Self-sabotage is a good thing? Say WHA?!
We all know that self-sabotage leads to pain and suffering. Yet maybe it’s time we see it in a new light.
Hear me out on this!
In the name of self-love, let’s give due respect to the self-sabotaging part of us. For self-sabotage is really a strategy for a kind of success. It is meant to keep us safe.
(If you prefer to listen, click here to hear me reading ‘Self-Sabotage is a Good Thing,’ otherwise, read on!)
Granted, we may not get the results another part of ourselves might wish for. Still, self-sabotage is a strategy for success – on a different level.
I’ll use myself as an example:
At some point in my childhood I absorbed the message that I could get the love I needed if I if I DIDN’T take the limelight, and if I WASN’T successful. This message was subtly and subconsciously delivered – and received.
The overt messages were all about succeeding, effort, discipline, etc. I was a good student and I threw myself into the pursuit of outward success.
Yet underneath, the communication was that success was the domain of others. I was to play the role of the ditzy girl who couldn’t quite make a go of things. I was given to understand that there was a place for me as a supporting character, a dependent, rather than an autonomous being.
Here, again, I was an excellent student. And so, in the face of enormous effort, I persistently created less than the stellar success I was capable of. Any time I started to look too good, I’d go into hiding, or make myself look bad. I was really good at it.
I was a success at failing!
Of course, my inner strategy was flawed, as I learned in due time. (Well, a heck of a long time, actually.) Nonetheless, I have learned to love that dear, albeit misguided, part of me that gave so much to strike that painful bargain.
Hey! It doesn’t come cheap to allow others to think less of us, and it’s not easy to hide one’s light. I had my reasons. We all do.
We are not crazy or self-destructive.
On the contrary, we are trying to follow the rules of the game as life has presented them to us. Maybe long ago we got the message that it wasn’t OK to step into a sibling’s limelight. Or we needed to conform to the family style. Or we made a vow never to get hurt again. Or our shiny brightness was too much for some people and so we tamped it down.
Do you connect to what I’m talking about?
Let’s call these our human inheritances. We all have them.
We pay a staggeringly high price for our desire to belong. We override our true nature in exchange for acceptance.
It’s not a fun way to live. But we are not failures.
We are simply working a flawed plan, really well.
The self-saboteur within is a paragon of capability and determination. And she is a total success at what she is attempting to accomplish.
This is not a word game. We’re talking about real suffering here: years, decades, even lifetimes of a frustrating lack of accomplishment in personal and/or professional matters.
This is about choosing ideas that support our growth.
While ‘self-sabotage’ describes an aspect of what’s happening, it doesn’t enter deep enough into the heart of the maze to provide a way out.
Am I recommending self-sabotage as a way of life? Of course not! We can agree that self-sabotage militates against our fondest dreams. That frustration is what brings us to this discussion in the first place!
Yet we can’t beat it by attacking it head on, with criticism, frustration or anger. That direct assault only makes it more entrenched. Those harsh judgmental qualities are usually what made the inner self go into hiding in the first place, and erect the self-sabotaging ‘false self’ to hide behind.
We work the change from within. We learn to understand our inner self-saboteur’s position. We listen, hear and respect its motivations. We give the self an offering of love rather than anger, gratitude, not criticism.
These acts of compassion to the self are exactly what the inner self has wanted all along. It was simply going about it in all the wrong ways.
Once we honor that desire for love and belonging we will find the self-sabotaging stance shaking loose its old ways and releasing its grip on our lives.
- Shifting our perspective eases our burden by removing layers of self-criticism, i.e., further self-suppression, from an already painfully self-suppressed situation.
- The label ‘self-sabotage’ leads me to ask the wrong questions, such as: Why do I hate myself? (I don’t.) Why do I sabotage my success? (Because my ‘secret’ inner goal is more important to me.)
- Acknowledging my inner strategy allows me to focus on what I am achieving, rather than what I am failing to achieve. Only then can I assess whether my strategy is actually achieving my goal or not. When we recognize that self-sabotage will not bring us what we really desire (it never does), everything changes.
- Most important, the very act of honoring the dignity of my choice creates an opening for change.
For we have a greater inheritance, let’s call it our Divine or Universal inheritance.
This inheritance claims that we are always whole in every way. Our seeming ‘brokenness’ is but a small part of our greater, beautiful wholeness.
Decades of self-sabotage do not take away from the imminent possibility of success. We can change our reality in the blink of an eye.
We are always free to succeed.
Our actions of yesterday are but a small blip – an experiment in getting the love we desire. We forgot, for a moment, that the love we desire is already there, and we chased a flawed strategy in an attempt to gain what was ours all along.
And now we can remember that our life is ALWAYS as joyous and perfect as it ever was or ever will be. We need only claim it.
To believe this is essential, else we are condemned to believe that life is just a crazy ‘Catch 22,’ wherein we can only succeed by failing, and yet can never fail enough to succeed. If there’s a voice within us – no matter how faint – that refuses that Catch 22, if that inner voice says ‘this can’t be all there is,’ then this shift in perspective is the beginning of a way out of the maze.
This is radical self-acceptance.
There’s much to learn about how to befriend our selves. Learning to love the self-saboteur within is a perfect place to start.
Self-sabotage can be laid aside as a survival strategy. It doesn’t work, and we don’t need it anymore.
Look inside. Success is easier than you think. In fact, you are wonderfully whole, and magnificently successful already.
If you love being read to, click here to watch me read ‘Self-Sabotage is a Good Thing’ on Paint Yourself Into the Picture. (9 minutes)
Do you want to experience the liberation of radical self-acceptance? I’d like to help you step into your best vision of your life. To do this, we will create space by releasing some of the ideas and beliefs that no longer work for you.
Contains 5 powerful journaling exercises and 5 dynamic Action Steps to help you welcome greater self-love into your life! http://rebalinker.com/imagine-self-love-free-chapter/
Psst! Manifesting is EASY!
The techniques in this course got me $10,000 the 1st week I used them.
A 10-week online course, exclusively through the DailyOM: Own Your Manifesting Power: http://bit.ly/2aa5zpM
Get it today for only $10 at http://bit.ly/2aa5zpM! Learn more about manifesting – see where the journey leads you!