The Art Of Self-Sabotage And How To Stop It

A quick guide to self-sabotage:

  1. Let in every, and any, negative thought about yourself.
  2. Pay no mind to whether said thoughts are real or simply perceptions.
  3. Believe these thoughts.
  4. Watch your reality turn sour.

Easy, huh?

We do it all the time. We allow, and sometimes even encourage, our minds to drown in debilitating thoughts. This happens mainly due to a lack of awareness and a sense of impotence, of believing we are not in control of our lives and our realities. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth.

Our individual realities, our personal worlds, are created daily by us with every thought, word, and action. It is a continuous and often impercetible process; we are so used to thinking that we seldom stop to consider what we think about. Gradually, we end up influencing every aspect of our lives, but our lack of awareness leads us to not understand how things came to be or why certain situations delivered certain outcomes. This is when we start blaming external factors–things, people, or the entire universe with all of its life forms known and unknown to man—for our miseries.

It’s true that many situations are out of our individual and personal control, but you’d be surprised at how many fall under our direct influence.

How often do we stop to consider our share in the responsibility for the outcomes in our lives? Why do we hesitate to look inward? Our power lies within, and that power can be positive or negative, depending on where we decide to place our energy.

Have you ever created a lie so intricate you ran the risk of almost believing it yourself after repeating it so much? That is exactly how we shape our realites. We start by having a first thought, barely recognizable amidst the noise of our minds. Slowly we allow it to grow, and grow, and grow without questioning it, until we accept it and manifest it through our words, through how we share our stories, perceptions, and opinions with others. Finally, we manifest it through our deeds, which translate into habits and behaviors. Once it’s reached this last point, it has already become real. Unless we make a concerted effort to stop the negativity and reverse the damage, it will continue to manifest in our lives until we reach that drowning sensation.

What if we could become so aware of our first thoughts that we became innately good at changing them almost immediately? While not impossible, it requires a lot of patience, a lot of paying attention, a lot of being present and persevering. It requires training ourselves to listen to and hear our minds, to observe how our thoughts make us feel, to identify where our intent lies so that we can then see how it all inspires us unto the next thought. What’s going on in those beautiful brains of ours? What are our minds saying? What are our hearts whispering that we’re likely ignoring? Are we making decisions based on love or fear?

The more we practice awareness –conscientious listening—, the easier it becomes. We begin to identify which mindsets and attitudes require our attention, and from there we gain the ability to turn them around. We can then transform a simple thought, such as “I suck at this,” into a powerful statement, such as “I am improving little by little,” that over time and with patience will change our reality – as long as we believe it.

Try it, but be patient; it is a work in progress. Some thoughts, words, deeds, and beliefs take years to reverse. However, if you’re miserable in certain aspects of your life, or feel lost and are unsure why, what have you got to lose by focusing some well-deserved attention on your own inner workings?

Photo by: Belén Alemán / Valparaíso, Chile

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