While inherently we want to move towards what is loving and in our highest good, self sabotage is defined as what feels or seems to move in opposition or contrary to that.
Applied Kinesiology is where sabotage 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, PR is the resistance to the flow of Chi. Chi is subtle energy that flows throughout our acupuncture meridians and Chakras. It is often described as the "life force" or energy that nourishes and animates the body.
But another useful way to think of Chi as it relates to self sabotage is to consider it as your volition, intention and will. You may have heard the saying, "Where there is a will, there is a way." This will or energy moves us forward. But if we are undecided or split in what we desire, we experience internal conflict and energy blockages.
When we are free of conflict we experience Chi flowing without resistance or opposition, our acupuncture meridian energy flows smoothly without blockage or imbalance. Our mind and whole self experiences peace and feels healthy.
Believe it or not, our natural state is one of peace, well being, vitality and health! It shows up as a life of ease and joy because our will is flowing in the direction of the flow of life.
Opposition to the flow of Chi, is the result of non-acceptance, rejection or active opposition to some part of reality/life. Often this results from safety threats which we experience as "dis-ease".
This opposition or internal conflict is called "energy disruption" in EFT and feels emotionally stressful. When the conflict is internal, there is a sense of active opposition to what we see has benefit for us. Sometimes we can project the internal conflict and perceive the opposition as coming from outside, like when we experience someone or something getting in our way, or blocking our progress to our desired goal.
Self sabotage occurs most often when we hold opposing beliefs or desires about the same thing. There will be internal conflict when our feelings are in opposition to what we think we should do; when we make ourselves 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. This splits our will and we feel stuck.
For example, I can believe it it is good to be successful but also bad. I will want to be successful and not want to. And if I do manage to succeed, I will feel good but be split and have reason to also feel bad. So, if I feel bad enough, I will find a way to loose what I gained to relieve myself of feeling bad.
It is difficult to make progress on an issue or move forward with a project when we feel internally divided, implying we somehow can self sabotage our progress. To do this would require that our mind and will not be whole but split. so one part or level can oppose another.
To experience and see ourselves in this fragmented, split way is Polarity Reversal and entails a threat to safety, at some level. The result is a need to defend or protect ourselves from ourselves. It is a form of "self-attack" which, in my experience, activates the autoimmune defense system.
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.
The polarity reversal serves the purpose of maintaining the status quo and not changing. It is important to have an awareness of when you are triggered into polarity reversal.
Polarity Reversal (PR) can be there when we 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 start 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 turn around believing upstream is really downstream where you want to go. So now you turn the rowboat around and start rowing upstream against the current.
You get a sense of a strong force working against you so you can't make any progress, but can't identify what the problem is. 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.
For example when we believe that freedom of will means to be out of control we will fear freedom. Some of us grew up with parents that used shaming to control their children's free will because of this belief. So, we learned that to be in control it is necessary to imprison and shame our free will.
However, our natural state is to be free and so our imprisoned will must seek freedom. Unfortunately, the misperception that freedom is a loss of control lands us into situations where we believe we are free by doing what makes us feel "out of control", like drug abuse.
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 that opposition or defense is not a real solution to our problems and fears. It only keeps the problem/fear stuck. The practice of allowing and forgiving will release blocked energy because it is a form of love which cannot oppose. 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. This engages our will to really mean that we accept ourselves, even just temporarily to overcome the opposition in the issue we are tapping on.
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 more clearly.