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How Do You Self-Sabotage?
It amazes me how I still sabotage my efforts after all these years. What does that sabotage look like?

Let’s start with the definition of sabotage: 1) Any underhand interference with production, w ork, etc.; 2) An act or process tending to hamper or hurt.

Why anybody would deliberately interfere with his or her production or work, or want to hurt himself or herself makes no sense. Here’s the thing – usually sabotage is not consciously deliberate. It hides sneakily under the surface of your subconscious waiting for the right moment to rear its ugly head, without you even being aware of it.

Here’s how I experienced it the other day…
My phone rings and I see the name of one of the managing partners where I am a consultant staring me in the face. Immediately my mind goes to, “What did I do wrong? Why else would he be calling me?” I hesitantly answer the phone, already on the ready to defend myself. He tells me that he had drinks with the client last night and had some feedback to share with me. My heart starts to beat faster and my mind gets louder with, “Uh oh, here it comes.”

He proceeds to tell me that the client was very pleased with my work and he just wanted to share that feedback with me, and thank me for my hard work. My mind thinks, “Oh. There has to be a “but” coming. They always say something nice before dropping the bomb.”

The bomb never came. In fact, I continued to receive positive feedback in the form of an offer for another project, and he would even bend the rules to use me (a consultant) instead of an available full-time employee. All good stuff right? So why did I feel insecure, self-doubting, waiting for the other shoe to drop when I hung up the phone? My feelings were not matching up with the stimulus that I just received. We all know that feeling don’t we? When you should feel happy about something that just happened but don’t for some reason?

SELF-SABOTAGE at it’s finest. In that moment, I realized how I still struggle with receiving praise and acknowledgement. How I struggle with believing that I do great work that other people see and recognize. My subconscious was discounting and discrediting the positive feedback I was plainly getting from my boss. Wow, wow, wow. The power of the subconscious mind!

Thankfully, I was able to recognize my self-sabotage monster whispering familiar defeating thoughts in my ear after all my years of working with coaches, I was able to stop it in its tracks. I said to myself, “Wait a minute. I just received GREAT feedback and I am shrinking my accomplishments by not owning up to what I achieved to garner the feedback? How messed up is that? No. I will not accept it or allow it!”

Instead I took a few moments to acknowledge myself as the competent, intelligent, accomplished woman that I am. I have a proven history of skillful work and admirable results. I chose to empower myself and it felt incredible. My feelings of insecurity and self-doubt were replaced with confidence and self-love.

So stop and ponder for a moment about where you might be sabotaging yourself? What area of your life could you experience differently or produce better results? Keep an eye out for your sneaky self-sabotage monster and put it back in its cage because that is where it belongs.

May Paolim, Life Coach for Moms
SASSY Empowerment Dynamics, LLC
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