Why we sabotage ourselves in the worst ways

Lombok 2018

Back then, I thought you needed to have a grandiose purpose in life before experiencing the urge to sabotage yourself due to the immensity of your dreams. Admittedly, this makes it seem equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot while participating in a marathon. Instead, just as I had discovered for myself, we often do it in smaller, more subtle ways. The beginning of self-sabotaging is more like flicking rocks at your feet while training for a marathon. So, why do we do it?

There really isn’t any warning given when we start to sabotage ourself. We might notice, however, the tiny excuses we slip in every few times in a day to escape doing work.

Having struggled with anxiety myself, I have come to identify with reasons to sabotage one’s self. It can stem from your lack of confidence in your own capabilities, negative past experiences, perceived lack of self-worth or of possible failure and the unpredictability of a success or happiness.

And I have come to suspect the one thing that ties them all together: Fear. Eventually, your refusal to accept the reality of your fears will hurt you.

It’s not the lack of confidence in yourself that stops you from progressing, it’s the fear of others finding out that you are a ‘fraud.’ Perhaps even worse, it’s the fear of discovering that you may not have what it takes.

Likewise, it’s the fear of the consequences of disturbing the balance of good karma from tipping the scales to your favor when it feels like ‘you’re not worth it’ in the first place. It doesn’t help that having bad experiences in the past may aggravate and seemingly justify your fears. So instead, you try to orchestrate your failure rather than find out what new challenges success might bring.

By doing so, you might be avoiding a long term commitment to a purpose that might prove to be more painful to leave than having to start at all. All of these are terrifying and just as paralyzing. This is when you begin a slow descend to a pit of self-defeat before tumbling down to more self-destructing ways to embody your own failures.

Thus, recognizing and reeling in your fears to reasonably sizable chunks becomes crucial in maintaining a steady pace to your path of self-fulfillment. That is assuming that there are no actual tangible obstacles blocking you from your goals and your fear is the only thing hindering you, then striving to build fortitude might help.

In my experience, that is easier said than done. Yet, from observation of others, it is a feat not impossible. It starts with being honest with those around you when you need help. More importantly it starts with being honest with yourself.

“What do you fear the most?”

No, scrap that.

A good friend once asked me, what’s the worst that can happen if your fears are to become true? Maybe if you start asking yourself questions from a different angle things will look less scary. You might even start trying new things again or start pursuing your dreams which you have been putting on hold.

Perhaps, in time you will slowly learn to trust yourself again, even just to the point when you stop sabotaging yourself. And when you are ready, have the courage to sore high again. #

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