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Self-Sabotage: The Silent Dream Killer

How often do you set out on big goals or big projects only to find that something seems to get in the way or you just simply give up and find yourself slowly falling back into the same familiar routine and way of being?

You know you’re not completely happy with the way your life is going and you know there’s things you could be doing more of, less of, or doing better; but no matter how good your intentions are, you just can’t seem to stick to the plan or something out of your control comes along and throws you off course.

In Jungian psychology they describe different archetypes that act as different elements of our psyche or fundamental forms/roles we take on throughout our lives. Examples of different archetypes are the Mother, Father, Teacher, Athlete, Child, Victim, Saboteur, etc. We are always being guided by any number of these archetypes, but many times this is happening at an unconscious level. However, you can grow your awareness to become more conscious of these archetypes and how they’re being manifested in your life, for better or for worse. Increased consciousness gives you increased control.

Two of the biggest archetypes I see being played out in people that have a hard time sticking to plans and achieving their goals are the Victim and the Saboteur. The victim always finds a way to scapegoat and point fingers at other people to escape the personal responsibility of owning the things that he/she has the power to change. The Saboteur finds (clever) ways to sabotage the situation and create “mountains out of molehills” – usually finding a way to blame someone else for the problems they created or creating the problem in such a way that the circumstances seem out of their control. As you can see, the Victim and the Saboteur are close friends.

So now that I’ve brought this concept to your attention, where in your life do you see these different archetypes playing themselves out? And remember: we are everything all the time, so all the different archetypes exist within us to greater or lesser degrees (even if it just at the level of potential), and different archetypes can be more dominant in some aspects of our lives and less so in others. For example, someone could be a wonderful Father to his kids, but finds that he plays out the Victim and Saboteur when it comes to fathering his business ventures.

Once you become aware of how these archetypes are showing up in different parts of your life, you can begin to consciously choose which archetypes are creating resistance to your goals and which ones need to be harnessed and nurtured.

The hardest part of this kind of work is that you almost always begin to bump up against the stories you’ve been continuing to tell yourself and subsequently live out about who you are, why you’re where you are, and why you’re not where you say you want to be. This is one of the biggest obstacles you will face if you’ve fallen into the trap of victimizing and self-sabotage. If you’re continuing to tell yourself the same version of the story that’s gotten you to where you are, that same story isn’t going to hold up if you’re trying to take yourself in a new direction. You will continue to find ways (largely unconsciously) to play out the Victim and Saboteur to uphold your current version of the story. If on a deep level you’ve bought into a story of unworthiness and poverty, that’s the reality you’re going to manifest; no matter how much you tell yourself you want to change on the surface.

You can’t live a healthy and successful life with an unhealthy and unsuccessful mind. The journey to healing and creating the life you want begins with taking personal responsibility for your current situation and recognizing what parts of yourself brought you to this place. Your beliefs about yourself and the archetypes you’re choosing to live out are your only limiting factor.

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