Life can bring on tons of obstacles, but one of the biggest is also one of the craziest. That obstacle is our very own selves. That’s right. WE are often the ones standing in our own way between where we are and where we want to be.  

Last week’s post introduced the idea of self-imposed upper limits, or limits we’ve set in our own heads regarding how high we can climb. Once we start to approach these limits, self-sabotaging can set in – either consciously or subconsciously – to ensure we don’t dare cross that line into optimum success.

Maddening is right.

But it’s also totally fix-able.

Top 4 reasons for self-sabotage: Reason 2

Amazing insights from psychologist Gay Hendricks shared in Edward Vilga’s DailyOM course disclose the Top 4 Reasons for Self-Sabotage. The first reason, shared last week, is low self-worth.

The second reason? Rules we were taught and roles we got stuck playing that put a limit on what or who we can be.

That’s nice, dear. But how will you make money?

One example that immediately comes to mind is my lifelong desire to be an artist and writer. I recall running up to (well-meaning) adults to share my latest poem, short story or illustration with enthusiasm and glee.

“I’m gonna be an artist and writer,” I’d proclaim.

“That’s nice dear. But how will you make money?”

It felt like a kick in the shins.

Was being a writer and artist a surefire road to poverty and lack? At least I didn’t pick the desired occupation of another kid who said he wanted to be a railroad track.

It also made me immediately associate the passion and fun of writing and art with being broke.

Making money, therefore, must come from the opposite: jobs that were boring and completely disagreeable.

Believe me, I found them.

I would job hunt for positions that had nothing to do with writing, art or creativity – thinking a job had to be non-creative, non-fun and total torture to make any money.

ryn garguilnski crab art tucson fair
Who says you can’t make money making art? This delightful crab sink sold to a lady in Georgia. Photo circa years ago at Tucson Art Fair.

Slow stop to self-sabotage

It took me years and years to actually say OUT LOUD that I was a writer and artist. Then it took several more years before I had enough courage to pursue the occupation full-time – but always working for someone else.  

It wasn’t until the newspaper where I worked closed down, and I was forced to find a new source of income, that I was able to fully embrace my dream of being a freelance writer and artist.

Thankfully, as I expanded my services to offer life coaching and recovery coaching, no one has yet to discourage the path. And even if they did, I’m at a point now where I could tell any limiting thoughts that arose from the exchange to go take a nice long hike.

There are other rules and roles I likewise had to shed. As many folks in recovery know, we’re prone to being assigned loads of roles we picked up while drinking or doing drugs. Some may include:

  • The black sheep
  • The one who throws big ashtrays at the wall
  • The one who shows up late and wasted
  • The one who never shows up at all

You don’t have to wait as long as I did to shed these things. You can look at the rules you were taught and roles you feel stuck playing that no longer serve you – then work on shedding them NOW.

This writer, artist, coach and former black sheep would be delighted to help. Book a free consultation and I’ll tell you how.

VIDEO: Stop self-sabotage – Fix 2 of 4

PODCAST: Stop self-sabotage – Fix 2 of 4

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