear to me that getting unstuck is an inside job.

It’s easy to assume, getting unstuck comes from the outside. But, more often than not, changing the job, the home, the relationship, the location won’t bring you the freedom you seek because where ever you go … there you are.

I’ve seen time and time again {with myself and my clients}, how we break out of one prison, only to rebuild it again.

We revert back to the patterns we thought we left behind.

Freedom is the ability to align with your authentic self, to experience fulfillment without self-sabotage.

Getting unstuck is the ability to consciously create yourself, and your life, without defaulting to familiar cycles of addiction, stories of suffering, or problematic patterns.

Next time you feel trapped in your life, stuck in yourself, sabotaging your desires – interrupt the pattern before it interrupts the life you love.

Here are three questions, to help you get free from self-sabotage:

  1. Who does this belief belong to?
  2. What is this emotion trying to communicate?
  3. What is this behaviour trying to protect me from?

Self-sabotage {of any kind} makes us feel trapped in a life that we don’t want to be in.

Self-sabotage takes away our power.

The heart of overcoming self-sabotage is becoming aware of what subconscious stories are running you.

Awareness is the beginning of freedom.

When you are self-aware, you connect you with your authenticity, know your worth and align with your power.

If the point of this brief human experience is not about having the freedom to become your truest self, to live a life you love and add love to the world – then I don’t know what is.