I’ve had a number of my clients and students recently ask me what’s behind their self sabotaging behavior, when they have set an intention to achieve a goal, and yet their actions, behaviors, and, ultimately, their choices, keep them from successfully achieving that goal. My objective in this blog post is to highlight what is at root cause for self-sabotaging behavior. In a follow on blog post, I’ll discuss a process for overcoming that self-sabotaging behavior.
Let’s take a look at what self-sabotage is really about. In short, self-sabotage is a self-fulfilling death wish. It is a death of your dreams, goals and aspirations. To understand any behavior, you must identify the root cause driving that behavior. In the case of self-sabotage, the root causes are generally associated with low self-esteem, low self-worth, low self-confidence and a weak or non-existent belief in your ability to truly succeed at achieving your goal. In short, your self-image is not congruent with achieving your goal. Your self-image is the composite of your beliefs about yourself relative to your goal. These beliefs are often buried in the deeper recesses of your subconscious-mind.
Self-sabotage is basically a mental game of tug and war. It is a war between your conscious-mind, the mind that says it wants the end reward of the achieved goal, and your subconscious-mind, the mind that holds all your stored beliefs about yourself in regard to your goal. Until and unless you get your conscious and subconscious minds in alignment and congruent with each other, the subconscious mind will always win out over time.
You may be able to exert a certain amount of “will power” driven by your conscious-mind for a while, but it won’t be long before your subconscious-mind reveals your true beliefs and associated feelings, and it will take the driver’s seat of your choices and actions as evidenced by your self-sabotaging behavior.
Again, the key to eliminating self-sabotaging behavior is to make sure your conscious and subconscious minds are in harmony with each other.
So, how do you begin to overcome self-sabotaging behavior?
First, you must look at your behaviors and notice where you are not congruent in what you say you want and where your choices, actions and behavior tell another story. You must become aware of your incongruent behaviors and how they are undermining your goal. You may be able to lie to others, but, in truth, you can never really lie to yourself because your behaviors will always reveal the truth where a stated goal is concerned.
Let’s look at an example:
John says that building his private lending business is his top priority, and he wants to create $10,000 a month in passive income in his first 12 months of launching his business. Yet, after three months, he continues to work 80 hours a week at his job only putting in 5 hours a week to focus on building his new private lending business. He knows the job will never provide him and his family the financial freedom that $10,000 a month passive income would create, but he continues to make choices that promote the hard working employee earning the month-to-month paycheck rather than making different choices in the use of his time, energy, focus and resources to get his business launched and making money for him. In this example, John’s self-image is one of a dedicated, hard working employee, one dependent on his job’s paycheck. His opportunity is to change his self-image to that of a highly successful entrepreneur with a thriving and profitable private lending business.
Right now there is a real disconnect between what John says he wants and what his actions and behavior reveal about him and the truth?
Until John does the work to change his self-image to one that supports his passive income goal, he will continue to act out in ways to promote and maintain his current self-image. His subconscious-mind will find all kinds of reasons to continue working long hours on the job and to procrastinate on the critical actions required to get his private lending business off the ground and making money; therefore, he will continue to perpetuate the self-sabotaging behavior that will prevent him from ever realizing his passive income goal and failing to ever create the lifestyle he says he so strongly desires.
In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how the mind works and how you can begin the process of creating a new self-image, one that is consistent with a goal that you set as you create congruent and harmonious alignment between your conscious and subconscious minds.