What was the real reason for my self-sabotage? Surprisingly, it wasn’t what I thought.
Self-sabotage has been my word, my action, my struggle for months! I have been unmotivated to do much of anything regarding my business, and I couldn’t figure out why. Until now. There was a time when I would feel anxious if I went a day without posting on social media, but these days, I’ve gone up to 2 weeks without a single post!
And while thoughts were always in the back of my mind like – I’m letting my audience down because I’m not there for them, I’d lose followers, people will stop looking for me, I’ll mess up the social media algorithm and no one would see my posts – those reasons were never strong enough to motivate me to show up.
Why? What is it in me that is causing so much resistance to showing up to my passion and my business?
- Was it that I was dealing with my own “stuff”, and I didn’t feel qualified to help women? Yes, that’s part of it.
- Was it my fear of vulnerability and not wanting people all in my business? Yes.
- Was it my sense of overwhelm about posting on social media? Yes, that too.
- Was it my block of “there’s too many coaches/people doing the same thing for anyone to notice me?” Yup, guilty.
And I could go on and on about all the different reasons, but those were just the ‘little blocks’ feeding the ‘big block.’ So, what was the big block?
On a lazy Sunday morning, I decided it was time to figure it out the real reason for my self-sabotage. I was tired of not doing anything substantial, of being lonely, of watching tv, so I picked up the book “The Mountain Is You,” by Brianna Wiest. I had started it a few months ago but didn’t finish it. And instead of just reading the book straight through like I always do, I decided to journal simultaneously while reading it. Although it would take a while to get through the book, in this way, I could really correlate what I was feeling, to what I was reading.
And that’s when the magic happened. Within the first 5 pages, I figured out what my problem was!
I WAS KEEPING MYSELF SMALL
This may not seem like a big deal, because on some level, we all do this to ourselves. And to be honest, this wasn’t the first time I realized this. But it was the first time that I actually saw HOW my behaviors and the way that I structured my life, fed into this idea.
Don Miguel Ruiz tells us in his book, “The Seven Secrets to Healthy, Happy, Relationships,” or “The Four Agreements,” (I forgot which one) that we are either feeding the path of LOVE or the path of FEAR in our lives. And I was most certainly feeding FEAR.
Let me explain.
Over the past 3 years, my life has been turned upside down. You can read all the juicy details in my blog, The Realist Sh*t I Ever Wrote. My journey involves, miscarriages, divorce, job loss, separation from my son, new business, moving across country, and more! Sheesh, just looking back on all the emotional trauma shows me how far I have come!
Because of those experiences, I now realize how I unconsciously craved the safety and stability that I had lost. In the book, The Mountain Is You, Brianna tells us that self-sabotage is a coping mechanism, “a way we give ourselves what we need without having to actually address what that need is.” She says, “Self-sabotage is what happens when we refuse to consciously meet our innermost needs, often because we do not believe we are capable of handling them.”
So, what is my innermost need?
Before I get there, I want to highlight that this is the part where a lot of people, including myself, get stuck. We don’t understand that our behavior and actions are tied to a need within ourselves. Furthermore, we don’t even know what that need is!
I believe we are all here on this earth to complete a small piece of the huge puzzle called life. Everything is connected. We’re sent here with certain missions and talents that we cultivate and fulfill through our experiences. We have to do the inner work to be “woke” enough to this fact to actually learn what our experiences are telling us, and how it relates back to our mission. That is how we evolve.
My Innermost Need
Tony Robbins has a philosophy called the 6 Human Needs. The 6 Human needs are main fundamental internal drives that compel us forward to experience a life of meaning. Whatever our main need/drive is, it works to automatically unconsciously fulfill itself through our behaviors and our actions.
The 6 Human Needs are:
Not knowing or understanding what our true needs are can lead to negative patterns and self-sabotaging behaviors that we don’t know we’re doing, or even why we’re doing them. Which was true in my case.
And so, my true and main need is… SIGNIFICANCE! My close second is CONNECTION/LOVE.
Now, how does my realization and my innermost need play into my self-sabotage? Let me break it down.
Ever since I was a child, I have always been interested in the entertainment industry. I loved to dance, wear makeup and nice clothes, and model. Dancing was my thing, so I recorded music videos from various artists like Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, and Usher and learned all the choreography. I even had dreams of going on tour with Janet Jackson! That didn’t quite pan out, lol, but I did other stuff.
In middle school and high school, I was on the pom squad, cheerleading, and dance teams. In college, I cheered in the NFL as a Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader, and I also did photoshoots with various local photographers. But as I progressed in life, my fears took over. And when my scar developed, my dreams of fulfilling my true need of ‘significance’ was thrown out the window.
I could no longer fulfill that need because I didn’t feel significant anymore. My scar made me different and insecure. I wasn’t as confident as I once was. So, what did I do? The opposite. I closed.
I made myself smaller/insignificant.
Self-sabotage is what happens when we refuse to consciously meet our innermost needs, often because we do not believe we are capable of handling them.Brianna Wiest, The Mountain Is You
And there it is. I now understood how and why I structured my current reality to keep myself small. It was a coping mechanism to deal with the fact that I couldn’t meet my desire to be significant, so I numbed it by:
- Keeping people in my life that reinforced my smallness. HUGE realization!
- Keeping outdated beliefs about who I was and how I should be to reinforce my smallness.
- My lack of motivation; I didn’t want to do anything or take risks out of fear of upsetting my need to feel small.
- Staying in my comfort zone.
- Not socializing and networking for fear of letting people into my “small” world, or letting me out of it.
And those are just a few behaviors. Now that I have this awareness, the real work begins to fulfill my need.
“If you were aware of the real issue, you could begin working to resolve it, perhaps by identifying the ways you are giving up your power or being too passive.” Brianna Wiest
Now that I am aware of the real reason for my self-sabotage, instead of using my energy (and the energy of others) to keep me small, how can I re-purpose my energy to become BIG and meet my innermost desire of being significant?
That is my work going forward.
It involves overcoming my fears, letting go of people, things, judgments, and behaviors that no longer serve me. Also, building relationships to help cultivate this need.
Most importantly, becoming big is about unleashing the beautiful, amazing, talented and true ME that I was created on this earth to be!
Self-sabotage is actually a clue, or sign, that there is something harboring underneath that demands attention. I want you to know that you have everything you need right now to begin the process to understand what that is. And, you have the ability to meet whatever the need is that shows up for you.
If you need help figuring it all out, my Scarlight Coaching Program, Preparing For Love is open to assist! I would love to work with you!
As for me, the work continues! My new affirmations are:
I will not make myself smaller.
I embrace my full power.
How does self-sabotage show up for you?