I can’t help but notice the subtle, easy way my thoughts linger on my flaws, stretching them out like a punchline to a comedy skit, as I say yet another self-deprecating joke in front of my friends. It always comes out suddenly and casually, like I’m reading the weather forecast off my phone or spilling the gossip about which celebrity couple I fawn over the most.
Self-sabotage finds different ways to hold my confidence hostage, telling me that I am undeserving of loving myself and embracing my imperfections, even in front of other people.
It’s almost enough to make me want to scream sometimes. Why is it that most of the time, we try to gloss over the parts of ourselves we should be most gentle to by using cruel humor and roll-of-the-eyes sighing to justify our insecurities? Why is it such a struggle to find ways to be friends with the parts of ourselves still growing and blossoming?
My self-sabotage sometimes makes me feel like I’m in a desert with no one else to rely on for that life-saving glass of water. I am parched by all my intrusive, mean thoughts and I can’t ever seem to find the cactus of destiny that will offer me the quick relief that I’ve been quite desperately needing for so long.
I am so sick and tired of squinting through this desert sandstorm of self-pity and self-hatred, trying to find my way through but knocking my own self down again and again, the possibility of loving myself lost in those strong winds. Once I think I reach a safe place, the doubts and reminders of my past failures and rejections creep back in. And not soon after, the buzzards come and the sand-storm begins all over again.
It’s a constant battle with your own self to learn that we are worthy of goodness and love, most generously given by not other people, but our own hearts.
Self-sabotage is truly a matter of life and death sometimes.
By not believing in ourselves, by not choosing to be gentle to ourselves, we take away the respect that we need others to give us. By treating ourselves with a lack of love and empathy, we give permission to other people to treat us unkindly and without the proper respect that we all need in order to set safe boundaries for our success.
Please repeat after me, dear friend: In the workplace, in our relationships, in our own minds, self-sabotage does not have a place here. We are deserving of all the love, goodness, and happiness in the world.
There is already so much unkindness out there. Please do not allow yourself to be another thing holding yourself back from achieving what you were always meant to.
I believe in you, friend. You do have the capability to make your dreams come true, to meet great people that will hold you accountable for being the best version of yourself possible, to find passionate and unexpected love within your own inner being.
It’s easy to reject our feelings and ruin good opportunities for ourselves. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid a familiar feeling of excitement again because we’re afraid of reliving our past experiences and getting hurt. Sometimes it’s easier to say no to that date, to say no to a promotion opportunity, to say no to trying something new that you’ve always wanted to do.
But if we never choose to go forward and try again, how will we ever know that life does get better?
Self-sabotage is a monster. And sometimes, she is hard to control, to reign in and calm down. She makes us want to stay where we are, frozen stuck in time.
But your own joy is too precious to throw away for fear of failure, for fear of rejection, for fear of unworthiness. Your future self is counting on you to make the difficult decision to keep persevering, to keep finding light and beauty within your insecurities, even when your mind is telling you differently.
Self-sabotage is a desert sand-storm, preventing us from finding contentment and seeing our beautiful, imperfect selves in the proper light.
But in choosing to be gentle with ourselves, in deciding to be kind to our flaws and imperfections in order to keep growing as people, we can find the solution, after all.
The first step is to acknowledge our pain, our fears, our worries. To keep on pushing ourselves forward, and choosing not to let our insecurities voice their doubts to us. To not let intentional self-sabotage win. You are not alone, and every step you take towards loving yourself matters. You can do this, and I can, too.
In doing the hard things, including appreciating ourselves, we can begin to walk the path of letting ourselves succeed and finally start to quench the thirst that we’ve been struggling with for so long. With newfound gentleness, we can discover that we do have what it takes to finally stop the blowing, bristling winds of self-doubt and self-sabotage and drench ourselves in the rainfall of loving ourselves, precious flaws and all.