So Why Do I Keep Sabotaging Myself


Coaches and Trainers AustraliaSo here I am again, same old situation, I have been here before….. A month ago I promised myself this time that I would be 100% committed, stay focussed to my goal and achieve it! I really thought I would do it this time as well….. I cleared out my fridge of all the junk food, went to the green grocer and ensured my house was full of food that was ‘alive’. I even found a photo of my ultimate body and put it on the bathroom window, then took my body measurements and wrote down my weight. Well, that was a month ago………. Now, here I am, Friday night, sitting in front of my big screen TV, watching the latest chick flick I have hired from my local video store. I have just eaten a dinner of Thai green curry from my favourite Thai restaurant and now enjoying my favourite chocolate ice-cream straight out of the tub. You know, the one with the chocolate chunks through it and tiny marshmallows……. And, for a fleeting moment, I wonder what went wrong?


This story is too familiar for so many of us. Why do we self-sabotage ourselves again and again?

All human beings have six essential needs that must be met. The most important factor to consider is how we meet them. These six essential needs are Certainty, Variety, Significance, Connection/Love, Growth, and Contribution. To understand self-sabotage, we need to focus on the two needs of Certainty and Variety. Think of these two needs as two young children sitting on a see-saw and they are playing a game where their goal is to be perfectly balanced so they no longer need to swing up and down. Let’s now visualise that these two children, Certainty and Variety are having difficulty finding this balance and Certainty is stuck on the ground and Variety is sitting high up in the air. Certainty is way too heavy. This happens when there is a lot of routine and familiarity in our lives, you know the saying: ‘same old, same old’. Your unconscious does not like it at all when Certainty and Variety do not have the see-saw balanced and it will certainly be letting you know. It is all about having the awareness to understand this concept so that your unconscious does not need tell you about it, and if it does, having the knowledge to hear its message and apply the necessary action.

When you have too much Certainty in your life, the automatic response is for you to start self-sabotaging something. This is because your unconscious is craving Variety. It is doing everything to bring your see-saw back to a balance. Me eating a Thai green curry and my favourite chocolate ice-cream with a chick flick and a box of tissues is giving me variety to my routine. Right now, my unconscious is having a party as the see-saw is back in balance, the young children named Certainty and Variety can see eye to eye again and they are smiling.

Now, this is certainly not useful to achieve the goal I set for myself and allowing me to achieve that awesome body I have been visualising that I will have over the last month. So, what to do? I can’t ignore the child called Variety otherwise she will start crying out for attention again and I will do exactly what I have done in the past and self-sabotage myself in some area of my life that I consider important for myself.

Do I lack self-discipline? NO! I lack variety! Variety that will still serve my needs to achieve my goals. Now I have this knowledge, I am now holding the winning hand of cards, I have all Aces, I can win at this game. Time to get out a pen and paper and get brainstorming.

I write down all the exciting things I would love to do that is new and different that will work with my goal and not against it. So, here are some of the things I wrote:

Every week, buy one interesting fruit or vegetable I have never eaten before, research how to eat it, and then eat it.

Try a bikram yoga class with my best friend and then afterwards laugh all the way home about how sweaty we got and how many times we were slipping trying to hold our sweaty bodies in position thinking we were going to die at any minute.

One day during the week, drive somewhere completely different to do my regular run and discover a neighbourhood I have never explored before.

Research information about clean eating, learn so much more about it, then create an easy to reference library of recipes that are quick, easy and clean.

Plan my ‘it’s the end of the week so I must reward myself’ activity ahead of time so that I am too busy having fun doing the activity to think about flopping in front of a TV and be tempted with old habits. Mmmm, perhaps mini golf or bowling, they are fun.

Now this will serve my essential needs in a way that will also match my goals. That is smart thinking. It is great to know that I am not lacking self-discipline. It was just that in the past, I was achieving my variety through food, so once I developed a healthy eating plan, my unconscious no longer represented food as meeting my need for variety so my see-saw was out of balance. Simple, do things that are fun and different, that add a little spark to my routine and also align with my goals and I am set! Ok, time to grab my car keys; make sure I have a pair of socks in my handbag, because I am off bowling. As I walk out the door, I do so with a big smile (you know, the kind when you show all your teeth), because I know I am in total control of me and I am looking after both my body AND my mind. I can now achieve anything!

Dannielle Baker
Mindset and Relationship Specialist
Director and Founder

Dannielle Baker
Dannielle is a leading Mindset Specialist. She is renowned for her ability to discover what is holding people back from achieving success in their lives and breaking through their limitations to achieve amazing results. Dannielle is a qualified Professional Life Coach, Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, and an engaging presenter. She specialises in human behaviour and helping individuals and businesses to create and achieve their goals and dreams. Dannielle is the Founder and Director of Ellevate.

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