This concept is known to the Chinese as yin and yang or the interplay of opposites such as negative and positive energies. The idea is that when you are able to detect a negative energy, you can counteract it.
If you have found your life purpose or calling, most likely your self-sabotage will be the opposite of whatever it is.
For example, my life purpose to is to help others connect with themselves and others in a transformational capacity. My self-sabotage is to disconnect or tell myself I’m not good enough.
Here are 4 common underlying beliefs that can sabotage your career:
1. I’m not good enough: A belief that you are not deserving or good enough. Therefore, you never go for what you really want such as interviewing for a promotion or asking for that raise. This can also result in the judgement of others because of a false sense of confidence.
2. I can’t do something: A belief that you cannot do something because of a fear of an outcome (whether positive or negative). Perhaps you don’t take risks or try new things because of a story you’ve told yourself. I notice this is common for clients who are only willing to do tasks and activities they’ve only tried before even if they don’t like them.
3. I’m alone: A belief that you are alone, not a part of a team or no one has been in your shoes. This often results in isolation and lack of connectivity with your clients or colleagues.
4. Something bad is going to happen: This is that “what if” scenario where everything bad is going to happen. It takes a lot of energy and to be worried and results in a lot of precocious activity and also results in not taking risks.
How to overcome these beliefs:
Everyone has negative beliefs and they probably will never go away in their entirety. They will just keep manifesting in different forms at different times in our lives.
Step 1: Face it: Running away from the issue will only make it worse and stronger. I personally like taking a chunk of time to face an issue and doing activities such as meditating, walking, hiking or journaling to process it. Give yourself permission to be with the feeling even if you don’t like it. Facing it will make it smaller. Moreover, it can take an incident that can be all-consuming and turn it into something constructive.
When an issue or feeling comes up during an inopportune moment like a meeting with a client, even the slightest acknowledgement of it and saying, “I will talk with you later” helps remove the power of it.
Step 2: Focus on the opposite or the positive: As I mentioned above, my calling is to help others connect to themselves and others in a transformational capacity. When I go into my negative belief of “I’m not good enough”, it helps to refocus, say an affirmation like, “I’m good enough” and think about all the times I’ve helped myself and others connect and transform.
I also like to take a physical action when I’m in my negative belief and surround myself with friends and loved ones in order to feel connected.
Step 3: Get help: Go to a therapist, coach or consultant; take a yoga or meditation class; or talk to friend. Get the support you need.
Step 4: Don’t beat yourself up: We are human beings and we all have moments where we self-sabotage. Be gentle with yourself and know that it’s going to happen. If you look at it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow, it’s not that bad when it happens.