Four Steps to Break Free from Self-Sabotage

15 May 2012, by michelle in personal development, Stress

You never know how you are going to be called to serve in a given day.  On this particular day, I was called to serve by rescuing a trapped bird.  During the recent storms we’ve been experiencing, the bird found shelter in a lamp post outside my home.  At the time, it likely seemed genius for the bird to go through a broken glass plate in the lamp to score such a safe, dry, comfortable place to rest.

Fast-forward to the next day and the bird is wigging out because what, at one point, looked like safety was now her trap.  As soon as I saw her, struggling and fighting to break her way free, I could relate to her instantly.  So many times, I have found myself or one of my clients pushing and fighting to make things happen.  We have set in our mind what we want, yet our actions only leave us exhausted and no where closer to where we want to be.

Now, all the bird needed to do was turn around to find the same hole was there for her to get out of this mess.  The problem was the hole in the lamp post was directly facing my garage – the opposite direction of where she wanted to go.  She was looking out at the other intact glass plates and saw trees and other birds happily flying along.  She was likely thinking “Out there is where I want to be.”  It would be easy to think “Just turn around little bird and you’ll see how easy it is to get your desired outcome.”  But she doesn’t take a step back, she just keeps bumping into the glass plate in front of her.  She sees where she wants to go, yet her efforts aren’t working.

Sound familiar?   How many times do you find yourself in the same spot despite your efforts?  That is your indicator that you too are operating from fear.  When you are in a state of fear, whether you are conscious of it or not, you are taken away from what actually serves and supports your highest good.  Just as the bird was afraid of being stuck, so often are we.  Yet the direction our fears tell us to go is often the opposite direction of what will actually serve us.  Just as the bird’s fear was telling her to keep pushing against a glass plate, we keep pushing against the tides of life.

To help my poor bird friend, I knew what I needed to do.  I got in front of her face and looked her straight in the eyes.  Although I was scary and obviously made her uncomfortable, I did this for a reason – to allow her to see the easiest way out of her situation.  Only in that moment was she able to turn the other direction and finally see how to set herself free from her own trap.  In an instant, she was gone and free to live as her heart guided her.

Guess what, your negative emotions are trying to do the same loving gesture as I did for the bird.  Now just as the bird did not think me getting in front of her face was loving, we often don’t think of our negative feelings as loving.  They are!

I know when you first experience a negative feelings, they make you feel uncomfortable and might even feel scary or overwhelming, just like my big eyes were to the bird.  Yet, negative feelings are loving because when you consciously learn to listen to the higher vibrational message, they are there to guide you.  Your negative feelings actually signal to you how you are going the wrong way AND give you the guidance you need to get back on track.

Unfortunately, you are often too busy trying to fight your negative feelings.  You distance yourself from your negative feelings in order keep going in the direction that you think will get your needs met.  Then you wonder why you aren’t getting your desired outcome met.

 Here’s the human guide to break free from fear and/or self-imposed limitations:

Step One: Recognize that where you are is not where you want to be.  It is so easy to keep ourselves busy – so darn easy in this society to stay busy, right?  The truly courageous move is to slow yourself down and see if you are living in alignment with what you truly desire.  Otherwise, you are acting like our bird friend – doing a lot of the same action over and over, yet not getting very far.

Step Two: Listen to your feelings.  If you truly are committed to living your fullest life possible, you must be willing to face your fear.  For us human folk that means listening to aspects of ourselves that aren’t happy.  The good news is that you only have fear when you are ready to expand.  Otherwise, you would feel fulfilled right where you are.

Step Three:  Look your ego in the eye.  When you listen to your feelings, the ego is the first to speak and its language is fear.  What your ego is going to share with you is the illusion.  Remember, to our bird friend, she only saw one way to freedom, yet it was completely incorrect.  Write down the limitations that you hear come forward from your fear.  How are they working for you?  You need to know because that is where you are operating from.  If you feel that what you have is better than nothing, that is a clear indication that fear is running and limiting your life.

Step Four: Risk letting go.   Your ego will tell you a whole bunch of stories that you are letting go of your dream if you stop listening to your fear.  That is the illusion!  You access your ideal when you choose to let go.  Back up, choose another option (there always is at least one, if not several, other choices to choose from).  This is when you will witness real courage and strength within you.

The shifts that are occurring  in your life are present to remind you of your truth.

This truth is: you are stronger and more courageous than you realize.

We are each being called to ACT upon this inner strength, as talk is no longer enough.  The way we have learned to understand our emotions has set us all up to struggle.  There is a new way.  In the upcoming weeks, I am going to share with you more about how this new way will radically change how you feel and live, supporting you to act more fully from love, courage and strength.

  • Thanks for this – just what I needed to hear. Look forward to future wisdom.

    • Thanks for you feedback Claire, so glad my article resonated with you. I look forward to continuing to share with you and appreciate you being a part of this community!

  • Judy G

    Hi Michelle, sometimes, it looks like am a century late. I did read this and promised myself to make a comment but never got to doing it till today – now. I have been fighting with negativities not knowing they are my bridge to get there. Thanks for your sharing. It has taught me to face the ugliest of sites with courage and trust to get success.

    • Hi Judy,

      Thank you for your courage in sharing. You are right, it is courage to see love in that which we most fear. So happy for you that you are making this integral internal shift. Much love to you – Michelle