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Author Topic: 4.12 | Identifying and working on self-sabotage  (Read 16440 times)
blackandwhite
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« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2011, 08:12:57 AM »

As encouragement for us all, and since I created a list of forms of self-sabotage, how about a list of ways we have overcome self-sabotage? This is just a start and feel free to add!

1. Creative questioning and thinking. Challenge ourselves; firmly but gently question your own impulses sometimes, when they seem to be getting in your way. In my example, it was the process of asking myself, "will anything explode if we make a gingerbread house?" Quartz mentioned a wonderful example:

Excerpt
One thing that is helping a bit is to imagine the Quartz Board of Directors; kind of like a group of guardian angels who have my best interests at heart. When I'm faced with a decision, I try to imagine their discussion, and what they would decide. (i.e., yes, it is not unreasonable to say no to this, or to say yes to that).

2. Deliberately trying a small experiment even though there's a risk that we're "right" about ourselves and we might fail. BMama is considering taking dance classes, even though to do so means undoing a lot of past history and programming and overcoming a tendency to procrastinate. An experiment might fail, but each time you try, you start to overcome negative reinforcement and it's easier to try again (as long as you keep it light and go back to #1 if needed... ."it was an experiment... .Am I hopeless if it didn't work the first time? No!" Here's an example of a successful experiment--go BMama!

Okay, an example.

Last week, I was at a board meeting for my kids' preschool.  I freelance work from home.  One of the board members was complaining about how much work they had (also a work at home mom) and it seemed like she had things I could help her with using my skill set.  Normally, I'd talk myself out of saying something... .she'll say no, I'll be embarassed, if she needed me, she would have already asked, blah, blah, blah. 

So I said, "sounds like you need... .(services I offer)!"  And winked at her, to keep it light, and prepare myself for a no or some sort of negative reaction.  She said, you know you are right!

I have a new client now.

Yay.

I had to take the risk, the leap though.  My stomach was turning, and even still was when I did a follow up email the next morning.  Thankfully she replied that she was looking at her schedule to see where I could help her. 

It was a real confidence builder.  I know in business you have to get used to being told "no."  It's not the fear of actually hearing that... .but the fear of going out there and looking like a fool that has gotten in the way of my marketing.   

Chalk one up for me.

3. Giving ourselves permission to go against our family roles and discover who we are, not who we were expected to be. MagentaOrchid is considering trying a cardio kickboxing class even though her role in the family was to have the same weak areas as her mother, which means she "should" not be athletic or coordinated.

4. Recognizing our own worth and acting as if we really mean it. By fostering a relationship with a loving person, Rbrdkyst4 is undoing the damage of "I am worthless" messages from earlier in his life:

Excerpt
By denying my own importance. My fiance has been absolutely wonderful with me. Until I met her, I never really truly considered what I wanted. Only what worked, and usually that fell into place with someone else's wants and needs. It's been difficult to figure out what I want because it's a strange notion. I fade into the background and wind up packed into a small cubby hole. I have to constantly fight to prevent myself from "fading away".

There's much more to be said on #4, which I hope we'll get to.

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« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2011, 09:11:18 PM »

Great, now you've reposted and are holding me even more accountable.

I kid.

Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2011, 08:22:11 AM »

Great, now you've reposted and are holding me even more accountable.

I kid.

Smiling (click to insert in post)

Ahem, and I quote!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Will I procrastinate on it?  Probably... .but now you are all going to hold me accountable right?

I wanted to revisit this piece:

Excerpt
Recognizing our own worth and acting as if we really mean it.

Beverly Engel, in her book Healing Your Emotional Self, discusses how a parent acts as a mirror to show a child who s/he is, and that the images in those mirrors profoundly shame us. She suggests that by recognizing the mirrors that have shaped us, we can begin to sort out who we really are from those (often distorted) reflections. She pairs specific dysfunctional parenting styles with the resulting mirrors. See if you recognize any of these:



  • If you were neglected, rejected, or abandoned ---> The "I am unlovable" and the "I am worthless" mirrors


  • If you were overprotected or emotionally smothered ---> The "I am nothing without my parent" mirror


  • If you were overly controlled or tyrannized ---> The "I am powerless" mirror


  • If you had overly critical, shaming, or perfectionistic parents ---> The "I am bad," "I am unacceptable," and "I am not good enough" mirrors


  • If you had a self-absorbed or narcissistic parent ---> The "I don't matter" mirror




If you resonate to any of the "I am" statements here, can you talk about why and how?

How does that feeling possibly relate to self-sabotage for you?

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Cordelia
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« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2011, 01:24:50 PM »



  • If you were neglected, rejected, or abandoned ---> The "I am unlovable" and the "I am worthless" mirrors


  • If you had overly critical, shaming, or perfectionistic parents ---> The "I am bad," "I am unacceptable," and "I am not good enough" mirrors


  • If you had a self-absorbed or narcissistic parent ---> The "I don't matter" mirror



Wow, I really relate to these messages, and I feel like it's a recipe for what I've done with my life!  When I see these statements, I think, what would a person who believed these things do?  If they believed they were unlovable and worthless, they would try really hard to find a place to belong, where they are recognized and valued.  If they believed they are not good enough, they would try really hard to perfect themselves and achieve a lot.  And if they believed they don't matter, they would probably find themselves in a somewhat subservient, enabling role, rather than being the star or center of attention.  All these things are so true of how my life has turned out. 

I think it's really connected to self-sabotage, especially the last one - "I don't matter."  I think believing this has often held me back from trying my hardest to get what I want, rationalizing that what I want doesn't matter that much in the end anyway, so if I don't get it, it's okay.  It keeps me from fighting as hard as I might otherwise. 

These things are so hard because on one level they can all be really positive, I think.  In some ways, believing that you aren't the center of the universe, that the world won't end if things don't go your way, is quite a reasonable and even spiritually elevated perspective to have.  But on the other hand, it should of course come from a sense of humility in the face of the complexity of the cosmos rather than a sense of shame or self-hatred.  It shouldn't require minimizing or brushing away one's own identity and goals, but just understanding that they are one piece of a larger puzzle. 

It's very difficult to untangle what's destructive and what's not, for me!
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« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2011, 02:38:33 PM »

Yes, I too can relate to all 5 mirrors/messages... .
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« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2011, 05:29:26 PM »

  • If you were overly controlled or tyrannized ---> The "I am powerless" mirror


  • If you had overly critical, shaming, or perfectionistic parents ---> The "I am bad," "I am unacceptable," and "I am not good enough" mirrors


  • If you had a self-absorbed or narcissistic parent ---> The "I don't matter" mirror

These, but I will have to think about how they specifically fit.  I think that I have a few current situations where I'm feeling that I'm not deserving, but when I say to myself, "I deserve... ." I feel like I'm being selfish.  It's not right, but it is what it is.

B&W... .making an appointment to tour the YMCA this week;-)
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« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2011, 07:42:36 AM »

Sounds like the various mirrors have some resonance. Salome, I think you're onto something when you ask, "What would a person who believed these things do?" A person with these core believes will follow the beliefs with actions that reinforce the "I am worthless," "I am powerless," and so on messages. Often the actions that flow from and reinforce these beliefs are self-sabotage.

To see the connection more clearly it might help to take a look at the concept of the inner critic. Here's a checklist to determine the strength of your inner critic, from Healing Your Emotional Self by Beverly Engel (previously referenced):

Excerpt
1. Do you spend a great deal of time evaluating your performance, your appearance, your abilities, or your past history?

2. Do you set very high standards for yourself?

3. Is it difficult to live up to the standards you use to judge yourself?

4. Do you give yourself little breathing room to make mistakes?

5. Is your underlying sense of self often determined by your beliefs regarding what is right or wrong? (Note: I interpret this to mean "I define myself as a good person or I am a bad person based on some recent action."

6. Is your sense of self often determined by whether you have met your own or others' standards?

7. Do you spend a great deal of time worrying that you have done something wrong?

8. Are you continually plagued by critical messages inside your head that you are unable to quiet?

9. Do you constantly compare yourself to others or to the success of others?

10. Are you often envious of others' successes or achievements?

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« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2011, 03:41:02 PM »

Often the actions that flow from and reinforce these beliefs are self-sabotage.

More of a self-fulfilling prophecy, then?
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« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2011, 06:02:12 AM »

Good call.

We have a Y membership, BTW... .I haven't joined the zumba class yet.  But, one step closer!  I got DD running there a few days a week, and hubby using it on his days off when he can't go to the work gym.  I'm still working out at home, though!
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« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2011, 12:38:16 PM »

It was this article www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201102/self-sabotage-passive-aggression-toward-the-self-pt-5-the-logical-ill  that got me thinking that I really did need to see a therapist.  I could definitely identify with alot of what was said and said "well that sounds alot like me!"  This is my goal in therapy - I want to work out my own baggage that comes from an association with a BPD mom.  I can fix me; can't fix her... .
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« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2011, 12:53:37 PM »

Quote from: MyAimIsTrue l

[b
Self-doubt[/b] presents itself mostly in the form of big, important tasks that I need to complete.  I manage projects and in the past, I let a lot of self-doubt sabotage parts of projects because I was afraid to ask questions and/or ask for help.  I doubted my abilities and subscribed to black-and-white thinking a lot - "I can't do it if it isn't perfect." 

Deprivation   If you wanted anything or needed anything, take a quarter of it.  Taking it all means you're selfish and greedy.  BPDm also had a lifelong eating disorder, so being one of her daughters and witnessing that affected me more than I like to admit. 

I have always been so fearful of accepting gifts and/or time from people.  I find myself wanting things, but depriving myself of them or letting guilt get in the way and wishing good things away from myself.  I know now that the feelings of guilt stem from not feeling "good enough" or not believing that there are people who love me enough to just want to give me things or their time. 

I totally relate to both of these feelings. In fact, because of self doubt, I sabotage my relationship with my husband who has given me no reason NOT to trust him. He constantly shows me his loyalty, trust, and love.  So I guess this is a step I'm moving through, because I see my behavior. I can write about it, identify it, explain it, but in the midst of an argument I can't stop it! Then I feel doubly sad and self defeated because I end up beating myself up for being so awful to someone I love.

I spent my birthday in Vegas last year on a road trip with my h, sil, and their cousin form Europe. So the road trip was geared toward doing all American things, but on my birthday I wanted to dance. I said all night, I WANT TO DANCE.  I was experimenting with boundaries, but couldn't enforce them. I didn't do anything about it, so instead I followed everyone else's whims and desires and ended up sad-drunk and having a temper tantrum and then beating myself up and feeling guilty that I wanted anything at all.  Looking back, I feel angry with myself for realizing what happening and not stopping it.  I guess I was the caretaker and now all my actions are motivated to pleasing everyone around me.  Food is the only thing I let myself spend money on.  Because it pleases people when you go get a bite to eat with them.  But I let my clothes and shoes and house fall apart because I don't deserve to have anything nice.  That would be selfish. 

This is a very painful step.  One I see that I am in the midst now and I feel a bit stuck. 
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« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2011, 12:26:49 PM »

If you've reached or are looking ahead to this step, what have you identified as possible areas of self-sabotage?



Growing up as an only child, I played most all of the roles, but I came out with two that I can clearly identify:

Scapegoat or "patsy", and caretaker/hero.  Both are still very active.  When I first saw that adult masochism was identified with childhood scapegoating, it horrified me because of the sexual connotations involved there, but as I reflected upon it, given time I've seen the truth of it.  The helplessness that comes with being victimized and re-victimized, and then re-re-victimized (you get the picture,   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  ), does eventually become a form of some kind of paralyzed masochism, like the rabbit hypnotized by terror of the boa constrictor ("If I hold still long enough, maybe it'll go away".)  As for my caretaking of other people, I do it quite mindlessly and compulsively and sometimes disregarding any kind of common sense, like whether or not the person or persons actually want or need my help.  In my early life, my attempts at heroics usually led to disaster, as what pleased one parent definitely did not suit the other parent, for they were seriously at odds with each other and I got batted back and forth between them.

Really good thread here... .    Smiling (click to insert in post)


xoxo   s a

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« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2011, 02:53:11 PM »

This is certainly a hard one for me, because I don't really even have a good feel for what self-sabotage is in my life. But at the same time doing this feels important, so here goes.

At the moment I have severe procrastination issues with my work. This has happened since I went NC.  The only thing I feel sure about this is that it's not a case of perfectionism.

Instead I think it's partly about my difficulty in taking myself and my time seriously. I have no trouble with this when I'm doing things for other people, but when it's for myself - well, not a priority. So I tend to leave my work until it becomes about the looming deadline, when it's suddenly a matter of potentially letting down my client or my organisation. I guess I therefore deny myself the pleasure of leisurely, interesting thought and just engage with the stressful bare essentials.


Also, there's something there about reproducing the roller-coaster type anxiety of my childhood and more recent life with my uPDf. I 'forget' my task for as long as I'm able and then suddenly... .aaargh... .I'm facing an all-nighter to meet my deadline.

I also find procrastination my worst form of self-sabotage. I've gotten much better at speaking my mind, setting boundaries, maintaining NC, etc., but those are interactions with others. The procrastination issue is almost exclusively directed at myself and doesn't generally affect other people (other than my NPD ex occasionally, which I think is a form of me finally having some control over him). I put off looking for clients, cleaning the house, exercising, doing my taxes, even taking a shower. It's almost 1pm and I'm still in my pajamas as I type this.

I've been trying to figure out why I do this, as everything I've read about procrastination says that it serves the procrastinator in some way, even if it seems negative. I think I have some PTSD and prefer to stay a bit numbed out, rather than risk rejection (client says no) or bad news (no refund on my taxes), etc. I anticipate the bad consequences of completing my actions more than the bad consequences of NOT doing them, if that makes any sense.

And I agree with SS about somehow subconsciously desiring the roller coaster, which for me goes all the way back to childhood. Not a surprise that several of my many siblings also do the same thing: put off deadlines and crank under pressure, to the point where we almost do better that way than by leisurely completing a task.

Would be my number one bad habit to get rid of. I do better for a while, but then regress... .
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