Have you ever been in that situation where you’re in a complete state of flow in your life but you consciously decide to destroy it?
You feel healthy, you’re happy, your relationships are good, you’re eating well and you’re forming lots of good habits and then…BOOM! YOU’VE SELF-SABOTAGED! AGAIN!
And then the negative thought patterns return – ‘I’m back to square one’, ‘I can never stick it out, ‘I’ll never change’ etc. etc. It’s so deflating isn’t it? And it often takes another period of unhealthy and sometimes unhappy living before the strong urge to make positive change returns.
And then the pattern starts again…
As human beings we are predisposed and highly susceptible to self-sabotage. But, why do we do it? And is there anything positive that can be said about it?
I don’t want to try to tell you how you can stop your own patterns of self-sabotage but I thought it might be interesting to see if we can change the way we look at it. This might help you to spot your own negative habits and patterns and make proactive change.
I think there are three main reasons why people self-sabotage. Let’s look at them.
You Are Scared Of Your Potential Greatness
Every human being is born with the potential for greatness.
You merely have to take a cursory glance at history to see innumerable examples of people from various backgrounds achieving astonishing success in their own lives and changing the world with their words, actions and achievements.
And you can probably see people in your own life who are successful and happy by being the best possible person they can be. They are that rare group of people who seem to have life mastered. Every habit they create is one that serves them and every decision they make is wise and considered. They are perfectly aligned in all areas of life.
So, why aren’t more of us in these two categories? Well, for most people, environment, upbringing, society, education and social convention contrives to convince them that they can never reach their great potential. And the result? The majority settle for mediocrity in their lives.
But if we take a closer look, it’s easy to understand why people fall victim to this vortex of underachievement.
Think about it. From the moment we are born we are conditioned to conform.
Treading a different path to the majority leaves us open to ridicule, resentment, indifference or suspicion. A well-worn road to a known destination – safety, security, certainty – is bound to be a popular one. But taking a new road that nobody has ever travelled on before? That’s terrifying. Exciting yes but terrifying!
Living life on a different trajectory from the rest risks rejection from others and therefore feelings of isolation. Is it any wonder that many give up?
The pain associated with success is greater than the pain associated with continuing to be average. So people give up and resign themselves to a less fulfilling, less exciting and less impactful life.
Is this you?
There Are Too Many Short-Term Distractions For You
There is always a positive intention behind self-sabotage.
Whether you are scared to achieve (see above), are bored, are frustrated, are in pain or want a pleasant distraction, ultimately, when you self-sabotage you are trying to bring about something positive in your life.
The problem is that these diversions are usually short term and fleeting and usually don’t fit into your overall goals. In fact, in many cases they actively destroy your ability to reach these goals.
Modern western civilisation is especially prone to self-sabotage. Our society now is geared toward instant gratification. It’s all around us, omnipresent, always there to tap into whenever we want. Whether it’s TV, social media, smartphones, alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling or junk food, there are no shortage of ways to opt for short term pleasure instead of long term fulfilment.
It takes a truly committed, wise and spiritual person to avoid these distractions to stay on the path to enlightenment. It’s hard. Is it any wonder that so many fail?
Can you be that person who doesn’t fail, but succeeds?
You Are Delaying Reaching Your Potential, Knowing Deep Down That One Day You Will
Maybe for you the moment that you fully commit just has to feel completely natural and right.
Whilst it’s true that there’s no time like the present to start anything new, life is a challenge and progress through it is not linear.
Obstacles may appear at short notice, pressure may build and gloom may descend. But if you are learning every day about yourself and the world then maybe you also know that one day soon, you will wake up ready. Ready to become the best you possible, ready to impact others in the most amazing ways and ready to change the world.
Maybe you needed all of those acts of self-sabotage to understand who you really are and what makes you tick. Maybe those acts of self-sabotage have ultimately made you stronger, wiser, kinder, and more introspective.
And maybe, just maybe, you might look back at them one day and smile.