Self-sabotage or self-liberation?

Self-sabotage or self-liberation?

Hello friends! It’s Carrie from New to Consulting. I help driven professional women escape their 9-5 and start their own consulting businesses.

Today it’s on my heart to talk about something that I know has impacted me in the past and has also impacted my clients. I want to talk about self-sabotage…but I also have a twist for you…what if you’re sabotaging your shadow self so that you’re real self can shine through?  

Confused? Don’t worry…it will become clear in a minute.

I think we’ve all experienced self-sabotage. That’s when you do things directly opposed to your felt goals. For example, I decide to eat healthy and abstain from sugar and flour AND THEN I also decide to bake some cookies with my kids for a fun activity, and rationalize that 4 cookies worth of ‘tastes’ won’t hurt anything.

OR…I indulge in my drug of choice – the one that always reduces my financial anxiety – and apply for JOBS (shudder). Then, when I get an interview, I spend the first 10 minutes babbling on about my newborn twins and my two-year old. Even though I’m applying for HR jobs. (Note: I have declared victory over this drug at the time of this writing, thank you).

OR…I launch a FB campaign to share news about my new online course AND at the same time get in multiple heated FB fights for the first time in my LIFE.

Can you spot the sabotage?

I’m no stranger to this subject, and I’m blessed with pretty good self-awareness after years of working on it and having some amazing mentors.

So here are some underlying core beliefs that are almost always acting when someone is self-sabotaging:

  • If I’m too successful, someone might get mad and be mean to me.
  • I’m not good enough/smart enough/pretty enough/thin enough to have nice things.
  • Only greedy selfish people want to be wildly successful.
  • The price of success is too high. If this actually works, I’ll suffer in some other area of my life.
  • Only a very few people in life can achieve their dreams. For the rest of us, mediocrity is our fate, and fighting against it just causes our hopes to rise and the pain of them falling might make me die.

Okay, maybe that last one is bit dramatically stated, but these fears do come from our primitive brains so it really does feel like life and death.

Our brains are tricky, and our subconscious works at the speed of light to make sure our reality is exactly aligned with our beliefs. Given this, it makes any decision and action to create real change all the more occasion for celebration.

I’d like to invite you to think about whether there are areas in your life where you might be sabotaging yourself.

Now, I told you there was a spin, and here it is.

I have found in my own life and in my clients that sometimes we unconsciously sabotage the path we’re on so that we’re forced to make a change we’re too scared to make otherwise. I LOVE this, because without it I’d probably still be exactly where I was 20 years ago.

In the above example, I was the person saying things in interviews that after the fact I couldn’t BELIEVE. I swear, it was almost like someone had taken over my body. WHY would I talk about TWIN BABIES in an INTERVIEW? Yes, I knew better. No, I didn’t plan it, and it actually seemed very reasonable and appropriate at the time.

30 minutes later, I was beating myself up for my stupidity, and thinking I needed to go back to therapy since I was clearly still self-destructive and needed an intervention before I started dating bad boys again.

But you know what? This was not self-destructive at all. Looking back now, I can see that my instincts were fully functional and my self-conscious was helping preserve my dream and my true desires.

I didn’t want to get a job, I wanted to consult. I just felt like the responsible thing to do was get a job, even though it was the last thing I really wanted. So I did the ‘right’ thing, but subconsciously arranged things so that I was ‘free’ to pursue what I knew deep down was right for me.

I’m SO GRATEFUL I didn’t get those jobs.

Now, for you who are reading this…if you’ve found areas where you’re ‘sabotaging’ yourself, I invite you to take another look.

Are you really sabotaging something you don’t want in order to free yourself up for something you truly need and crave in your life?

I’d love to hear your story!

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