One of the most bizarre aspects of being human is our tendency toward self-sabotage. I see it in my life and in my coaching practice. Just when things start going well, just as we’re about to achieve a goal or make a positive change in our lives, we do something to screw it up!
There are a million examples:
- We’ve kicked some habit and then fall off the wagon.
- We’ve had a romantic weekend with our partner and then get into an argument.
- We’ve reached our goal weight, then gain 15 pounds over the holidays.
- We get violently ill on the eve of vacation.
- We’re feeling happy and then attract another partner who’s distant, mean or addicted.
- We’re shooting our best round of golf and then make a mess of the last few holes.
- We get in a car accident on the way to a promising job interview.
The list could go on and on.
One of my mentors, Dr. Gay Hendricks, calls this bizarre dynamic the Upper Limit Problem in his book, The Big Leap. Others call it the fear of success. No matter what you call it, everyone has experienced self-sabotaging behavior, to one extent or another.
Self-sabotage made no sense to me until I recognized it was based on the faulty assumption that we human beings actually loved ourselves!
If we loved ourselves, why would we, consciously or unconsciously, harm ourselves or limit our joy and success? Well, we wouldn’t. Self-sabotage and self-love are incongruent.
But self-sabotage is congruent with the belief that we are deficient, unlovable or undeserving in some way. Then it makes sense. Understand this: We always act, create, manifest and even attract in accordance with who we believe ourselves to be.
It’s not so much that we sabotage our lives as much as we realign our lives with our perceived identity.
In other words, we’re not harming ourselves, we’re returning home. Life is a mirror, always reflecting who we believe ourselves to be. And when it doesn’t, we’ll screw things up so that it does.
Think of it this way. If we believe we’re unlovable, would we ever experience healthy intimacy? Not possible.
If we believe we’re undeserving, would we ever allow abundance into our lives? Not a chance. It doesn’t fit who we think we are.
If we want to let go of the Upper Limit Problem, if we want to release self-sabotaging behavior and allow joy, love, well-being and success to flow in and through our lives, then we have to look directly at who we believe ourselves to be.
We have to confront what are called “core stories of deficiency.”
Though we’re often unaware of their existence, a core story of deficiency is an identity, a self-definition, an “I am this” or “I am that” belief.
Some of the more common ones are “I am not good enough,” “I am unlovable,” “I am unworthy,” “I am powerless,” “I am undeserving,” and so on. They’re your personal story of how you’re deficient, inadequate or incomplete in some way.
It’s these core stories of deficiency that cause our relationship drama and pain. It’s these core stories that are responsible for our addictions and compulsions. It’s these core stories that are behind the emotional dis-ease with which most of us live. And it’s these core stories that are responsible for how we self-sabotage our success or our well-being. They must be dealt with if we want intimacy, inner harmony and outward success.
The best tool I’ve ever come across that can dissolve these core stories of deficiency and stop all the self-sabotaging behavior they create, is called, The Living Inquiries, developed by spiritual teacher Scott Kiloby.
Living Inquiry coaching sessions are gentle conversations where we look for the person we’re convinced we are. As odd as that sounds, when we look directly at these stories, who we believe ourselves to be, we find they’re empty, unfindable, and therefore, powerless.
I strongly encourage you to consider a coaching session like this. I’m a certified facilitator of The Living Inquiries, having been directly trained by Scott Kiloby.
However, I’ve also created an entire eCourse that explains how The Living Inquiries work and how to use them in your life.
The benefit of the eCourse is that’s it’s much less expensive than one-on-one coaching.
Here is a link to a short preview video explaining what the eCourse is all about and how to get it:
End self-sabotaging patterns in your life. You’ve been stuck too long. You deserve happiness, well-being and success. You don’t have to be imprisoned by an addiction, a poor self-image or a fear of success. Positive life change is right at your fingertips.