Self Sabotage – The Clogs of Confidence

Check our Latest products!

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your own self.~Aldous Huxley

The word Sabotage comes the Industrial Revolution in France. It is said that the powered looms were damaged by angry or disgruntled workers who throw their wooden shoes or clogs (known in French as sabots, hence the term Sabotage) into the machinery, effectively clogging the machinery. It is an odd fact that unhappy workers have repeatedly destroyed their own jobs to protest poor working conditions, or pay, or treatment. It happens, of course, when the workers no longer feel they have anything to lose. If the job becomes intolerable, and no conventional solutions are found, the hopeless frustrated workers will sabotage their own jobs in protest.

There are many discrepancies between the way things appear and the way they really are. Something that is impermanent can appear to be permanent. ~H.H. the Dalai Lama

The problem I’m considering here is self-sabotage. There are times when we actually clog the workings of our life because we feel so frustrated and hopeless, and see no reasonable solutions available to us. For those French workers there may have been solutions available that were not taken either out of rage or ignorance. The same can be said of the person who uses psychological sabotage against himself or herself. There may be other choices that would resolve the frustrations, but because we can’t see those better choices we choose instead to take a working life and destroy it.

Here are the most common of methods of destroying our own confidence:

1. This or Nothing. If you want it all, and will accept nothing less than total victory, then a 99.9% score is a loss. You might say, “Hey, texarooty, nobody would say something like that.” Sadly, not only do some people sabotage themselves this way, but I have been sabotaging myself this way for 57 years. If I sent a poem, or a short story out to Atlantic Monthly and it was rejected then I felt the poem was a piece of crap and no other publication on earth would be interested in this work. The fact that even the Poet Laureate of the United States has had work rejected by The Atlantic, I still have this idea: If I don’t achieve this level of success then nothing else I might achieve is worth trying.This way of thinking is the reason you can’t seem to enjoy even the small wins you’ve been getting in life. You think you are a complete failure when your performance (whatever it is) is not perfect. You’d be confident if you didn’t spend so much energy being so hard on yourself!

2. Expect To Lose. If you expect that disaster hiding behind every corner, you will probably find it at every turn in your life.. If you apply for a job and are not hired you think: no one wants me, I am not going to get a good job, I probably can’t even get a job flipping burgers. Such an attitude shines through in a job interview.

3. Accentuate the Negative. Eliminate the Positive. There is an old song that has the line: “accentuate the positive– eliminate the negative,” but to the self-sabotage-ers out there the concept is inverted. If you sabotage your confidence then your confidence will be destroyed and you’ll take the smallest negative molehill and magnify it until it looks like a mountain. If you have 6 first place ribbons and one third place ribbon, you will ignore the 6 blue ribbons and magnify the negative aspects of coming in third.

4. Accepting Your Sensations Unexplored, Unquestioned, Unchallenged. It is hard to not believe what you feel, because what you feel is felt so intensely. It is a fact that feelings are not facts, but we sabotage ourselves by not exploring our feelings, not questioning our feelings, and not challenging our feelings. If how you are feeling does not match up with the truth, but you believe the feeling rather than the truth, then confidence is destroyed. ‘I feel stupid so I must be stupid’ Feelings come and go. Confidence is a decision of the mind, and can and often is separate from our feelings.

5. Use the word SHOULD and you have a SHOULDY ATTATITUDE.” The I should have. . . is a phrase common in the mouth and mind of a self-sabotage-er. When I use the word should I’m actually imagining that people expect something from me that I have not or cannot produce. Should statements create standards that we don’t meet, and often they are standards that no one can meet. For example: I recently read some financial advice that said stuff like: You should save 15% of your annual income for emergencies. You should also save 10% of your income in a long term savings account. You should invest 20% of your income in stocks and bonds. You should save 5% of your income for your children’s education. You mortgage should be no more than 30% of your annual income. Add up all these shoulds and you don’t have enough money left to buy food, or pay the electric bill. When you say should it is almost always connected to something that did not go as well as you would have liked, and the should implies: “There must be something really wrong with me.”

6. Tattoo Labeling. Sadly, the self-sabotage-er tends to label himself or herself, and those labels are tattooed on the forehead. We make it impossible for anyone, including ourselves, from removing those labels. ‘I am a loser. It must all be my fault.’ If you have to put a label on yourself, pick a positive one, label yourself a confident person.

7.The Humility Monster. We sabotage ourselves by being unable to accept a compliment. If someone tells me I am good at art, I immediately say, “Thanks.” (I was taught to always say thank you when people say something nice) and then I say, ” was nothing really. Millions of people could have done it better, but I like to draw, so, thanks for being so kind.” Or, “I love you in that dress?” and you say, “Really? I think it makes my butt look big.”

Self-sabotage is extremely powerful, because, almost always, our sabotaging thoughts bypasses our conscious mind. It’s very difficult to deal with problems that take place mostly in the subconscious. In fact, the only way to work with a subconscious problem is to make it a conscious problem. Be aware. Be conscious. Live in the present moment.

We become our beliefs. We get stuck in our heads. ~Kaufman

Notice when you are sabotaging the self, and say, out loud this confidence mantra, “What I’m doing is hurting me. What I have to do is do, think, and say stuff that will be effective productive, and positive right now, in this very moment!” Every time you notice you are sabotaging yourself repeat this confidence mantra. Tell yourself that you do not have to have a rescuer to save the day. The power and the solutions you need right now, you have within you right now. You do not have to be a victim of your own fears and self-destructive thinking. Notice what you are doing and thinking, and if it is not empowering you right now, in the present moment, in your NOW, then say, in an emphatic voice: STOP~ and then repeat the confidence mantra: Make sure that whatever it is that you are doing is empowering you RIGHT NOW, not at some later moment. This way, you are guaranteed that you are always doing what’s best for you at any given moment.


write by Oralie

Leave a Reply