5 Ways To Overcome Self-Sabatoge On The Verge Of A Breakthrough…

5 Ways To Overcome Self-Sabatoge On The Verge Of A Breakthrough

We run a lot of scripts in our brains, much like computers run programs. We respond to events in the present as our brains were trained to by narratives of the past. Skipping any debate on the rise or risk of AI (Artificial Intelligence) let’s focus on our own natural sentience and power to reclaim our inner narratives — so we may stop slamming into our own self-imposed glass ceilings.

The original scripts we’re running (i.e. ‘I’m not worthy’; ‘What’s the catch?’) can lay the foundation for all sorts of self-sabotage. Often running as a foundation to all of our perceptions and experience just below our conscious  mind — or so ingrained with it as to be confused for it — these scripts play out without our even knowing…creating self-fulfilling prophecies that further calcify them as our ‘reality’.

Our brains are wired on some level to maintain homeostasis, to protect us from threats to our internal balance — to change — and, therefore they tend to challenge incoming input which disrupts our current state…even if our current state is not optimal or not aligned with our highest potential.

Perhaps the saying ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn’ was begat in part due to the internal battle we face off with as our own internalized limitations are challenged as we are poised on the verge of surpassing them.

It has been said that when people fall in love, while exhilarating, it also eventually stirs up our deepest fears, unresolved issues, and insecurities. This is why creating healthy relationships (eventually) takes real work.

Rising up to meet the opportunities present when we are poised to make a breakthrough in life — mentally, physically, emotionally, personally, professionally, socially, etc. — often entails a similar struggle in rewiring our brains to meet the occasion.

The first steps toward overcoming self-sabotage during these times (or any time) is to recognize the way we subconsciously undermine ourselves. Once we have done this, we can take due steps to heal the internalized conspiracies we have placed between ourselves and our peak potentials.

Let’s run down the list.

1) We let other peoples’ expectations, insecurities, and, perceptions define us…

A lot of times even people who truly care about us have neatly placed us into roles that fit the themes of their own internalized narratives. Some souls who have been supportive to us in the past may feel threatened to see us moving out of the prescribed boxes they had subconsciously placed us in. It disrupts their own homeostasis as it does ours.

This can cause them to act out in subtle — or, not so subtle — ways. Either way, we must approach them with compassion but firm resolve. They may not know what they do, but we must recognize attempts to undermine our confidence, reputation, or, self-image as the unhealthy and ultimately dangerous defense mechanisms of which they are. Do this; and, move on. You don’t have to specifically call them out on it…unless (sometimes) you do…

2) We look for ‘signs’ that limit us. The great mystery of the universe lives inside our own consciousness as much as it does outside. Being in a state of internal flux, we may come to over-rely on outer cues for direction in times of internal upheaval and change. This can cause us to go into panic mode and look for signs of impending doom. The mind can spin out and look for reasons not to evolve.

If you’ve ever done 25 tarot readings on the same issue (especially in one night) you know that we can abuse this sort of guidance. Perceiving change as a threat, and projecting this fear outward, allows our minds to generate and imprint on all sorts of false ‘omens’ that seem to predict impending doom. Our dream state is a prolific landscape for fear-based dreams. We must put these fears to bed — or, rather leave them there — and, learn to rely on our higher intuition.

3) Looking for the ‘fine print’ is another way we sabotage new opportunities. To offer a personal example, growing up my mother consistently looked for the negative, believing with unrealistic certainty that there was always a catch to any ostensibly positive development, gesture, or opportunity. Conversely, and tellingly, she was quick to embrace viewpoints of doom and gloom without looking for the ‘silver lining’. She handicapped herself in this way; and, it was contagious.

Sometimes we have to decondition our minds not just from themselves but from the familial and broader cultures we have been raised in. There is of course a such thing as being overly-optimistic and naive…but there is also a lot of middle ground to lucidly navigate without succumbing to fear-based thinking and decision making.

4) An even more uncomfortable truth we must be prepared to face is that some part of us may just be plain lazy in the face of opportunity. We may be aiming for the stars but when push comes to shove hesitant to take one deliberate step outside of our comfort zones.

Even workaholics can harbor an inner complacency… It’s easy to get trapped in cycles of predictable effort and gratification or gain. Some part of ourselves may be asking, why do I want to risk this comfortable pattern I’ve settled into, again? What if it’s too challenging? What if I have to do things I’m not used to? What if I have to work harder? Even if you feel maxed out by your current responsibilities, consider the possibility of ‘working smarter not harder’.

5) Low self-esteem is a huge harbinger of self-sabotage. Depending on how ingrained our sense of self is associated with feelings of unworthiness or failure, we are more or less likely to find reasons to quit, give up, or not take the leap toward rebirth and renewal… because we ultimately believe we are not worthy of it.

Trust that the universe does not hand out opportunities to those who are not worthy or haven’t done the work to prepare for them. Banish low-self esteem through internalizing that everyone has failed in life; and, everyone has also succeeded.

With a laser focus…consciously choose to embody the themes and times in your life when you have succeeded, and even surpassed your own expectations or those of others.

Definitively decide to let those narratives define you…and, they will.


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Dr. Courtney Parker


Dr. Parker holds a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia, where she previously earned a…

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