It's all about programming. It’s about the negative self talk that takes place subconsciously, when you are NOT consciously aware of what that nasty voice is saying in the background of our minds.
Imagine being at a movie theatre, watching a good flick, and there’s this voice spouting dribble a row behind you. You stay focused on what’s happening on the screen but you are slightly aware by the tone of the voice, perhaps not catching the words, that the person behind is not into the movie as you are. It’s perhaps slightly irritating to you. But you choose to ignore it OR not. If you do ignore it, you choose to tune the irritator out and enjoy the movie. If you don't, that’s when you turn around and with an intimidating look, tell the doomsayer to be quiet and continue to watch the movie IF the person stops talking.
The doomsayers of the mind are the parts of us that are protecting a belief that may be contrary to what you logically want. It's important to note that the subconscious mind is the single most powerful goal oriented mechanism known to man!!! I just can’t say that enough. Let’s say you procrastinate doing the homework for a night course you’re taking that will help you get a promotion at work. You find a zillion excuses to not do it. “I’m tired from working all day and need a break right now”; “I have to do the laundry first or I won’t have any clean clothes to wear to work tomorrow”; “Maybe this isn’t for me”; “I’ll do it later when I have more energy ... time....brain cells”. Are any of these excuses going to get you the promotion? Sure, dressing in clean clothes might make an impression on your boss who is holding the reigns to your future. Yes, being bleary eyed tired might put a damper on that impression as well. But what you REALLY want is to get the promotion which will increase your income and self esteem.
Logically, you know you have the skills and can do the job better than Mark or Tom or Carol who are also jockeying for the job. You have the drive and passion to climb the corporate ladder. This is what encouraged you to throw your name in the hat. You also recognize that you need more experience in a particular area required by the new position. And you know that Mark and Carol have that. Thus you are taking the crash course in “Accounting in your Sleep”.
So how is it that you know that this course is vital to your professional growth yet all that excitement and drive is deflating and shrivelling like a 3 day old birthday balloon? Because your subconscious mind has other plans for you. And they’re based on a belief that YOU YOURSELF believe about YOURSELF. And it’s an UNCONSCIOUS belief, which means you aren’t aware of the belief consciously nor even remember what the belief is at this point.
Willpower is a conscious mind function. It’s when we use action and energy to move towards something. But it’s not coming from the powerful inner mind. And it fizzes out in the face of the ruthlessly efficent subconscious and its goals. Let’s say that the belief is that you’re not good enough. And that belief extends to your professional life. The subconscious mind will protect this belief because it’s yours! You came to believe this at a time when you had no control of what was happening around you. So the subconscious mind sees you going for the promotion as a threat to that belief. That in its pursuit, you will ultimately be hurt emotionally because you’re not good enough to handle the new responsibilities! You believe that (subconsciously)! So it begins its strategising to ensure you don’t go through with it. Our National Defence departments could learn from this part of the mind big time. Being an imaginative and emotional mind and goal oriented, it will use feelings to sabotage the movement toward a goal it sees as not being possible. It’s not a realistic mind nor a judging mind. It’s not doing all this to make you feel bad. It’s doing all this to help you AVOID feeling bad.
Thus, slowly but surely (or quickly and surely), you begin to feel nervous and doubt yourself. You may or may not wonder where the excitement and drive went. Well, it was booted out the door. Now, the logical, conscious mind doesn't recognize feelings. It uses language to interpret and justify so that we feel sane in our world. We feel something (and it doesn't feel good) so the logical mind begins its thought process to justify the feeling. I.e. "that promotion isn't worth my time and effort", "it's not the right time", etc. You find ways to avoid the task, and the thought of the task becomes greater than the task itself.
And the logical mind is in cahoots with the subconscious mind. Because it’s the rationalizer. It’s our judge and jury. The logical mind shields the subconscious mind from the outside world. If an incoming sensory message from the outside is not deemed in HARMONY with the established subconscious belief, it gets rid of it. It’s like shooting a BB gun at a brick wall. All the will power in the world will not override this. If you’d stopped and listened to yourself as you made the decision to go for the promotion, you may have heard your OWN inner voice telling you that it’s a bad idea. That you really don’t have what it takes. You may have noticed the feelings that accompany the voice as well, such as fear, nervousness, anxiety, saddness. But you soldiered on due to will power and the original though that it was logical. Logical or not, it won’t happen if the subconscious mind isn’t on board that train to the next stop on your route to professional growth.
Fear is the motivator of the subconscious mind. Many of us are too frightened to even imagine making changes to our lives. Security is that which is familiar. If you stay in your job, your marriage, your LIFE as it is, then you at least know what you are dealing with. We resist change. To use an extreme example, how many of us have read about abused women who stayed in that abusive relationship until one day they had the courage to leave. You might ask yourself, “Why the heck didn’t she leave the first time he used her as a punching bag?” It’s because the evil you know is better than the evil you don’t know. The fear of the unknown is a powerful thing. These women are no different than any of us! What makes them do what we would not is their own state of self worth, their internal BELIEF.
We are all guided by our personal values, morals and beliefs. We all have some form of fractured sense of value. And when experiences have continuously battered that fragile piece that knows we ARE worthy of being treated with respect, the belief that we are NOT only gets stronger. It’s the law of compounding, no pun intended. Again, it’s the belief that you aren’t good enough, loveable enough, important enough, that guides our choices. And the subconscious mind is in the driver’s seat. It perpetuates the belief by having us choose the situations (again, subconsciously and without judgement) that perpetuate the belief. For example, choosing abusive men to have relationships with. And if an abused woman were to look at her history, she would begin to notice that each relationship choice was progressively MORE abusive. Why? Because each experience only reinforced the belief that she deserves to be physically and emotionally abused. She doesn’t feel she deserves any better. And because it’s not rational, she believes that somehow, it’s her fault anyway!!!! It’s her inner child that says and feels this. That child in her came to believe by her perceptions based on experiences in her early life that if she were better, more helpful, quieter, more invisible, that she would then be a good girl and receive the love and respect and attention she deserves (which she always deserved to begin with). Many men and women today learned by their childhood experiences that love "hurts". So their choices will always reflect that belief until the belief changes.
So what can we do to stop this? A good place to begin is to put on hold the behaviour for a moment and step back from being the Participant in your life without choice. When you do this, you can observe what you are doing. Become aware of why you are sabotaging yourself. Close your eyes and listen to your “self” and you will hear the clues to why you do what you do. Go with the first thought that comes to your mind. This puts you on the road to making more conscious choices to create what you do want in your life. Read books. Journal your thoughts to work through the procrastination to get to the root issue. Make a list of all the times you’ve procrastinated in one column and in the next, write out what you did to self sabotage. Noticing behaviour brings it to conscious attention. Then create a plan to begin practising better habits. Know thyself. This will help you have more control vs. feeling mindless about what you say, think and do. It’s easy to point fingers and look outside ourselves. But the answer and the impetus for the behaviour are inside ourselves. In a situation where it’s likely to happen, watch your thoughts, be aware of the impulse to sabotage yourself, say “That’s interesting” and let them pass away before you act.
I believe that the Universe supports us in every thought we choose to think. If we think we can’t – we can’t. If we think we can, we CAN. It's important to give your goal oriented mind strong, positive affirmations so that it does exactly what you want it to do. Give yourself the gift of patience and love – you will get positive results!
Include seeking help to ultimately discover the root of the belief that causes you to self sabotage so that you can change it. Just working with affirmations will take a LONG TIME to make any permanent changes. Learning Self Hynosis and practising working with your inner mind will provide results in less time because the key is to access the subconscious mind which is the only part of your mind that can make permanent and long-lasting changes. It is the habit forming mind, so you have the ability to form new, healthy habits about yourself that will drive your thoughts and actions towards what you truly deserve.
My advise for making those changes in a shorter amount of time is Hypnotherapy, working with a professionally trained Hypnotherapist. It works!! It's the deepest form of therapy for life changes. I've done my own inner work and continue to do so because I am learning I DESERVE HAPPINESS. And I see it daily with clients in my practise. People rolling up their sleeves to do something new to help themselves change. Unfortunately, many clients come to me and say I'm their last resort. They are so tired and at the end of their rope. I always wish at that point that they had discovered this therapy earlier but also believe that when a person is ready to really dig deep, to educate themselves about what choices they have in self healing therapies, they'll be ready to walk through my door. Find a Hypnotherapist in your area who can facilitate that change. Know that you deserve to have what you desire and that their is more than hope for change. I look at myself as a Mind Coach, partnering with clients to 'change their minds' about self sabotaging beliefs. It's more than Hypnosis (a technique to gain access to the subconscious mind that we ALL do naturally), it's about being trained to handle all that the clients subconscious mind brings up. Go with your gut when making a choice. If you are speaking to a Hypnotherapist when making an inquiry, not only listen to how you feel about what they say about the process but how you feel about the person. This person is going to work with you to guide you to unearth the knowledge you already have about why you feel the way you do, why you act as you do, why you think as you do. This is very vulnerable work and trust is so important.