While inherently we want to move towards what is loving for ourselves, self sabotage is defined as what feels to move in opposition or contrary to that.
Applied Kinesiology is where it was first identified and named Psychological Reversal (PR). This was done using muscle testing. See muscle testing to learn how to test yourself for psychological reversal.
From an energy perspective, sabotage is the resistance to the flow of Chi or life force which is inherently loving and for our highest good. Opposition to the flow results in internal conflict or blocked energy. This will feel emotionally stressful. There is an inner sense of active opposition to what we can logically see will benefit us.
Self-sabotage occurs most often when we hold opposing beliefs or desires about the same thing; or when our beliefs and desires are not in alignment with each other. There will be internal conflict when our feelings are in opposition to what we think we should do; when we make ourselves to do something we don't really want to; or when we cannot commit to believing one thing because we also hold an opposing belief that contradicts it. For example, I can believe I am intelligent and learn quickly, but I if I find a class difficult, I can believe that this means I am also dumb.
It is difficult to make progress on an issue when we feel internally divided implying we somehow can oppose our own self. To do this would require that our mind and will not be whole, but split into levels or parts so, that one part could oppose another. To see ourselves in this fragmented way is common but not in alignment with spiritual truth.
Self sabotage can take the form of what is called secondary gain or secondary loss. An example of secondary gain is someone that wants to loose weight, but subconsciously believes that without the extra weight she will gain extra sexual attention which she fears. The desired outcome of the loss of weight has been judged as an unwanted gain of more sexual attention from others. This can often be associated with past traumas and be associated with survival issues.
In the case of secondary loss, a person may want to have more wealth but subconsciously believes they will loose it; perhaps by being a target for robbery, through over spending, having to pay more taxes, etc. In this case, the desire to have more wealth is associated with the fear of experiencing a loss.
These type of reversals can account for such things as athletes getting into slumps; addictions that are very hard to overcome; difficulty in lifting depression and healing taking long or failing despite our best intentions.
We may also just feel "off". Our attention is not able to stay in the present moment because it feels unsafe. We can't seem to get the right words out, or stop dropping things and tripping over ourselves. We can have a hard time focusing and may feel very tired.
If we ran on batteries, self sabotage would feel like they were in backwards. Instead of getting charged, our energy would be getting drained.
Imagine rowing down a river and the direction of the current is flowing downstream with you. The polarity reversal would confuse your sense of direction and make you reverse your direction believing upstream is really downstream where you want to go. So now you turn the rowboat around start rowing upstream against the current.
You get a sense of a strong force working against you but can't identify what is going on. Depending on how strong the current is, you may feel like you are not making any progress at all, or worse, feel like you are loosing ground and moving further away from where you want to go.
But, this is not the truth. The problem is that you are seeing things in reverse. Your perception is not seeing reality as it is, you are misperceiving and choosing to act against what you really want.
This often brings up feelings of self devaluation, discouragement, helplessness and hopelessness as you perceive yourself being taken further away from your desired goal.
Here is a thorough list of what could be behind your self sabotage on any particular issue that I found in one of Byron Katie's books. This list lend itself to the use of EFT, and in particular to the Ramos Clearing Technique. So if you are familiar with self-muscle testing, use the free download of the Ramos Clearing Technique Flowchart to help you undo the reversals you find below.
Any "no" answer to the above will work against clearing the problem and feel like self sabotage.
Any "yes" answer to the above will also work to keep the problem stuck.
The questions above are critically important since most of the time the resistance is coming from our subconscious beliefs, judgements and desires that are out of our conscious awareness.
If you don't know muscle testing, by answering the questions and observing internally your reactions, you can notice the physical sensations and feelings that arise, and you can target them with EFT tapping to release the reversal.
Doing this will help you stop: making excuses; blaming your self or feeling guilty when others blame you and say you lack will power, motivation, etc. and undo beliefs that say, "I inherited a fat gene" or "I am this way because I grew up in a disadvantaged or dysfunctional home".
Without this negative thinking we can stop seeing ourselves and others as victims, enemies and stop feeling like we live in a world of opposition.
Below are some things often observed to be associated with a polarity reversed state. The clearing will need to address the unhealed emotions associated with them.
Negativity - a pattern of chronic negative thinking
Addictions - addictive substances in the body (including alcohol, nicotine and sometimes prescription medications)
Dehydration - since the body's energy system is conducted by water, the lack of water will cause the energy to be sluggish or severely repressed
Toxin or substance sensitivity - this could be a food just eaten, clothing, carpeting, metal in or on the body such as: pins, fillings, metal plates, jewelry, a watch or a cell phone; current emotions, environmental toxins, electromagnetic frequencies, etc.
We need to recognize when our body is in survival mode and/or our attention is not in the present moment. If we feel scared in the present moment or we have a strong reaction against what we are perceiving is there, we will want to escape and separate from it. The pushing against the present moment is the sign of reversal. Sometimes just observing the internal conflict without judgment will begin to release it.
EFT has a correction for Psychological Reversal built into the Emotional Freedom Techniques. We find it in the "set-up" statement. The portion that says "...I deeply and completely accept myself". The only thing we need to do differently during the "set-up" is to say the words louder and more intensely to temporarily overcome the opposition.
Emphatically emphasizing the statement of self-acceptance, despite the unhealed problem we have, can overcome the opposition experienced from the rejection of ourselves and the present moment since they contain the problem we vehemently oppose and believe we can escape by opposing (reversal).
To understand further the power of emphasizing the set-up statement see,
How Does EFT Work?
Emphasizing the set-up of EFT may not clear all the self sabotage: opposing fears, beliefs, thoughts and emotions that create the undercurrent, but it can correct the reversal long enough for us to clear and heal the specific thing we are working on.
Working with reversals can be tricky, in particular for EFT beginners.
I you need experienced help, I am a Certified EFT Master Practitioner available for phone sessions or via SKYPE.
If you have questions please
I look forward to hearing from you.
I also highly recommend my book that you can download here as a PDF: Beyond Self-esteem: Discovering Your Boundless Self-worth to help you recognize you inherent loving nature which can help you perceive what is in your highest good.