Conquering self-sabotage

From the moment you wake up you have a choice: you can either be on your own team or not.

You can choose to feel overwhelmingly let down by the world – that’s easy. Switch on the news and you’ll be bombarded with a constant stream of human beings treating each other poorly. Sadly, we are not hard-wired to be kind to each other.

Or, you can take a breath, return your focus to your own life and really back yourself to fill your potential.


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Feeling overwhelmed by the world paves a very easy way to let yourself feel powerless. Your inner voice will take over as it chants negativity to you. Fear will rule you and you can waste your whole life being held back by it.

We all have a critical inner voice. I wish I’d known sooner that I didn’t have to listen to mine, let alone be a slave to it.

Now I understand that a destructive thought process is often ruling people who engage in addictive behaviour. That is known as our critical inner voice. It tells you, you’re not good enough, you’re unlovable, or you’re a nuisance to everyone around you. This can either lead you to living a life on pause, not fulfilling your full potential or down the path of self-destruction (drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, for instance).

It’s also known as the “anti-self”. So, it’s that part of you that isn’t actually helpful and isn’t operating in your own self-interest.

When that critical, super judgemental inner voice takes control of your life, your decisions and your thinking, it can pull down anything you begin to build. It can lead you to tear apart meaningful relationships, push anyone who gets close away, self-harm or self-punishment in a range of ways.

Psychologists say that this “anti-self” is shaped by early life experiences. What we’re told when we’re very young can shape our core beliefs about ourselves. We accept them as being true.

Realising that is the very first step to overcoming self-sabotage – recognising that it’s there and how long you’ve accepted falsehood as truth.

This is why I frequently write about how liberating it is when you realise that you are not your thoughts. Your inner voice may like to start running wild and telling you all sorts of stories, but they’re not actually true.

There is a beautiful moment of awakening when you realise that, in fact, you’ve been sabotaging yourself all along. Those quiet, whispering thoughts aren’t correct. They don’t know it all. They’re not helpful. They’re limiting you and you don’t have to listen to them.

Recognise it. Challenge it. And then start to work on self-compassion.

Corrine Barraclough is a freelance writer who worked on magazines and newspapers in London, New York and Sydney before going freelance. She was meant to visit the Gold Coast for six months – and is still here four years later. Having had zero work/life balance for many years, she prioritises happiness over stress and adores the GC lifestyle. Having hung up her drinking boots three years, she loves yoga, meditation, beach walks, coffee, and lives a quiet life with her little old rescue dog Baylee.

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