4 Steps to Turn Self-Sabotage Around.
As we rode our bikes the 2km flat run into town yesterday to pick up some parcels at the post office and have a cuppa at the bakery, (Because, that's what you do when you live in the country friends!), I was sharing with Mr J about how much of a nervous Nelly I am, and that I am literally scared every day. It was almost a conversation about self-sabotage.
He laughed, and said, "You're SO not a fraidy-cat!". Over a cup of tea at the bakery later, he said it again. I had to explain to him, that yes, I feel scared and uncomfortable every single day.
Mostly by choice though!(Confession: I am easily startled by things, but I think thats just part and parcel of being a highly sensitive person).
I have this personal practise. Well, these days it's called a personal practise. I used to think it was somewhat of a nightmare.
As you may relate, when I get too comfortable, I get quite bored. The reason I used to say I thought it was a nightmare, is because I'd get bored, and than start something new, but never finish. Or, I'd get bored and pick a fight, or create a mess, or overthink things and create a problem for me to solve, or, here's a good one, I'd take on other peoples problems and drama, and try to solve them, and help them, and do everything for others, or come up with umpteen million different new business ideas and never actually get one off the ground, rather than simply finding something healthy to do with my active brain. In other words, I'd get too comfortable, and so I'd create some kind of drama to entertain myself! Unconsciously. Very unconsciously.
It led me down the garden path of creating so much drama and challenge in my life - unconsciously, remember - I found myself to be capable of handling a ridiculous amount of stress and worry, and to take care of so many people, and to always have a lot going on, but, at the same time, feeling like a nervous wreck inside, and never actually achieving anything thatI really wanted to achieve. So much drama.
I'm aware this makes me sound quite mad. I'm OK with it. A little madness is a good thing. ;)
Some would call this behaviour, self-sabotage. And this, my friend, is why I am writing to you today. It is.
But Self-sabotage is not a bad thing. It's simply a highly functioning brain being put to the wrong use.
At least, that's my excuse now. But bare with me, I believe this is going to help you, immensely.
I have developed a practise over the past few years which has turned my self-sabotaging behaviours into a fun experiment, and some incredibly cool new results for me, and my life. I call it:
My "Coming Alive Compass"
So whenever I get bored, or too comfortable, my old way of doing things, was to create some kind of drama unconsciously.
Today, if I notice drama in my life, I instantly assume, it's me creating it. (Because deep down, everything in our world is created by us isn't it!).
Instead, as a preventative measure, I have developed my coming alive practise. Rather than waiting for drama to unfold, and choosing simply not to be a part of it, we go one step further into prevention - before the problem strikes (note: as often as possible. We don't always catch those sabateurs, but just know that by being aware of them, and how some of them are created (like in this post) we can alchemise them into something positive!) I create a sustainable amount for myself, to stimulate my brain and my nervous system into doing things that are healthy, and challenging, and uncomfortable.
About 18 months ago, I decided to give "quitting drinking" a go. I went to three weddings, three weeks in a row, with my old mates from school - who knew me at school as a party girl when she's not doing karate - and decided to go, completely sober. (GASP!) I know, silly right? But it was so out of my comfort zone. I had to show up to the dance floor and kill it with my robot moves, without the 'ole "yeaah ha ha ha... I was so drunk!" excuse.
The thought of showing up somewhere and not being drunk with my friends, getting in that mood with them, and still enjoying myself and dancing the night away, at the time, was shock horror. And I didn't even consider myself all that much of a drinker. It made me feel sweaty and uncomfortable, and awkward, and afraid I'd be judged, and afraid I'd lose my friends, which made my breath feel short...
And this my friends is the coming alive compass in practise.
Instead of seeing this as a problem to avoid, in other words, fear - today, I take it as a sign that if I do it, I'm going to become ever-so-slightly more alive.
So, as my preventative measure for avoiding self-sabotage (because I do have an overactive brain) - my practise, is to seek out things that make me feel uncomfortable, in order to do them, and not only entertain myself, but, to come alive. When I feel those old feelings, I know I'm living on the front foot, avoiding petty drama and self-sabotage, and my "compass" is calibrated towards "You gotta do this". On the plus side, if anything, it's totally entertaining for me, too.
And it's called a compass, because it gives me direction towards the things I know will support my growth. I like to make things up as I go, and be a little adventurous, trying things and delving into the unknown - and adventuress of the mind of sorts! - so a compass is a great analogy.
All for the purpose of searching for my edge, and finding it.
These can be totally simple things, too. Like learning a new skill, taking a class in something you've never done before, having an awkward conversation - sans the glass of wine beforehand of course! - being completely vulnerable in your relationship, trying something daring or new, eating something you said you'd never eat, or going away overseas by yourself instead of waiting for the perfect travel companion to show up.
My most recent practise? Every time I get up to speak to an audience, I sing a song before I start. (yep. Awkward AF.) I can sing, but singing is honestly the scariest most fear-inducing, feel-like-your-naked-in-front-of-everyone, awkward thing I can do. So, I do it. All in the name of coming alive.
And I've worked out a little formula for myself, and to teach others, so this can be a practise for you too.
4 steps to turn self-sabotage around.
1 - First, we have to cancel out any drama that is actually occurring for you right now. To do this, take a look at your life, and for any drama that is occurring (whether it's yours or not), and gently take a step back. Sometimes, there's an opportunity to really be there for someone, without it adding drama to your life. Sometimes, the drama that exists is completely created by you. Sometimes, it's someone else's drama that you're getting way too involved in. Sometimes, you've got drama in the form of fines, bills, and avoidance of taking stock of your life for a long time. Even simply being aware that this isn't just "your life" and it's a problem, but that it's evidence of your own overactive brain looking for something to do, can really help.
2 - Get Clear on your Values. Knowing your values will support you in this practise, to make decisions about "coming alive" in a way that supports you, and is healthy for you. For example, some of my values include simplicity, nature, freedom, love, family, honesty, humour, expression, growth, health, and wealth. If I see an opportunity to do something I've been avoiding for a while, and the thought of doing it makes me, "Come alive" (remember what that means now?), and, it aligns with my values, I know, I'm on point for doing it.
For example, if the thought of sitting down and working out my cash flow for the next 6 months makes me feel like I want to run around the block, and I get squirmy and uncomfortable at the idea of sitting down... and I see that it does align with my value of wealth, and freedom, and truth", well, It's a coming-alive winner.
3 - Make a list of all the things you're avoiding right now. One at a time, do them.
4 - This is an extra brave one - Make a list of all the things you want to do, but think are impossible, or you're not ready for right now. Start one. Take the first, tiny step.
So tell me. What's one thing you're committed to doing, this week, that you've been avoiding forEVER, that's going to make you "come alive". And, how do you think it will change your life, if you start doing the things that make you "come alive", every day?
Stay Curious, Stay Open, you are the omega. All Love,
Hayley x x
P.S - One of the practises we cultivate within the safe space of the Fierce Salon, is the idea of finding our edges in a gentle way, and then, dancin' on through them. The Fierce Salon is my 9-month program for creative, driven, sensitive maverick types who want to reach their full potential without having to succumb to the status-quo model of pushing harder and faster, We're playing a completely new game. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, find out all about it, and book in a conversation with me, right here.