Love in the face of sabotage!

Nothing is ever done until you decide it’s done

This week I had some interesting conversations with clients of mine concerning self-sabotage. About how we start making great changes, we feel enthusiastic, all is going well and then suddenly it isn’t! Maybe someone upset you, you had a bad day or didn’t sleep well and suddenly you find yourself for the third night running watching mindless TV, with yet another bag of Maltesers and not one intention of moving until bedtime.

I totally get this! Messing things up right when they are going so well.

I get the unconsciousness we fall into and the impulsive actions we take just to escape from that Things-are-Awful-and-I’m-to-Blame feeling. It’s a whole series of thoughts that sit just under our radar of consciousness, driven by fear. And, it’s a challenge to see this clearly when we have fallen off track.

Fear. This is what seeps up when we are starting to do well and making any change or progress. We don’t even feel it coming any more. In fact we can get so used to it, the moment it starts, we totally blank out and grab something comforting or do something dumb that proves to us what we fear most. Failure!

We can  keep this up for a very long time, beating the living heck out of all that was good in to begin with.

  • Especially if you’ve sabotaged almost every attempt at change in your past.
  • Especially if you are always promising yourself something and then finding yourself just not being able to follow through.

And if we don’t feel bad enough – we then have to contend with the mean little voice inside telling us “SEE-I-told-you-so!”

But, here’s the thing. That voice as scary, soul sucking, life draining, stuff of nightmares and real as it feels; is only a THOUGHT. It just feels so real because you’ve had so many of them and they’ve taken up residence – as the truth!

Not kidding. Years ago I read “Dark side of the light-chasers” by Debbie Ford. She says, name your fears, give them a character, a gender and imagine how they look. Get them out of that wicked stream of thoughts that never shut up criticising your every new move. Give them light and give yourself breathing room to see them for what they are – THOUGHTS.

Short story: Many years my daughter and I found ourselves in the unpleasant position of being in the grip of these crazy anal tendencies. Order was the name of the game and anything not in its right place brought on immediate discomfort – (understatement!).

So we named our saboteurs of ours – these inner perfectionists gone Mad As Hatters!  It was the funniest thing. They made us laugh, the relief was so big and the moment either of us saw the other going all picky and anal in our behaviour we’d  call each other on it. It worked every time. Now don’t get me wrong I am as imperfect as anyone else, and yes I can still spot a crumb at a 1000 paces. But, I no longer even consider I HAVE to pick it up that moment 🙂

Bring on the LOVE!

When we are practising new things there is a part of us that is very  vulnerable and emotionally shaky, and afraid of being hurt. Remember the first time you rode your bike or went swimming? Sure there was the excitement but underneath, how scary was that? And yet did your parents beat 7 kinds of “you know what” out of you, if you didn’t get it right first time? So why do we do that to ourselves?

They were patient, praised you for trying, for every small achievement and they kept encouraging you and smiling and hugging you; and picked you up and dusted you off until you got it!

Do you have any solid support in place? Not, the one’s that buy into your “sad story”, “poor me” I cant do this. But, the ones who really see you and know you can do whatever you choose!

Be impeccably honest with yourself and employ BIG kindness

If you have a difficult day then lower your expectations of yourself for that day. Break down new habits into really small really doable tasks. Most people take on way too much to begin with and if you have trouble sticking to promises, small consistent change will move you faster than you can believe.

And any time you don’t DO what you said you would, be honest with yourself impeccably. Lie to everyone else – but NOT to your self. When you admit to yourself truthfully why you are not doing something that’s when you get creative with finding better ways to help yourself. When you lie to yourself and make excuses, well nothing changes does it?

Sabotage teaches persistence (Christine Kane)

“If you have a knack for sabotage, then sabotage is going to be your great teacher. And what it might be there to teach you is persistence. Persistence is key here.  You can either sit back and say, “Look how awful I am. I’ve done it again.” Or you can say, “I’m learning to let go of the need to do this. So, today is another day. And with eyes wide open, I begin again.” It can be painful. It can be uncomfortable. It can piss you off. And it will grow you in ways you can’t imagine.
I know from my own experience, it’s quite challenging to have an emotional temperament and go for my dreams. It’s so much easier to sit back and say that it’s all too hard, and I’m not cut out for this. Reading about persistence and intent and taking action has helped me find my way out of the muck of the voices that have said things like, “You blew it!”

We all need people around us who are encouraging and don’t let us stay stuck. Hire a coach.  Get a partner. Have a friend hold you accountable. Take a class. Start a support group for forward motion and baby steps. Find books that inspire you and teach you how to keep going.

Just keep on moving in spite of yourself.

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