Why do we stay stuck when we say we want to reach a goal? Why do we take two steps forward, and then oops! 5 steps back?
What is going on when we can't put a plan into action and find lots and lots of excuses why we can't work out, eat healthfully, stop binging or do something we know we must do to lose weight?
Procrastination, excuses, finding ways to avoid doing something or "forgetting" to tap are big signs that self-sabotage is at play. But why would we do that to ourselves?
I ask this questions every day with my clients:
What is the downside of losing weight?
It is very rare for someone to say there was an actual downside to losing weight at first glance. They almost always tell me:
"I would LOVE to take off this weight. That would be amazing. I would feel so free and so good. I can't think of one possible downside."
With further probing we may get a deeper look however. If you can ask yourself the above question but don't think you have a downside and yet you are finding yourself taking actions that are self-sabotaging like those mentioned above, I want you to imagine for a moment that you have a magic wand, and you can wave it and instantly take the weight away! Close your eyes and really imagine what that might feel like.
Then ask the previous question in another way:
What negative consequences might be possible if you do lose this weight? What do you fear having to do? Who would you be, or have to be? What would be wrong with that?
I recently went through this process with a group of clients and each and every one had the initial reaction that it would be lovely if they lost the weight. When we went through some imagery and let them feel what it might be like to actually HAVE what they said they wanted it shifted quickly.
Many reported fear of some sort coming up about having to "get out there" and do something they feared failing at for example. The weight was actually a very nice protector from having to experience this. Self sabotage is always trying to keep us safe, in our comfort zone, out of perceived harm's way. The only trouble is, often that protection is from harm done in the past and isn't required so much anymore in many cases. Our subconscious has a job to do and that is to keep us safe at all costs, even when it makes no sense to us in our present!
After several rounds of tapping for the specific fears, and then substituting its opposite in reframing negative past experiences many were able to laugh and relax considerably.
But the best part was that several who went through the process reported that anxiety, fear and those pesky out of control binges just fell away.
San Francisco, California, US
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published Jul 7, 2013.