Since writing my last book in 2011 I have never been able to sit through it as get caught up trying to analyse what I wrote and look for ways to improve it. Luckily some people do read it, especially those I work with as I always give them a copy. To this point I was discussing the section on self sabotage within a couple of people this week. Many people feel they do this and need to get around the problem, but what really is self sabotage? This is what I wrote about it in Change Your Thinking, Change Your Shape>> –


Almost everyone who has struggled with achieving their goals understands the principle of self sabotage. There are different reasons you may engage in self sabotage and you may do it to different degrees of severity. One of these stems from a lack of self worthiness as discussed above. Other reasons though include a fear of success, a contradictory goal or a negative experience associated with the last time you were looking your best. Self sabotage can also be linked to will power methods of getting in shape and a drop off in conscious thought.

Fear of success

For people in great shape it is hard to imagine what fears anyone could hold about looking amazing. They think, how can you fear feeling good about yourself each time you look in the mirror? How do you fear having the ability and confidence to do exactly what you want?

To the average person who is not yet in amazing shape they have very real fears about obtaining success. Some common fears people have about being in shape includes receiving unwanted attention off the opposite sex, being unable to maintain results or looking stupid if you put the weight back on. Other fears include other people expecting you to do things differently, losing popularity with friends, changing as a person in a bad way or being singled out.

These fears are hog wash. There is no greater feeling than being in awesome shape and the benefits far out weigh any negatives. In fact, I cannot think of any negatives.

The concepts of your fears are based in unreality too. The vast majority of fears in your head are just that, in your head and made up. Many of your fears are no more likely to happen if you are at your goal weight than where you are now. It is an illusion. In fact, many of your fears are much less likely to happen if you were in amazing shape compared to where you are now.

Many people fear that being in shape brings with it a pressure to stay in shape. Last time I checked everyone who is trying to change their body has already put themselves under a tremendous amount of pressure. It cannot go any higher in pressure terms.  Putting weight back on is only ever possible if you used questionable methods to achieve it. Otherwise, why would you put it back on? If your mind set is changed and plan correct yet open to be adapted it is very unlikely you will lose weight and regain it. This very book has made it possible to go break the yo-yo dieting process. If you found yourself gaining a couple of pounds then you simply need to return to addressing your mind set or the body has changed and thus your plan to follow must be adapted.

Fearing you may have to act differently is another poorly thought out fear.  It is hard to impart to people who are not in amazing shape how you will be different as a person when you are in amazing shape. You can handle situations in new confident ways, carry out more tasks and in a way where it feels fun and effortless.

It is a common concern that your friends may treat you differently out of jealousy or that you may be singled out. This only ever happens if you lose the weight without developing as a person. Someone truly in great shape does not need to be cocky or arrogant or tell the world how great they are. The body speaks for itself. If you respect people and support others you will only become more popular because you will be a nicer and happier person which makes your company more enjoyable.

Other people feel that they will turn into some monster because they have lost weight. The reality is this never happens. Being in amazing shape simply makes you a nicer version of who you already are because you are happier. You will not change in any negative way. You will still be the same you. You may have met someone in good shape who was an idiot or arrogant. There is a good chance that the person you are thinking of would also act the same way if they were out of shape.

Some people feel they will receive unwelcome sexual advances. These fears are linked to confidence. When you go through the process of getting into shape you have to face many hurdles and challenges. These successes develop your confidence so that you are a different person to the one you are today. This stronger you is able to handle situations including these.

In short almost every fear you have about achieving your goal has not accounted for who you will be when you have achieved it. This version of you could handle these problems effortlessly.

Negative experiences in past

Self sabotage can also result because of unresolved emotions from specific events that happened when you were last at your best. If you had something bad happen to you when you were last in great shape then it is likely that you have negative emotions surrounding a return to that state. This could be that there was an unwanted sexual advance, you were bullied, or something unrelated to your weight happened, e.g. someone died. This will associate in your mind a negative emotion with being in shape. These specific events contribute to your emotional haze as well as acting as a huge negative anchor for success. The emotions from these events can be reduced using the various emotional reduction strategies (see principle four for more on this).

Contradictory goal

Many people self sabotage not because of a lack of worthiness or fear of success but instead because they simply have a contradictory goal. If your goal is to get in shape so you do not need to worry about anything you eat then you are doomed for a self sabotaging circle. The moment you feel or look good it will give you the green light to go eat whatever you want, which will usually be some sort of junk food. You will do this until you become unhappy with your shape again and then the good eating and exercising kicks back in. If your goal to get into shape is to allow you to eat as much as you want without a care in the world you will forever struggle to be in amazing shape. It is a contradictory goal, it is like aiming to give up smoking so you can then get to the point where you can smoke as much as you want without worrying about it. In such cases you need to adjust your motivations for success.

Will power collapse

This common form of self sabotage is not really self sabotage but more the collapsing of an unsustainable behavioural pattern. If your plan to get in shape is based on willpower then it is simply a matter of time before you stop following it. This may seem like self sabotage but it is more a natural wearing down of your efforts. As you see some success you say to yourself “Phew. That was a lot of effort, now I can relax a little because I am making progress”. If you want to get into amazing shape and stay there long term you cannot view your health and fitness behaviours as an effort. Everything needs to become natural and something you want to do and find easy. This relates to your subconscious beliefs and not your conscious thoughts.

Using your weight as a covering issue

Failing to achieve your goals can come from a lack of worthiness to deserve success or from one of the different methods of self sabotage stalling your progress. For some people though the reason they do not achieve their goal is that they are using their weight as a covering issue to save addressing a different aspect of their life.

When your goal of getting into amazing shape is a covering issue you will usually have an unnatural obsession with trying to achieve it. You will think about it all day long, worry, obsess and panic that things are not going right. Despite all this mental activity you will still find yourself doing behaviours you know you shouldn’t do. When progress is made towards your goals you will often manage to find a way to do some crazy moments of self sabotage. The reason for this is that your health and fitness goal has become a distraction to avoid facing another issue. Therefore as you progress it makes the prospect of facing that fear greater than before. You therefore either do nothing to achieve your goal or sabotage your previous progress. This is all at the same time as being obsessed about achieving this same goal.

Self sabotage at this level is very indistinguishable from people who are simply holding a fear of success. Some clues that it is a covering issue include not being happier as you progress towards being in great shape and the answer to the question, “If your body was not an issue in your life, what would you have to do or face up to.

To read the rest of the book – Change Your Thinking, Change Your Shape – click here>> –


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