Soap operas, TV shows and the media would have us believe that there is a cadre of people out there waiting to foil all our ideas and accomplishments. However, the reality is that most people sabotage themselves. What makes this sort of sabotage so heinous is that most of the time, we are not even aware that we are doing it.
Once the pain body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a perpetrator. You want to inflict pain, or you want to suffer pain, or both. There isn't really much difference between the two. You are not conscious of this, of course, and will vehemently claim that you do not want pain. But look closely and you will find that your thinking and behavior are designed to keep the pain going, for yourself and others. If you were truly conscious of it, the pattern would dissolve, for to want more pain is insanity, and nobody is consciously insane-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
A few years back, I was watching Dr. Phil on the Oprah Winfrey and there was a guest on the show that was constantly late. Dr. Phil asked her a very powerful question, "What about that is working for you?" Of course she said that it wasn't working for her but Dr. Phil said that is not true. Something has to be working for you or you wouldn't do it. He was right. She could set this clock a little earlier. She could lay her clothes and supplies out the night before. But why not?
When we look at situations like this from the outside or when we are not in an emotional state, it is very obvious that we are defeating ourselves. However, most sabotage happens when we are so caught up in our emotions and lives that we cannot see it happening. When in the midst of self sabotaging behavior, it is always some one else's fault or the situation that caused it. In the previous example of being late, It wasn't the fact that the clock was not set early enough to allow for events like traffic, weather, and bad hair days, that made the person late;the actual events themselves is where the blame was laid. This is true for all chronic self saboteurs. The blame is always placed on things outside of them.
In other words, you would rather be in pain-be the pain body-than take a leap into the unknown and risk losing the familiar unhappy self.-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
The Hallmarks of a Self Saboteur. Check Yourself Before you Wreck Yourself!
Boredom- When I was a child, and I would tell my mom that I was bored, she would always say, "I don't remember the last time I was bored.". Then she would list all the chores and errands she had to run. For her, being bored was a luxury. She wished that she had "extra time" to spend being bored.
However, for a self defeatest, boredom is not acceptable. When you feel that there always has to be something going on in your life for you to be happy, than you are a strong candidate for self sabotage. When the mind is uncomfortable with the feeling of being bored, it starts to seek out excitement. Things in your life that never used to bother you all of a sudden become very important. You start to obsess over things and an overwhelming urge to fix stuff starts to happen. The overwhelming need to take action blurs any ability to be rational and actions are not well thought out. When all the holes start to put a wrench in your plans, you blame it on everything outside of yourself.
To be happy, we have to be learn how to find joy with just being with ourselves.
It is always someone else's fault-self saboteurs have a really hard time taking responsibility for their own actions. It is always some else's fault. Though we don't have full control of everything that happens, we always have at least partial control. There is a great scene in the movie, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", where the director shows all the events that resulted in an injury that ended one of the main character's dance career. No, she was not responsible for all the factors, but it shows how seemingly unrelated things have a great effect on our lives. By taking responsibility, you began to become aware of self sabotaging behavior and stop the cycle.
Low Self Esteem-If you feel that you are not worthy of goodness, you seek out circumstances that prove it.
Everyone Is Out To Get Me- When you only see the bad in people, two things happen. You either get into defensive mode and create issues by seeking to offset imaginary ones or you don't see good opportunities when they are presented because you are convinced that every one has ulterior motives.
Nobody Understands You-You feel that you are an originator, ahead of your time, trailblazer, odd, a misfit or just so different that people cannot understand you. The opinions of those around you are not important because they just don't get it. It is their fault that your idea didn't work out, they just didn't get it. It may be true that some people don't understand you, but this mentality often causes people to shut down to even good council because no one understands them, even this person.
The Super Ego- You know everything. Everything you do is great. Every idea you have is brilliant. Anything that goes against it is wrong. Which takes us back to nobody understands you and everyone is out to get you.
How To Get Out of Your Own Way
Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it-don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze. Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of the "one who observes", the silent watcher. This is the power of Now, the power of our own conscious presence. Then see what happens-Eckhart Tolle. The Power of Now
When we become aware of the actions that cause us to hurt our own chances of success, we slowly stop putting ourselves in situations that cause it to occur. At first, the pain is like a light shining in the darkness, it seems so harsh and is so bright that it blinds your ability to see what is true. Than the pain becomes like turning on a light in the daytime, barely noticeable and with little effect. You are not trying to analyze it. Just see it and than watch it go away.