Why we sabotage our Success…
We have such good intentions for our life. This includes our health, work and relationships. We usually want to do the right thing. To do what we inwardly know to be right. To maximize our potential. But somehow it slowly seems to go astray! It all seems much harder to do. We end up delaying or postponing our dreams. Our plans just don’t turn out as we had hoped. Along the way, something seems to have subtly undermined what we had really intended.
Is success in life purely determined by our personal circumstances & external events? Or could we be actively undermining our own success. Do we unknowingly sabotage ourselves, our greater plans and dreams? That would be self-sabotage!
THE CONCEPT OF SELF SABOTAGE:
Because self-sabotage is a form of self-harm, this might at first seem illogical. Why would we ever do such a thing? We could understand others might hinder or even harm us. They would probably do it for some ‘selfish’ reason or out of ignorance. But why would we hurt ourselves? Maybe the answer is much the same, but we just can’t see it yet! It’s not an intellectual ignorance but more of ‘a blindness’ or a ‘blind spot’ as to what’s really going on. Maybe we also have a selfish or self-preserving reason for sabotaging our dreams. Let’s see if we can discover this.
WHY WE MIGHT SABOTAGE OURSELVES:
Let’s start with one reason why we might sabotage our own success: Fear is a big reason not to do many things. We often fear the unknown! We dislike ‘the uncertainty’ involved in trying something new or living a new way.
Yet this uncertainty is not something that’s real or tangible. It’s only a feeling! It’s certainly not a real event or a true situation. It hasn’t even happened yet! It’s just our ego-mind fantasizing plus some imagined feelings!
This fantasizing can however create quite frightening scenarios. Our fear however is not based on fact, nor even in logic or probability. It’s based purely on an imagined fantasy or dream-like scenario. But as we know, a dream can appear very real and can even be quite frightening. We call that a nightmare! Maybe these vivid ‘night-mare scenarios’ are what we subconsciously fear and aim to avoid! Could this be why we subconsciously undermine our big plans in life? Could that be one reason why we sabotage our hopes & dreams?
HAVE WE BECOME MORE FEARFUL AND RISK AVERSE?
Why would we have become so scared of these worst-case scenarios & ridiculous nightmares? Ones we have just remotely considered or invented purely in our imagination. These are just rare possibilities that we have somehow distorted or magnified. Why would we become so over-cautious & risk averse as to endorse these fantasy’s? Maybe something has tricked our subconscious mind into behaving that way?
HOW WE SABOTAGE OUR DESIRES & DREAMS:
Let’s review our findings so far and then explore a possible mechanism for activating this self-sabotage.
First, we postulated that avoidance of imagined fearful scenarios is a potential motive for blocking ourselves from a new life path.
We can deduce this process probably occurs in our subconscious mind, since we don’t seem to have much conscious understanding or control of what’s going on.
There also seems to be a heightened aversion to exploring new opportunities and potentials. We have somehow become more risk averse. That could explain why we don’t risk new life style opportunities.
WHY OUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND WOULD LIMIT US:
Why would some innate aspect of our brain & subconscious mind limit us in this way? It doesn’t seem like a biologically useful strategy for our greater wellbeing. This is exactly the crux of the matter. That primitive part of our brain only sustains basal levels of survival. It’s not responsible for, or capable of handling our higher order needs! Acute and life-threatening situations are its sole domain. It does its limited role very well. It has very fast and powerful strategies for keeping us alive at times of crisis. But that’s the extent of its intended function. It’s not designed for optimizing our life or future well-being! It doesn’t ‘understand’ the subtleties of our goals and dreams.
ACTIVATING THE WRONG PART OF OUR BRAIN:
Our basal brain centres and the related subconscious mind are closely aligned with our innate, primal & reflex behaviour. This is what protects us in an emergency. It stops us from accidently walking off a cliff or into an oncoming car. It’s very fast, powerful and automatic but very limited in its scope. It’s intended to be used only at times of elevated risk, potential harm or high stress. But, what if we somehow gave our core survival mechanisms authority to operate over a much wider range? For example, if we tricked it into action by simulating a high stress scenario. A virtual reality simulation could probably also trigger this. Could this be what we are doing unknowingly?
BYPASING INTERNAL CHECKS AND BALANCES:
What monitors the brain's basal survival functions and helps keep them in check are the higher levels of our subconscious. These manage the non-emergency functioning of our mind. This normally has a key role in rebalancing & decision making. Unless we are in a crisis or war-zone. Or unless we turn our life into a high conflict or survival situation! Or somehow simulate this! That would give our innate survival mechanisms freer reign. That is unfortunately what we seem to have done or somehow agreed to do.
OUR HIGH STRESS MODERN LIFESTYLE:
More than ever we live modern life at a fast pace and under high pressure. Internally this produces a stressful & vigilant state. One where anxiety & pressure is the constant undertone. We then supplement our hyper-alert state with caffeine and other stimulants. We also watch distressing or frightening television programs and movies that add to the virtual stress! We have made this our lifestyle of choice. We have usually accepted all this as ‘normal’ or an inevitable part of modern living. Life has become a virtual battle for success and survival. A virtual war-zone!
LIVING LIFE AS A WAR ZONE:
In a war-zone situation, conservation of our energy becomes paramount. More energy is required to remain constantly vigilant. There is competition for resources and perceived risks everywhere. We never know when we might need to react or defend ourselves. Our fear becomes heightened!
So, subconsciously we avoid taking on any new risks. We become risk averse! We also avoid any unnecessary plans & endeavours. They would deplete our energy further and cause further risk. Over time this becomes the automatic default setting! We can’t then easily switch back to normal functioning.
THE PRICE WE PAY:
Unfortunately, this strategy means we’re not supported, at an unconscious level, in pursuing our higher order hopes & dreams. We might consciously try to initiate such a life change but are overruled by a powerful subconscious force. Because it’s all done subconsciously, it’s hidden from our observable mind. We only see the subsequent effects if we study these carefully. That’s how the subtle self-sabotage of our true desires & full potential can occur.
ADAPTING TO A VIRTUAL WAR ZONE:
In the virtual war zone of our modern stressful life, our basic survival mechanisms take more control. This certainly helps us to be vigilant and to physically push ourselves beyond our normal limits. We might benefit us in the short term, but it rapidly depletes our energy reserve, so a risk-avoidance strategy becomes essential. Therefore our long term or higher order plans get shelved. Self-sabotage becomes the necessary means to do this! This part of our brain and mind acts selfishly for its own immediate preservation. The subconscious mind perceives that it’s acting in our best interests! For our very survival!
OUR BRAIN AND BODY ADAPTS AND EVOLVES:
These protective and adaptive responses seem logical and reasonable to expect in the circumstances. However, once this ‘survival pattern’ of brain functioning is established and entrenched, it’s becomes very hard to break! We biologically adapt to it. Neuronal pathways and centres in the brain dedicated to this process, become enlarged through frequent use.
Our whole brain becomes co-opted and subtly re-sculpted. We evolve a brain most suited to survival in a high conflict zone! Even the epi-genome of our entire DNA gets modified by this. Very subtly, our whole body becomes biologically & structurally modified. We even pass some of these DNA effects on to our children and to their bloodlines too!
COMING TO TERMS WITH THE REALIZATION OF SELF SABOTAGE:
What a massive problem! We have allowed this sabotage and even worse. We have done it to ourselves! We have sabotaged our higher order goals, dreams and our optimum potential. Because we just weren’t aware enough. Even now, many still won’t believe this. Some just won’t really care. Others will find an excuse or justification! Their responses demonstrate how powerfully manipulative this self-sabotage mechanism can be.
We recommend that you quietly sit a while to assimilate this current information. Perhaps quietly contemplate this. Allow further realizations and insights regarding all this to gently come through.
Further discussion on the topic of Self-sabotage and how to overcome this are available on the UtimateTest.org website.