I have been putting off writing my first post for a few days. Even now I am struggling to sit down and type. Yesterday I promised myself that I would and ended up chatting on the phone with one of my girlfriends for 3 hours about bridesmaid dresses. Seriously…what am I doing? So when a post was not written I began to go into panic mode. The first thought that came to my mind was to email my life coach. I sent her a string of panicky emails all titled HELP! The woman must have thought I was a total nut job. Finally, as I got around to sending her the third email a light bulb went off in my head:
I AM A SELF SABOTOGER. I AM SABOTAGING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW AS WE SPEAK.
If there is a group called Self Sabotagers Anonymous I would be the president. Isn’t the first rule to admit you have a problem? Saying those words out loud felt like a relief. I kept repeating them over and over again.
I started thinking about the different ways I self sabotage…
I self sabotage in my own career. Every time I feel excited and confident about my career the thoughts start popping into my head; “You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. This will never work. You’re absolutely insane for thinking this adventure of yours is going to be successful…”. On and on like a record on repeat. Then, I shut down and I DON’T DO ANYTHING. Guilt ensues and the excuses and procrastination begin.
I self sabotage my health. Every time I’m in a healthy routine, eating right, exercising regularly and feeling really good about how I fit in my jeans, what do I do? Stuff my face with slice after slice of pizza until I put all the weight back on that I worked so hard to lose. Then I wake up feeling like crap and the guilt and shame set in.
I self sabotage in my finances. Every time I get my finances in order and am on the right track, paying off credit cards and saving, what is the first thing I do? Go shopping, of course! Target here I come. (Because God knows I love Target and can’t leave that place without spending at least $100)! The video below describes me to a T. Then, I feel guilty and shameful that I spent money that I know could be going to other, more important things.
And last, but most importantly, in my relationships I could be considered a “self sabotagaholic”. My birthday is coming up and Justin is taking me away. He surprises me every year with where we’re going. Before he even got the words out, I knew I was going to sabotage this. He showed me a picture of the house where we are going to stay and before I could even stop myself, I was naming all of the things that were wrong with what he had planned. As soon as I was done, I felt horrible. What was I doing??? The poor guy went through all this trouble to plan something nice for me and all I could do was be a total bitch. This of course led to an argument that left me feeling guilty and shameful.
It needs to stop. I need an intervention. The look on his face alone was enough to make me want to crawl into a hole and not resurface for an eternity. The first question I need answered is why do I keep doing this? The second question is how do I make it stop?
As I spoke with Wendy, my intervenionist/life coach, I discovered an underlying thought that seems to be plaguing all areas of my life and is a catalyst for the self sabotage:
I’M NOT WORTH IT.
Ouch. That hurts to even write, but it’s true. This is what I have been telling myself for decades. Out of all of the beliefs that I have, this one seems to be at the epicenter. I know where it stems from and how it arrived but, I thought I had it under control. Apparently not, and now it has seeped into every corner of my life.
Well, the why was easier than I thought it would be to figure out. The harder part of this equation is how do I make it stop?
Once you have identified what the MOST painful thought is, the next step is to reprogram the thought. What do I mean by this? We all have negative thoughts and beliefs that stem from different circumstances in our lives. They are the thoughts that we tell ourselves over and over and over again until we start to believe them. The bad news is that we have been telling ourselves these things since we were kids and we actually BELIEVE THEM TO BE TRUE. The good news is that it doesn’t take 30 years to undo the tangled web we wove.
So, for example, I turned my negative thought “I’m not worth it” into “I am most definitely worth it.” Whether you believe a negative or positive thought, the process is the same. Your brain looks for evidence to PROVE that thought. Up until this point, my brain has been tirelessly searching for ways to prove to me that “I’m not worth it” hence the self sabotage. But now, whenever that thought pops into my mind I will replace it with “I am most definitely worth it.” Now, my brain has no choice but to seek evidence of why this is ABSOLUTELY TRUE.
We can choose to believe whichever thought we want. Do we want to feel like crap or do we want to feel good? It’s always our choice. It sounds simple, but it isn’t always easy. Wendy reassured me that it takes practice and repetition. Give it a try to see if it works for you.