What’s the difference between self awareness and self sabotage?

Living in the world as we know it requires a strong sense of self. With all of the competition out there, we need to bring our “A” game, no exceptions. However, we find ourselves engaging in repetitive, destructive behaviors that leave us asking ourselves, “Why do I do what I do and why can’t I stop?” Nothing is more frustrating than giving your power away or walking away from a situation wishing you did or said something different. Finding your way back to your true self not only creates inner strength and healing but can accelerate us to our highest and most productive self in all areas of life. It can also help us find parts of ourselves that we have never recognized—our untapped natural potential.

Learning to identify obstacles to success is paramount to achieving our goals. We all have a pre-programmed inner thought life that we never stop to question. However, those very inner thoughts drive us and affect every choice we make, every word we say, every relationship we have, and place our lives on a certain trajectory. Those thoughts can limit us and affect different aspects of our life, such as at a business meeting, in a relationship, with our kids, etc. Before we know it, we are not where we saw ourselves, and we don’t even know how we got there—worse yet, we don’t know how to find our way back. This cycle exists because we have unconscious thought processes that are based on old, faulty, negative, yet powerful fears and beliefs that create repetitive, destructive behavioral patterns limiting our capacity to excel. So, why are those habits so hard to break? Believe it or not, at one point in our lives, these behaviors kept us safe, which is why they repeat themselves unconsciously today. The problem is that they now negatively drive us from behind the scenes. These powerful beliefs create an identity that we have come to call, “who we are and what we do.” They also create an unconscious fear of transparency and authenticity that keep you from maximizing your potential. This fear can limit a person’s ability to maintain meaningful professional and personal relationships.

According to the research of psychiatrist and New York Times bestseller, Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, reminders of past “feeling states” generate neurobiological changes in the brain that trigger those old unconscious lifesaving behaviors before we are even capable of making a conscious choice on how to respond. In an article he wrote on the clinical implications of research in PTSD, Dr. Vander Kolk cites: “the discovery that sensory input can automatically activate hormonal secretions and influence the activation of brain regions involved in attention and memory once again confront psychology with the limit of conscious control over our actions and emotions… traumatized individuals may blow up in response to minor provocations; freeze when frustrated, or become helpless in the face of trivial challenges.”

Modern psychology has countless self-help books and feeling journals, but how many have actually created lasting change? In spite of your best efforts, you find yourself “doing it again,” only to lapse into more despair as we lose hope that we can ever truly change. By identifying and unlocking those unconscious triggers to destructive behavioral patterns, we are free to be in the present and extinguish those repetitive, negative, and destructive habits that inhibit your success or ability to reach your full potential and ultimately have a satisfying life.

MEET ANITA

Anita holds a bachelor of arts degree in the behavioral sciences a Master of arts in counseling psychology and has over 20 years experience in the field.

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