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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.