To finish this series, I want us to look at the issue of self-sabotage. This will not apply to everyone, but I do want to challenge those of us, myself included, who are putting barriers and limitations in our way; to stop ourselves progressing forward. Some of us have been doing it for a while now and it is an issue that needs to be discussed. We have to realise we cannot be good at everything, but we cannot believe we are unable to do anything.
I sabotage myself frequently, I constantly put myself down and believe I am incapable of new opportunities because of failures in the past. I fear who I am, is not confident enough or wise enough to move forward to a new position. I will bring myself down, to believe I cannot be successful.
My mum gave me some wise advice a few months ago. She said ‘If you keep bringing yourself down, there will be no one left to pick you back up’. If I was going to continually dismiss every opportunity and offer of help, I was getting; I was going to lose every opportunity of moving forward. It is hard advice to hear but advice which motivated me. I am going to mention some steps I have been implementing nearer the end; for now, I want us to take some time to focus on some scripture.
In focusing on scripture, I want us to remember who God is within our struggles. Some/if not all of us feel we are battling life alone. We feel ill-equipped and defeated; we have tried every solution, so what is the point of trying again.
As I have been spending more time reading scripture; I have realised how much God wants us to lean into him for wisdom, strength, hope and much more. This was a lesson many of the people within the bible had to learn too; they were people who felt ultimately defeated in what they were called to do. For example, when Moses was called to bring the people out of Egypt, he used many excuses of why he was incapable to do it.
But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exodus 4v10-12)
This was still not enough for Moses, he wanted someone else to be sent in his place. However, God was not asking Moses to accomplish the work alone, the work was going to be accomplished by God. God was asking Moses to be part of the process with him. It was Moses who was choosing to fixate on his faults and limitations.
‘But God’s plan was never about Moses. God said He would accomplish the work. God alone would set free his people suffering in bondage.’ (Jennie Allen, Nothing to prove).
Many us struggle with the same issue Moses did, we claim we are not enough. Whether it is the job we are called to, the situation we are facing or the relationship which needs fixing, etc. If we are truly believing in God, we can trust God is already at work within those areas. God will supply us with exactly what we need. We may struggle but ultimately God is faithful; God is right there in our struggles.
It is easy to see our struggles and issues as too much. We see ourselves as not enough, so we hide and hope it will all disappear. May it not be the case; may we trust in a God who has promised us every good thing in accordance with His will. I am going to leave some scripture for meditation. These are all God’s truth and He never goes back on his word.
- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12v9-10)
- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1v5)
- Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will up hold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41v10)
- Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31v6)
- Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. (Ephesians 3v20)
- The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14v14)
What causes us to self-sabotage? I know one of my reasons is my fear of failure. I would hate to put all my effort and time into something, only for it to result in nothing. I have realised when I never take the opportunity offered, I am failing myself because I am missing the chance to move forward. Whether I am successful or not does not matter, I will have still learned valuable lessons and it gives me an opportunity to not remain stuck.
Another reason for self-sabotage is our constant need to feel safe and comfortable. To progress forward would mean coming out of our comfort zone. It is not easy to walk into a place of uncertainty because there is pressure to make it work. There are many issues we battle with such as: rejection, regret, fear, anxiety, insecurity, our self-worth and so much more. We have seen how our past endeavours were not successful and it was crushing. Now we feel to move forward would be too painful. It is easier to put up limitations and barriers because we feel protected and safe.
My friend, if we stay stuck behind all these barriers; we will lose every opportunity and potential to grow and flourish. It may never be perfect, but my friend, life never will be. Our hearts will break, we will make mistakes and people will come and go. Do not allow yourself to be defeated, there is still so much more to come. You truly are capable of so much more. Allow yourself to bring down those barriers. If you are struggling to do it alone, allow people to come alongside you to tear them down.
Do not believe life has passed you by, there are fresh opportunities each day. I share a quote from C.S. Lewis, it is powerful and humbling within its truth.
‘To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will be unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.’ (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)
Life is tough and it takes a lot from us. May we not be discouraged by a hard season/s. May we learn to take it one step at a time, even if it feels like the tiniest step. Slow progress is still progress; keep pressing forward. To finish I share with you some of the things I have been implementing.
- When I get rejections, I focus on the positives. Being thankful I tried and seeing what I can learn from the rejections.
- This sounds odd but I get properly dressed in the morning. I put on a nice outfit and a pop or mascara and eyeshadow. When I feel ready for the day, it makes me want to make the most of it.
- I signed up with an organisation which gives free coaching on going through job processes and building confidence for moving forward.
- I keep connected with my friends, when I need some support, I ask them to pray over me. I am intentional in wanting to be honest. I speak out what is making me fearful and allow people to help me process it all.
- I have allowed myself to be passionate about things again, even if they do not make money. I love to read and this week I started a Bookstagram page. People were so welcoming and kind.
- I spend quality time with the Lord each day. Filling myself with his truth; leaving all my cares and worries with the Lord. I love beginning my morning this way.
- I try to be honest with myself. Some days I feel I can do nothing, but it is not the truth. I have got this far through life, I can keep trying and moving forward.
None of these are dramatic steps but they keep me from focusing on my limitations and motivate me to keep going. Self-sabotage is too easy to do but not easy to get out of. I would rather fight to see change in my life than to stay in the same dark place. As I finish this series, (I will do a wrap up next week), I pray for all of you who have journeyed through this series; we would come out of it stronger and more hopeful than when we went into it.
‘Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? (Marilyn Monroe)
God bless you all, love Victoria. xx