The “Self – Saboteur”

Hello.

It’s me.

I was wondering if after all these weeks you’d like to read…what’s been going through my head lately. (Corny way to start but that song has literally been stuck in my head for the last 48 hours…it’s driving me nuts. S.O.S.).

When I started this blog about a month ago, I vowed to hold myself accountable to vigilantly posting every week. But like most things I do, I couldn’t hold myself to it.

It’s been nearly three weeks since my last post – not a lifetime or anything, but enough time to make me disappointed in myself for not following through on another self-made promise. I have, in the meantime, been tirelessly finding ways to excuse myself from writing. They range from, “I’m so tired today” to, “I had a huge day at work. I deserve the afternoon off”.

So why the sudden change of heart today?

A few days ago, I came across a peaceful looking paper magazine (I’m such a sucker for good quality paper products…nothing quite so satisfying as a mag without a glossy cover in sight) called Breathe

Inside, I found an article about self-sabotage – what it means and how to consciously stop it in its tracks.

To quote the author, Juliana Kassianos, the defining characteristic exhibited when your inner-saboteur is at work is;

“When there’s something we consciously want, but seem to do everything in our power, on a subconscious level, to make sure we don’t get it”.

The article is fantastically written and you should definitely check it out if you can (shameless plug, and I’m not even sponsored). As is innate to any effective piece, something was triggered in me while reading – a realisation and certain shame in myself for constantly cowering beneath the voice of my own inner antagonist.

Since my injury in July, I have suffered under a huge emotional tax. I am on a path that I did not choose for myself – a long and extremely convoluted journey to recovery that seems to have a new obstacle at every turn.

Truth be told, I am not dealing with it as well as I could be. Physiotherapy is taxing and draining and I am the most emotionally unstable I have ever been. Weight gain has played a huge part in my dark temperament – without exercise, I have no outlets for pain, anger and aggression and am instead forced to look inwards towards these feelings.

Everything has taken a backseat to my dark cloud – my health, my work and inevitably…my blog. I am constantly affirmed that I can’t be blamed for slacking off, I mean, “you broke your leg for God’s sake, allow yourself some time off”. While this is supposed to be reassuring and comforting, I am consciously aware that I find myself leeching off this as an excuse to be a version of myself that I just don’t like.

And for some reason, I just can’t stop it.

The article titled, Start Believing, showed to me that this plethora of negativity and self-doubt is really my inner critic – my “self-saboteur” – trying to protect myself from further harm. Instead of turning inwards and falling into a void of I-don’t-know-what’s-wrong-with-me, it prompted me to reflect on what is truly holding me back in all aspects of this ‘funk’ that I’m in.

Am I afraid to hurt myself again and end my football career? You bet.

Am I afraid to go back and fall short of my own expectation for myself? Sure am.

But the first step in overcoming these fears is to acknowledge their presence rather than to run from their shadow. And trust me when I say I plan to do just that.

Now, I’m not going to spoil the rest of the article for you – don’t be a stinge, buy it yourself! The mantra of its pages is to “make time for yourself”, so take five, grab a water (or a wine, you do you) and treat yourself to some time dedicated to mindfulness.

As a writer myself, the thought of your words making a change to even one person’s life is truly gratifying and perhaps even the sole purpose for some. So to Juliana – congratulations on a piece that has changed the mindset and lifted the courage of a young girl spiralling out of control. Your article was hopeful and inspiring and your message rang clear and strong.

If you feel as though that goal you’ve been working towards is seemingly always out of reach, I would highly recommend grabbing this beautiful magazine and having a flick through its pages.

You never know – you might just be the one stopping yourself from being something great.

 

Votre amie dévouée,

       La femme de faim x

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