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Self-coaching2: 4 Reasons why we sabotage ourselves and how to turn it around.

Updated: Jul 30, 2021



Recently, one of my coaching clients met a wonderful man on a dating site. They immediately had a connection. However, he is a physician at a large hospital in one city, while she is the financial director at a very large company in another city.

She immediately wanted to stop the relationships from developing any further. She felt that because of the distance between them, it wasn’t worth the effort. She was taught – long-distance relationships don't last.

However, some do. Some long-distance relationships even end in a happy marriage. The dilemma was, how do you make a choice.

Sabotaging relationships

We talked through how we sabotage relationships, projects, negotiations, and possible experiences before they even begin. We use what we have learnt from the past, to protect ourselves from any further pain, and disappointment, now. Just think, if the decisions we make now, are based on the past, how on earth can you create a new future?

This means that if we are not aware of these processes going on within ourselves and others, we also sabotage ourselves from having a happy and successful future. Many exciting new scientific, business, or creative ideas have been sabotaged by negative people, no-sayers, and harmful disruptors.

When we look around us, it becomes evident that the saboteur is on the loose. It seems as if everything is being disrupted. A saboteur is on the loose.

The question is, who is the saboteur and how can we stop its influence?

What is self-sabotage?

Sabotage is when you consciously or unconsciously disrupt, damage, interfere, or harm a person, a relationship, project, negotiations, and/or experience. However, we can use the same strategies to sabotage ourselves. By disrupting, interfering, or harming our relationships, projects, negotiations, and experiences, we rob ourselves of the success and happiness these things could bring to our lives.

The question is, Why would people do this? Where does it come from? What does self-sabotage look like? Most importantly, how can we prevent self-sabotage and even turn the harm and damage around?

Why the sabotage?

We sabotage people, things, projects, negotiations, experiences, and even ourselves, out of fear. This was created by passed experiences of pain, hurt, and disappointment. We do what we think is 'right' in order not to feel that way again. It is a form of protection and self-preservation. It's not possible to create a new future when caught up in this cycle.

Two sides of self

We know that we have an original authentic blueprint of who we are and what success and happiness are encoded as our DNA success-blueprint. This blueprint holds the keys to our health, wealth, happiness, success, love, and prosperity as our authentic self, the real-me self, the best self, higher self, or happy self.

  • · Authentic self

The authentic self has a positive vision of a future of health, wealth, happiness, progress, and prosperity. It is a future where honesty, truth, integrity, understanding, love, and compassion form the foundation. From this secure foundation, people build successful lives, relationships, communities, businesses, companies, organisations, and even countries. This positive future is the legacy we leave for generations to come - and we are creating now.

Here people are committed to creating a world of stability, love, compassion, and harmony. This world will be protected against all and every attack and sabotage.

  • · Shadow ego-self

Unfortunately, we became disconnected from the original blueprint. A delusional, make-believe, dark, depressing, shadow ego-self, developed out of the disconnection, separateness, anxiety, fear, lies, deceit, and the misinformation of the world. Here the future looks dark, bleak, and is riddled with conflict, fear, fighting, anxiety, disease, and destruction.

The shadow ego-self knows nothing else but this and is even addicted to the negativity[1]. It feeds of all this negative energy. When it runs short on negative energy, the shadow ego-self then creates more negativity, chaos, anxiety, and destruction. It sabotages people, relationships, projects, negotiations, and experiences. Without this, the shadow ego-self cannot survive.

Inner talk

Constant communication and even a battle between the authentic self and the shadow ego-self is going on within each one of us - all the time. You might not be aware of this by, we first talk to ourselves before we talk to anyone else. Our inner talk becomes our outer reality.

This inner dialogue precedes all and every action we take and word we say. Whoever wins the inner battle, gets to make the defining choices. If the authentic self makes the defining decisions, people, projects, and negotiations move forward.

However, if the shadow ego-self wins the battle and makes the final decisions, then communication, relationships, projects, and negotiations, get sabotaged. This causes a breakdown of systems. Total breakdown is then inevitable.

Our challenge is to identify the many faces of the saboteur and self-sabotage and manage it on the spot. Not only do we need to coach, master, and manage the saboteur within ourselves, but we also have to manage this destructive force in others.

It helps to identify the four faces of self-sabotage so that we know what we are working with.

The four faces of self-sabotage

We all have four faces of self-sabotage. We can also call these archetypes. These are go-to-places, basecamps, or a home-base. As said, we all have these archetypes. The only difference is that some people express the saboteur in their lives while others have learnt to stop the negative effects and even turn it around.

Here are the four faces of self-sabotage.

  • · The wounded child

All people, especially children, need to feel safe and experience love, acceptance and compassion, in order to grow and flourish. Education and development also take place on four levels. That includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual education. If one of these aspects is neglected, education and caring are incomplete and unbalanced. A child is then left with a void. The negative influence of ‘absent parents’ has been well documented.

The lives of children are adversely impacted by a world without love and compassion. Currently, we live in a world filled with negativity, abuse, and chaos. This not only wounds their hearts, corrupts their minds, and compromises the soul of children, but their reactions to adversity, become part of their programming.

The fearful, anxious, and angry child, all form part of this programming. When we experience difficulties as adults, we then revert to our defence mechanisms and reactions formed as a child.

This could include, blaming, shaming, looking for attention, fighting, crying, silent treatment, shutting down, attacking, and many other expressions people use to express their wounded child – even as adults.

The solution. Do the inner work and heal the inner child. Learn to love and be loved. Become the happy, playful child, once again.[2] You then turn the wounds and pain, into progress and pleasure. Try and understand where others are coming from. Love and compassion go a long way in smoothing over difficult situations.

  • · Prostitute

We usually see the ‘prostitute’ as someone who sells sex for cash. However, the word 'prostitute' means ‘to sell yourself out’. This self is the authentic self, the real, true, higher, best-self. It gets prostituted or sold out, to lower ego-driven ideas, values, actions, thoughts, feelings, and attachments.

People sell themselves out in different ways. This includes selling yourself out to lies, scandal, cheating, backstabbing, corruption, overwork, overindulgence in parties, money, alcohol, drugs, sex, and/or food, etc ... Any addiction is also a form of ‘selling yourself out’ and therefore a form of ‘prostitution’. As you see, sexual prostitution and pornography are not the only forms of the ‘prostitute’.

The solution. You can choose to stop prostituting yourself - at any time. Choose to stop the addiction, overwork, lies, cheating, overindulgence, and erroneous attachment to money sex, food, and other people. Start creating a functional, healthy, lifestyle that aligns with the authentic self. You can coach yourself to get to this level. Contact us if you need any help and assistance. You don't need to do this alone.

  • · Victim

Here a person has chosen to see themselves as being done-in, damaged, harmed, and/or targeted. They feel victimised, and wounded. This is the ‘poor me’ – ‘you hurt me’., syndrome. Many people want to suffer, look for sympathy, and/or want someone to feel sorry for them and take care of them. You find them constantly complaining. Others who want to feel they are the victim will be out for revenge while blaming and shaming others.

However, real victims of crime abuse, and even war, who are still traumatised by their experiences, really do need our help and assistance. We mustn't confuse the two sides - one is real, the other is escapism.

Solution. You can solve this issue by rising above the circumstances and becoming the victor. You become victorious. Ask yourself, how can I turn this negative situation around and create something positive. Instead of seeing the experience as a setback use it for a come-back. Turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. These are people with resilience.

Victorious, resilient people are people who have chosen to overcome all and every stumbling block while committing to the greater good. Such a man was Nelson Mandela[3]

  • The saboteur

Some people are just openly abusive. They are rude, crude, offensive, and have bad manners. They use bad language and are disrespectful to others. Some have no or very little conscience. These are chaos seekers and troublemakers. Some even get a strange, sadistic sense of satisfaction from seeing others, cringe, squirm, and/or flinch.

The face of the sabotager/the saboteur includes the discriminator, disrupter, the abuser, fighter, and/or offender. This side of self becomes visible in discrimination, attack, labeling, name-calling, lies, cheating, corruption, backbiting, scandal, delusional stories, and many other forms people use to sabotage people, relationships, projects, negotiations, and experiences.

Remember, This is within everyone one of us as part of our shadow ego-self. No one is excluded for we are all human.

Solution: You can stop and turn this into a caretaker, compassionate partner, friend, leader, and generous lover. Be generous with your love and caring. Let it come from the heart. When you turn your saboteur into a lover, you will turn the world upside-down. How much fun is that?

Ps. See the book. Life Stumbling block or stepping-stone?[4]

Moving from one form to another

Sometimes, without us being conscious and aware of this, we can move from one form and face to another. For example, A partner feels victimized when they are scolded for overwork and neglecting their relationships and home. Their defence is that they work so hard to bring food to the table. The prostitute becomes the victim.

When the bad behaviour of a saboteur is addressed or even stopped in its tracks, they revert to the wounded child with excuses like nobody loves me, everybody hates me. The saboteur becomes the wounded child. They can also go on a rampage or attack for being reprimanded about bad behaviour. The saboteur then becomes a sadistic saboteur and attacker that is out to destroy and harm. Nothing good can come from this.

It takes immense energy and a serious wake-up call to break free from this mindset and programming. This is what the films, The Matrix, are all about.

Everyday examples of the saboteur

We find examples of sabotage in everyday life. A partner causes disruption when the ‘inner child’ takes over in an argument. A business deal goes south when the saboteur challenges all positive suggestions. A marriage fails when one of the partners is a workaholic and ‘prostitutes’ themselves to their careers, alcohol abuse, over-eating, violence, or cold exclusion.

We find the same dynamics playing out on centre stage in the eye of the global community. We are all human, no matter what position we may hold.

  • · Donald Trump

Donald Trump is a good example of a wounded child. Coming from a home without the loving care and grounding of warmhearted parents, especially a mother, a child is left with a void. Especially a mother that is emotionally absent[5] and spiritually immature, would leave any child feeling lost and stranded. Trying to make up with money and prestige and looking for acceptance from others, especially from a father, doesn’t resolve the issue.

* Upheavals

Donald Trump caused many upheavals during his term as US President that included accusations of the abuse of power, relationships with prostitutes, lies, deceit, delusions, and even a call to violence. It ended in destruction. Donald Trump was banned from Facebook to minimize this negative influence.

· The wounded child becomes the victim

The wounded inner child became visible as the victim during the presidential election in November 2020. When Donald Trump lost the presidential election, he stated that it was stolen from him. The wounded child became the ‘poor me’ victim. Although there was no proof of election fraud, many people rallied around Donald Trump in this ‘time of need’. His supporters were called to action to ‘righten the wrong’.

More than 70 million people rose to action with feelings of loss, anger, and condemnation. The victim became the saboteur and chaos erupted. People all over the world watched on in amazement as the United States of America, as the shining example of democracy, came under siege – by its own people.

Very few stopped to ask, What is the truth. The truth is that a presidency cannot be stolen because it belongs to the people – not to a person. The people elect a person as president – or not.

· The tribal family is on the same wavelength.

More than 70 million people who are part of the Trump tribe and supported Donald Trump, also knowingly and/or unknowingly confirmed that they align and accept this kind of behaviour. This means that all are on the same wavelength, irrespective of the destructive consequences. Insurrection and destruction were inevitable.

This also portrays the current level of maturity of our global community. At the moment it is estimated that about 90% of people are part of the problem, while a mere 10% are part of the solution. However, a major shift is taking place as humanity makes the leap to a new era of authenticity. The percentage of new problem-solvers, mapmakers, and pathfinders is growing. We have already turned the corner and are now heading for the winning post. We only need 20% of solution-finders, to tip the scales.

See the article, 5 Reasons why tribal leaders cannot lead us into a new future and how to solve it[6].

  • · Kim Jong-un

Another example is Kim Jong-un. He has been the supreme leader of North Korea since 2011. He followed in the footsteps of his father Kim Il-sung and his grandfather Kim Jong-Il. His family is well known for intimidation, violence, deceit, and corruption as part of their personal and political rule.

· Kim Jong-un’s health

Recently, there have been speculations in the media bout Kim Jong-un’s health. He is known for heavy drinking and has a family history of heart conditions. [7]There are already questions about the successor if King Jong-un was to become incapacitated or even die. He is only 37 years old.

Physical, emotional, and mental health issues

See the article, Important message to all scammers[8]. In this article, we focus on the negative effects of corruption, lies, cheating, bullying, abuse, and scamming, not only on mental and emotional health but also on the negative influence it has on DNA. Under these circumstances, the original DNA blueprint becomes unraveled, leading to many physical, emotional mental, and even spiritual diseases.

In short, people get sick. Physical illness is also a wake-up call so that we can stop turn around.

Although inside information about our two examples above, is kept from the public, it is evident that the shadow ego-self and all the faces it portrays are alive and well, and visible on all levels of life.

We are not excluded. The question is, how can we turn this around?

How to turn self-sabotage around

The first step is to know and understand what is going on. We need an awareness campaign. This is what all the posts on self-coaching are all about. Once you are aware of the issue, you can do something constructive about it.

Here are a few suggestions and solutions:

First, start with yourself. You can turn self-sabotage around by bringing your real-me authentic self to the table. You become, mindful, conscious, and aware of the destruction the shadow ego-self, in yourself and others, causes. You choose to stop its negative influence on your life. You then set an example for others. They need to choose to stop their destructive actions and reactions. We can only help and support them However, they need to do their own inner work. This is part of the journey of life. Humanity is currently undergoing the leap to a new era based on honesty, truth, integrity and authenticity.

You can consciously choose to:

  • Turn the wounded child into a happy, playful child

  • Turn the prostitute into the authentic self. Powerless moves to powerhouse

  • Turn the victim into the victor. The authentic self is also victorious

  • Turn the saboteur, the discriminator, disrupter, or the abuser, into a caretaker, compassionate partner, friend, leader, and into a generous lover. Be generous with your love. Be caring. Let it come from the heart.

As said, when we turn your saboteur into a generous lover, we will turn the world upside-down. How much fun is that?

Become part of the solution

If you are serious about being part of the solution, and not the problem, you need to start with yourself. Everything will flow from you and like a tsunami, it will touch the lives of others.

  • Do the necessary work and heal your own inner child.

  • Identify places in your life your sell yourself out (prostitute yourself), and change it

  • Stop being a victim and activate your victor. Become victorious.

  • Saboteur. Stop sabotaging yourself and start taking care of who you are, where you are going, and what your purpose is. Others will follow.

  • Be mindful and conscious of where others are coming from and don’t get involved. Stay out of their mind-games, emotional dramas, and negative feeding grounds. Don't let them drag you down. Let go, for they are going nowhere and will just drain your energy. Your help and support could help them to turn around, but there is no guarantee.

The good news is, you don’t need to do this all on your own.

Help and support are close by

  • · Contact us for personal one-on-one coaching. Send email to

  • · Read the series of books on authentic living and leading

  • · Get your Daily Power Tools for Power People HERE. Power Tools are delivered to your inbox daily and remind you of the constant choice you need to make between your real-me authentic self and your shadow ego-self. Once you have mastered this part of yourself, you can help others to do the same.

  • · Read new inspiring books

  • · Get your newsletter with upcoming courses, books, webinars, and podcasts. HERE

Until next time

Stay safe – stay connected

Brenda Hattingh

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Notes: · Book Dr. Brenda as a speaker at your next event. Email us, · See the website for more info. References [1] See blog article. Self-coaching. Why people are addicted to negativity and how to stop it. Website: [2] See blogpost: Day 6. Celebrating Nelson Mandela Week. Learn how to love and be loved. [3] See books on Nelson Mandela Mandela, Nelson, R. (1994). The long walk to freedom. The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Illustrated.Little, Brown & Company: London. Hattingh, Brenda. (2016). 7 steps to securing the Madiba magic in life and leadership. Currency Communications Pty. Ltd.: Johannesburg. Hattingh, Brenda. (2020). Life Lessons from Nelson Mandela during lockdown. Currency Communications Pty. Ltd.: Johannesburg. [4] Hattingh, Brenda. (2007). Life - Stumbling block or Stepping stone? Currency Communications Pty. Ltd. Johannesburg. [5] Research. Hattingh, Brenda. The ‘absent’ mother. M.Ed. dissertation. University of Pretoria [6] See blogpost. Day 4. Celebrating Nelson Mandela week. 5 Reasons why tribal leaders cannot lead us into a new future and how to solve it. [7] [8] See blogpost. Important letter to all scammers. All rights reserved. Copy right © Dr. Brenda Hattingh ooo0oo

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