Sabotaging opportunities for ourselves is so common.
When you live with Neurodivergence (e.g. Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia), it’s practically a bodily function.
After all, the brain’s primary objective is to keep you alive. What you do with that life is another conversation.
Self-Sabotage is a way of protecting yourself from an imagined threat.
A threat can be the opportunity in question is unfamiliar. If you “hate” surprises, or don’t like unpredictability. WELL! You’ll do your best to prevent yourself from having that experience, right?
Something I want to make clear. Self-sabotage IS NOT a character deficit. Self-sabotage is something you DO, it’s not something you ARE.
Self-talk such as, “What’s wrong with me?” “Why am I like this?” Stem from the belief the problem is you, personal.
It’s like owning a top of the line, BMW, but you put a crappy coat of paint on it. The problem is the paint not the car. The sabotage is the paint that covers everything you have going for you, the value underneath.
The problem is actually, a pattern of thinking and behavior you use to protect yourself, from opportunities to step outside your comfort zone and grow.
In fact, depending on your life experience, you may be so used to chaos that feeling calm is highly uncomfortable. So you manufacture crisis to feel the stress chemicals in your mind/body again.
There’s one emotion that underpins all self-sabotage. Want to hazard a guess?
Fear! Which opens the door to questions rooted in the cause versus the behavior of self-sabotage (e.g. canceling a lot, avoiding, procrastination, lying and so on).
The questions shift from, “What’s wrong with me?” to “What threat do I perceive?”
“What pain do I imagine I’ll experience if I embrace this opportunity?”
The threat you imagine, and fear you won’t be okay as a result, is at the root of self-sabotage.
We’re taught to measure the value of an opportunity by weighing the pros and cons, the good versus the bad. As though they’re experienced side-by-side and not simultaneously.
For instance, “I want to do a good job in this new role. I’ve consistently done a good job, I plan to do my best. However, if I don’t, I’ll still be okay.”
When considering an opportunity it’s easy to imagine the best case scenario, and the worst case scenario. Neither is particularly useful.
But a doable scenario (like the one noted above) is balanced. It considers likely outcomes, based on evidence on hand, and reminds you you’ll be okay, and find your way, either way.
What I’ve written is a condensed version of what I shared with the members of my Women’s Neurodivergent Community. The entire exchange is even more powerful. As a member you’ll have full access to it and more.
Learn to take a chance on yourself versus taking a dive. Either way you’ll be okay, because you have me to show you the way