Self-sabotage is a term we throw around a lot . We know what it is in a general sense or when we see someone doing it. But what is it really?
When we talk about self-sabotage, we are talking about getting in our own way. It’s not something someone else is doing. We are doing things ourselves that cause the problems that bother us so much. It might be as simple as eating more than one cookie when we are on a diet to choosing the absolutely wrong partner over and over.
It’s like the definition for insanity – doing what you’ve always done but expecting to get a different result. You will never get a different result as long as you always do the same thing over and over! It is only when we make a different choice that we can actually make something different happen. Unfortunately, when we are locked in self-sabotage we can’t pull it off.
Self-Sabotage is the Symptom, Not the Problem.
Now we think, if only I could stop sabotaging myself, I’d be fine. True, but how do you stop sabotaging yourself? Tell yourself to stop. Yeah, that works! It’s really the root of the self-sabotage that needs to be looked at. Self-sabotage is a behavior. A really annoying behavior – one we usually don’t even recognize. So, to figure out why we do it when we really want to do something else is the key.
If you think of self-sabotaging behaviors as weeds in your garden, I think this concept will make more sense.
So let’s take a nice garden. You have the flowers growing, a nice place to sit and relax and a cup of tea. As you’re looking around admiring your garden, you notice this big, ugly weed right in the middle. You can’t keep your eye off it. It is absolutely ruining your nice afternoon.
You get up and try to yank it out, but only the leaves come off the top. The root is still in the ground. “That’s okay,” you think to yourself. “At least the garden looks good again.”
The next week you’re sitting in the garden with some friends and all of a sudden you notice the same weed and a couple of its buddies. “Oh my gosh! I pulled that out last week? And it is back, but worse!” you say.
So, you get up and pull it and its friends out. Same thing week after week. Pretty soon, all you see are weeds. They have taken over and you can’t keep up. Now, you’re overwhelmed with weeds and don’t even want to go outside so you can relax.
This is insanity.
We do things to address the problems we have in our life, but we don’t address the root of what is creating them. So, instead of pulling the root of the weed, we only pull off the parts we can see to manage things for a while. Pretty soon, under everything that might look nice temporarily is a matrix of roots ready to take everything out.
The self-sabotage are the weeds popping up when we don’t remove the roots. And, of course, they always pop up at the worst time. They pop up when we have something important going on. They pop up when we are ready to succeed at something. They pop up when our confidence is high. Basically, they are the things that keep you from achieving your goals. They are the negative thoughts, the self-criticism, the anxiety; the overwhelm that we all experience.
Okay, so you know you are guilty of self-sabotage. You know it won’t stop until you address the roots. But how do you find the roots? What are they? What will happen to your life when you pull up the matrix of weeds?
Locating the Roots
We really have no idea what is going on unless we can find the roots. This is where our A-H-A Solutions program comes in. This program helps you track the root based on evaluating the self-sabotaging behaviors (the leaves). We have developed twelve different types of roots, or attachments as they are called, that show themselves through a series of common behaviors. Using our self-assessment worksheet you will be able to pinpoint which attachment is hiding under the surface, waiting to mess you up.
Then, once the attachment is identified, we can come up with options. Do we keep doing things that will cause weeds to grow? Insanity. Or, do we make new choices that will kill the root, giving us with a nice garden to relax in?
In our A-H-A Solution program you will be able to see how others with your same attachments have made new choices and what their results have been. It’s really quite easy, when you have the right tools, to stop sabotaging yourself. Life is hard enough. Why make it harder when it doesn’t have to be?
For more information our A-H-A Solution program, click here.
Hope Bundrant is the director and co-founder of the iNLP Center. She has a BFA from the California State University of Fullerton and has completed postgraduate education at Harvard Business School. Hope is happily married to Mike Bundrant and manages their circus of teenage monkeys. If you have questions, please contact her at email@example.com.