The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

Self Sabotage

In Botanical Archetypes, Cryptanthus, Terminology on May 22, 2009 at 9:31 am

05102008(001)‘Self sabotage’ is a term often used in self help books, life coaching seminars and the alternative therapy fields to describe ‘an unintentional lack of progress’ in achieving your goals. I.e. Because you have ‘sabotaged’ them in some way, waylaid, delayed or stopped your progress and maybe even ruined your chances of success entirely. The point is that you are the chief antagonist in derailing your own plans.

The concept of self sabotage has been a long-time contemplation-puzzle for me. For years I had pondered the relationship between .a. People’s intentions. .b. People’s problems in fulfilling those intentions and .c. People’s outright failure to fulfill their own intentions. The subject has long mystified me.

Why is progress often so hard, despite knowing what you want to create? Why do my actions not follow my thoughts? Why do we fail?

After years of ameteur puzzling over this mystery, the concept was put under the microscope and seriously explored when I began working with Genus Cryptanthus; the Earth Stars. Soon these flowers gave me a deeper insight into the much used term.

The Green Star, Cryptanthus ‘Snow Goose’ defines Self Sabotage as

  • Self Sabotage – The frustrated attempt to achieve your desire(s) because another part of consciousness is dreaming of something else.

This view point of “… another part of my awareness ( sub-conscious ) that is dreaming of something else” was the pivotal statement that opened the doors to insight. Something about the softness of the definition greased the wheels of understanding and allowed me to creep up on it’s meaning… “Hmmm, an aspect of myself that was dreaming of a different direction” gave me more clues than the “hidden saboteur” model that I held before.

By taking a passive approach to my inspection and not an antagonistic view of ‘it’ as a ‘problem’, clarity came as to the mechanics of self sabotage, ‘sabotage patterns’ and the host of other thorns-in-my-creative-side.

The idea that a “part” of myself spends it’s time derailing my much loved plans and ideas just didn’t grab me. As did the notion of blaming “the sub-conscious mind” as being at fault. In fact blaming anything such as “old beliefs”, “my past”  or the host of other dastardly, inner criminals we commonly fall foul of didn’t ring ultimately true for me either. And why not? Because I had pinned the crime on them many times but the crimes kept going on! The real culprit had not been found!

In short, I ( and many others who came to see me ) wanted to know why we fail-to-follow-through on our creative and inspirational ideas. Case closed! Why do we do that?

To me self sabotage meant stopping myself from reaching my goal… and what infuriated me most was that I hadn’t consciously chosen to given the order to stop! After years of inner delving and looking for the upsetting roots to my current actions in the murky waters of the mind, I tried a new approach to ‘getting the job done’.

I chose to focus on my actions and take responsibility for them ( a ‘side effect’ of ‘the Practice of Presence’ series of classes I have been teaching ). This meant that I was no longer focusing on anything outside of myself in that  moment. My only focus was on how I was currently acting and the results that were being produced – in the real world.

After all, if I’m not sitting down at my desk and doing the work I know I need to do or writing the book I want to write… I won’t produce the result that I am after no matter how much clarity or intention I have. Only following through with action by putting pen to paper and fingers to keyboard will do!

As I began thinking in direct terms – of what needed to be done – and then responding to my intention in appropriate ways, I began to “link” my inner thoughts to my external reality. So my practice ( and it seems an obvious one ) was to get on with the job at hand. By remaining present to my thoughts – and whether my actions followed those thoughts – I could easily see when I was beginning to stray from my goal and the desired end.

By looking squarely to what I was now doing had an unusual effect. I.e. I was getting the job done! All I merely had to do was notice my actions and keep to my course…

( *More on clearing-sabotage-patterns-as-you-go later ).

Here are The Green Stars’ tips on achieving your goals, living your dreams and handling the hurdles along the way…

  • The #.1. reason why people fail to achieve reach their goals and live their dream lifestyle is because they don’t work directly on them.
  • Direct your energy directly toward what you wish to happen in your life. Directly support your desires with corresponding actions.
  • Aim to live your dream… Don’t live your life aiming toward it!
  • Never argue in favour of your limitations! Whose side are you on?
  • Never use impediment, obstruction or delay as an excuse to change your goal. Recognize these as prompts to merely ‘adjust your sails’ and change your approach to your goal. I.e. Adjust your motive.
  • Complete what you start.
  • Be your wildest dream!


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