Mind You by Lorraine WalkerHypnotherapy, Stress Management & Wellbeing in Northumberland

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Self Sabotage

Its the dominant neuro-pathways running habitual programmes. The mind doesn't like change, preferring to keep you in the comfort zone, whether your happy or not, its familiar. You need to create new habits, establish new neuro-pathways that eventually fire and wire together to break free.


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What is Self Sabotage? & What are Neuro-pathways?

Self Sabotage is where your stuck, its a habit that helps you avoid discomfort, you convince yourself to stay in your comfort zone, putting off and avoiding just feels like the right thing to do. You convince yourself that you'll start someday in the future, but someday is not a day of the week, and it never seems to come around! Everyone at some point in their life engages in self sabotage, our minds are pre-programmed, wired if you like to avoid discomfort and seek safety.

It only becomes a problem when Self Sabotage gets in our way in our daily lives, stopping us from doing the things we want to do or value in life. Self Sabotage is anything that moves us away from what is important to us. It becomes avoidant behaviour and therefore hinders our experiences of the world around us.

For Example:
You need to exercise to support your weight loss and you like swimming, but your overweight and too self conscious about your body and wearing a swim suit, so you don't bother.

You've worked hard on a project and your really proud of your achievement, you've been asked to present your work to the team but you have a fear of speaking in groups, you call in sick, probably done yourself out of a promotion.

Self Sabotage Behaviours can include:
Making excuses for not doing things
Procrastination
Listening to your own negative mind talk
Comparing yourself with others
Fear of failure
Seeking approval

The fear of failure has your incessant inner voice, you know the one I'm talking about, that trouble maker who resides in your mind, screaming at you to stay in your comfort zone and avoid all challenges at all costs, and you do, and here we go again, that vicious cycle, that broken record playing over and over again.

Mind & Body
Our brain rewards us for staying in our comfort zone by releasing dopamine into our body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical released by neurons to send signals to nerve cells. One of those signals plays a major role by rewarding & motivating behaviour. The anticipation of reward (that feel good factor) increases the level of dopamine in the brain. We repeat unconsciously as dopamine rewards us, we have a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction which encourages us to repeat the behaviour that brought the reward, just like when we were children.

The difference here is after a while we end up feeling guilty for avoiding yet again and off we go, putting ourselves down with the broken record playing over and over causing us more discomfort, until the whole process starts again and the vicious cycle of Self Sabotage continues.

So hopefully you have a better understanding and can see why Self Sabotage is reinforced by neuro-networks in the brain and chemically rewarded by the sensations in the body, convincing you that its the right place to stay, making it difficult to change your behaviours just by positive thinking alone, for true change to happen, it needs to be on a much deeper level than just thoughts.

Neuro-Pathways
In Self Sabotage, the neuro-pathways in our brain are associated with our repeated unhelpful habits and behaviours over time.

They don't just stop when we choose to change our habits and do things differently, in fact change can be challenging as we fight with our pre-programmed neuro-pathway and our inner trouble maker screaming at us to come back into our comfort zone.

We have to create new neuro-pathways and keep repeating the new thoughts and behaviours for the new neurons to fire and wire together, this then creates new habits and behaviours that become the more dominant pathways. The new neuro-pathways are then rewarded by the release of feel good chemical hormones such as dopamine and serotonin and when this happens, we have broken free from our Self Sabotaging behaviour.


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Contact me if you would like to find out more about releasing your Self Sabotaging habits and behaviours.


“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”

Dr Deepak Chopra


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