Does self sabotage really exist?

Does self sabotage really exist?

I’ve lost count of the amount of time clients have told me over the years that they have ‘self sabotaged’.

The examples of this ‘self sabotage’ include…

  • You start a 30 day yoga challenge and for the first week do really well in the challenge, but then things peter out and you go back to your old behaviour of snoozing the alarm clock and deciding it’s too late to fit in the yoga because you have to get to work
  • You decide you going to stop working long hours and start leaving working on time. By Thursday you have found 10 reasons why you’ll just send this one more email, finish this one task on your to do list, or send out this report to a client’ and you soon snap back into that old pattern of behaviour of working late or logging back on line later in the evening
  • You meet a new romantic partner who you feel is ‘too good to be true’ and start to pick arguments with them, be defensive and find fault only to find yourself single again before too long
  • You receive an unexpected sum of money 💰 which you really need, only to have spent it all within 3 months
  • You see your dream job advertised only to convince yourself to remain in your current one
  • You decide you are going to lose 10 pounds and stock up on healthy foods and 2 weeks later are back to snacking throughout the day on junk food
  • You decide you are going invest in your mindset and set yourself the challenge of reading a book a week. You get to Wednesday and find you can’t keep your eyes open and go to bed and the book ends up joining the rest of the unread pile
  • You decide you are going to stop drinking alcohol through the week and by Wednesday you decide it’s been a ‘hell of a day’ and pop open a bottle of wine
  • You put yourself on the ‘dating scene’ again having got divorced and decide you are going to find someone to be in a relationship with only to come up with 101 reasons why anyone you meet isn’t ‘right’ for you

With around 10,000 one to one sessions under my belt, trust me I could go on!

This type of behaviour is commonly referred to as self sabotage. Meaning that you make a decision or set an intention to start doing something, and then find yourself behaving in opposition to that decision.

Or what you really desire presents itself in the form of romantic relationships, job opportunities, money and so on, and despite this being what your heart desires, you go against the grain and throw it all away.

The term self sabotage makes sense, even if it sounds a little harsh! When I think of self sabotage the image of me wielding an axe at myself comes to mind!

Clients in these situations describe feeling confused, powerless, frustrated and at a loss about how to change.

The fact is that these patterns of behaviour aren’t personal. These patterns have nothing to do with who you really are. They are simply behaviours that you have repeated over and over again so that they have become repetative and habitual.

And the unconscious mind, which is running the show about 96% of the time, works on pattern and repetition and is therefore simply doing what it’s been programmed to do.

It’s not the case that you are self sabotaging your decisions or desires. That you are weak willed or a bad person or are broken in some way!

Instead you are simply doing what makes sense to you based on that inner road map in the brain that make up your thoughts, emotional responses and behaviours.

Can I change?

The good news is that you absolutely can change! The brain is made of neural plasticity which means that it’s mouldable – so yes change is 100% possible.

Can I change using will power?

Highly unlikely. That road map in your brain is going to keep doing what it’s programmed to do, therefore trying to change from the level of the cognitive and conscious mind, which accounts for less and 5% of the overall mind, means that creating to force change using your will is like trying to move a mountain with a t-spoon.

That’s why I am a huge believer in life coaching. I can’t always see the wood for the trees but my coaches can because they aren’t living in my reality. So through powerful coaching questions that cut through the tangled web of thoughts and beliefs in my mind, I can gain the insights and realisations that lead naturally to change.

People are always amazed when I share with them that over the last 10 years I’ve had around 500 life coaching sessions on me. They immediately assume that there was something significantly ‘wrong with me’ or that I must have lived some incredibly traumatic childhood! I can assure you neither of those is true 😊

What I do know to be true is how life coaching helps me to keep evolving past beliefs that I formed (and you did too!) by the time I was 5. I’m not claiming to be the Dalia Lama here but I know that the more I do the ‘inner work’ the greater my impact on clients, my business, my health, my finances, my happiness and my life as a whole.

Without those life coaching sessions I’d still be living my life based on a blue print that was created before I could tie my own shoe laces – which helps to explain why you behave like a child when you don’t get your own way 😂

Curious to find out how life coaching can help you? Book a free 30 minute consultation now!

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