Self-Sabotaging Beliefs & Patterns

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Some common negative beliefs and/or defensive childhood strategies:

  • To feel ok about myself, I must achieve.

  • I am not free to do as I want.

  • I have to do everything alone on my own.

  • No one will be there when I need them.

  • I must retreat into myself to feel safe.

  • It’s not ok to be calm, especially in relationship.

  • I cannot feel real or vulnerable with myself or others.

  • Nobody gives me enough attention.

Self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors usually stem from childhood. As children we are not quite logical, easily overwhelmed and often see ourselves as the cause of other’s upset-like a parent's unhappiness. A family might be loving, not able to meet a child’s unique emotional needs.

Children tend to adapt to not getting enough of their emotional needs met by exiling parts of themselves to not acceptable in the family, and thus a sabotaging defensive strategy is born.

For instance, in a family who discourages anger, a child might find a way to temporarily exile their anger. But the anger remains and the belief that anger is to be avoided at all costs can live on for decades. We aim to update such adaptive, but limiting, beliefs.

For instance, a child who spent hours alone after school might wrongly conclude he has little value. In working together, he might see that his"unlovability" was a misunderstanding, as his mom simply could not afford childcare.