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Self Sabotage, we’ve all done it but what is it?

There it is, that voice, that little ‘devil’ or that little person in our head saying one more won’t hurt, or in my case maybe we should stop running soon.

Running is my thing, it clears me head, helps me process my thoughts and gives me a calming feeling when I am done. Lately I have been working on the speed and distance of my runs, which I have to say I am showing progress. I have been running 5k 3 times a week for a while and I have got comfortable with that, but I am now upping my runs to at least an hour so I can get to 10k.

Some mornings are more successful than others and the longer I run the more I enjoy it, however there has been on more than one occasion when that little voice has been there, telling me I’m getting tired, or that it would be a good idea to stop now and go home. I know exactly what’s going on, this is my self sabotage talking, that voice which strangely enough wants to keep me safe.

Self sabotage can happen at many different moments but I have noticed it most when my clients are making positive changes, they are moving from what they wish to leave in the past to a future where they have food freedom.

However, along they way there can be a few hiccups where the conversation steers to them ‘falling off the wagon’, when they have gone back to binging or overeating, which inevitably will happen as we are all human.

My point here is that when we are making positive changes in our lives, this is when self sabotage raises its head, to tell us it is scared.

Let’s call my voice ‘Emma’, she is telling me on a run where I want to improve my distance that my legs are getting tired, that home is not far if we just stop here. My legs aren’t tired but she is planting the seed, the seed of doubt and why? Because she is trying to keep me safe.

Self sabotage goes back thousands of years to when were in tribes, all living, eating and sleeping together. If one of the tribe veered off the track wanting to do things a different way or better then they were shunned for going against what the tribe had always done and were treated as outcasts.

So we learnt no to go against the tribe mentality.

When it comes to present time, when we are making our own changes, our subconscious returns to these tribe times and panics as the only way it is able to ‘sabotage’ our changes is to do the thing we don’t want to do. In my case stop my run or in a clients case, overeat or binge.

All ‘Emma’ is doing is keeping me safe the best way she knows how, our self sabotage voice is there to keep us in a safe space, to keep us with the tribe. It doesn’t see the difference between us making those positive changes or moving away from the tribe mentality all Emma knows is that we are in new territory, unfamiliar ground and that is scary to her.

So how can we quite that voice, so it doesn’t have a hold over us?

I will say it can take a little time to be able to understand, listen and to no longer react. Although it is easy to start. When you hear your own self sabotage voice trying to take you back down the path say ‘I hear you, thank you for keeping me safe, there is nothing to be afraid of, I am here and we are moving forward ’

As deep down that’s all our inner voice wants, to be safe, and making positive change is a very safe thing to do.

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