Improving Self Love By Recognizing Her Nemesis, Self Sabotage

by | Jan 22, 2024 | Mindfulness, Self Love

I coach women from all over the country. They come to me with unique goals and experiences but, there’s one thing they have in common. All of them are practicing self sabotage in some form that’s negatively impacting their life.

Most of them never recognize this until we start working together. It all makes perfect sense. They learned self sabotage at a very young age. They developed the muscle for self deprecating thoughts and behaviors and it stuck like glue. Self love was never a learned part of their language or thought process.

Self sabotage can take on many forms. When it comes to low self esteem, it can sound like this:  You’re not good enough. You’re not smart or talented enough. You’re unloveable. You don’t deserve to have a good time. Why are you so stupid?

Self sabotage is a far more pervasive tendency than self love.

And, it negatively impacts the way we feel about ourselves, the way we think and how we experience the people and events in our lives. We develop patterns of thinking and behavior from childhood, past relationships, and experiences. They become so ingrained and reflexive that they become our norms. But, that doesn’t mean we’re ever stuck. Science had proven that we’re dynamic. We can change and grow at any age and stage of life- if we choose to change and grow. I talked about this during Episode 16 of my podcast, She Grabs The Mic. 

And this is a popular topic. In an article for Very Well Mind, Barbara Field (a mental health and women’s empowerment expert) said, “There are many reasons for self sabotage including low self image and low self esteem.”

As a professional life coach for women, I see this as massive opportunity. When we learn how to mindfully practice self love- to love and value who we are, self esteem and self image increase. Our tendencies to self sabotage decrease. This is a game changer when it comes to improving overall mental health, physical wellbeing, and quality of life.

Self love is an internal mental reset that influences nearly every dimension of your life.

  • The relationship you have with yourself (your inner voice, self talk, and beliefs)
  • What you see when you look in the mirror
  • The quality of your relationships with other people
  • Your tendency to show up authentically as you are or show up to please
  • Your sex life- how you feel about your body, how you view sex
  • What you believe you deserve
  • What you tolerate and accept
  • How you prioritize and invest in your mental and physical health, your growth and happiness
  • What you say yes to, what you say no to
  • How confident you are when you make a decision and how mindful you are about why you’re making it
  • Whether or not you advocate for yourself at work
  • Your overall feeling of worth, peace and contentment
  • How successful you are at achieving your goals and dreams

Self love is unconditional love for yourself.

It’s an awareness of your strengths, and weaknesses- loving and accepting all parts of yourself equally and compassionately. Recognizing what you want and need to be happy and live well. 

Your mindset, health, quality of life, and outcomes improve when self love is high.

  • You know your worth. This increases your tendency to speak up and advocate for what you need, want and deserve.
  • Your inner self talk turns positive which improves the way you think and feel.
  • The choices you make originate from a place of honoring and loving who you truly are.

Self love is foundational when it comes to discovering your best and living your best life. When you bring awareness to your thoughts, patterns, and beliefs with (the tool and practice of) mindfulness, you can begin to understand when you’re practicing self sabotage and where you have an opportunity to practice self love. 

Neuroscience has proven you can change the way you think. Even if you’ve been living in the dark lands of negativity, you can transform your habits and patterns into positive ones and grow at any age and stage of life.

Mindfulness gives you a way to recognize when you are: 

  • Practicing self judgement instead of compassion
  • Doubting or criticizing yourself
  • Procrastinating in pursuit of perfection or fear of failure
  • Harboring self sabotage beliefs from your last
  • Unconsciously blocking yourself from achieving your goals

Mindfulness is an act of self love. 

The scientific benefits of mindfulness are vast. I teach mindfulness to every woman I coach because it profoundly improves our quality of life. Mindfulness provides us with perspective that helps us recognize when we can replace self sabotage cycles with self love. Here are three of the mindful tips I share with the women I coach to help you get you started:

Take a whole self inventory. Write a list of what you fear, criticize, judge, hide, or reject about yourself. Kindly ask yourself: How is the way I feel about myself affecting my choices? What would change if I could accept the things I fear, criticize, judge, hide, and reject?

Get in touch with what you want and deserve. Think about your relationships, career, happiness, goals, and dreams. Ask yourself: What do I deserve to feel and experience? What do I want most for myself and why?

Get mindful. When you notice negative self-talk or self-limiting beliefs, hit your mental pause button. Take 10-12 breaths. Kindly ask yourself: Where did I learn this? What words, thoughts, and beliefs can I offer myself right now that are more loving? 

Moving from self sabotage to self love will not happen overnight. 

Be patient and persistent. Small moments of mindfulness, time and consistent practice- one after another will help you recognize your self sabotage tendencies and improve your self love. The more you practice, the easier it will become to cultivate a supportive, confident, and loving mindset that will help you discover your best self and create your best life.

If you’re ready to transform your thinking and your life, let’s talk. I’d love to meet you. 

Cole Baker-Bagwell

Master Certified Professional Coach

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