Self-Sabotage, or as Gay Hendricks calls it in his book The Big Leap “Upper Limiting”, is a process that we all go through.
Here are some resources to help you push through your upper limit and prevent self-sabotage :
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks is a quick read and a great resource on how to prevent hitting what Gay refers to as your Upper Limit. This book will tell you Gay’s story and then walk you through the exercises he used to help stop his self-sabotage.
The hurts. The offenses. The actions that injure. Even thoughtless abuse from sources beyond our control is stored inside us chemically and spiritually. It becomes a toxic hindrance to moving forward in healing.
The parts of our being are inextricably combined; soul to body to mind to emotions. One cannot be addressed without the others also being affected. Which is why it is so important to remember to care for every slice of ourselves so that every slice is able to be healthy.
To heal, we strip away the spiritual toxin of resentment which means we have to go to the root of the problem. We must “unpack” all the baggage we’ve acquired. There are boxes, suitcases, and even little carry-ons of baggage to be thoughtfully opened and sorted. Which things should be kept for practical use, what should be let go of, what should be destroyed, and what should be filed away under, “Things I Learned”.
Only unpack what you are ready to take care of. Once you begin you can take your time in the process, but once you start it’s started! Prepare for experiences that only the healing of unpacking can bring to you. Revelations through healing that will change you forever.
What bags are lurking in the corners of your soul that need to be unpacked? Are some of them hurts inflicted by others? Are some labeled things like “guilt” and “shame” that need a little extra attention? Are you ready to start the practice of deliberately sorting through all these bags to heal and live with more peace?
I hope that you’ll be patient with yourself and allow yourself grace and time as you work through. I hope that you’ll offer forgiveness and compassion to those that added to your baggage. I hope that you’ll find the quiet and rest that comes with unpacking the baggage.
When was the last time you honestly rested? Where you were truly not involved in anything else. No text conversation. No Netflix. No YouTube. We so frequently steal our own rest time away from ourselves with busy work because we don’t feel we really deserve the rest. But you do.
Your brain rests when there is no input creating stimulus. Your soul rejuvenates when you take time for quiet. It doesn’t have to be for long. A bath, a walk, a sunset in solitude, or a sit in the park listening to the wind in the trees. Even a book and a cup of tea go a long way to settling your soul and keeping your peace.
All day long you pile feelings and thoughts into your heart and soul. You give advice, you deal with uncomfortable situations, you pour yourself into passions, you ache for other’s hurts, and you feel a waterfall of emotions in just a single day. Because our souls are sponges we can hold a shocking amount, but sooner or later we’re saturated and we need to wring out our soaked soul.
Taking a few moments every day to squeeze away some of the stress gives you that little extra slice of patience on the freeway and that last boost of energy you need to finish the day. Who knows? You might love it and it could even lead to a meditation practice? Worse things could happen.
So find a place to take even just 3 minutes of peace, of rest, of quiet. Ask the people in your life to help you find that place. Find a spot at lunch to make quiet happen. Ask you partner how you can create space for quiet for each other. It doesn’t have to be the same time or place or even for the same amount of time every day. Look for the little moments you can take for yourself.
Ask yourself how you feel after quiet time and be honest…do you want more of it? I bet you probably do. Go for it.
Have you worried so hard about something only to arrive in the crux of the moment to find out information that completely alleviated the entire situation? Yeah. We’ve all been there. There’s relief that the worst didn’t happen, but there’s also emotional I need to recover from. And we all know how stress is super good for your body, right? (This is an intensely sarcastic statement of course)
There’s a cheat to letting go of worry. Next time you are stressing over a future event ask yourself, “Is this my future self’s problem?” Your future self has information that your current self doesn’t have. You’re putting in the work to be a healthy and whole human so trust your future self to handle the issue and continue to focus on your now.
For example, It’s Sunday and you get a text from work saying that tomorrow you have to take care of a huge issue and all the possibly complications are in place just for extra fun. You sit and stew. You think about all the possible scenarios to fix the problems. You start anticipating all the reactions from the people involved and what you’re going to say to them. On Monday morning you roll up to your office with that ball of stress in your stomach ready to take a beating. And then it happens, “Oh, well, it turns out it was actually not what we thought and everything is alright.” The deflation is real. Your heart and stomach both feel relieved but confused and definitely like they went through the washing machine.
You literally just had two Mondays because your Sunday was eclipsed by the Mondayness you were anticipating.
If you got that text and instead said to yourself, “Is there anything I can do about this right now?” No? Now, the trick: “Will future me will be more informed to handle this appropriately tomorrow? Yes. Then right now I’m going to enjoy this moment, these people, this beer, this view and be refreshed for the onslaught tomorrow.”
Now you get Sunday AND Monday. You have not lost a day in your life to unnecessary stress. I mean, I’d also like to interject here and say that your work is super rude for texting you on Sunday. Hello, boundaries.
This trick applies to a stress of any size. Worried about that cocktail hour where you’ll probably run into your ex? Future self’s problem because a thousand things could happen to change the situation before you get there. Stressing about how you’re going to finish all these projects by that date? Get organized, trust your systems, and do what you are capable of. You never know what might be taken care of for you by the time you get there.
Using this trick gives you permission to arrive back in the moment. It can be so challenging to sift through what today is giving us and what tomorrow is asking for because almost all actions in life require some kind of preparation. Asking yourself if you can let this be future self’s problem is an easy way to sort out what needs your attention right now and what you can leave for 10 minutes, days, months, or years from now.
We talk a lot. We text a lot. We send messages and comments. We give and take a lot of words. We’re communicating, but what are we saying?
I legitimately think that if we pause (actually pause) for a moment and listened to what our soul wants and needs we’d hear that we need more than the fluffy conversations. In all that communicating are there conversations that lift you up and challenge you, feed you, and push toward growth?
Finding people or even just someone to share thoughts beyond pleasantries and delve into the meat of life. Hold each other accountable to goals and commitments. Someone to explore and encourage the things that are nestled in your heart with you. These kinds of relationships can be hard to find! But start looking if you don’t have someone on deck. Some on you can trust 1000%, someone who can offer an even platform free of judgement on which to lay your journey.
It’s not always an easy relationship to be in, but I promise it’s beneficial. Having a team mate to talk to candidly without judgment and with honesty affords space for you to start the process of gaining clarity on yourself, your life, your passions, your goals, and ultimately what your soul really needs to be whole and healthy.
The relationship may or may not be reciprocal. Some times what an amazing human like this can offer to you, you may not be able to offer back. That’s ok. As long as everyone is clear about the purpose and expectation.
My favorite part about this relationship in my own life is looking back on the ground we’ve traveled together. Looking at how these intentional conversations have paid off and I’ve grown in the intentional direction of the things my soul truly loves. It’s a gift and a blessing. I hope everyone gets to experience this! Who in your world can offer this kind of intentional conversation to you?
Have you guys read that article written by contemplatively creative Mauricio Estrella? You know, the one on Medium, “How A Password Changed My Life”. The summary is that he changed his password to the thing he wanted to “fix” most. And the crazy thing? IT TOTALLY WORKED.
So, what does that mean for you? For me? Does it mean we need to change our passwords so we can be successful in the areas we truly want? I mean, sure, absolutely! But what about just applying the concept itself?
This tactic is a version of daily affirmations. Have you seen Jessica’s Affirmations? This girl is not only the cutest but also a sweet little reminder of how pure and joyful reveling in the awesomeness of our lives can be.
The words we say to ourselves are powerful. More powerful than any other force we encounter. The lies inside our heads about who we are, what we are, and what we can be are dark and strong. The worst of these lies? “There’s no point trying. It’s too hard.”
The beauty of Mauricio and his passwords is that he launched a full-scale attack on his psyche by offering himself verbal affirmations to get to the point of wanting to want to. Wanting to want something is a tiny first step. A crucial first step.
How can you do this, too? Post-its, marker on the mirror, e-mails to yourself, and notes on your phone’s home screen are GREAT ways to give yourself powerful affirmations all day. But I think what’s really powerful is the act of writing or typing the words because that means you putting the thought into existence.
Remember that old school punishment of writing lines? “I will not tell lies.” Written over and over and over again to teach a student a lesson. They were on to something. Am I suggesting that you write, “Lose 10 pounds.” 100 times a day? I mean, maybe? What would work for you?
Where can you offer yourself positive reinforcement of the things that are healing and good for your heart? What do you need to say to yourself right now to want to want to? And how can you start saying it to yourself tomorrow?