Pick me, pick me! I do believe that self-sabotage may well be one of my favourite hobbies. It’s not that I practice it all the time. It’s more like when I go, it’s “go BIG or go home!”
So what exactly is self-sabotage? It’s pretty simple. It’s when we do something stupid that totally interferes with what we want to achieve. You know, like eating an entire bar of chocolate when you’re truly desperate to lose 20 lbs. Or buying that new pair of shoes when your credit card is maxed out. Or getting ridiculously drunk on a Friday night when you have to work at 9 o’clock on Saturday morning. Just dumb things we do when we know better. Or at the very least SHOULD know better.
But I think these types of sabotage are fairly normal (especially in our younger years) and hopefully fix-able. Just THINK a little harder, honey, before you make THAT choice. I know it’s not always easy and repetitive sabotage could certainly be hugely detrimental to your existence, but we all do it. We all make mistakes and bad judgement calls and we all experience “lack of discipline” moments.
But what about those bigger fuck-ups? The ones that can completely derail a relationship, lose you a job or even kill you? How could we possibly be so stupid as to self-sabotage in those situations?
I just did a quick bit of Dr. Google research and apparently much of it comes down to self-esteem (I am not worthy), fear of emotional pain (I will make you leave me before you can hurt me), fear of failure (I’ll tank it myself before it can tank me) or plain old immediate gratification, as in the thrill of these awesome new shoes will offset the pain of my next credit card bill.
Those “excuses” I get. Personally. Lord knows I’d love to drop 20 lbs but sometimes I love ice cream more. I know that 4th glass of wine isn’t a good idea but I have it anyway and I sure as hell don’t need that new dress and quite frankly have nowhere to wear it but God it is gorgeous and ya just never know so … cha-ching!
Yep. I’ve done it all. And I’ve beaten myself up for it all too.
But recently I started thinking about a different kind of self-sabotage. A kind that you don’t read about in Psychology Today or Dr. Google. A kind that may actually be more positive than negative … if you can believe that?
I’ve started to think you can actually self-sabotage because your GUT knows something that you don’t. Your GUT is weighing in big time. It’s your GUT making you do stupid things, say stupid things, write stupid things, sabotage the shit out of what you think you might want because your GUT knows that what you think you want is quite possibly wrong. A whole lot of wrong for a whole lot of reasons. And so subconsciously you sabotage your quest for said “thing” because your gut has taken control of the dialogue and is now in charge. And your gut is saying “Okay stupid, since you are not listening to me and you are not being reasonable I am now going to fuck you up so resoundingly you will NOT be able to pursue this folly further because you yourself personally will have fucked up that folly right off the table.”
Laugh’s on me.
Gut is so clever. So astute. So noble.
Gut is also that best friend you hate because she stops you from having that 4th glass of wine. She reminds you that a new pair of shoes is not a necessity. She gently removes that tub of ice cream from your fingers and playfully tickles your flabby belly to remind you what your goals are.
Yes, I am saying that with a certain amount of sarcasm. But I am also saying that (almost begrudgingly) with a certain amount of grateful truth.
Because when Gut saves us from our selfish selves, when Gut saves us from choices born of desire or neglect (or both), when Gut chimes in and says “Obviously YOU have not got this covered so I shall now cover it for you, no matter how much it hurts” … well then yeah … she really is our best friend.
Yes. We do, say and write dumb things that derail our plans. Hurt our chances. Sabotage our deepest desires.
Yet I have come to realize that maybe … just maybe SOMETIMES … we self-sabotage for the right reasons. Good reasons. Reasons that are truer than we can possibly even know at the moment that we are implementing them.
It’s a little like the teacher who dives in front of his student to take a bullet. He doesn’t know he’s going to die. He doesn’t know the student is going to live. He probably knows it’s going to hurt like hell and he does it anyway because somewhere deep in his soul he KNOWS it is the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do for the future. For karma. For truth.
Yeah. It’s crazy, I know.
This is when self-sabotage is a wake-up call.
THIS is when self-sabotage is actually something GOOD.
As long as you see it. Recognize it. Own it. Accept it. Be grateful for it. Learn the damned lesson.
And don’t do it again.