4 thoughts on “How To Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success

  • June 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I was told I have a tendency to self-sabotage. I’ve been reading up on it. I think that, when you are emotionally abused as a child (and physically/sexually) you lose belief in yourself. More than that, you actually fear success cause it inevitably leads to criticism and failure and some of us cannot tolerate the risk of being the butt of someone else’s punitive abuse. We rise so far in our company and then see another manager being treated badly by others and we bottle it. Criticism is more akin to annihilation of the self than a way to improve oneself. We also tend to have the goals that we think others want us to have, or that we have been given by others. Motivation is therefore poor and we lack the courage to be assertive. We may not even know that they are not ours. For example, our goal is not to be thinner but we feel we “should” be thinner to be acceptable to others in society. Also, for some, being thinner may have negative consequences that we are not even aware of fearing (e.g. being sexually attractive and fearing being raped). What seems to motivate us is not always the prime motivator, nor are we always aware of what motivates us. Childhood environments leave us with unconscious desires, beliefs and triggers.
    We know we should stop smoking as it kills us but are we aware that we have a death wish and want to die without being seen to commit suicide? Or maybe we want to stop but want to avoid the anxiety of withdrawal more. For some people (with Mental Health Issues) their Nervous System is in a state of hyperarousal and so ANY stress is too much. Normal healthy people don’t understand why we cannot stop a behaviour but neither do they understand the hard-wired, epigenetic, effects of trauma on our lives in a real and biological sense. Freud spent a whole career, and developed a whole profession, out of the unconscious – why are we now expected to be aware of what, by definition, is difficult (if not impossible) to access? As you say, it’s rarely about the obvious but about what’s going on behind the secenes and that is not always accessible to us no matter how hard we try. (e.g. Repetition Compulsion, Attachment Disorders etc)

    • June 11, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      I love your insights. I loved both of your examples of weight loss and smoking and the need to explore deeper about why we make unhealthy choices. You’re spot on in that we get caught up in what we think we should be doing and then lack motivation or are fearful of success and/or failure.
      So glad you stopped by!

  • June 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I love this topic and your antidote for self sabotage being compassion. It’s so important for us to be gentle with ourselves as we realize the areas of struggle. The vision board is such a creative solution too!


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