You manage people. (Or maybe this will be about your friends, family, or children!)
You can’t seem to get them to change or perform up to their ability. You know they have the skills and the ability. But they don’t and won’t use those talents.
Why do they insist upon failing? Why perform to a certain level of mediocrity? They seem to do what is necessary right up to a point and then stop or fall back as they come to the threshold of achievement.
There are a few basic causes of this common problem. In this article I’ll deal with one of the most difficult to address.
Competing Emotional Commitments
Competing Emotional Commitments often cause self sabotage.
Sometimes the individual is aware of the commitments. Sometimes she is not.
Competing Commitments happen all the time. Some are obvious. I want to use hypotheticals outside of the workplace to bring it home…then return to business.
I have friends coming over tonight for dinner AND I am invited to a dear friend’s birthday party. Both are scheduled to start at the same time. (Competing Commitments). If self-sabotage were running my life, I’d be late to one, blow someone off (intentionally or not), or maybe not let the people know about the competing commitments. It all might or might not happen consciously, with my full awareness. The sabotage might or might not happen with intention.
If I were to blow off someone (either consciously or unconsciously), that sabotages both self and others. (If you don’t showup, someone is going to be upset and you will be in hot water!) That’s sabotaging yourself or others, or both.
The strictly logical thing to do is to let both parties be aware of the Competing Commitment. You will do your best to get from one to the other. (This is how to foster GOOD relationships.)
But when the issue isn’t dealt with for everyone involved prior to the event or experience, you have a Competing Emotional Commitment.
Because I want to be involved with both parties, I deal with it in advance.
But what if part of me didn’t want to be with one of the parties?
That’s where the unconscious/nonconscious mind starts to play with a person’s behavior.
Imagine that I was feeling resentful or angry at the person throwing the first party. So only “part of me” wanted to be there. It’s cases like these where people consciously attempt to make things happen but then forget to go, or forget to check their calendar, or stay to late at one party, or do something that precludes getting to the other group (or either party!).
Tomorrow I wake up and have an e-mail saying, “Why didn’t you come or at least call?”
Maybe you think, “Because I didn’t want to go.”
Maybe you think, “Oh man, I can’t believe I forgot that!”
Either way, the sabotage had the same result. Hurt feelings, resentment and so on.
Inside maybe I was resentful or previously hurt by someone at the one party. Maybe the person whose house it was at. A big part of me simply didn’t want to go, even though I knew I should.
In situations like this (and they happen every day), the unconscious mind filters out information or distorts information in the real world so that going to the one party becomes obscured. In these cases, the conscious mind literally doesn’t become aware of the commitment at the right time and the person doesn’t get to the other party.
(Man, I hope this doesn’t happen tonight!)
That’s why the unconscious mind causes strange behavior. (To understand how it does this is subject for yet another article.)
Now let’s go to work.
A talented person doesn’t like the company or part of the company or a leader in the company for one reason or another. They carry resentment. It is embedded deeply and emotionally into the brain.
Maybe the thought was/is, “I can’t stand the way he treats me.”
Now, you have been inside of your brain for a long time.
Do you want to do good things for people who treat you poorly?
Most people do not and will not.
A person who feels they are treated poorly…someone who doesn’t feel they are taken seriously…given a chance to contribute…etc…causing resentment…is the birth place of self- and other-sabotage.
Research shows that people will suffer significant loss and pain themselves in order to punish others who they feel deserve to be punished.
That punishment might be done with conscious intention or not. And it has the same result either way. It stops the individual from succeeding and it damages the other person or the company. Typically the damage is not “permanent” as the punishment can’t be so great that it would cost the person their job (at least in most cases).
What happens is the individual will intentionally or not, block the organization or the person they are resentful toward from succeeding. To bring the organization completely down would be completely self sacrificial and rarely happens.
More common is the salesperson who will think, “Oh! I made two sales this week, that will get me through the rest of the month.”
The salesperson will think, “How many sales do I need to make to get by?”
The emotional resentment could be at home and yet the person takes it out on the job.
What if husband thinks wife is spending too much or not pulling her share or “making him happy.” He takes it out at work by unplugging success and programming in mediocre results.
“She doesn’t deserve…” might be the unconscious or conscious thinking.
If the husband goes to work and excels, doubling sales and income then there is more money for the wife to spend. More positives for the wife in exchange for the same old negatives he is getting.
So what happens?
He works until…it is enough. Then he stops. He fails or fails to work. He might even like his boss, his job, his department…and wonders himself why he simply can’t “get ahead.”
The resentment is taken out at work in the form of self-sabotage.
The boss, of course, doesn’t see the internal conflict even if the husband does see it in himself…and most of the time the husband won’t see the resentment. The boss just can’t figure out how Johnson is constantly underperforming. He tries pep talks (carrots), threats (sticks), everything…and nothing works.
So what to do?
Ask the person: “Would you feel any anger, fear, worry, if you were to go out and develop new clients?”
Let the person talk. Then “peel away” the first layer of talk. (It usually is a smokescreen for the real feelings even deeper.)
“What else would you feel?”
As the person communicates, the more trust they feel from you the more likely they are to divulge the hidden secrets, whatever they are.
Once it’s all on the table, you can attempt to deal with the problem(s). I’ll talk about that next time.
Until it’s on the table, you will get the same results over and over and over and over.
I’ve identified 12 of the life patterns which cause us to trip up – and make the same mistakes again and again. To discover which of the 12 patterns you have been the victim of and how to eliminate self-sabotage in your life (or those of your clients) you can pick up the CD program and workbook, LIFESTORMS: The Paradox of Overcoming Self Sabotage to Achieve Love, Power, Money and Happiness.
Lifestorms: 12 Obstacles to Achievement: The Paradox of Overcoming Self Sabotage to Achieve Love, Power, Money and Happiness.
Discover why life often brings you exactly what you don’t want…and how self sabotage can hide around every corner. Some people have guessed at the bizarre nature of self sabotage. Guess no more. Self sabotage is very real in everyone’s life. It is completely devastating and 100% resolvable!
- Do you ever know you should start on a project but don’t?
- Do you have projects that you have started but never finished?
- Do you ever say the one wrong thing at the wrong time?
- Have you ever had things going well in life only to have everything blow up in a day?
- Have you tried to be so careful not to make a mistake that you were shocked when you made a truly costly one?
- Have you ever promised yourself to stay out of trouble in some way only to find yourself in the same trouble or worse again?
Now you can discover your own life patterns so you can eliminate unconscious self sabotage immediately. This program will break the heavy chains that hold you from your dreams and your goals.
This program is the first program ever made public that shows you how to identify specific self sabotaging behaviors and negative life patterns. Better? You can ultimately erase those life patterns and rewrite new “schemas” into your brain that will allow you to meet your goals and experience fulfilling relationships.
Here is what you will learn:
- How to identify which of the 12 negative life patterns you live.
- How to find the triggers of the lifestorms that you just can’t believe you experience.
- How to change the self sabotage into success, happiness or something productive.
- How to remove almost all obstacles between you and your goals.
- How to understand those around you so you don’t push their buttons.
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