Are you on a journey of personal transformation but have a self-sabotaging behaviour you have been keeping hidden? This can take the form of an urge to ‘self-medicate’ or becoming overly reliant on things such as alcohol, food, recreational drugs, or sex. You might find such refuge in this behaviour, that rather than think of it as self-defeating, you might actually consider it a good friend, a vital creature comfort along the way.
But herein lies the trap – sometimes you can end up doing such a great job of keeping your relationship with this substance or thing out of the sight of others that your struggles and emotional pain around its underlying causes get more and more deeply submerged within your consciousness as you do.
The clients I notice in this situation are often high performers, hold themselves to extremely high standards, are very learned and accomplished, but crucially, at the same time they are just terrified of not being good enough, being judged, rejected, and truly seen.
They tend to crave the approval of others to the extent that this often informs how they apply themselves, the projects and commitments they undertake, the personal achievements and accolades they seek. They secretly scope the landscape or room they are in to see how many people they have managed to impress. They put on the face of the over or high-achiever yes, but they also display a modesty and composure that protects against anyone knowing their deep inner truth. And that is, that at their core, they feel like an unhappy, pathetic fraud. They are intensely frustrated and unhappy in themselves, but having invested considerable energy, resources, and time to achieve what those with clout in their outer lives would consider ‘success,’ they now have to smile and be gracious, even though in their heart of hearts, they are longing for a deep level of personal transformation that will address their feelings of being desperately unworthy, chronically unfulfilled, and for the most part, unseen.
The feelings of being a fraud especially can arise when you invest yourself in activities that make it seem like you are doing all the right things on the outer — volunteering, championing a worthy cause such as looking after the vulnerable or less fortunate, training or practicing to become a yoga teacher or holistic therapist, eating organic, drinking green juice, going to the gym, detoxing, doing body cleanses, meditating, reading self-help books, taking personal development courses… and so on. The reliance on your secret ‘medication’ alongside these, however, is the tell-tale crack that begins to show when you are not aligned and living from a place of authenticity, self-honesty, and truth.
Because the people who have a tendency to act out these patterns are by their very nature high-performers, they often have a lot of commitments. And because they have so much going on in their lives, this actually sets them up for more of the same type of superficial validation — in a way that continually serves to keep their attention away from, and thereby fuelling, their deep inner emotional pain.
This type of behaviour ultimately belies a chronic lack of self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love. If you are recognising that you have been pouring your precious energy, resources, and time into achieving outer successes and accolades that have been taking you further and further away from your deep inner need to address your unhappiness, low self-esteem, and soul-level pain, it is so important that you realise you are at a very important moment. Right now, your commitment to your personal transformation is the only thing that will save you from this spiral that can easily lead you into depression, disempowerment, and despair.
And due to the way you’ve been engaging life, it is perfectly normal at this moment of realisation to feel extreme panic and fear at the idea that you need to show up and ‘do’ anything differently. These feelings speak directly to really not knowing how to see and hold your real Self — your vulnerabilities, fears, tremendous capability, good, generous heart, sadness and all. Because to drop the facade would mean having to accept who you really are, without the external validation you’ve been receiving like the oxygen you would get from a life support machine.
To drop the facade is tantamount, not necessarily to taking new and immediate action, but to making a firm and conscious choice about addressing your (un)happiness levels, self-healing, and self-growth. And in letting go of the facade of a life that doesn’t honour your authentic Self, you finally give yourself permission to also let go of different people and things you’ve been looking to for approval in the absence of knowing how to provide this for yourself.
It is both scary and liberating all at the same time.
Despite whatever reservations or fears will naturally come up around making your personal transformation a priority, if this message is striking a chord, chances are that you are really ready to make a choice to move forward in a very different way…
In a way that speaks directly to the disconnect between your inner and outer worlds and by its very nature, supports, validates, recognises and holds the authentic you. It is crucial now that you put in place a committed process that will support you in directly addressing your self-sabotaging fears and patterns around not being good enough, not deserving, and hiding your real self away.
What does that committed process look like?
What is it that has been on the periphery of your attention and awareness that has been threatening to push you out of your comfort zone and you’ve been avoiding or putting off?
Making this choice consciously and determinedly powerfully sets you up to begin creating a shift in the way you have been expending your energy and time in present time. It will enable you to begin opening up on previously unknown levels, starting now and continuing until you step fully into that committed process. In your own small ways, you will naturally begin connecting into your fundamental need to be more loving and accepting of your REAL Self, and the sense of soul-level comfort you are so deeply longing and searching for.
To be at this precise moment and place of personal truth requires nothing less than grit, tremendous courage, self-honesty, and resolve, in order that you can begin re-building your relationship with yourself and your life.
What are you seeing and learning about yourself and your need for personal transformation right now?
Your answer to this question, truly, will be worth its weight in gold.