Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening a project, company or organization, via obstruction, disruption, destruction, or underhanded tactics.
The self is is the subject of one’s own experience, including perception through the senses, emotions, and thoughts.
Self-sabotage would then be the deliberate action aimed at weakening the goals of the self. Because the self is a unit, and not an association of several different beings, self-sabotage usually is done via underhanded methods in deep areas of a person’s mind.
During a Feng Shui Consultation, our consultants ask clients about their goals in each of the nine life areas. Then they walk throughout the house for signs of how the client is supporting their objectives and dreams by their choice of colors, ornaments, images and books. The consultant also searches for signs that the person may be unconsciously sabotaging their goals.
For example, if a single woman tells a consultant that her main purpose in life at that particular stage is to find a stable mate, and her deeper (commonly called “unconscious”) mind is in agreement with this goal, she would naturally have gravitated towards getting and placing images of two around the home. She may have arranged the pillows in the family room in two’s, or she may have purchased a print that shows two birds in a nest. She would have done this to charge her home environment with messages of pairs, as they represent a monogamous relationship.
If however, deep down this woman does not believe that she can have a happy, exclusive love relationship, she might have gravitated to, and chosen for her home decor, objects that would “secretly” contradict her conscious desires.
Let’s review some possibilities:
- If she believes that she is nor worthy of being loved by a man that is a good match for her, she might have felt drawn to group things in three’s. This woman might later complain that she is pursued by married or engaged men, who want her to become part of a love triangle. She could also complain that she always seems to attract men who will cheat on her.
- If this woman feels pressured by her family friends, or by her age to settle down, but in reality she still wants to party and date many men, the consultant may find groupings of many items together in the relationship corner. I once consulted for a woman who said she had had “too many” romantic partners – she had a print of a colony of butterflies in the relationship corner of her master bedroom.
- If the woman is afraid to love, or to be in a committed relationship, the consultant may find images of single women distributed throughout the home, or a single image of a lone, sad woman above the headboard in the master bedroom.
My home: my enemy / My home: my friend
People are hard wired to assess and respond to the environment. As a matter of fact, researchers have found that people’s eyes scan their surroundings every twenty seconds, looking for signs of danger.
Cell biologist Bruce Lipton, who researches epigenetics – how our genes can be turned on or off by the environment – has discovered that the development of different areas of the brain can be altered in a baby inside the womb, depending on whether the mother feels safe or not in her environment.
The environment feeds our minds with constant feedback regarding the safety, or lack thereof, in our spaces. It also gives our minds feedback on how we are doing in terms of survival potential.
Are we doing well? Are we doing better or worse than last year? How is the future looking for us and our families?
I once worked with a couple of professionals who, even though they both had great incomes, were constantly worried about their financial future. Their furniture looked like what struggling college students might be able to afford. We worked together on making a plan to gradually replace their furniture with choices which were more in accordance to their professional success and standing in life. The thrift store van took away their old furniture and their fears about the future. The much nicer, solid wooden furniture delivered by the furniture store, brought with it a new attitude towards wealth, money and the future.
The above example might seem like some magic was at work, but it was simple Feng Shui. The unstable college-dorm type furniture gave this couple the constant feedback that even after almost two decades since they graduated college, they still had not “made it.” Conversely, the finer furniture gave them the feedback that they had been and were doing really well, being able to reap the rewards of their hard work.
The new furniture gave them good feedback because they could afford it, and in fact were able to pay cash for it, without making a great effort.
A couple of struggling college students getting in debt to purchase furniture that would make them look like they are successful, however, would be an act of self-sabotage because the furniture would be telling a lie. The lie that they are able to afford this set. If the couple of struggling college students saved their money in order to buy the set in cash, then the new furniture would in fact give them the feedback that they are successful, because it would tell the true story that they are able to manage money in order to improve their lives.
Detecting Self-Sabotage Before It Happens
Self-sabotage can be painful and expensive. I knew a woman who pushed herself to plan a trip abroad because she arrived at the intellectual conclusion that this is what she needed to do, while deep down she wasn’t ready to make this trip. Three days before the trip, she attempted to cross the street “jay-walking” and got caught between two cars that were parallel-parked as one of them was backing up in order to get back on the street. Her thigh bone broke and the trip had to be cancelled.
To avoid the pain and potential expenses of self-sabotage, every time you set for yourself a goal that is considerably different from, or larger than, the goals that you can easily achieve, make sure to place symbols that represent your new goal around the home and in your office, so that your home and office are in alignment with your desires and give the correct feedback to your deeper mind.
Check your home carefully for any symbols or signs of unconscious desires or goals that are in opposition to the objectives you have set for yourself and remove them.
Avoiding Self Sabotage by Working on the Self Image
“No one can outperform their own self image in the long term.” – Maxwell Maltz
Self-sabotage tends to occur when you set for yourself a goal that is different, or is at a higher level, than what you are used to doing. In other words, when you are pushing yourself beyond your limits or beyond your comfort zone.
When you try to do something that is new or different for you, when you want to explore uncharted territories in your life, a part of your deeper mind looks at your self image – the collection of assumptions you make about yourself and about what your are able to do or not – and decides whether this is an attainable goal or not.
If you are trying to do something that is incompatible with your self-image this part of your deeper mind will direct you to thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions that are contrary to the attainment of the goals you have lined up.
The part of your deeper mind that does this is called by some the basic self or basic personality. This part of your mind wants to make sure that you stay physically, mentally and emotionally safe.
For example, if you have been divorced for a few years and have decided to start dating again, but your self-image is that of someone who is not worthy of romantic love, your basic personality will launch a self-sabotage campaign aimed at preventing you from dating so that you are not at risk of being emotionally hurt.
Feng Shui can help you change your self-image in ways that are compatible with the new goals you have set for your life. The best Feng Shui consultants suggest small changes and small cures to prevent self sabotage. Only inexperienced consultants would suggest expensive or large cures.
An inexperienced consultant advising a client, who has had a hard financial situation and wants to increase their income, might advise him or her to spend thousands of dollars installing a water fountain in the front yard. The experienced Nine Steps to Feng Shui consultant would simply recommend a waterfall print for $14.99.
The client spending thousands of dollars to install the water fountain will, for starters, be several thousands of dollars short as soon as this project is done. This is itself an act of self-sabotage for a person who has been struggling with money issues.
Small cures work better, because they introduce elements that will in time change the self-image of the client, while not triggering self-sabotage. Small cures gradually change the self-image of the client, and the cures themselves can be enlarged as the client becomes more comfortable with their new self-image.
Let’s Play a Decluttering Game to Eliminate Self-Sabotage
Here is a decluttering exercise to eliminate self-sabotage.
- Let go of a book or magazine that does not represent what you believe in.
- Let go of a CD or Movie that you do not like.
- Let go of a piece of clothing that has writing or a logo on it that does not represent what you believe in or support. For example, a T-shirt with a soda logo if your goal is to lose weight.
- Let go of one item of personal grooming that has at least one ingredient you suspect may be harmful. e.g. an antiperspirant containing aluminum.
Before you let go of these items, set the intent to release tendencies to self-sabotage.