5 empowering steps to overcome self-sabotage - The Self-Worth Experiment

5 empowering steps to overcome self-sabotage

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

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Oct 24
5 empowering steps to overcome self-sabotage

Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the simple reason why you never get what you want.

It was based on the premise that the Universe loves us. Every one of us. It wants us to be happy and yearns to provide all that we need to live an abundant and fulfilling life.

This is something I deeply and truly believe in.

But last week, I received this message about my article:

“What a load of crap! The universe doesn’t give you what you want, since what you want usually involves other people or something else, and that is what we don’t have control of. Not everybody gets what they want no matter what they do. In my opinion, the Universe is cruel and evil.”

It broke my heart to read this message. Not for my sake (I’ve been immune to criticism for quite a while now).

But for hers!

I can empathise with the anger and frustration that result from a life that feels unfair. From having your dreams and hopes crushed every time you try. From having to resign yourself to the suffering and misery of a life you didn’t want. Where everything seems to go wrong all the time.

But the Universe doesn’t hate you! It didn’t deal you a bad hand out of spite. And it certainly doesn’t trip you up through sheer vindictiveness.

Your negative experiences and unhappy circumstances are not the Universe’s fault. They all just boil down to one word:


The 5 devastating reasons why you never get what you want

Whether we are aware of it or not, we all tend to sabotage our own efforts to live a happy life. At least to some degree.

You see, the Universe always strives to provide what we need and want. But it is awfully literal. It has no sense of sarcasm, irony, cynicism. It doesn’t recognise the difference between negativity and positivity. It doesn’t interpret your thoughts and words to uncover your true desires.

It simply always gives you what you communicate that you want. And that’s a massive problem.

Because, for 5 disastrous reasons, what we communicate to the Universe and what we truly long for don’t match up.

1.  Negativity and the belief that the world is a scary, evil, dog-eat-dog place

The Universe aims to provide. Whatever we want, it will give to us. And it listens to our every thought. It follows every word we speak. So it will never miss an opportunity to please.

The problem is that many of us are stuck in a toxic cycle of fear, anxiety and negative thinking.

We focus on everything that goes wrong, consumed by dreadful visions of a terrifying, uncertain future. And we fixate on contaminated thoughts of self-condemnation, self-criticism and often even self-loathing.

Shocked by the unspeakable brutality and doomsday prophecies we witness every day on the news, we distrust the world and everybody in it. Horrified of the harm that could befall us without warning.

So all the Universe hears is negativity. Despondent, angry, fearful thoughts and worries.

In its innocent naivety, it believes that the negative experiences we obsess about are what we yearn for. It mistakes our worries for desires, our toxic thoughts for wants, needs and wishes.

And it will grant them. Because that’s what it does.

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the problem, but our thoughts about it.

2.  Lack of trust and the overwhelming urge to control everything

The Universe isn’t a fairy Godmother.

Sure, sometimes we can get what we wished for so quickly that is does seem magical. But what we desire won’t usually materialise out of thin air as soon as we utter the words.

Rather, the Universe will guide us. Lead us to the outcome that ultimately is best for us and will make us happiest. It will show us signs, gently direct us through hints and synchronicities. So we can follow the bread crumbs to fulfil our desires, wants and needs.

That is, if we let it.

Unfortunately, most of us lack trust in the Universe. We were disappointed too many times, feel disheartened and abandoned. We believe that the Universe doesn’t care for us. That we can only survive if we control every aspect of our life.

All the time.

So, we make plans, hold certain expectations of how our life should be and which paths we ought to take.

And we become blind to all other options and possibilities.

Blocking out the Universe’s attempts to guide us to our happily ever after. Because the Universe’s plans for us and our own conflict too much.

And we trust our own judgement, anticipations and trepidations more than the Universe. Even if it knows the bigger picture and wants to show us our true way to happiness.

self-sabotage by trying to control everything

3.  Powerlessness, not taking responsibility and blaming others

The Universe might aspire to provide us with what we need and guide us to our ultimate happiness. But, even if we were to see the signs, many of us feel too powerless to follow them.

We seem stuck, like prisoners in an unwanted life. Our circumstances dictated by a myriad of uncontrollable outside factors and an army of (often even well-meaning) other people.

Our lives too busy and overwhelming to even consider the Universe’s hints.

And so we shift the responsibility for our misfortune to “the others”. Accusing the stresses caused by our financial situation, health, family, friends, employers for our stagnation and inability to follow our dreams.

Because we don’t want to displease, disappoint or cause conflict. We trust other people’s judgement more than our own. Desperate to avoid rejection, ridicule and failure.

And we feel too small and weak to step out of line, do our own thing, follow our happiness. Regardless of our current circumstances and what other people might think.

So, the Universe’s guidance remains untouched, ignored. Neglected in the midst of the deafening noise of the endless demands in our life.

Leaving nothing but the stale taste of regret.

self-sabotage by giving away your power

4.  Resistance and the fight against the flow of life

The "flow of life" is our personal path which the Universe provides to guide us on the most direct way to happiness. If we allow the Universe to take the lead, if we “go with the flow”, life becomes easy, effortless. Painless.

All that is required from us is to surrender to the current and let it carry us where we need to go. Actively following its direction.

And that’s the problem.

Because most of us will resist. You see, our mind evolved as a tool, a survival mechanism to keep us safe. And one of its safe-guarding tactics is resistance. Towards change, the unknown. And challenges.

All of which might bear within them the risk of danger, injury or death. And to avoid potential harm, the mind uses resistance to stop us from venturing outside our comfort zone.

Where it is safe.

And it’s understandable. Following the flow of life, letting the Universe take the reigns, can be terrifying. Because it inevitably leads into the unknown. We will need to expand, explore and follow directions we might not have chosen ourselves.

We will have to leave our comfort zone. Or, at least, widen it.

Otherwise we will never find true happiness, abundance and fulfilment. Because a comfort zone is a cosy place to be, but nothing ever grows there.

overcome self-sabotage by trusting the flow of life

5.  Low self-worth and the despondent feeling of not being good enough

The Universe doesn’t give us what we want. Instead, it provides what we communicate that we want.

The massive issue with low self-worth is that we don’t feel good enough to deserve happiness, fulfilment, abundance. We feel unworthy of the good things in life.

Which sends the Universe mixed messages.

It hears: “I wish I had a partner who loves me for who I am”. But before it can go to work granting the request, we add: “…but I am too unlovable to ever find anybody.”

Which confuses the heck out of the Universe. Do you want a loving relationship? Or don’t you?

While we might wish for love, abundance, happiness, deep down we have already given up on them. And every wish, desire or need is followed by a doubtful “but…”. Because we believe that we don’t deserve them anyway.

Robbing the Universe of any chance to make our dreams come true.

We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.

The catastrophic impact of self-sabotage on your life

Nobody chooses to self-sabotage. It’s not our intention to remain stuck in suffering, problems and unwanted circumstances.

But, subconsciously, our limiting beliefs, fears and even evolutionary legacy cause a catastrophic miscommunication with the Universe.

Which destroys our efforts to manifest a happier life.

Keeps us trapped in financial difficulty, poor health and emotional pain. Dooms us to a lonely, unfulfilling existence. And fuels our feelings of anxiety and depression.

And all this misery strengthens in us the belief that we are worthless. Reinforces the conviction that the Universe is evil, cruel and vindictive. That we cannot trust it, cannot expect anything positive in our lives.

And that nobody will look out for us, support or help us. We are alone and too powerless to change our lives.

Which, in turn, will sky-rocket our level of self-sabotage.

We are trapped in a downward spiral. Leading to ever more suffering, miscommunication and anxiety.

And if we ever want to improve our life, embrace happiness, love and abundance, we have to break the cycle. So we can communicate our wants and needs clearly to the Universe. Without misunderstandings, ambiguity and confusion.

And there’s only one way. We have to overcome self-sabotage.

5 powerful steps to overcome self-sabotage (even if you've been stuck for years)

If we want to overcome self-sabotage, we have to eradicate all the reasons for the disastrous miscommunication with the Universe.

One by one.

Below is a collection of my top exercises, tactics and resources to overcome self-sabotage. One step at the time. These are my favourite little helpers on the way to a happier life that I found to be the easiest, least time-consuming, yet most powerful and effective.

Step 1: Overcome self-sabotage by eliminating negativity

If you feel that negativity, toxic thoughts and a fearful outlook on life are holding you back from achieving your goals and desires, check out my article:

​You will discover why negativity, despite being part of our human nature, is not a life-sentence. And how you can eradicate it from your life in 3 simple steps.

So you can inject some positivity into your thoughts and start to communicate to the Universe what you truly want.

Rather than what you fear, hate or worry about.

Step 2: Overcome self-sabotage by replacing control with trust

When we believe that we have to control everything all the time, it can be terrifying to let go. Because we fear that, if we do, our whole world will fall apart.

The truth is though that, as we cling on to control every tiny detail, we stop our life from coming together in a way the Universe intended. We doom ourselves to a never-ending tug-of-war with the Universe. Day in and day out we wrangle for the upper hand.

And it is exhausting!

But relinquishing control over your life’s direction doesn’t mean you are powerless, at the mercy of a foreign entity. It just means that you allow the Universe to guide you.

Trusting that it will lead you to greater happiness, fulfilment and abundance.

So, repeat after me:

Because that’s the truth. Even if you might not believe it yet.

Step 3: Overcome self-sabotage by taking responsibility and prioritising yourself

You are the only power in your life!

But as long as you don’t realise this, you will block the Universe’s attempts to guide you to your “happily-ever-after”.

Because you will be unwilling to inconvenience or upset others. You will prioritise everybody and everything else above yourself. Allow endless tasks, favours, demands and duties to keep you stuck in a life you don’t want.

And resent the other people in your life for holding you back and ruining your life.

But there is only one simple reason why you sabotage your happiness by pleasing others and neglecting yourself. Which you can discover in my article:

​Once you reclaim your power, take responsibility and make space in your life for your dreams and desires, you will be free to accept what the Universe yearns to provide.

Step 4: Overcome self-sabotage by surrendering to the flow of life

My favourite tool to start surrendering to the flow of life is the affirmation:

​I must have repeated this affirmation 7.36 million times throughout my life. Use it whenever you need it.

Be mindful. Try to realise when you fight against the current rather than allowing it to carry you to where you need to be. Become aware of the resistance your mind throws up whenever you try to introduce something new.

And, once every day, leave your comfort zone. Nothing too scary, but still challenge yourself whenever you dare.

Because every tiny step outside your comfort zone, every minute of non-resistance to the flow of life will allow the Universe to start leading you towards a happier life.

Step 5: Overcome self-sabotage by realising your true worth

Low self-worth ruins our happiness in a myriad of ways. It makes us doubt our abilities, convinces us that we are unlovable, incompetent, irrelevant. And it sabotages every area of our life.

Hampering our relationships and career prospects, causing anxiety, self-consciousness, self-criticism and self-hatred.

And it is the #1 reason why our communication with the Universe is so dysfunctional.

Because, despite having dreams, hopes and desires, we believe we are undeserving of them. And the Universe never gets a chance to support us.

Boosting your self-worth, realising that you ARE worth personified, is therefore imperative if you want to overcome self-sabotage.

And I have a few resources that can help.

​Or, for a quick overview, check out my article:

Whenever you can, make healing your self-worth a priority.

Because once you truly know your worth, once you realise that you deserve for all your dreams to come true, there will be no bounds to what the Universe can provide.

How to always get what you want

So here we go!

My 5 steps to eradicate the 5 main reasons of self-sabotage from your life. Once and for all.

Now, not all of the 5 reasons for self-sabotage will apply to everybody. You may be affected more by one than the others.

So, you might focus first on the area that you believe to be your main source of Universal communication break-down. And then move on to the second reason.

And so on.

Or you start working on several areas at the same time. But try to avoid overwhelm as it is the first step on the path to giving up.

And if you have no clue which area you might be most affected by, I recommend starting with healing your self-worth.

But trust your intuition. It knows what’s best for you.

Be patient with yourself. It took you years to get where you are now. And it will take some determination and persistence to restart healthy communication with the Universe.

But the results will come. Sooner than you think. And they will be worth it!

Because the Universe longs to guide you to happiness, love and abundance. Provide everything that you want. And you deserve it!

You ARE worth!