How to stop self-sabotaging behavior


How’s the first week of the New Year treating you? Yeah, me too! lol I know this is where I’m supposed to be all motivating and excited for a fresh new start but that hasn’t been my current reality and I ain’t gonna lie to you like that. Plus, I don’t think it truly serves you to think my life’s all roses all the time. Don’t get me wrong I’m pretty happy most of the time and I believe there is sooo much beauty in the world but I, just like you go through rough patches too. So I think it’s important to let you know that.

Somehow my hope is to let you know you’re not alone.

For me it’s been a time of breaking down the pieces that aren’t working, cutting old cords, forgiving myself & others and letting go of what’s no longer serving me. I’ve been taking a look at what’s working and what’s definitely not working! Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. I’m just gonna dive right in…

So I’ve realized that I’ve had this pattern of hiding, playing small, and I’m pretty sure I’ve hit an upper limit problem. We all have ways that this shows up, so I’m not going to beat myself up for it or make myself wrong but I know it’s not serving me when it happens either. It doesn’t serve me and it definitely doesn’t serve the people who I’m meant to serve if I’m rolled up in the fetal position playing Bubba Witch on my phone. lol

You may have heard of it? For those of you who haven’t, an upper limit problem is when you hit the maximum capacity of goodness you allow in your life. It’s the maximum amount of joy, happiness, abundance, you name it that we allow in our lives. When it all gets to be too good we find ways to sabotage to get back to what we know [our comfort zone] even if it doesn’t feel very comfortable.

If you’ve never read the Big Leap by Gay Hendricks I highly recommend it [I’ve linked it here for you for easy purchase], it’s all about the upper limit problems and reading this book has helped me tremendously in stopping self-sabotage in it’s tracks! Thank god I read this a few years ago or I’d have no idea what has been happening lately.

There are so many ways we hold back, play a smaller game, or straight up hide! But why? Well, what I’ve realized is that my hiding pattern and playing small came from a deep [unconscious of course] fear of being abandoned and not belonging. I was afraid that the more I step out and lead, the more I wouldn’t fit in and then more people will leave me. I already struggle with feeling isolated & alone most days just by the nature of being an entrepreneur. I have to make a conscious effort to get out to be around people. The thought of losing more people because of becoming a more powerful & confident version of myself was just too much for that fearful part of me to take.

After-all, my ego had evidence, some people did abandon me when I got divorced. At least that’s the story my ego made up. The ego tells us all sorts of things to try and keep us safe but it’s just not true… It’s all good though and I know that when people leave our lives, it’s usually time [ it doesn’t make it less painful in the moment] but as old people leave, new people with higher vibes show up to greet us! I know this on a good day but on days when my fear and self-doubt creep in then the story becomes, if I lead people will leave.

I my friends hit an upper limit recently and I think I know why…So many good things where happening so quickly, I was in a new home for the first time in two years [one that I could decorate eek!], got a new car, was back in my home state, relationship was going great [so great that in fact we’ve talked about starting a family in the next year or so], I was about three pounds away from being out of the 200 lb club, I was finally over the fear of being on video, and having fun making videos, I was serving a lot of people, my personal branding photography started to take off, I healed the relationships with some of the men in my life and BAM! Cue the self-sabotaging behavior.

Too much good to quickly and I went into hiding.

This my friends is a very common occurrence! I’ll give you some other examples…

  • Do you ever find yourself binge eating or over eating and you know what to do to eat healthy but you don’t do it anyways?

  • Drink to numb out, escape, or to relieve social anxiety

  • Ever shop til you drop to avoid feeling things you don’t wanna feel? A little retail therapy anyone?

  • Binge watch Netflix to escape your current reality?

  • Focusing on what someone else is or isn’t doing because it takes the focus off of your shit

These and many more are just a few ways we self-sabotage what we truly desire to get back to our comfort zones. Sometimes it can be a really helpless felling but you can stop self-sabotaging behavior.

How to stop self-sabotaging behavior?

Self-sabotage is inevitably going to happen at various points of our life. I know for me for years I’d self-sabotage my “diets” and eating behaviors. It wasn’t until I finally got to the root of the problem [trauma] that I was able to end the cycle. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t stop it or that you need to work through trauma to stop it [although I’m a huge believer in healing trauma to free yourself from the pain trauma causes] however I will say over time you will be able to lessen the amount self-sabotage shows up in our lives.

  1. Become Aware

We first need to become aware of self-sabotage and they ways it’s showing up for us, to notice its happening. This will look different for each individual. Once we have an awareness, that’s when we can change it and get a handle on it. That’s how change works, notice the behavior and then change it. More complex than that I know but put simply thats where we’ve gotta start. So for example, now that I know being under 200lbs feels threatening and unsafe to a part of me, I have to tell myself that I am safe in a lighter body and I can be a strong, powerful, & confident leader and yes, some people might leave and it’s ok. The right people will show up, support, and love me!

2. Make A Different Choice

Have a game plan for how you will deal with feelings of wanting to self-sabotage. Call a friend for support, have healthy food options available, go for a walk, allow yourself to feel the feelings and if you do indulge in the cupcakes, forgive yourself and tell yourself that I gave myself permission this time but it doesn’t mean I wont stop myself next time. I can make a new choice at any moment.

3. Forgive Yourself

Nothing fuels the cycle of self-sabotage more than self-criticism. Don’t throw gas on an already burning fire. Be gentle and kind and forgive yourself. Explore what feeling you didn’t want to feel and allow yourself to go there for a bit. Forgive yourself and have compassion. Your learning how to beat your upper limit problems.

I’ve struggled with self sabotaging alot over my lifetime and by getting to know my patterns and how they show up has liberated me from going into a huge shame spiral time after time. In fact so much so that I prefer to look at self-sabotage as actually self-protection. It’s my egos way of trying to keep me safe and just like a mother wants to keep her babies safe I get where she’s coming from. So instead of making yourself wrong for wanting to be safe and secure have deep compassion for the part of you that’s scared. Soothe yourself in ways that feel good and actually serve you. Over time the cycle will lessen and lessen.

Remember love, you are the creator of your life!

Much love to you and watch those upper limits there tricky little buggers ;)! lol xo- laurie marie

Comment below and share this with a friend! When we share with others it helps them grow too and become aware of how there ego might be trying to keep them safe.