Within our self sabotaging behaviors lies incredible wisdom. Not only can they tell us how and what we have been traumatized by, but they can also show us what we really need. Embedded within each self-sabotaging behavior is actually the key to unlock it. We just need to understand it first.
Here are the ways your subconscious mind might be trying to communicate with your behaviors.
- Self Sabotage: Going back to the same person who broke you in a relationship. This could be a platonic friend but is most commonly a former romantic partner.
Subconscious: It could be time to evaluate your childhood relationships. If you find something comforting or appealing about someone that hurts you, there’s usually a reason.
- Self Sabotage: Attracting people who are too broken to commit to a relationship.
Subconscious: You are not too broken to find someone who actually wants you, and when you begin to recognize that you are worthy of being committed to, you’ll start choosing partners who do just that.
- Self Sabotage: Feeling unhappy, even if nothing is wrong, and you’ve got everything you want and need.
Subconscious: You may be expecting outside things to make you feel good rather than trying to change how you think or what you focus on. Nothing in the outside world is going to give you a true and lasting sense of inner peace and happiness.
- Self Sabotage: Pushing people away
Subconscious: You want people to love you and accept you so much that the stress of it all makes you isolate yourself from the pain, effectively creating the reality your trying to avoid. Alternatively, needing solitude too often usually means there is a discrepancy between who you pretend to be and who you actually are. When you show up to your life more authentically, it becomes easier to have people around you, as it requires less effort.
- Self Sabotage: Automatically believing what you think and feel is true.
Subconscious: You want to worry because it feels comfortable, and therefore safer. The more you blindly trust every random thought or feeling that passes through you, the more you are going to be at the whim of what’s happening around you. You must learn to steady yourself in clarity, truth, and to be able to mentally discern between what is helpful and what is not.
- Self Sabotage: Eating poorly when you don’t want to.
Subconscious: You are doing too much, or you’re not giving yourself enough rest and nourishment. You are being too extreme. This is why your body is telling you to constantly refuel it. Alternatively, it could be that you are emotionally hungry, and because you are not giving yourself the true experiences you crave, you are satisfying your hunger in another way.
- Self Sabotage: Not doing the work that you know would help you move your career forward.
Subconscious: You might not be as clear as you think you are on what you want to be doing. If it isn’t flowing, there is a reason. Instead of trying to push through and continually hitting the same wall over and over again, take a step back. Maybe it’s time to regroup, re-strategize, or seriously think about why you’re trying to take the steps you are. Something needs to change, and it’s probably your motivation.
- Self Sabotage: Overworking.
Subconscious: You do not have to prove your value. You do, however, have to stop running from the discomfort of being alone with your feelings, which is very often the reason that people overwork themselves. There is a difference between being passionately committed to something and feeling obligated to outperform everyone else. One is healthy; the other is not.
- Self Sabotage: Caring too much about what other people think.
Subconscious: You are not as happy as you think you are. The happier you are with something, the less you need other peoples validation. Instead of wondering whether or not someone else will think you are enough, stop and ask yourself: Is my life enough for me? How do you really feel about your life when you aren’t looking at it through the eyes of others?
- Self Sabotage: Spending too much money.
Subconscious: Things will not make you feel more secure. You will not be able to purchase your way into a new life or identity. If you are overspending or spending outside of your means on a regular basis to the point that it is detrimental to you, you need to look at what function buying or shopping serves. Is it a distraction, a replacement for a hobby, or an addiction to the feeling of being “renewed” in some way? Determine what your needs really are, and then go from there.
- Self Sabotage: Dwelling on your past relationships or continually checking up on exes.
Subconscious: This relationship affected you more than you are letting yourself believe. The ending hurt you more than you acknowledged, and you need to process that. Your continued interest in this person means there’s still something about that relationship that is unresolved. You are in need of some kind of closure or acceptance in order to move past this behavior.
- Self Sabotage: Choosing friends who always make you feel like your in competition with them.
Subconscious: Wanting to feel “better” than people is not a replacement for needing to feel connected to them, but that’s often how we use it. We do this not because we actually want to be superior, but because we want to seem valuable and valued. What we want is authentic connection and to feel important to others, but making them feel inferior is not the way to accomplish it.
- Self Sabotage: Having self defeating thoughts that hold you back from doing what you want.
Subconscious: Being mean to yourself first will not make it hurt less if other people judge or reject you, though that is why you are using this defense mechanism. Thinking the worst of yourself is a way of trying to numb yourself to what you really fear, which is that someone else could say those things about you. What you don’t realize is that you’re acting as your own bully and enemy by doing it to yourself. What could someone else’s judgment realistically do to your life? Honestly, it could stop you from pursuing your dreams, ambitions, and personal happiness. And that’s exactly what your doing when you stay fixated on those damaging ideas. It’s time to get out of your own way.
- Self Sabotage: Not promoting your work in a way that would help move you forward.
Subconscious: You may not be creating the best work you can, and you can sense it. The reason you’re holding back is a fear of judgment, but that wouldn’t exist if you weren’t already judging yourself. You have to create things you are proud to share, and when sharing them in a positive way that helps you grow your business or career feels natural and authentic, you will know that you are doing the work that is at the best of your ability or potential.
- Self Sabotage: Worrying that things are about you when they aren’t.
Subconscious: You may think about yourself too often. Other people’s lives do not revolve around you, nor do their thoughts. They are busy thinking about themselves in the same way that you are thinking about yourself. Remember that patterns in your life are indicative of your own behaviors, but imagining in the same way that you are thinking about yourself. Remember that patterns in your life are indicative of your own behaviors. If you believe that someone cutting you off in traffic is a personal attack, you will severely hold yourself back because you’ll always be the victim of something.
- Self Sabotage: Staying in a city or town you claim to dislike.
Subconscious: Home is where you make it, not where you find it. Is this an issue of you being unable to move? Or are you just simply unwilling? Usually when we stay in the same place, there’s a reason. There’s something we love about it, and it’s where we want to spend our lives. The resistance comes in because of the judgment we imagine others may think if they know we don’t live in the coolest, biggest, or the best area. You might also fear that people will judge you for not having “progressed” enough. The truth is that you are judging yourself , and you need to make peace or take pride in why you choose to live where you do.
- Self Sabotage: Mindlessly scrolling through social media as a way to pass the time.
Subconscious: This is one of the easiest ways to numb yourself, because it is so easily accessible and addictive. There is a big difference between using social media in a healthy way versus as a coping mechanism. Mostly, it has to do with how you feel when you are finished. If you don’t put your phone down feeling inspired or relaxed, you are probably trying to avoid some sort of discomfort within yourself.
We can all play the role of our own worst enemy from time to time, but it is important to acknowledge these short comings, deal those feelings head on, and allow the past wounds to heal so you can become the best version of yourself. I’ve personal found writing in a journal to be the most therapeutic way to process past events and those hard feelings.
Inspired by an excerpt from the book
“The Mountain Is You” by Brianna Wiest
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