Our shadow self (which we are exploring this month) shows up in many ways. It wants to protect us and keep us safe, so it sabotages us or shows up as resistance, to protect us from experiencing newness or unknown situations.
Self-sabotage is when we actively or passively take steps to prevent ourselves from attaining one of our goals or stop ourselves from following through on our values.
Do you ever wonder why, despite all the hard work and extra hours you put into your career, you are earning less than you want, you’re not receiving grants that you deserve and you’re not being seen and heard like everyone else?
You are not alone.
“I deserve more recognition”. This is a very common statement that people make and many others ask: Why do I never get anywhere when I work so hard and do all the right things?
HARSH TRUTH COMING:
It is a well-known fact that people want their lives to change but they will not engage in actions or long-term behaviours to gain that change. They want to be recognised and respected for their worth, yet they are so busy bending and morphing to external expectations to ‘look good’ that they lose their own authentic self.
Human beings have a ‘psychological safety switch’ that jumps in when things get tough. This safety switch is also known as self-sabotage. It wants to keep us safe. It wants to decrease the times of experiencing pain. It wants to lessen the uncomfortable feelings. It wants to make sure we don’t look silly in-front of others. It wants to keep the brave face on.
Our psychological safety switch is the component we must take control of, if we want to grow and develop and accomplish greatness in life.
What Does Self-Sabotage Commonly Look Like?
Lack of self-worth.
When we don’t believe in ourselves, we won’t achieve our goals. When we repetitively tell ourselves that we aren’t clever enough, qualified enough, or good enough to have what we want, then we will act, think and be that way!
Fear of success.
When we get used to, become comfortable with or identify as ‘the person who works hard but never gets that thing’, we get used to this role, and all our actions that follow, hold us back to keep us safe. Safe enough to not be placed in a situation that allows us to experience success.
Claim of perfectionism or procrastination.
When we claim that we are a perfectionist or that we constantly procrastinate, we are allowing self-sabotage to win. You may hear yourself say ‘But it’s not perfect so I can’t…’; or ‘I always wait till the last minute before I get my act together’. When we delay doing something because it is not perfect yet, or we haven’t even started it yet, both are excuses we use to delay following through on our values and goals.
When we consistently turn up late to meetings or social events and make the excuse that ‘oh well that’s just me’. This behaviour is often because we lack the confidence to be close with people, so we show up late. We also turn up late because we are not making ourselves a priority and do not value
Self-sabotage can be confronting, however when we embrace the whole of our shadow-self with acceptance (read last week’s blog if you missed it), then we can develop positive, expedient behaviours that will keep us on track to follow through with actions aligned with our values and accomplish our goals.