There is stigma around the words ‘self sabotage’, when I see this phrase repeated, I feel the harshness, the judgement, and the shame cycle in the words.
The definition of sabotage is:
- deliberate damage that is done to the property of an enemy or opponent (MacMillans Dictionary)
- Deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage. (Oxford Dictionary)
If we add self at the beginning, self sabotage comes to mean ~ when a person sabotages themselves, via their actions, words or other means (even manifesting or ‘attracting’ negative life circumstances) from achieving their goals.
I would love to have a heart connection conversation about this. From my heart to your heart.
Because I feel like this whole premise is, at best, a non-serving structure stopping women from getting to the heart of their desires, and at worst, a destructive mechanism to create more times that women feel wrong in the world.
If you subscribe to the idea that only your belief system can build your reality, then this idea of self sabotage may seem realistic. It’s logical that if you have unwanted hidden (implicit) beliefs about yourself, and you create your reality from your beliefs, that these unwanted beliefs would then stop you from ever achieving your goals. And in the society we live in, the only measure of success is that we are smashing those goals. (Right?)
This hasn’t been sitting well with me for a while and I have recently been exploring why. With the help of an amazing mentor who has always gently reminded me that self sabotage isn’t really a thing, I started to unpack why my body reacts so intensely when I read about the notion of self-sabotage.
I can feel the shame in the way self sabotage is used, not to support women, but against them, like it’s another thing that makes them broken. I see it all the time, it is the alcohol of negative self talk, the one way we can diminish ourselves and get high fives for doing so.
We use it against other women as well ~ ‘oh she’s self sabotaged again.’ It implies weakness, not strength and in this world, even as we say the words ‘I live in my feminine’ and ‘I’m doing it differently’, we are still putting ourselves under the pump to create like we are machines.
The dissonance for me lies in the idea that only our beliefs can create our reality, as I know from experience that this isn’t true. I know many women, and men, who have created incredible art, music, houses, and even whole lives, that they deeply love. All while still having unwanted and often hidden beliefs about themselves. And I want to remind you here that the work IS NEVER done. There are always more layers, more to learn about ourselves.
I see two reasons that women tend to not complete on a decision they have made or a goal they would like to achieve.
- The structure in their lives is set up to loop on itself. They are in an oscillating structure that does not get to the end result. They may also be in a reactive/responsive model that only reacts to circumstances, there is no creation here at all and all the power is outside of their selves.
- They are actually listening to their body/soul/heart/whole wisdom that now is not the right time. Sometimes when we get really quiet, we know that completion before the end result is now what is desired.
Either way, I see no reason for us to be shaming anyone here. Yet, when most people hear someone say ‘you self sabotaged again’, they hear it in a negative way. It connotates that they weren’t enough, or couldn’t complete it, often because they did something wrong. There is a feeling of solidarity that ‘oh they do that too’ which for a moment may make us feel a connection.
But I am feeling into a different way, a more heart opening and expansive way. What if we could fully support our women and sisters in THEIR OWN timings. What if, instead of seeing that someone is destructively stopping themselves from having what they would love, we could see them in their complete POWER to create what it is they want.
And ask them with love, is this what you wanted to create?
With space for it to be so.
Or space for them to say no, they wanted something different.
And then space for them to explore how they would like to change the structure so they could create it the way they want it.
The way I see it, life isn’t this great big race we all seem to make it. The daily actions we take, the people we love, the words we speak, the actions (small and large) we take, they are what creates our lives. Most of this is done in the real world, with real people. Most of this transcends the social media accounts we see daily.
I would love to see women (and men) stop shaming each other within boxes we set up as what is true. It is different for everyone, and we need to bring in some more love and kindness to our processes.
Having said all that, if someone you know is engaging in truly life destructing behaviour, like alcohol/drug abuse, self harming practises, etc, I would say that is actual self sabotage and professional help would be advisable. But again, with an open heart for the pain that person must be experiencing to behave that way. And always, ALWAYS honour your boundaries.
What do you think?