Why do we sabotage ourselves instead of doing what’s good for us? It seems counter-productive, right?
To understand this, we need to talk about the comfort zone. That’s all the things we know – the kind of reality we are used to. So if you grew up in a toxic environment with lots of childhood trauma – that’s what you’re used to, so that’s your comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable it may seem.
Your comfort zone is also where your ego is, so whenever you try to go outside of your comfort zone, your ego knows it’s dying a little, so it makes you think that YOU are dying. But the essence of you never dies, even when your body dies. We are eternal beings.
In our brains the amygdala and other parts regulate fear and joy. When you feel too much fear, the brain will think you’re in a life threatening situation, so it will create a fight or flight response. If the fear is even stronger, you will freeze – that’s when we have realised we can’t fight or outrun the enemy, so we pretend to be dead. Animals have these same responses to a threat.
For this reason it’s important to make incremental changes, so you get used to your new reality. Since fear and joy are regulated by the same part of the brain, you cannot have both at the same time! When you feel joy you won’t feel fear, so the more joy the better.
Back to self-sabotage: If you’re used to being abused, that will seem normal to you, so as soon as you end up in a situation without abuse, you will start looking for signs of it anyway. You will behave in a way that will trigger abuse in other people, or you will imagine that there is abuse even when there isn’t.
You will also attract people who abuse others, because you are an energetic match, like a jigsaw puzzle. And the sad thing is that if you experienced a painful childhood, chances are that you have been subconsciously programmed to think/feel that love is painful and that love=pain and pain=love. This is a coping mecanism, but it doesn’t really work when you’re an adult.
So to sum this up, self-sabotage takes us back to what we know, because the unknown is so scary, even if it is nicer. To end self-sabotage, we need to heal the subconscious beliefs we have, such as addiction to suffering and drama, being unworthy or unwanted, deserving to suffer and not being good enough.
We also need to become aware that this is not true, and was just programmed into us when we were to young to understand. And we need to take small enough steps to a happier life, so that our subconscious doesn’t freak out.
We need to change our environment and maybe weed out some old friends, because they will make our brains fire the old, negative neuronets in our brains, so we will slide back into our old behavior.
Last but probably most important: love yourself more. And then some. Become the loving parent you never had. Love yourself as you are. Warts and all…
If you suffer from self-sabotage, I am here to help! Read all about my year-long program HERE