The Real Reason You’re Sabotaging Your Health
Self sabotage. The ultimate paradox. It’s a topic far too often discussed with not only my personal health coaching clients but with friends, colleagues, and even strangers. It seems as if not living up to our own standards is some sort of accepted norm. Disappointing ourselves seems to be the trend.
The other day, one of my clients had to leave town for the weekend and wanted to be sure she didn’t overindulge while dining out. So I asked her to send me some of the menus of the restaurants she was planning on dining at. I scanned the menus and offered her some delicious and healthy options. Some even included dessert! I also made sure the hotel she was staying at had a gym so she could stretch and use the sauna while away. She was all in… until she wasn’t. When she came back and I checked in to see how she took care of herself over the weekend, she replied, ‘I didn’t. Of course.’ As if it’s to be expected!
Why do we neglect ourselves?
I have many clients who embark on a journey in order to reclaim their health and vitality. Some people desire to lose excess bodyweight through functional nutrition, others are looking to feel mentally and emotionally balanced, and others are looking to increase feelings of sensuality and intimacy in their lives. Regardless of the reason people seek support, there seems to be a common thread. People don’t want to change. We say we do, and when we are guided with precise steps on how to overcome various challenges, we feel blocked. Still stuck. Psychologists and therapists have been trying to figure it out for years.
We say we want to change. The idea of change is attractive. The concept of change is inspiring. But there is a deep fear. A fear of the unknown. If a person has never felt what it’s like to be healthy and balanced in life, where is a frame of reference? If I have identified myself as depressed and overweight for my entire life, how can I see past that which I identify myself with? It is scary to look beyond what we know mentally to be true… even if we believe strongly that want it. It’s almost like a small death.
The issue is that most of our desires come from our mind, and often from comparison to that which is outside of ourselves. We think we ‘should’ look different, feel different, act different, etc. Externally focused living can result in feeling ‘less than’ or ‘not good enough’. And it’s becoming chronic.
But what if nothing is a problem? What if there is actually no problem at all? We are fighting ourselves and not realizing it. We are fighting the very part of ourselves that wants to blossom. The part of ourselves that yearns for growth, just like a flower or a tree is wired to extend upwards to the sky, we too crave and deserve maturation. That expansive part of ourselves comes equipped with an element of the unknown. We essentially fear the possibility of greatness. Of blooming. Of freedom. It’s almost easier for some of us to repeat unhealthy cycles of living due to the fact that at least we know what to expect.
In the light of self sabotage, it’s important to consider who is this ‘self’ that is sabotaging you? Why is there a disconnect? It seems we are in conflict with ourselves because we have forgotten who we are. We are living in a partial way… pulled in many directions. Some directions from the mind, some directions from the heart, some directions from our parents, our friends, our teachers, the society. When a person is fully integrated, there is no more back and forth. The is no more confusion. No more suffering. We can know ourselves through meditation, stillness, silence, and reflection. Not through the mind. Not through thinking. Through feeling, through breathing, through being.
In order to fulfill our life’s purpose we must be willing to dive into the unknown consciously. We must be willing to let go of that which is not assisting our expansion. When we consider that there is no problem, who will we be? What will I do if I have nothing to complain about? Nothing is wrong? What will I do with that space? It’s almost easier to identify with the part of ourselves that’s broken instead of the space in between who I am now and who I am becoming. The empty space. The space of pure potential. I invite you to consider that sustainable transformation is birthed in the fertile ground of spaciousness. A deep dive into the unknown is just as scary as it is miraculous and revealing of the human potential.