Why We Self Sabotage

Why We Self Sabotage

Do you ever feel like you get in your own way?  Or that you have your foot on the brakes and the accelerator at the same time?  Are you working towards a sensible goal but constantly doing seemingly unsensible things to stop you achieving it?

It can be very frustrating.

Imagine:  you want to get to healthy BMI weight, but you keep eating the cakes and the chips and the crisps.  Oh and the wine too.

Or you want to up your game in the career stakes, but you turn down the promotion.

Or you want to improve your relationship with your partner but take every opportunity to put them straight about their short-comings, like some kind of reflex.

Or your drinking has got out of hand and you have decided to stop.  But today was really difficult so, just this one …. Then you will start again tomorrow.

Self sabotage is more common than most people realise but that doesn’t really help, does it?

I devote a whole chapter to this in my book 21 Ways and 21 Days to the life You Want, but today I wanted to highlight one of the main causes to you to help you develop a greater sense of insight into this complex subject:  awareness is always a strong first step to overcoming your internal saboteur.

Our subconscious mind is programmed to safeguard us and meet our needs.  However, it does this via the path of least resistance.  It is well intentioned but not always wise.  Our brain has a part called the amygdala which is the emotional brain, and another part called the pre-frontal cortex which is the thinking brain, the decision maker and the moderator.  These parts of our mind have a different purpose and can yield different results depending on which part is being utilised in any given moment.  If we have a strongly developed amygdala, it may be that the decisions we make are more emotional – often these have short term benefits but long term negative consequences.  These are usually the habits we want to break.  But if we have a higher developed pre-frontal cortex, we can more easily see the long-term consequences of any choices we make and move towards the goals we want to achieve with much less interference.  This all happens ‘behind the scenes’ and out of conscious awareness.

So, what we need to do is two-fold:

  1. Strengthen the prefrontal cortex
  2. Become more consciously aware of why we make decisions.  Just because we may have a default pattern which is governed by the emotional brain – wanting a quick fix – doesn’t mean we are stuck with it for life.  We have something called neuroplasticity which works in our favour.  This is the ability of the brain to change.  Like changing your mind, but in a good and beneficial way.

To do this takes practice and persistence.  Or hypnotherapy which is a more powerful route into the subconscious and helping to overcome unconscious blocks.

In my next article though I will share with you how you can gently start to reprogram your mind for yourself.   Keep a look out for it:  sign up if you haven’t already.

If, in the meantime, you want to start really getting to grips with what is blocking you, do give me a call so we can discuss how.  I can be reached on 0345 130 0854.


© Tricia Woolfrey