26 Apr

Sometimes words are misleading. Why would I want to sabotage myself? Consciously.

“Don’t do that, Kori.You’ve thrown everything you have…all your energy…so much effort…time…into accomplishing this goal. You should probably step on your own feet now, get in your own way, and make the journey a lot more difficult.”

Yeah, I hear myself saying this all the time.

Are you kidding me? What the heck?

Yet we fall, we crumble, and we do things sometimes that aren’t congruent with what we’ve said we want. But can we really call it self-sabotage?

We get comfortable and used to behaving and thinking in certain ways and in specific patterns. Think of your drive into work today– do you remember it? Unless you had to brake hard because you almost hit a deer,  you were probably on auto pilot. You’ve driven the same route so many times, the drive doesn’t resonate for you.

Ever notice the order in which you take a shower? I didn’t notice until I felt like I had missed something and realized that I forgot to condition my hair. Usually I do it immediately after I wash it, then I soap up and allow the conditioner to soak in, then I rinse my hair. When I went to rinse it this time though, there was no conditioner. What a weird feeling!

On the flip side of automaticity and how it can impact our behavior, there is also fear.  It too may  not be conscious, but it influences our actions and what we decide to do or not do.  I received an email recently that touches on fear:

” …I am scared to go farther, take it to the next level, what if I DO do this, and what if I AM good at this, and what if I DO achieve?  Why would I be afraid of that? Because it’s uncharted ground?  Because I’ve settled in the past and that is what is easy?”

First, those are all great questions to ponder. What is the next level, and what would change as a result of reaching it? If the changes are perceived as scary, yep, you might be afraid.

And yep, as human beings many of us are not too comfortable with the unknown, uncharted territory. We don’t like feeling lost, meandering without a map (see previous blog!).

But settling? Then we’re just stuck. We can meander and explore and find. Or we can settle and sit and die. Dramatic? I don’t think so.

Achievement beyond what has already been accomplished now means that the bar is raised. Now you’ve set your expectations higher, and you might feel like and perceive that if you do well people will expect from you new and superior things. Pressure! Sounds like a good mentality to live by: I might as well fail early so I don’t have to fail harder later. Huh?

I have one more thought to share on self-sabotage. It seems to come up when people are working toward a change. This same client of mine told me that she needs to move out of her comfort zone, but she’s obviously not comfortable where she is!  So I see it two ways: she stays uncomfortable in her normal discomfort OR she gets uncomfortable in some new discomfort.…a new discomfort that could amount to her becoming more capable, confident, risk-taking, aggressive (in a good way of course), spontaneous, brave, and courageous.

So is it self-sabotage? Or is it an opportunity to learn about your patterns of behavior, how you perceive the world, and to assess and become more present with your situation?


One Response to “Self-Sabotage?”

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