"Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen.
" - Alyce P.
Cornyn-Selby Underneath any unwanted self-sabotaging pattern of behavior is fear.
These undesirable experiences can include career self-sabotage, any form of addiction, workaholic or shopaholic lifestyles, a series of bad relationships in your personal and professional life and constant financial struggles.
Repeating the past and making the same mistakes is repetition compulsion.
You are repeating the past, making the same mistakes, and constantly complaining about the results and yet we keep doing it! Why do people keep repeating bad experiences over and over again? Because, even though unwanted, this perpetual state of circumstance has become the comfort zone.
People cling to comfort zones because they are known, familiar, and therefore 'safe'.
Moving beyond comfort zones into new territory, even if desired, is a scary prospect.
Repeating past experiences involves recreating the same dynamics that you experienced as a child.
If your childhood was filled with conditioning that invalidated your authenticity as a creative spirit, then you may be more comfortable living with people who invalidate you as an artist as an adult.
You may have been told repeatedly that you could never earn a living as an actor, painter, drummer in a band or novelist.
You pick a partner who tells you to put aside your passion and go get a 'real job'.
This is repeating the past.
If you spent your childhood as the good kid who didn't cause trouble and always minded her manner, you may be inclined to make people happy and have become the perpetual obsequious people pleaser.
Again, you're repeating your past and making the same mistake.
Unwanted repeated patterns of behavior often involves getting into business relationships with people who take advantage of you, or accepting jobs that don't offer a chance of promotion or professional development.
Repeating the past is pursuing the same dead ends over and over again, or engaging in the same self-destructive behavior.
It's making the same mistakes.
To stop repeating the past, you must first determine if you are repeating the past.
The place to begin is to discover what stops you from moving beyond a comfort zone that is clearly not working for you.
What are you afraid of? What could happen if you change the way you show up in your world? What would it mean to live centered in the truth of who you are, authentically, and in integrity with your passions and dreams for your future? "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.
You are free.
" - Jim Morrison Fear is a question.
What are you afraid of and why? Your fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if you explore them.
Fear often shows up in the form of the woefully misguided Inner Critic.
Your Inner Critic works hard to keep you safe, keep you in that comfort zone.
If you try to move beyond the comfort zone the Inner Critic will serve up fear and drama to pull you back to where it believes you will be safe.
The goal isn't to get rid of this Inner Critic, this fear.
The goal is to recognize it when it presents itself, examine it and master the fear so you can effectively transition into newer and better patterns of behavior.
One way to tell that you are making choices and acting from a place of fear is when you are Finding Excuses And Reasons (F.
) to do or not do something so that you can ultimately stay right where you are, hold yourself back.
Here are 4 steps to examine your self-sabotaging pattern of behavior.
State the pattern, the repeating unwanted experience.
Unwanted experiences can include unsupportive or even damaging personal and business relationships or performance anxiety of any kind including stage performances, auditions, interviews, networking, presenting your work to a person of authority and calling up your agent.
Examine the beliefs and thought processes that lead to the choices and actions that created the unwanted experience.
Ask yourself, "What within me is creating this experience over and over again?" Common fear based thoughts and beliefs include a fear of criticism or rejection that are stated in as an "I'm not __ (talented, smart, young, pretty, experienced, etc.
Test the validity of the underlying fear.
Is the fear true? Is it absolutely true? Can you identify any experience where you were, indeed - enough? Can you identify other people or other events that fly in the face of this belief? For example, if you are over 40 and you believe there are no roles for actors over 40 can to find any examples of actors over 40 who are working steadily in their craft? What specific circumstances trigger your fear? Is there a pattern? Can you think of an early experience of this fear? What happened? 3.
What would your life be like if you didn't cling onto your comfort zone? Who would you be, what would you have, what could you do if you didn't have this fear running you? Imagine and visualize yourself showing up in your life every day as that person.
Try it on even if only as a costume at first.
What choice would a person living that life make as the events of your day unfolds? 4.
Check how you feel.
Your emotions are indicators of whether you've moved into or out of fear.
Simply stated, you don't feel good when you are functioning from a place of fear.
You can experience that sick in the pit of your stomach feeling, physical symptoms such as sweaty palms or a desire to Fuggedabout Everything And Run (F.
From now on this feeling is a signal to you to stop and take a moment to deliberately and clearly make a newer and better choice; a choice that will result in a different action that will deliver a better outcome, a different experience that breaks the unwanted pattern of behavior from the past.
If you're feeling good about yourself, your potential and the opportunities available to you then you are mastering your fear.
You are headed in the direction of your dreams.
You have moved beyond the old unwanted comfort zone into a new zone that supports your desires.
If at some point you notice that you slipped back into that not so good feeling of fear just know that you are reacting to the voice of that frightened little Inner Critic who is still scared of this new way of being.
Calm it down as you would a 4 year old and show this Inner Critic that you are still very safe even if you venture into newer and bigger experiences.
"Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.
" - Marilyn Ferguson Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite