The Subtle Art of Self -Sabotage

There’s a line in A Course in Miracles that, long ago, had a big impact on me: “What you share you strengthen.”  

It was when coach gave me an intriguing assignment that the line really came to life for me.  For 2 weeks, I was to simply observe my conversations, without changing a thing. Just notice what I talked about, the words I used, my typical reactions…you know, the stuff I was sharing with others.

What I saw was not pretty.  I was constantly putting myself down, without ever realizing it. I’d dismiss my skills (“Oh, that’s no big deal”). I’d deflect praise (“I thought I was awful”). I’d diminish my successes (“But I could’ve done so much better”).

What felt, to me, like humility was in truth, an act of self-sabotage. I kept undermining my success by what I was sharing with others.

Every word of self-deprecation put another dent in my self-esteem.   I was strengthening my insecurity…while crushing my confidence.  No wonder I was struggling.

So I heeded the advice from another favorite source, Louise Hay: “You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

It took time, and felt horribly uncomfortable at first, but as I began graciously accepting compliments, proudly acknowledging my successes, and owning my worth without equivocation, things began to change. The best part—I started liking myself a whole lot more!!!

Could you be doing something similar? Sabotaging yourself by minimizing your achievements or belittling your value?  Keep in mind—what you are sharing is what you are strengthening.

I invite you to find out. Spend a few weeks simply noticing what you talk about. Then come back here and let me know what you discovered.

Comments & Feedback

  • Deborah Mordecai

    I thrive when I am able to feel good about myself and project that image. Lately, it has been very hard and the negative is overwhelming. Trying to get back to a place of positivity. I know positive will manifest if I can get there. Thank you for your work and communication.

  • Lisa

    Hi Barbara,

    This exercise has been so enlightening.

    I’ve noticed my conversations with so many different people have been following three of these different themes: the future, absolute fluff, and about something that is so off and not right.

    For example, one of my older friends just retired and she inspired me to look at transferring my social security in the US to my country I’m currently working in. Had a long drawn out conversation about why Californian Chardonnay tastes different to Australian Chardonnay.

    The conversations about things that were so off and not right knocked the wind out of me, but if I didn’t do it someone would’ve steamrolled over the top of me and got away with it!

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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