You have a big presentation in the morning and have carefully proofed it for typos. You have selected your outfit. You have downloaded the directions and made sure you have a full tank of gas.
Knowing it’s important to get a good night sleep, you turn in early only to toss and turn all night as you rewrite your presentation in your head all night long …
You made a commitment to a spending plan at the beginning of the year and have been diligently keeping your agreements with yourself for over four months now.
Yesterday, you were idly scrolling through a couple of your favorite shopping sites and fell in love with a gorgeous purse in the season’s hottest color. You hit BUY without thinking …
You’ve just lost those extra 10 pounds (again) and to celebrate, you order in a large pizza with all the trimmings, a jumbo soda, and know that today’s the day that you will demolish the pint of chunky chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer …
These are just a few of the ways we self-sabotage but there are plenty more.
Can you recognize any of these other self-sabotaging traits that result in you getting in your own way?
- Pushing or rushing to achieve results: This behavior almost always backfires; in your impatience, you make mistakes, overlook key details, or make impulsive decisions that have not been thought through.
- Being overly dramatic: When your response to a situation is larger than necessary or expected, it can suck all the air out of the room. It pushes other people away.
- Withdrawing due to fear of rejection: If you are afraid of failure, you might talk yourself out of even trying or getting started. It can lead to paralyzing indecision and overly-cautious behaviors that are undermining and non-supportive.
- Self-defeating extravagance: You might tell yourself that you deserve this treat, or that one, but ultimately, if you are undercutting your own financial security, you do not mean yourself well.
- Workaholic tendencies: Working all the time may inflate your sense of importance, but it can also create isolating aloofness and a disconnect from the things in life that truly matter, like family, intimacy, self-care, play, and one’s spiritual growth.
- Stubbornness: When you are overly attached to your own perceptions versus being open to considering other people’s point-of-view, you can find yourself getting competitive versus collaborative. Stubbornness can mask a compulsion to be right and give rise to destructive rebellion.
- Demoralizing perfectionism: Perfectionism shows up in different ways, such as excessive questioning, obsessive worrying, compulsively blaming others or oneself, and behaving like a “superior victim.”
So, where does this self-defeating behavior stem from?
The easy answer is that it arises from your thoughts and your feelings.
Negative thoughts about oneself generate self-loathing. A feeling of not being good enough and of not belonging.
When you stuff those feelings, you empower them.
When I was a child I remember wondering who was that who was speaking such hateful things in my head?
In my 30’s, I discovered in A Course in Miracles that I choose to think the thoughts I think, and that if I didn’t like the thought I was thinking, I could choose to think another thought.
That was truly empowering!
I also learned that our thoughts have the power to create our reality. Thinking a negative thought was an attack thought on myself. That really got my attention!
I wondered why I would hate myself so much by thinking that bad things were going to happen to me, that nobody loved me, and so on.
By thinking these negative thoughts over and over, I was calling them into my reality.
Growing up in England, I learned we didn’t express our feelings (it just wasn’t done!) and we acted as if nothing was wrong, whether we had been hurt to the core or were feeling traumatized.
As an empath, I could feel the pain and frustration of my mother and could see she had nowhere to go with it. She died of cancer in her early 50’s and I was in my mid-30’s when I realized I was on the same path.
With this realization, I knew that getting in touch with my feelings and learning to release them safely, harm to none, would not only save my life but support me in showing up authentically in my life.
Through steadily releasing my feelings over time, I let go of my childhood defense patterns of perfectionism, having no needs, and rushing through my discomfort.
Now, that I choose to think thoughts that support me, that mean me well, and no longer entertain or dwell on negative thoughts that terrorize me, undermine me, and now that I choose to release negative feelings quickly, in privacy, without holding on to them, and with harm to none, I see my body and mind as my greatest allies and partners in life.
My willingness to take the time to go step-by-step in building my business, and to allow the passage of time to reveal the right path, instead of being impulsive and impatient has ultimately supported business growth that is connected to my values.
No longer rushing to the finish line has resulted in my cultivating flexibility, tempering my arrogance and releasing stubbornness. Calming my mental anxiety through meditation and choosing the thoughts I think, gives me the courage to be myself, to be aware of my needs and ultimately to trust myself.
Does it take time and focus?
Life is an awareness game; it is lived in the present moment. Every time you become aware you are thinking a negative thought, whether it is about you or a client or someone else, catch it and stop it.
Think another thought, a thought that is positive and supportive. You free yourself from self-sabotage, one thought at a time.
Love and blessings,
About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams
Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.
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