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How do you sabotage yourself?

Oftentimes we sabotage ourselves without even knowing it. When we are young we learn what our parents and other adults teach us. We learn how to walk, talk, feed ourselves, get dressed, go to the bathroom on our own, and so many other life skills. We are taught to imitate behaviors so we can learn and grow.

What if we learn as much or even more from what the adults in our life do than what they say?

As we grow, we internalize and mimic what we see the important people in our life do. Those well-meaning adults are teaching us by how they treat themselves and others. What we tell ourselves about what they do can form our inner voice. When there is conflict between that inner voice and our true essence, we feel pain. That pain can be guilt, shame, blame, or many other self-sabotaging behaviors. I am pretty sure that very few escaped childhood without some of these.

Our emotional needs many times were not met because we were not even conscious of what those needs were. Even if we did know, we didn’t know how to ask for what we needed. As a result we were left feeling unworthy of love. That’s where the sabotage comes in. We unconsciously block what we do not feel worth of receiving.

We develop behaviors that keep us stuck and from having the life we want. Then we get frustrated and that leads to shame which keeps repeating a self-sabotaging cycle. Anyone relate?

I recently experienced a breakthrough in understanding some of my self-sabotaging behaviors: where they came from, why I have them, and how to recognize them. It all started with a beautiful friend of mine who was teaching about “Saboteurs”. Karen had us take a Saboteur Assessment to help determine which ones were getting in the way of having the life we wanted. There are ten “Saboteurs” and I ranked high in four of them. The one I ranked the highest in was “Pleaser – indirectly tries to gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, or rescuing others. Loses sight of own needs and becomes resentful as a result.” Yep, that’s pretty much how I lived my first 50 years. Victim was next in line, followed by Hyper-Achiever (dependent on constant performance and achievement for self-validation), and Stickler (perfectionism). All spot on!

I had an awareness that I had all these behaviors. What I didn’t understand was the part about them keeping me in a cycle of self-sabotage. I have been changing my inner voice for a while and now with this realization, I can recognize and correct these behaviors much faster.

Being committed and consistent to ourselves can change our inner voice and our self-sabotaging behaviors. It all starts with awareness and a desire for something different.

When we change the world changes.

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Sign up for my Weekly Wisdom emails and I’ll send you journal prompts and affirmations each Sunday along with my latest blog post to help you start your week intentionally.

When we change the world changes.

1 Comment

  1. Karen Cowperthwaite on March 1, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Awareness is truly everything. Judy, thank you for sharing your experience with realizing the lies the Saboteur voice says. Everyone has an Inner Judge and you lessen its power every time you see it for what it is.

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