How to Overcome Self-Sabotage

When I was in high school, I loved being on stage. I mostly performed in musicals. While I loved the spotlight there was always a part of me that was judging my abilities against others and never felt like I was as good enough or deserving to share the stage with some of them. My senior year, I got a lead role in a musical where I had to sing and dance in solo performances. I was excited and terrified at the same time.

A few days before our first show, I got sick. Really really sick. I ended up dancing and singing in that show with a 103 degree fever and leaving trails of snotty tissues backstage wherever I went. One night, I even ended up dancing my big solo tap dance with a piece of glass in my shoe. By the time I noticed it, I chose to dance through the pain and was left with a very bloody tap shoe.

I also performed in musicals at my church over the summers. This would be my final summer and I ended up getting THE lead role. Guess what happened? A few days before the show, I ended up with the flu again. I gave it my all just like before and never looked back. There was no way I was going to allow anything stop me from being on that stage and fulfilling a role I earned.

What I didn’t know then that I know now is that there was a significant reason why that happened. In Gay Hendricks’ book, The Big Leap, he calls it an upper limit problem. Some call it resistance. Some call it upleveling. Whatever you choose to call it, I’m sure you’ve experienced some form of self-sabotage in your life.

When you achieve success beyond anything you’ve experienced before or even start taking action in the direction of something so unknown to you that you desire so deeply, two things can happen. Either you’ll reach that goal with ease and celebrate it.

Or, you’ll upper limit.

Things get in your way. Something happens with your health, relationships or anything else to disrupt what you’re going for. So you either remain stuck, spinning in circles, completely give up or end up with a bloody tap shoe.

To accomplish more than you’ve ever known, you have to become a different person. Physically, mentally and emotionally. If you’re unconscious mind believes that you don’t deserve that success or that it isn’t even possible for you, you WILL self-sabotage.

From the time we’re born until we are 8 years old, we are making decisions about who we are based on what we learn. And mostly from our parents. We are like a computer and downloading beliefs, emotions and thoughts as our software. These programs define how much love, success, wealth and happiness we believe we can have. And so when we set out into the unknown with big dreams that our unconscious mind doesn’t agree with, we end up in severe resistance. Our bodies resist what we want because we are chemically addicted to who we’ve always been.

The good news is that we can use techniques work with that part of us that is holding us back from success. As long as you’re willing to do the work it takes, you can achieve what your heart is calling you to. Here are some ways you can work with resistance when it comes up.

1. Expect that the journey may not be easy. The more we open our awareness to understand what can happen to hold us back, the easier it is to catch when resistance has its grip on us and shift to change it.

2. Respect and accept yourself. Know that when your fears come up to pull you back, it’s the part of you who is unconsciously scared of change. Accept this is part of who you are and have always been. Love that part of you who is hiding and appreciate that they want to keep you safe. Repeat kind thoughts to yourself instead of beating yourself up for being stuck.

3. Remind yourself everyday of the end result. I do this with meditation and visualization but you can take a just a few minutes and engage with those thoughts and feelings you will have when you reach the end result. This rewrites the chemistry of your brain and body so you become more familiar with who you desire to be. Soon, you automatically become that person and it puts the breaks on self-sabotage.

4. Stay connected to your values and why you are going for your dreams. Come up with a long list and read it every day. Remind yourself of the greater purpose of what you are attempting to achieve and how you will create a positive impact in the world.

5. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings while you’re in action. If anything negative comes up that you’re telling yourself, stop and bring yourself into the present moment. Shift that thought and feeling into how you will think and feel once you’ve accomplished that goal once again. State your beliefs and feel the high vibe feelings of accomplishment.

6. Take a break. Get out into nature and play. Nature ebbs and flows with what it’s faced with and does not resist. It shows us how to work with obstacles and not fight them. Removing yourself from the thinking zone and into play gets us into our creative, right brain and it is here where we can even come up with ideas and solutions we haven’t yet been able to see.

7. Find others who are on the same path. Sharing our struggles with others on a similar journey help us to feel connected with the greater whole. When we can support and inspire each other through our own experiences, it gives us the fuel to keep going.

8. Celebrate the entire journey. Know that nothing you are doing or feeling is wrong. Embrace the process. Be open to learn from your experiences and hold gratitude that the difficult times are meant to accelerate your growth and lead you to live a life beyond your wildest dreams!

Does resistance show up for you? What do you do to overcome it? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

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