You know what picture I should’ve put up for this post, about self-sabotage? My picture. Because I’m the poster-child for self-sabotage.
I’m truly an ace when it comes to sabotaging myself.
I had this great story I wanted to write about. I sabotaged myself last week, crushing my productivity (not to mention my mood) in this self-sabotage that I fell into, having to do with my daughter and my husband, when he asked me, why does our daughter like me so much better than she likes you? And with that, the self-sabotage began. There’s way more to the story, and I got myself out of it. But I’m not going to write about it.
Because, after I pulled myself out of that self-sabotaging spin cycle, I did it again. Two days later. I found another even better story from my life. I was talking to my friend, Pam, about yoga coaching. I caught myself saying I’m just not a natural [yoga coach] like she is. That thought is incredibly sabotaging. I got myself out if, again. I’m not going to write about that story, either.
Because just this morning, I sabotaged myself again (which I’ll tell you about in a second). In each instance, the same thing happened.
In each instance, the real saboteur isn’t me. I take the action, yes. But the real problem is that I’m believing my own mind without question.
When I say “sabotage,” this is what I mean:
undermining a cause, or an underhanded interference
And self-sabotage is really underhanded. It’s incredibly sneaking. This third example perfectly exhibits how something can look nice, but it is not nice. It’s self-sabotage.
Here’s what happened: I’m changing Yoga Fire’s physical location, and I completely attempted yet another sabotage of my space-changing endeavors. I had myself convinced that I needed to teach Yoga Fire in very specific kind of physical space. A specific size. A specific feel. Something really special. Something really different, since my class is a very unique experience, the space must support that, I believe.
I knew that my space was already out there, waiting for me. Well… did I “know”? No. I believed. I hoped. The first person I spoke this hope to said: I have a space you can use. My first thought? “It sounds like it might be too small.”
That one thought = self-sabotage. Because, in front of me, there is a studio space that’s gorgeous and special. And, so what if we fill it up? That sounds cozy. My mind to sabotages this opportunity with one thought, that pretends like it’s something good for me.
Instead, I stopped the self-sabotage. Sort of.
I spent an entire day looking for space and a night thinking about this before I realized that I was sabotaging myself, again.
I have a hunch that you sabotage yourself somewhere in your life. In fact, I am certain of it. Here’s how you find out if you are: think about what you want:
- get healthy physically?
- get healthy financially?
- find love?
- lose weight?
- change careers?
- find a career?
And think of one reason that you don’t have what you want, exactly as you want it, right now. Now, I am guessing you really believe this reason. And this next part may piss you off, but guess what? That reason is just a sentence with words in it. It is a thought, that you believe. Your belief in that thought is your sabotage. It is your belief that leads to the actions you take – or, don’t take. The belief needs loosening for your actions to change. Try to just change the actions? This is probably what you’ve been doing. And how is that working out for you?
QUESTIONING YOUR SELF-SABATOGING THOUGHT: Run your belief through the model, called THE WORK, to pull out of your own self-sabotage.
- Is it true? (Yes or no.)
- Can I absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
- How do I react when I believe that thought? (E.g., I keep looking for space, and not finding it. I feel frustrated. I feel sad. I imagine that I’m in the wrong career. I imagine that what I’m doing is unimportant. I feel complete shame.)
- Who would you be without that thought? (E.g., I would be a woman who is not looking for space. I would be a woman who found space. I would not imagine I’m doing unimportant work, in the wrong career. I would not feel shame or sadness.)
Then, we find a thought that is more true using the words from the original thought.
The result of mental flexibility.
Because, in reality, a smaller studio is perfect for me. I love packing out a space. Plus, I’m 3 weeks into a business that I plan to continue for the rest of my life. I’m barely at Point A – let alone approaching Point C. I’m just beginning to get to know my in-real-life students. And, by the way, I have in-real-life students, already, which is a miracle and a blessing. My studio isn’t even that small. It is just smaller than the idea I had. That idea was never real.
Take it from someone who’s an expert on sabotaging herself. The obstacle keeping you from what you want (what’s sabotaging you) is something very simple: a belief that is no longer serving you.
And you can let it go.