Saturday, October 2, 2010

Self Sabotage

Hi Everyone, Happy Saturday. I was thinking about this today as I sit and keep looking at my application for a Master's Degree program. I have to submit it by November, yet for the past two weeks every time I go to fill it out I feel like I freeze in fear. Why, I think I am afraid of succeeding, I thought I had already succeeded when I got my bachelors degree, but that has been a disappointment as far as finding a career or any job that pays enough to pay back my student loans, never mind being self supportive. So I think I have become too comfortable with failure, because I have been there, done that, so many times. Right now it would just be so much easier for me to stay on failures path. "Why try" is how I feel some days to be honest. Because of my last self sabotage act, I can't even drive until next summer. It's only October and some days I feel I could just go insane, feeling so trapped. I still have to go away for two weeks in November to some DUI program after already doing 27 days away, and to boot it's not local like I thought, no, I have to go all the way to the next state practically, which is about a two hour drive from where I live. The best part is they let you pay for it, ya, no insurance coverage, it's more a program than a rehab. Sure, I think, that payment of $1000.00 should be no problem, that along with the probation fees of about $2000.00 dollars should be a piece of cake for me to pay with no job and no more unemployment. And there are some other things I have to do, but my mind is being kind right now, can't remember what they are LOL! I refuse to pay for any of this with my husbands money, it was my mistake, no one to blame but me, so I will pay for it one way or another. I just hope the orange vest you wear to do community service looks good on me LOL! (Guess I'm not to far gone, I can still joke) So as you can read this is a BIG part of my ongoing recovery, which is now up to 3 months and two weeks, Thank you very much :) I have to get to the root of why I have done some of the things I have to myself in the past time and time again. And I will with the help of my counselor. Otherwise as they say, your doomed to repeat the past. Sad but true. For the first time the other day she told me she was worried about me with all I was going through with my mother, my mother in law and the other losses in my life. She knew it was to much for anyone to handle. She was waiting in a way for me to just break I guess. I thought by telling her I could handle everything and I was ok, I was really trying to convince myself along with her. Becoming aware that self sabotage is a pattern in your life is the major break through you need to begin down a new path. Now that I am aware of it in my life I think I'm done with this behavior, "I'm All Good" as they say. And on the days I hear and feel that "Why Try" and I will hear and feel this often I'm sure, I will keep trying. I'll fill out the application and get it in on time. I have to stay strong for my family. No room for self pity, I've worked hard on not having pity parties since my twenties, it never changes anything anyway, and you will get stuck in the victim role. It was hard for me to share this but I just want to share my life experiences and what I am learning, in hopes that I give someone out there some insight to why things in their life just keep not working out for them, and not to feel alone like I do some days.
Have a great day,
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Love ya,
Janet :)


Over the years I've worked with many clients who have reached a point where they feel they can go no further in their careers or in life in general. They feel completely stuck. It's only when they look more closely that they come to realise that what stands in their way is their own inclination to sabotage success.

Most of the ways that we self sabotage are unconscious. The characteristics that come into play are those that Carl Jung referred to when he spoke of our 'shadow'. All of us have degrees of every personality trait possible - some we are comfortable to own, others we're not. Our shadow includes both the parts of ourselves that we disown (and generally dislike in others) as well as those that we admire in others (but are too modest to claim for ourselves). Simply put, Jung's philosophy is that in order to grow we must confront our shadow and begin to embrace and make peace with all of our character traits.

This process requires courage and commitment and is often best accompanied by working with a professional but you can begin on your own. Start by paying attention to the styles of self sabotage you favour. Once you become aware of these otherwise unconscious thoughts, you have the opportunity to challenge them with your inner dialogue.

This method of self sabotage is pretty self explanatory. You believe that your circumstances are not your fault. Whilst it's possible that there is some degree of truth in this, blaming leaves you feeling powerless. Blaming often goes hand in hand with a 'victim' mentality which is equally disempowering. Ultimately, you are the only person who has the ability to change your situation. When you begin to take responsibility, you feel better about yourself and more in control of your life.
Likely self talk: 'I can't help it'; 'It's their fault'; 'Things are just really hard for me'.

How many times do you repeatedly put off an unpleasant task? The most common are doing your tax, tidying your desk/wardrobe/garage, getting your finances in order, starting an exercise program or a healthy eating regime. Procrastination is a very popular method of self sabotage.
Likely self talk: 'I don't have the time'; 'I'm too tired'; 'The time isn't right'.

Over Committing/Overwhelm
Many people over commit themselves. They say yes to everything and then find themselves feeling completely overwhelmed (and quite often resentful). This method of self sabotage often helps you to avoid your 'real' goals (the ones that would bring you the most fulfilment if you were brave enough to pursue them) by distracting you with a range of incidental activities.
Likely self talk: 'They need me - I can't say no'; 'I'm the only one who will do the job well'; 'I just like to stay busy'.

Lack of Self Belief
This is quite possibly the most popular method of all. Like all others, it is also a self fulfilling prophecy. The less you believe in yourself, the less likely you are to take on new challenges and the more likely you are to believe you are unworthy of great things.
Likely self talk: 'I'm not good enough'; 'No one will want me'; 'I'm too tall; too short; too heavy; too unattractive; not interesting or not smart enough'.

Unclear Goals/Lack of Direction
This is a difficult area to tackle as it generally presents as an overall sense of confusion. Not being clear about what you want in life is often connected to not wanting to make the wrong choices.
Likely self talk: 'I don't know what I want'; 'Nothing interests me'; 'What if I get it wrong?'.

With all of the above methods of self sabotage, the first step is to notice your dominant style. Most of us use more than one so begin by just becoming aware of your self talk. If you feel ready to challenge that thinking, find a way to reframe your original thought, for example 'I'm not good enough' could become 'I'm as good as I need to be to give this a go'
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  1. Janet, I too know the pains of going to a DUI school. And I did my community service at my local YMCA. It was okay. But the shame of getting into a wreck while intoxicated stuck with me for years. Now when I can think of it and just shake my head at myself. We all mess up and you are soo not alone. Thanks for the great post.

  2. Thank you so so much In the Pink, That's just what I needed to hear, that I'm not alone. My hubby keeps reminding me too that some day it will just be a distant memory. Your comments always make my day,
    Have a great day
    Janet :)