Self Sabbotage

By Robert Holmes | Uncategorized

Jun 18

In the course of being a life coach, I come across people who’s own expectations for themselves run far below what they are capable of, and what they deserve, from my outsider’s perspective. Consider the following two people:

Example A: was sexually violated as a child. It happened in her home, when her brother was home (in another room), by a neighbourhood friend. She was nine. I asked her whether she deserved to be protected, and as an adult she said, “No, how could I be protected? My parents were out, my brother never knew”. That wasn’t my question. Did she deserve to be protected… “Not really, it just happened.” Right so pretend we’re talking about your daughter, and she’s nine… ” tears. Right, she deserves it doesn’t she. So why don’t you?

Example B: was performing in a competition and didn’t win. He seemed happy enough though, coming third. I was curious though, because he was probably the best person there. Who would be content placing, when they were capable of winning? I asked him whether he deserved to win, and he said, “No, I’m happy being in the competition, it was good experience.” Right so if you don’t expect to win, you don’t try quite so hard but you’re also not let down or disappointed if you lose. That guy who won, did he deserve it? “Absolutely” and do you think he aimed for it? “With all his heart” so did he deserve to win? “Yep” So why don’t you?

These examples illustrate the principle of self sabotage, cutting ourselves off from our calling, potential, victory, success, destiny and settling in for less. We do it to avoid disappointment, hurt, anxiety, pain, loss or trouble. But usually the thing we seek to avoid finds us anyway. It arrives much later in the form of regret. Eventually however, we end up quite distressed by our choices, and the seemingly inexplicable series of events that occur to stop us moving forward, the barriers that rise to halt our progress. If that frustration becomes strong enough, we might stop to assess why it is happening, and if we are coachable in that moment, we might examine our own hearts. We might evaluate our own internal levels of deserve about an issue, and find out that it is in fact we who are sabotaging our own progress, and not fate, or the universe resisting us.

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About the Author

Robert is an expert in the science of human behaviour and performance enhancement with a passion for neurology, leadership and the psychology of potential. He believes it is important to bring hard science to coaching, and that coaching practices be evidence based and research backed. Robert is a founding partner at Frazer, Holmes Coaching and current Director of Brand and Marketing for the International Coach Federation Australasia (ICFA). Robert is a professionally certified coach (PCC) with over 20 years of business experience and an ICF Accredited Mentor Coach. He is an Associate at the National Speaker's Association, a member of the Coaching Psychology interest group at the APS, a certified Action Learning Coach, a Member of the Australian Institute of Management Consultants.