Yesterday, as I was walking the dog, I finally understood what it feels like to self-sabotage.
I’ve heard that term thrown around a ton in books, lectures and in talking with other coaches, but I was always convinced I never did that. Sure, I stand in my own way sometimes, but self-sabotage? That definitely wasn’t me.
Nope. So not.
During my walk last night I was thinking to myself, “Things are actually going pretty well right now.” I’ve been coaching some amazing women (who are having some killer results), I’ve kept my anxiety on the lower side the past few weeks, the dog seems happier…. Shit, things are looking up!
And then, it hit me.
Literally out of nowhere feelings of dread, anxiety, fear, and an overwhelming sense of ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ hit me like a ton of bricks. I went from feeling peaceful and happy to suddenly worrying that everything was going to be terrible, and nothing will work out, and clearly something awful is going to happen.
That is some fucked up shit, and I know I’m not alone in this feeling. And the scary part for me is… I’m sure I’ve been doing this for years, but I didn’t realized till JUST now!
In a way, I’m not allowing myself to feel good. I don’t believe I deserve to feel good, or I don’t deserve to have good things happen to me. By fearing the future and convincing myself that things will go to hell, I’m not trusting in myself or the universe to handle things.
And I KNOW that I can handle things, and the universe can handle things.
This happens in all different ways for all different people. For some, it manifests as “I’ve been eating really well and treating my body right…. But I don’t deserve to feel good so imma down a box of oreos” or“I’m feeling really good about a situation but my mind is now going to be FULL of all the possible horrible outcomes and oh hey let’s show them on replay for the next 2 days.”
We deserve better than this.
What to do about it:
Ok, so we know self-sabotage sucks (and is literally the opposite of self-care and self-love), so what do we do about it?
1. The first step is just noticing. If you’re anything like me, you may have gone years without realizing you were even doing this! By first identifying when this is happening, we can start to take action. Try to catch yourself in the moment, when your brain tells you “Things can’t be this good.”
2. Once you have that moment, you can kick the self-love up a notch. My first step is to say to myself “I deserve to feel good” or “I love and approve of myself and I trust the process of life.” These are my two favorite affirmations, and when I feel anxiety creeping in, I tend to repeat them to myself for at least few minutes.
3. Then, I practice some deep breathing to take the edge off. My favorite is the 4-7-8 Breath. ((Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7, breathe out through your mouth for 8 counts)) I do this 4-6 times to help re-set my parasympathetic nervous system.
4. If I’m at home and able to, I love to practice some tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) around whatever the issue is. To use EFT, you use the tips of your fingers to lightly tap on different meridian points on your head, shoulders and chest, while affirming, “Even thought I have this problem (Fill in the blank with your issue), I love and accept myself.”
Want to give it a try? Watch this quick video by Jessica Ortner for a primer on the points.
5. And then, finally, I journal that shit out. Sometimes I really resist journaling, but that’s usually when I need it the most. Getting it out of my head and onto paper helps me process things a little more, so it’s not just swirling around in an anxious jumble in my head.
All right you fabulous babes – talk to me. Do you experience self-sabotage? Yes? No? Have you never thought about it before? What do you do when it creeps in? Leave me a comment below!