How to Put the Brakes on Self-Sabotage

You can't have a positive life

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There is a program running in my head. It’s one that I’m working to embed at the deepest levels of my psyche, so that it runs on auto pilot in my sub-conscious. I call this program Having it All! This program reminds me that whatever I desire, I can have, so long as I believe with all my being, without resistance, without doubt, without self-sabotage that I am worthy of receiving.

If you’ve been following my blog the last few weeks, you’ll know this topic of subconscious influence has displayed prominently. From sharing the power of personal mantras to how childhood programming can create limiting thinking, I want you to understanding the power your sub-conscious mind exerts over your daily life. Becoming mindful of your subconscious thinking is the first step in putting the brakes on self-sabotage and creating a the life you have always wanted.

Until you make the unconscious conscious

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Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His teachings encourage us to understand the deepest aspects of our psyche to achieve a very important goal: directing our life as we desire rather than accept the consequences of our subconscious thinking.

Where does all the unconscious/subconscious programming come from? Everywhere. As children you hear information disseminated as facts by parents, relatives, friends, teachers, neighbors, politicians, and representatives from your church and community. Information about what is good versus what is bad; what is interesting versus what is not; what to believe versus what not to believe. Because you are learning and growing, you accept the information without question. That information becomes ingrained into your belief system. Like a television that is on in the background, this belief system is running in your subconscious mind.

Maybe you’re playing a track that says you have to work hard to get ahead. Maybe your track says that if you’re in love with someone of the same gender that you are going to hell. Maybe your track says that men are better at math than women. Maybe your track says that you aren’t good enough to run your own business. Maybe your track says every idea you have is doomed to fail….

Self Sabotage

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Bo Bennett, author of Year to Success, equates the challenge to a game of mental tug of war where the subconscious mind always wins because its program is always running on loop. The conscious mind holds one thought at a time and sometimes turns off, relying on the subconscious autopilot to carry on. Have you ever been driving a car for a long period of time and realize that you aren’t even paying attention to the road? That’s an example of your conscious mind turning off and your auto-pilot (subconscious mind) taking over. So when you set a goal, one minute you may believe you can and then your conscious mind turns off and you go back into your pre-programmed mode that says you can’t.

It is vitally important to identify where you have pockets of doubt in your belief system, because this doubt is programmed into your subconscious thus creating resistance in your daily life. Only by understanding, at the deepest levels, what you believe about yourself (and life in general) will you be able to reprogram that doubt and become the deliberate creator of your destiny.

How do you uncover your resistance? Here are three ways to determine the limiting programming holding you back.

1) Pay attention to your self talk. If what you hear yourself saying is disempowering and negative, you are living by a limiting program.

  • I’m so stupid! I can’t believe I did that. 
  • I’m never going to get ahead.
  • Why did I ever think I could start a business.
  • I’m too frightened of failure to take a chance like that.
  • I could never be that successful.

When you catch yourself thinking or mumbling negative thoughts stop yourself. Lovingly acknowledge that those thoughts are coming from old programming. Remind yourself that you are in the process of reprogramming your thinking to empower your joyful living. State what you really want to believe, what you really want to feel. I have never felt braver! Success is so much easier than I ever imagined! I love having a joyful life!

2) Pay attention to your body. If you get lots of headaches, tire easily, have difficulties sleeping at night, and feel restless and/or depressed, it could indicate that your life is out of alignment with your authentic purpose. When you are not happy, physical symptoms manifest. Keep a journal of your physical symptoms. When do they show up? What were you doing at the time? Who were you talking to? How did you feel? What worries are you carrying?

It shouldn’t take long for a pattern to emerge. And when it does, you’ll know what areas of your life to focus on first. One small change at a time creates a whole new life over time!

3) Notice what keeps showing up for you? What do you find yourself repeatedly drawn to? What common suggestion do others make for you? Perhaps you frequently hear what a great artist you are and how you should have a gallery show. But you live in fear thinking that your art will “never be good enough.”

When signs show themselves repeatedly, it is no coincidence! Take inspired action and know that there is room in our world for every kind of art — especially yours!

Going through this process of identifying your limiting thinking is the first step. Reprogramming takes vigilance and time. It’s just a matter of being mindful of your thoughts and gently, lovingly redirecting them whenever the thought limits your boundless potential. When you hear Change is scary tell yourself instead Change is exciting! That’s where new opportunities and friends reveal themselves! When you hear I’m not good enough tell yourself instead I’m more than enough! 

The Secret to Having It All

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When you know what you want, don’t let anything stand in your way of success — especially YOU! The secret, of course, is in believing. If you don’t believe in you, how can anyone else?

Reprogram Childhood Lessons that Don’t Serve You

Reprogram Brain copyWhen I lived in Germany from 1985 to 1989, I observed (with great awe) the epitome of efficiency from my German neighbors and friends. While I was always running out on Saturday mornings just before the local shops closed at noon for the rest of the weekend, my friend across the street would have already been to the market, cooked a hot lunch, cleaned her house, and swept the front stoop. She would cluck her tongue at me, head shaking, as I jogged down the cobblestone street with my basket bouncing on my arm.

I suppose “efficiency” wasn’t culturally coveted where I grew up. Being Southern, it was frowned upon to be in a rush. Moseying along was much more acceptable.

My dad had a saying that promulgated how acceptable “moseying” was. I often recall him declaring with a chuckle, “I’m always a day late and a dollar short!” Where I grew up that saying was certainly common, and perhaps even expected. As a child it never occurred to me to imagine what it would be like to be on time and have more money than needed. Needless to say my dad’s belief was programmed into my psyche as a little girl, and stayed with me long into my adulthood until I finally began to reprogram my thinking.

Being habitually late did not serve me well when I was living in Germany, where lack of punctuality was considered rude, American, and socially unacceptable. Fear of being culturally uncouth kicked my inner clock into gear. Long after leaving Germany and returning to the U.S., I remain a stickler for punctuality.

Being timely also has other implications, such as being efficient in order to meet deadlines. Consider, for example, all the things I had planned to have accomplished before the end of June. Several books were to have been published; trees downed, chopped, and split to season in time for winter; roof repair. None of this is done yet. Day short, week short, month short. This is when I take a deep inhale and know that, while it is not done in the time I would have liked, it will be done in perfect time.

My job is to identify what needs to be done and make my best effort to accomplish the task in the right time (my time). If it doesn’t get done in right time, then I know the universe is stepping in to insure perfect time. I’m not about to argue with that!

Reprogramming my beliefs about money took more time and courage.

What I’ve come to understand about money is the less connected I feel to it, the easier it is to claim when I want it. Bottom line, I really don’t think much about money and I sure don’t allow myself to fret over it. When I have something in mind that I want, I close my eyes and imagine money flowing in, like the tide flowing onto the shore. I imagine having more money in the bank than I realized. I see myself joyfully releasing money to others as easily as I see it coming to me.

When I do this, doors open. I get an unexpected teaching opportunity or a new coaching client. I sell more books than expected or I get a refund check for a bill that I somehow managed to pay twice! It’s crazy how this game works!

I don’t blame my dad for teaching me his limiting beliefs. He didn’t realize what he was doing. Instead, I’m grateful for the opportunity to identify the beliefs that didn’t serve me so I could reprogram my inner dialog.

My adult programming has taken time to code, test, and upgrade. As I continue to evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I expect future program updates. And while my dad may have been satisfied living life a day late and a dollar short, I have decided to live abundantly and in perfect time. Just call me an enlightened Southern Belle.

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What Your Personal Mantra Reveals About You

No Ordinary Moments

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I have lived by mantras for almost twenty years now, after my dear sister-friend Glenna took me under her wing and taught me how powerful they could be. Since then I’ve always had a primary mantra that I’ve made a part of each day, serving as reminder for what I wanted to manifest in my life.

At the Chopra Center for Meditation website, a mantra is described as having two parts: man, which is the root of the Sanskrit word for mind; and tra, which is the root of the word instrument.

An instrument of the mind… for the mind. Who couldn’t benefit from that?

Interestingly (though not surprising), as I evolve spiritually so do my mantras. Looking back I can easily see how past mantras reflect where I was in life. The “instrument of the mind” perfectly tuned to my needs and desires at various stages in my personal and spiritual evolution.

My first primary mantra, and one I kept for many years, was a simple word: Success.

This one word had many levels of meaning. I embraced it at a time when I was going through a hostile separation, divorce, and custody battle. At the same time, I was beginning a new career in a new industry. I was starting a new life in a new place, with no extended family to support me. I was making new friends. I was redefining the woman I was to become.

I wrote my focus word on little pieces of paper and tucked them into pockets, taped them onto the computer, and made them part of my password system. This one word was a simple reminder of all I desired at the time. Every day I read the word whenever I saw one of my notes or had to type it to unlock my computer. Each time I would repeat it silently and feel it become a part of me.

Needless to say, my mantra brought me all that I desired. It gave me the success I sought in my family life, career, and social circles.

Then one day I began to feel as though I had outgrown it, that perhaps it was too materialistic. So I shifted my primary mantra to another inspiring single word: Gratitude.

Behind that word was one of my favorite phrases: An attitude of gratitude. Around me I had observed that people I knew who always complained, always seemed to manifest more to complain about. By contrast, I realized how quickly my life shifted when I practiced feelings of gratitude for even the smallest things. The more gratitude I practiced, the more I had to be grateful for!

Again my mantra of gratitude became core to my daily work and personal practice. Each time I recited it, I would pause to consider: what am I grateful for in this moment? And there was always so much to appreciate!

A few years ago my mantra shifted yet again, this time to the phrase: “Thinking leads to feeling.” 

What I most appreciated about this mantra was its constant reminder that whatever I allowed to consume my thoughts, would also consume my energy. It guided me to focus on the good I wanted to manifest instead of focusing on what I didn’t like or enjoy. It reminded me that feelings flow naturally from our thoughts to our emotional center to create feelings; and, if I wanted to feel good, I had to “think good.”

Now I’m in a new place of spiritual development and growth and hence a new mantra for daily living has emerged: There are no ordinary moments.

Every. Moment. Is. Special. All by itself.

When I consider this beautiful truth, my heart feels lighter. I feel a warmth flowing through my body. My face relaxes and my lips curl into a soft smile. My inner wisdom reveals herself.


I didn’t pick this mantra, it picked me. In the recent process of relocating my office, I’ve been going through lots of papers. And there it was — a note I had saved from a fortune cookie with the words There are no ordinary moments. When I read it, I felt a new awakening. Instead of tossing it in the trash bin, I taped it to the top of my computer screen. The words resonated so strongly within me that I knew instantly my mantra had just been revised.

photo 3Each day as I work, my eyes eagerly reach for the wise words. When I read them, they echo in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul. There are no ordinary moments because I have the choice to recognize the beauty and mystery in every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

“Ditto, until infinity!” as my youngest son would say. Ahhh, I can’t imagine how life can get any richer than this!


If you have a personal mantra what does it reveal about you?

How has it impacted your life?

If you’re considering a mantra, you’ll find lots of examples on this wiki page