JASON CHRISTOFF: What is self-sabotage and why do we do it?

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In the last article I described some common self sabotage scenarios, like starting a diet and then eating junk food, joining a health club and then never going and also being broke but consistently racking up debt. There were many other examples provided and the point with listing so many examples was to document that self sabotage is rarely limited to one area of a person’s life.

Self sabotage often comes as a cluster and it can infect everything a person does. Obviously that person’s life will be a bit of a mess but we can learn to work with our saboteur.

The reason self sabotage can infect many different areas of someone’s life simultaneously is because self sabotage has its’ origins as a pattern of thinking inside the mind. Our patterns of thinking develop our behaviour patterns, simply because all our behaviour as humans literally starts as thoughts. This is why advertising is sold for billions per year because if a thought can be planted into the fertile mind of the consumer, the end result is often action toward the advertised product. Our lives are built from our thoughts outwards.

The basics of self sabotage go like this. Self sabotage is based on disconnection. That’s the word you want to remember. It’s easier to describe disconnection than it is to describe connection so let’s start with what disconnection sometimes looks like.  Most problems in our lives (if not all) can unfortunately be traced back to issues surrounding disconnection. For example let’s take someone who may be overweight and who’s diagnosed with one disease or another.

Someone who’s overweight sometimes is disconnected from how much they actually weigh and they can also be disconnected from recognizing themselves gaining weight constantly over long periods of time. They literally can’t tell, can’t feel it and it’s not there fault. Someone who’s overweight can also be disconnected from feeling full and can’t process the internal metabolic signals that should stop them from eating more when their stomach can’t handle any additional food or drink.

While other people can process the feeling of being full and having enough to eat, many people who are overweight are disconnected from that feeling. An overweight person is often disconnected from the feeling of how bad food choices make them feel sick and often disconnect from the fact that their medications are only making them more ill. Disconnection prevents people from reacting effectively to negative situations. Basically what appears obvious to a connected person can’t be recognized or processed by a disconnected person.

Being disconnected means literally not being able to feel the signals our bodies send us so we can live safe and stable lives. We all have an internal GPS system and the basics of that internal genetic human GPS system is to avoid pain and to pursue pleasure. When we’re disconnected we can’t tell the difference between pleasure and pain so we get into some really sticky situations and those are the situations that are described as self sabotage. When we’re disconnected our internal GPS is off line and often backwards.

The question of how can someone become disconnected from their own nervous system will be answered in the next article. The most important point to understand regarding self sabotage is that it’s not the person’s fault (at all) and that our self saboteur can be brought under control by remembering a couple key rules. All in the next article.

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