Reflections at 40 – Sabotage – 14/40

To celebrate turning 40, I’ve challenged myself to blog for each of the 40 days leading into my birthday. This is post number 14. You can read all the posts here.

When it comes to change, it’s easy to see self-sabotage and regression as the same thing because they lead to the same place – ‘off the wagon’, so to speak.

They’re not the same, however.

Regression is natural and reflects the fact that growth and change are not linear processes. Especially when it comes to changing patterns of behaviour we’ve spent decades laying down.

Self-sabotage? It’s the voice in our head when we regress that says:

  • See? I told you there was no point trying.
  • You’re not worthy of this change.
  • You are who you are now, and always will be.

Self-sabotage is strongly driven by our identity, the stories we’ve told ourselves about ourselves over the years. When we try to change one of those stories, that part of our identity feels threatened, and tries to assert itself.

For years a huge part of my identity was based on being ‘that person’. The one everyone shook their head in admiration about and said, ‘I don’t know how she does it’.

When I started simplifying my life and saying No to things I’d ordinarily say Yes to, that part of my identity freaked out.

It made me question who I was if I wasn’t ‘that person’ anymore.

Every time I managed to get life under control, it saw me do things like say ‘Yes, Yes, Yes’ to everything that crossed my path and before I knew it, I’d be overwhelmed and overcommitted.


So, how do we get on top of self-sabotage?

We start by changing our story.

PS: If you’d like a beautiful reflection and meditation for those times when you’re struggling to drown out that horrible voice in your head – get your hands on this beautiful book written by Lucy Haché and illustrated by one of my readers, Michael Joyal. It’s divine.


Image credit: Jordan Hubbard