Stop Self-Sabotage With Hypnotherapy
What is Self-Sabotage?
Self-Sabotage, is any behavior you engage in, consciously or unconsciously, that harms you or undermines achievement of your goals. It’s consuming the entire chocolate cake in one sitting when your goal is to lose fifteen pounds or watching hours of television instead of studying to ace tomorrow’s final exam.
Not all self-sabotage involves counterproductive actions. Sometimes you sabotage yourself by omission. You fail to do what you know is necessary to achieve your goal, perhaps because it is difficult, boring, uncomfortable or even painful. You drop out of school, let dishes pile up in the sink, stop working out or doing your physical therapy.
Accepting negative beliefs and feelings that undermine your confidence are other forms of self-defeat. Believing you don’t have what it takes to create a successful software company or feeling undeserving of a happy marriage are two examples.
Another way you may sabotage your good is by indulging in destructive emotions, such as wallowing in self-pity or holding onto to resentment. This behavior consumes your energy and keeps you stuck in a bad place.
Whatever you consciously or subconsciously think, feel, believe, or do that inhibits manifesting your good and living your life with passion, accomplishment, and satisfaction is a form of self-sabotage.
What Causes Self-Sabotage?
A person who chronically engages in self-sabotage has a poor self-image and low self-esteem typically resulting from how they were raised and how they developed as adults. Most commonly, self-saboteurs suffered some form of abuse to some degree as children—whether emotional (e.g. neglect or manipulation), mental (e.g. being called “stupid”), or physical (e.g. being beaten or sexually molested).
Self-image and self-esteem begin forming at a very young age in the subconscious mind. It forms in response to interactions with parents (or other primary caretakers). Young children model their parents’ (or caretakers) behavior; they learn how to act from listening to what their parents say and watching what they do. They also learn how to treat themselves from the ways their parents treat them. Whether they receive love, affection, tenderness, and concern, or anger, violence, impatience, or detachment, determines, to a great extent, how healthy or unhealthy their self-image and self-esteem initially become.
If your parents didn’t treat you lovingly, with respect for your intelligence; if you were harshly criticized and called “stupid” and told you would never amount to anything, you didn’t learn to treat yourself as intelligent and lovable. If you don’t regard yourself as valuable and deserving of good, it’s likely your parents failed to set the example. As a result, you often don’t treat yourself with honor and respect, and don’t feel worthy. Instead, you self-sabotage in any number of ways.
Unfortunately, the abuse that causes a poor self-image and low self-esteem tends to be learned behavior passed down from generation to generation. Parents who abuse were most likely abused. Children that develop low self-esteem and a poor self-image, if corrective action is not taken, perpetuate the cycle, growing up to be parents who raise children whose low self-esteem and poor self-image cause them to self-sabotage.
Symptoms of Self-Sabotage
The following list includes common signs of self-sabotage. If you exhibit some, many, or all of these, you would likely benefit from hypnotherapy to stop sabotaging your happiness and well-being.
- Obsessive perfectionism
- Leaving tasks unfinished
- Chronic lateness and poor time management
- Sloppiness and disorganization
- Second-guessing your decisions or inability to decide
- Always putting others’ needs ahead of your own
- Putting yourself down in front of others
- Shirking responsibilities
- Giving up on goals
- Inflicting physical harm on yourself (from biting your nails to self-mutilation)
- Chronic dissatisfaction with your appearance
- Comparing yourself unfavorably to others
- Obsessive negative self-talk
- Selling yourself short or under achieving
Negative Effects of Self-Sabotage
The following list includes common negative effects of self-sabotage. If you suffer from some, many, or all of these, self-sabotage could well be the cause and hypnotherapy to stop your self-sabotage may provide the help you need.
- Inability to create and achieve your goals
- Poor self-image
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of emptiness and loss
- Lack of self-reliance
- Lack of self-confidence
- Physical illness
- Sexual dysfunction
- Irritability and bad moods
- Loss of energy
- Social anxiety
- Poor communication skills
- Substantial weight gain or loss
- Difficulty achieving goals
- Loss of purpose or motivation
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Depression with suicidal thoughts
- Harmful addictions
- Damaged personal relationships
- Financial problems
- Job loss or career stagnation
Overcoming Self-Sabotage Using Hypnosis
Hypnotherapy is a relaxing, natural, and safe, brief-term form of therapy that involves an interactive process to redirect attention in both the conscious and subconscious mind where patterns of self-sabotage develop and fester.
Clinical hypnosis to end self-sabotage involves the use of various tools and techniques to create positive changes in attitudes and beliefs about the self, promoting a healthy self-image and increased self-respect. As a result, new patterns of constructive thinking and action also emerge, provided the client does their part by practicing with the tools and techniques in between sessions.
The ideal hypnotherapy client is someone who really wants to improve their life, believes that positive change is possible, and is willing to do what it takes. They must be open to the hypnotherapeutic process and use the tools and techniques provided them.
The first step in the process is to gain understanding of the client’s problems and goals. I engage them in cognitive inquiry to determine what their goals and issues are, and to assess whether they have the appropriate motivation and acceptance. Next I induce deep relaxation and inward focus. This calms their emotions, diverts conscious thought, and allows access to their subconscious mind. Then I present a variety of hypnotic suggestions, visualizations, and other techniques that nourish and support development of the positive attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and actions necessary to replace self-sabotage with self-empowerment.
From a digital recording of the hypnosis portion of each session, I provide the client with hypnotic reinforcement in the form of an audio recording for use in between sessions. The clients who get the quickest and best results are those who use these reinforcements.
Hypnotherapeutic Treatment Plan to Stop Self-Sabotage
The specific treatment plan to end self-sabotage must be customized to each individual client’s needs, history, and issues. There is no “one plan fits all.” The general approach I take to each case, however, is outlined below.
- Identify components of self-sabotage
- Problem areas
- Negative effects
- Set initial goals
- Develop a hypnotherapeutic strategy with specific tools and techniques
- Provide self-empowerment hypnosis
- Track progress
- Set new goals
- Revise strategy to accommodate new goals
- Implement revised strategy
- Repeat steps 5 through 9 as needed
Hypnosis Tools and Techniques to End Self-Sabotage
The following list includes some of the hypnotherapeutic tools and techniques I use in treating clients who self-sabotage:
- Deep Diaphragmatic Focused Breathing
- Progressive Relaxation
- Post-Hypnotic Suggestion
- Self-Esteem Visualization
- Interactive Self-Esteem Building
- Empowerment Assertions
- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Confidence Building
- Guided Imagery
- Inner Child Work
- Resource State Creation
- Negative Trigger Desensitization
- Positive Memory Revival
- Positive Trigger Association
- Negative Self-Talk Redirection
- Positive Suggestions for Self-Empowerment
- Establishing Replacement Behavior
Benefits Derived from Hypnotherapy for Self-Sabotage
The following list includes common benefits clients manifest:
- Achievement of Goals
- Renewed Self-Confidence
- Increased Motivation to Pursue Goals
- Healthier Self-Esteem
- Healing the Inner Child
- Valuing Excellence Rather than Perfection
- Perception of Self as Problem-Solver
- Ability to Commit and Persevere
- Challenges Reframed as Opportunities
- Negative Self-Talk Replaced with Encouragement
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