One onstage exercise I do to demonstrate what people look like when they feel stuck is to carry a volunteer from the audience around on my back. The message is a clear one: if your world isn’t advancing as you want it to, the cause is rarely outside you. There are heavy loads on your back. It’s time to dump them. Here is the most popular way to sabotage yourself:
Beat yourself up. The highest form of love in the Greek language is Agape, which literally means, ‘Look for the Good.’ If our command is to love one another and if we treat others the way we treat ourselves (we do), then isn’t it our responsibility to learn to love ourselves first? And by the way, in so doing it becomes effortless to look for the good in others.
Self-punishment is common among otherwise educated and sophisticated people. Because you are intelligent, you get that this behavior does not improve you. You gain nothing by putting yourself down. All you are doing is expressing your disbelief in your current reality, and setting unrealistic expectations for yourself that you can never meet. Make a better choice. Support yourself.
First, get that self-punishment is useless thinking. Second, know that simple thought-stopping and thought replacement will work, if you do the work. If you’re being hard on yourself, don’t get mad for being hard on yourself. Just observe what you’re doing and make an alternate decision. When you hear, “Well, that was stupid, dummy,” thought-stop with “No it wasn’t stupid. Stop it. You did your best. You always do.” When you get frustrated with yourself, you activate a part of your limbic system that reinforces circuits that only increase the problem.