Self-sabotage. It sounds dramatic but let’s be honest, it’s pretty common. Most of us at one time or another have engaged in it. We set a goal or intention, we’re clear on what we want and then we sabotage ourselves by allowing doubts, negative thoughts and emotions to have far too much air-time in our head broadcasting insecurities and self-limiting beliefs.
Self-sabotage is generally an unconscious behavior and often driven by our insecurities and fears. It can be a tactic to protect us from being hurt or failing, or to avoid disappointment or feeling out of control.
Yet these undermining habits and self-critical attitudes prevent us from being happy and creating the life we want.
For example, let’s say you’re a habitual worrier. If you think about it, that is like saying, “If I worry about all the things that could go wrong, all of the time, then I won’t be caught off guard if they ever do.” It’s doubtful that this energy-consuming process has ever produced beneficial outcomes for any of us – yet we do it anyway.
Reversing self-sabotaging habits, like worrying or assuming the worst is really worth our care and attention. It promises to free up a lot of personal energy. It just requires a little self-reflection, staying aware of limiting attitudes and inner-conversations…and a little self-patience.
Some common ways we sabotage ourselves:
– Worrying constantly – Assuming we’re powerless – Ignoring personal needs for balance – Being over critical of our self and others – Mentally playing out worst-case scenarios – Having an attitude of being victimized by life – Negatively projecting what people think about us – Comparing and measuring our own success with others – Allowing undermining self-beliefs and attitudes to run on and on
There is so much right with us if we just stop and look at ourselves from a heart-centered belief. For example, we all have an inherent power that should be celebrated and used more often. This power is our heart intelligence, our heart truth – and it can help us reverse exhausting behaviors.
Using our heart intelligence we can compassionately re-tune our awareness towards how we use our personal energy. We can ask our self what thoughts, inner-talk and attitudes could I let go of and which ones help me?
Through heart-focused practices we can pinpoint effective counter responses to tired habits. We can identify new and supportive ways to interrupt the pattern of self-sabotage.
As we build personal coherence we increase our inner balance and alignment between the heart, mind and emotions. When we’re more anchored in our heart-center we‘re less likely to cave in to old insecurities, projected fears, worries, self-judgments and doubts.
Try playing with this simple exercise to reveal attitudes and thoughts you want to change:
- Start with a 60-minute time period and tune your inner awareness towards old views so you can begin to catch them. Increase the duration or how often you do this, if you want.
- During the designated time period, watch for inner-dialogue that inhibits you, for instance: “I hate going to parties, I never have anything interesting to say.” Or “I should just keep my ideas to myself, they’re probably stupid anyway.”
- Watch for old habits that reinforce insecurities, such as over apologizing when things are already fine.
- Once you identify something you want to change, center in the heart and ask yourself what would a positive replacement for this old belief or old habit?
- For example, if your limiting belief is, “I should just keep my ideas to myself, they’re probably stupid anyway.” Stop the thought and instead say, “Great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. Goodbye old thought!”
It’s important to not just notice the old attitudes, thoughts and habits but to also replace them. Doing this helps us to create a new pattern – one that supports us in a healthier, heart-centered way.
In the book Heart Intelligence, many strategies for tapping into our heart’s power are explained. These practices help us establish a clearer, high-definition view of who we really are and how to remove the obstacles that limit our self-beliefs.