On International Women’s Day I decided to embrace the feminine strength of vulnerability and open up about the things I find myself doing—the ways women self sabotage . I think everyone is sort of going though this; it seems like a very big call to self-awareness is happening at this moment in time. So here are the top ten ways I feel self sabotage creeps into our lives.
The current cultural climate is forcing everyone to confront the gap between our authentic selves and our actions in a way we’re completely unprepared for.
We don’t have any script for this. No training. Just a bunch of people who sincerely want change but struggle to find the means.
We’re rewriting history here & performing each act for the first time. Impromptu. Sure, we’ve discussed our old play and how the theme was a bit wrong for us. But it’s not enough to know our old parts aren’t the ones we want to play anymore. It’s not enough to say we aren’t reusing our old tired lines—they’re not just memorized they’re ingrained in us—just because we’ve tossed out the script does not mean we aren’t reenacting the same drama, or tragedy. It’s not productive to put the onus on the set changing in order for us to play our true part.
We really do have to be the change. It all starts with me.
In order to make these most necessary changes, we have to do the very scary business of changing. Fear always precedes change. Women self sabotage oftentimes out of fear. I can only identify one attribute that transcends gender & individualism required to rewrite this raggedy old manuscript into a legendary show-stopper: Vulnerability. We need to share our challenges, drop the barriers & judgement, and overcome. Period.
Top 10 Ways Women Self Sabotage: (for 1-5 click here).
6. We get angry.
There may be reason, but there is no real excuse because — getting angry is almost never a solution. We self sabotage when we choose to come at our goals with anger. Punching a Nazi in the face isn’t going to end racism. In fact, it is more likely to perpetuate it. ‘An eye for an eye’ is more accurately ‘an eye, for an eye, for an eye, for an eye, for an eye, ad infitum until someone recognizes that anger & revenge solve nothing, and opts for a practical approach. That’s why Martin Luther King jr. is revered. He was smart. It isn’t like he never got angry, he just didn’t let it get the best of him. Anger is not even a real emotion, it’s a reaction to an emotion. Authentic living requires us to find the real emotion & solve that.
If your passion & anger can be transmuted into action, productive action that brings benefit to the world, then let it be fire to the cause and be thankful for the fuel.
7. We judge ourselves in comparison to other people.
We do it. Our minds work this way. But our hearts don’t, and it crushes self-confidence. You know that saying that we only feel bad about ourselves because we’re comparing our “behind the scenes” with everyone else’s “highlight reel” (Steve Furtick)? A Victoria’s Secret Angel posted that last week on IG. I follow a lot of supermodels. They make me feel normal. I know that sounds weird, but if you really follow — you get to see that they’re imperfect too. I wish people wanted to see me sitting around in sweats writing & reading, which is my usual, but they don’t so I don’t post it. But if you follow me closely enough, you will see it! As you might with models too. They look like crap sometimes. And they’re insecure (Sara Sampaio posted this quote) just like anyone. Seriously. They make themselves feel bad comparing to others too. So do entrepreneurs. And musicians. Dancers. Academics. We’re on unique paths. We have strengths and we have weaknesses and there is ample room for acceptance, and even celebration, of both.
When we compare ourselves to other people, we put ourselves in a constant pendulum swing between feeling better than someone or worse than someone else: all the while the thing we really want, the authentic self I’d truly want you to compare your growth to, is flying by your face in the middle as we swing from one extreme to the next.
8. We tell ourselves things we wouldn’t say to someone else.
I can’t think of a bigger self sabotage move than to stunt our growth from within. I want to speak to myself like a loving parent. It’s amazing how many things go through our minds unchecked. It’s incredible how a simple check in can clarify and instill some super positive self talk. Self-Talk is like a little pre-recording you can make for yourself when the road gets tough or you need a helping hand that comes from the inside; I want to write myself little love notes for the rocky roads, not passive aggressive buzz kills barking out at me from the forest.
The nicer we talk to ourselves, the nicer we talk to people we love. We have the conscious choice to turn that voice into the kind of parent you want to be to yourself.
9. We expect people to understand us without explaining.
I have a gift for feeling certain things really clearly. It’s a sixth sense. Some sort of super power. The biggest misunderstanding I’ve had is with people I deeply care about. To me, my whole being is interwoven with them. When they feel left in the lurch by me not saying it in whatever way, it shocks me! I’m absolutely gobsmacked that this very obvious thing (feeling) to me, that is all around & in me at all times, isn’t just a given understanding we both have. But this ‘obviousness’ is my understanding and an unknowing way to self sabotage a relationship. What we think, feel & aspire to is not known to others! Our viewpoints are so different. And we all have super powers and talents which make us see certain things, or things in a certain way, that we need to share with others. Because they don’t get it. They see something else.
Open, earnest communication is the most potent tool we have going forward, as we’re shouting back and forth swimming and drifting down the river that never stops, we need to get comfortable about explaining what we’re experiencing so we get a clearer & clearer picture of the whole.
10. We try to change the minds of people who want to hurt.
This is the last thing. And it’s maybe the biggest self-sabotage for many. I’ve always thought that people who hurt others just don’t know what they do. The trolls on social? I thought they were uninformed people, who truly want to be happy deep down, but need more insight—they just needed the information. People who steal loving energy to waste it on garbage, the passive aggressive friend who’s always seeming to put you down—I thought they just didn’t know life could be much better than that and would be different if they saw the truth. The one who needed to see the truth was me: some people want to hurt. This is a harsh reality for many to face: there is no sense trying to help people who don’t want to be helped.
We can’t decide things for other people! It’s condescending to them. Plus it takes energy away from the people who want your joy! Save your good for the good. We only have so much energy to spend, choose where to invest it wisely.
We only want our energy to go towards things that produce something of benefit for us. Every instance on this list is an example of how finite energy is, it can either be wasted on something that doesn’t bring any benefit to your life, or it can be directed to things that are worth a damn. We’re all imperfect, we all make mistakes, we all treat ourselves and other people in a less than perfect way sometimes, but by addressing it—by owning it—we can actually turn it into a strength. Rising above makes us grow stronger. It’s like blowing winds for the trees and other plants—it pushes & pulls them so they become more agile: yielding yet firm.
All the best love and luck on your journey. Peace a so much, LL