Chapter 1: The Fine Art of Self-Sabotage
Every man born has to carry his life to a certain depth or else.
—Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King
Self-sabotage: we all do it. Old or young. Rich or poor. Famous or unknown. All of our talent, intellect, knowledge, and experience cannot help us, because the enemy—the conspirator that whispers in our ear and keeps us from our dreams—isourself. But there is hope. When we face our own fears and practice the techniques of change, we can stop sabotaging our hopes and dreams.
“I just don’t understand why I can’t find a good relationship. They all start out terrific and then . . . no one wants to make a commitment. Is it bad luck, or is it me? What am I doing wrong?”
“I’m in sales. I’ve made $45,000 for the last three years. I feelstuck. Why can’t I break through to make $50,000 or more?”
“I’m constantly on diets. I go up. I go down. But nothing ever seems to truly work!”
“I work all the time at my home business, but can’t seem to get anywhere financially.”
If you see yourself in any of these people—and I’ve talked with all of them—or if there are some important goals you haven’t yet reached, you are sabotaging. You maynot realize it (none of us do) because sabotaging is unconscious.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? Why don’t you think you have it? Many people tell themselves it’s bad luck, it’s the economy, it’s their mother, or that diets don’t work. The truth is, each of the people I just mentioned—and every one of us as well—practices self-sabotage.
None of us wants secondbest. Our sabotaging causes us to do things that get in our own way, but the good news is that you can identify and correct those things. And it’s easier than you ever thought.
One fascinating aspect of self-sabotage is that we often recognize it in our friends and loved ones but have a hard time seeing it in ourselves. The fact is, we worry most about sabotage in our children, friends, or mates.Will they make their careers work? Will they stop choosing the wrong relationships? Will they take better care of their health? These painful issues concern all of us.
Throughout our lives we’ve heard the message, “You can’t have it all.” Translation: if we really have—or become—everything we want, we will lose something important. Well, it’s time to stop the old tapes and listen to something new.In this book you will find the stories of men and women who faced their limiting beliefs and moved around, over, under, or through their own self-imposed barriers to have the kind of life they wanted. I hope you’ll find the stories not only inspirational, but motivational, and that you’ll be sharing the story of your own triumph over self-sabotage very soon.
As a therapist listening to theunhappiness of my clients, I was often troubled that so many bright, interesting people weren’t getting what they wanted in their lives. The kind of question I heard most frequently was, “Why is it taking me so long to get what I want?”
It’s not because you don’t deserve it.
It’s not because you don’t want it enough.
It’s not because you aren’t intelligent, attractive, or successful enough.
It’sbecause you are self-sabotaging. You have conflicting thoughts and beliefs about actually having what you say you want. You are in resistance.
“I want to be a success in my career, but . . . ” “
I want to lose weight, but . . . ”
“I want a happy relationship, but . . . ”
You are “yes, but”-ing yourself into self-sabotage. This book will teach you to name and change the sabotaging of your dreamsand get out of your own way. By stopping self-sabotage, you will come to know you truly deserve what you most want to have or be in life.
And if you have even the tiniest fantasy that certain people are magically exempt from self-sabotage, please note: our culture is mesmerized by celebrities who sabotage themselves. The latest celebrity sabotage du jour makes headlines on the daily and nightly...
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