Succumbing to Self-Sabotage

17 Mar

He approaches the house door and finds it unlocked. “Wow,” he thinks “Should I really rob from someone so dumb?” But of course the answer is obvious. When a break comes along, you grab it and pray it isn’t a trap. And this one isn’t. A house with no security alarms, no motion detectors, not even a pesky guard dog. Just a lot of expensive gadgets, famous paintings and flashy jewelry. The robber mentally calculates his haul and begins to ransack the mansion.

What? You can’t identify with this scenario? If it were you who owned millions of dollars in artwork, you’d guard it carefully? Is that what you think?

Because I disagree.

We all participate in various forms of self-sabotage. Like leaving our house unlocked for strangers, we open the door wide to negativism. We make it easy for negative thoughts to enter and rob us of time and energy, leaving behind self-doubt and skepticism in their place.

We are all selective in what we eat and drink, what music we listen to, how we spend our precious downtime, the books we recommend to others, the comments we make in front of our CEOs, the outfit we wear on an interview, the colleges we apply to, the movies we let our children watch.

So why are we not selective in the thoughts we let enter our heads? Do we think it’s out of our control? Do we think we deserve to have those thoughts? Do we think intangibles matter less? Do we think they keep us humble or grounded in reality? Do we think negativism is truth?

And why do we never speak about it publicly? Do we think we are the only one, the chosen one, subjected to self-doubt? Does our pride and willpower insist on handling it quietly?

Self-sabotage needs to stop. We need to “take each thought captive” before we can help others. We are missing out on vibrancy and creative solutions and acts of kindness and a greater capacity to love and allow ourselves to be loved. We are letting the bad devour the good, the fake defeat the true, the ugly encroach on the beautiful.

And it’s not fair to others. Think of the people who’ve planted and nurtured the good and the true and the beautiful in your life. If not for yourself, do it for them.

Be mindful and present and actively reject negativism. Try it for 10 minutes. Or even 5. It’s harder than it seems to battle internally while managing external affairs. But it can be done. Set traps to guard against specific lies, install an emotion detector trip wire to alert you to anything you are “taking to heart” and lock your door.

Then go remind others to lock theirs.

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