So… What is Self-Sabotage?
Self-Sabotage is when you have a longstanding goal but you ensure that it is never achieved.
I am a “by any means necessary” kind of girl; I do not take “no” for an answer; If one door closes, I’ll go find another door. I would have never associated myself to being one to self-sabotage until I began reading “The 5 Love Languages” and “The Conversation”. It has been two years since I have fully committed my love to an individual and allowed myself to be categorized as “in a relationship”. I dated, I entertained, I friendzoned but never settled back down. My close friends tell me that I have the mindset of man; that I have emotionally shutoff the concept of a relationship; or that I believe that I do not need a companion to be happy. My nonchalant response to their opinions is usually laughter. In my mind, they could not be further from the truth about what I want. I desire to be married; I yearn to be a mother one day; and I believe love is one of the most powerful and beautiful components of life. My longstanding goals are clear to me but the choices I have made or lack there of, do not show my thoughts to by my truth… Self-Sabotage.
So… How do you control/eliminate Self-Sabotage?
ACKNOWLEDGE *DISENGAGE *CHALLENGE *DISCOVER
The first step in eliminating self-sabotage is acknowledging there is an issue to be dealt with. Early life experiences, fear or low self-esteem could be factors of why we result to self-sabotage.
Chapman’s 5 Love Languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. According to Chapman, every individual has a primary love language. You must learn and speak the love language of your significant other in order to have a successful relationship. After reading each love language, I told myself that I did not fit the mold of receiving gifts or physical touch but I was not certain of my primary love language either. Within the book, I took the quiz to discover my top love languages. Ironically my top love languages are receiving gifts and physical touch. Receiving gifts (as a love language) is more than just tangible items and/or expensive gifts. It could be as simple as a handwritten note or the presence of your significant other when you need them. Physical touch (as a love language) is more than just sex. Holding hands, giving a hug, cuddling, greeting each other with a kiss, or rubbing ones back are all forms of physical touch. Both love languages can call for minimum effort but it’s the thought behind the action that matters.
In my last relationship, when there was a problem, receiving gifts and physical touch love languages seemed like a punishment for me. It was if my partner knew my love languages and used them against me. For example, if I wanted my partner’s company or they agreed to be present at an event (and we just had a disagreement) they would decline to come or just would not show up. If my partner purchased a gift (and we had an argument) they would return the gift to the store. As a result of their actions, I reacted with anger and would shut down emotionally. My feelings snowballed to disgust of any physical touch. I did not feel they deserved my love physically because they would intentionally hurt me. Expressing my love physically to someone who would intentionally hurt me was against my values. My past relationship is a life experience I do not want to relive. I learned to suppress those memories but the pain unconsciously built a defense for future relationships.
I can now ACKNOWLEDGE that my fear of being a relationship like my past sabotaged the potential relationships I attempted to build.
The second step in eliminating self-sabotage is to disengage. Let go of fear, the past, or whatever else is holding you back from achieving your longstanding goal.
In “The Conversation”, Harper has a chapter titled Anger, Forgiveness and Learning to Let Go. He compares transitioning from one relationship to the next with moving to a new place. When you move, you have to decide what you want to pack or take with you and what you want to leave behind. Harper encourages you to leave the anger, the fear, the doubt and overall the “baggage” behind. Do not pursue a new relationship with the baggage of the past. If you bring along your baggage from the past, you already sabotaged your future.
I fully agree with Harper. Past baggage could ruin a new relationship so I left my baggage with my last partner behind. I failed realize along with leaving my baggage behind, I also packed away my true love languages. I tried to change my love languages. I stopped allowing prospects to connect with me through “receiving gifts” or “physical touch”. I made those love languages seem of little importance to me or strayed away from them all together. My baggage contained the real version of who I was and how I loved. I was too afraid to unpack my baggage and take what I needed because of fear. Fear that history would repeat itself.
I had to DISENGAGE from fear. DISENGAGE from forming new love languages because they were not my true love languages. By taking on false love languages, new relationships never even had a chance. Based on a lie, all new relationships were set to fail. How can you please me, if you don’t know how to reach me? How could you love me, when I make myself unlovable? Our “Conversations” were already done before they even started.
The third step to eliminate self-sabotage is to challenge. You know your longstanding goal. You know what is keeping you from achieving your goal. Now, what are you going to do about it?
“For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossible, deserts unbearable, and hardship our lot in life (The 5 Love Languages).”
For the past two years, my mind packed away my love languages to protect my heart. It was not easy to unpack my love languages. At first, every time I decided to unpack and use a primary love language, a painful memory would emerge. I could physically feel a pain in my chest. A pain of disappointment; a pain of failure; a pain of anger. Sometimes I would regret trying. The challenge to let go of fear was hard but I was determined to love again.
If I truly desired love and a relationship my CHALLENGE was to unpack my true love languages. I had to stand up to my fears. Regain the courage to truly love again.
For love you must have courage. You must have courage to fight your fears.
The fourth step to eliminate self-sabotage is to DISCOVER. Accept who you are and who you want to be. Have courage to move forward away from the negative attributes that stopped you from achieving your longstanding goal.
“F.E.A.R : False Evidence Appearing Real (The Conversation)”
By defying my real “love languages”, I was presenting a fabricated version of myself because of fear. My fear allowed me to believe that speaking my true love languages as I did in my past relationship, would result in a similar painful outcome. Today I am aware of who and I am and what I want to achieve. My next partner will not be the same therefore my relationship will automatically be different. I have the choice to be vulnerable and speak my true love languages.
I DISCOVERED my past relationship to be a negative time in my life but also a learning experience. My past partner and I spoke different love languages and we did not know how to hold a “conversation”. If we had learned to speak one another’s “love language”, things may have worked out differently (that’s not a definite but who knows). The assumption that my future relationships would end the same was flat out stupid. I let fear create a self- defeating reality. No future relationship had a chance of survival because my mind already set the relationship up to fail. Accepting my true primary love languages will eventually allow me to be authentic and happy. My next relationship may or may not work out. My love languages may or may not be reciprocated and those are risks I am willing to take. I can guarantee my love will not be sabotaged by fear.
I encourage you to look at your life. What are your longstanding goals? What are your fears? What are your insecurities? Do your fears or insecurities hinder you from achieving those goals? Be honest with yourself. Realize you can block your own potential. I self sabotaged my goals to fall in love but your goals may be completely different. For instance, you may want a promotion at work. You have been turned down three times in the past. So now you don’t even apply for higher positions for fear of being rejected… Self Sabotage. You want to save money, but continue to spend your money on materialistic items such as clothes and shoes to present a falsified image for your peers. You don’t necessarily want the items you purchase but you remember how it felt to be picked on growing up because you didn’t have the latest trends or your parents couldn’t afford to buy you everything you wanted… Self Sabotage. There are so many other ways your can sabotage your life. Stop being passive when it comes to your goals. Acknowledge. Disengage. Challenge. Discover.
Defeat the self-sabotage in your life!