The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest

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Intellectual Humiliation

Confront your own ignorance.

The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest

From self-sabotage to self-mastery

The Mountain is You

Nothing is holding you back in life more than yourself. If there is an ongoing gap between where you are and where you want to be – and your efforts to close it are consistently met with your resistance, pain, and discomfort – self-sabotage is almost always at work. In reality, self-sabotage is simply the presence of an unconscious need fulfilled by the self-sabotage behavior. To over once this, we must go through a process of deep psychological excavation. We must pinpoint the traumatic event, release unprocessed emotions, find healthier ways to meet our needs, reinvent our self-image, and develop principles such as emotional intelligence and resilience. 

Self-sabotage is Not Always Obvious at the Onset

When Carl Jung was a child, he fell and hurt his head. Unbeknown to him, and shortly after his incident, he benga to experience sporadic and uncontrollable fainting spells. He unconsciously developed what he would call “neurosis.” He ultimately realized that all neuroses are “substitutes for legitimate suffering.” He came to believe that fainting spells manifested his unconscious desire to get out of class, where he felt uncomfortable and unhappy. Likewise, for many people, their fears and attachments are often just symptoms of deeper issues for which they do not have any better way to cope. 

Self-sabotage is a Coping Mechanism 

Self-sabotage is what happens when we refuse to consciously meet our innermost needs, often because we do not believe we are capable of handling them. 

Sometimes we sabotage our relationships because we want to find ourselves,s though we are afraid to be alone. Sometimes, we sabotage our professional success because we want to create art, even if it will make us seem less ambitious by society’s measures. Sometimes we sabotage our healing journey by psychoanalyzing our feelings because by doing so, we are sure we avoided experiencing them. Sometimes, we sabotage our self-talk because if we believed in ourselves, we’d feel free to get back out in the world and take risks, and that would leave us vulnerable. 

In the end, self-sabotage is very often just a maladaptive coping mechanism, a way we give ourselves what we need without having to address what we need. But like any coping mechanism, it is just that – a way to cope. It’s not an answer, it’s not a solution, and it does not ever truly solve the problem. We are merely numbing our desires and giving ourselves a little taste of temporary relief. 

Self-sabotage Comes From Irrational Fear

Sometimes, our most sabotaging behaviors are the results of long-held and unexamined fears we have about the world and ourselves. 

Perhaps it is the idea that you are unintelligent, unattractive, or disliked. Maybe it is the idea of losing a job, taking an elevator, or committing to a relationship. In other cases, it can be more abstract, such as someone “coming to get” you, violating your boundaries, getting “caught,” or being wrongly accused.

These beliefs become attachments over time. 

For most people, the abstract to fear represents a legitimate fear. Because it would be too scary to dwell on the real fear, we project those feelings onto issues or circumstances that are less likely to occur. If the station has an extremely low likelihood of becoming a reality, it, therefore, becomes a “safe” thing to worry about because subconsciously, we already know it isn’t going to happen. Consequently, we can express our feelings without actually endangering ourselves. 

For example, if you are terrified of being a passenger in a car, maybe your real fear is the loss of control or the idea that someone or something else is controlling your life. Perhaps the fear is of “moving forward,” and the moving car is simply a representation of that. If you were aware of the real issue, you could begin working to resolve it, perhaps by identifying how you are giving up your power or being too passive. However, if you aren’t aware of the real problem, you’ll continue to try to convince yourself not to be triggered and anxious while riding in the car and find that it only gets worse. 

Self-sabotage comes from unconscious, negative associations. Self-sabotage is also one of the first signs that your inner narrative is outdated, limiting, or incorrect.

Your life is defined not only by what you think about it but also by what you think of yourself. Your self-concept is an idea that you have spent your whole life building. It was created by piercing inputs and influences from those around you: what your parents believe, what your peers think, what becomes self-evident through personal experience, and so on. Your self-image is difficult to adjust because your brain’s confirmation bias affirms your preexisting beliefs about yourself. 

When we self-sabotage, it is often because we have a native association between achieving the goal we aspire to and being the kind of person who has or does that. 

Your anxiety around the issue that you’re self-sabotaging usually reflects your limiting belief. 

Maybe you aren’t writing your magnums opus because you don’t want to write; you want one seen as “successful” because that will get you praise, which is typically what people revert to when they want acceptance but haven’t gotten it. Maybe you keep eating the wrong foods because they comfort you, but you haven’t stopped to ask what they have to keep soothing you from. 

To reconcile this, you must challenge these preexisting ideas and adopt new ones. You have to recognize that being healthy makes you less vulnerable, not more and that critics must come with creating anything for the public and isn’t a reason not to do it. You have to show yourself that there are many different ways to self-soothe that are more effective than unhealthy food.

Once you question and observe these preexisting beliefs, you begin to see how warped and illogical they were all along – not to mention distinctly holding you back from your ultimate potential. 

Self-sabotage Comes From What’s Unfamiliar

Human beings experience a natural resistance to the unknown because it is essentially the ultimate loss of control. This is true even if what’s “unknown” is benevolent or even beneficial to us.

Self-sabotage is very often the simple product of unfamiliarity, and it is because e anything foreign, no matter how good, will años be uncomfortable until it is also familiar. This often leads people to confuse the discomfort of the unknown with being “wrong,” “bad,” or “ominous.” However, it is simply a matter of psychological adjustment. 

Gay Hendricks calls this your “upper limit,” or your tolerance for happiness. Everyone has a capacity for which they allow these lives to feel good. This is similar to what other psychologists call a person’s “baseline,” or the set predisposition that they eventually revert to, even if certain events or circumstances shift temporarily. 

Small shifts, compounded over time, can result in per ante baseline adjustments. However, they often don’t stick because we come up on our upper limits. The reason we don’t allow these hits to become baselines is that as soon as our circumstances extend beyond the amount of happiness we’re accustomed to, we find ways, both conscious and unconscious, to bring ourselves back to the feeling we’re comfortable with. 

Self-sabotage Comes From Belief Systems 

What you believe about your life is what you will make true about your life. 

That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of these outdated narratives and have the courage to change them. 

Maybe you’ve spent so many years telling yourself: “I am an anxious person,” you started to indemnity with it, adopting anxiety and fear into your belief system. Maybe you were raised in a close-minded social circle or an echo chamber. Perhaps you did not know you could question or arrive at a new conclusion about politics and religion. 

In other cases, your limiting beliefs might come from wanting to keep yourself safe. 

Maybe that’s why you prefer the comfort of what you’ve known to the vulnerability of what you don’t, why you prefer apathy to excitement, think about suffering makes you more worthy, or believe that for every good thing in life, there must be also an accompanying “bad.”

To truly heal, you will have to change the way you think. You must become very conscious of negative and false beliefs and shift to a mindset that serves you. 

How to Get Out of Denial

Maybe this preliminary information about self-sabotage resonates a bit, or perhaps it resonates a lot. 

If you want to change your life, you must stop being in denial about your state of affairs. You are going to have to get honest with yourself. You must decide that you love yourself too much to stop settling for less than you deserve. 

It does not serve us to use endless affirmations to placate our true feelings about where we are in our journey. When we do this, we start dissociating and get stuck.

To “love” ourselves, we try to validate everything about who we are. Yet those warm sentiments never quite seem to stick, only ever temporarily numbing the discomfort. Why don’t they work? Because deep down, we know we are not quite who we want to be, and until we accept this, we will never find peace. 

In denial, we tend to go into “blame” mode. We look for anyone or anything to explain why we are the way we are. Then we start justifying. If you constantly rationalize why you’re unhappy about your life, you are not doing yourself any favors. You are not getting any closer to creating the lasting change you deeply desire. 

The first step in healing anything is taking full accountability. It is no longer denying the truth of your life and yourself.

The greatest act of self-love is to no longer a life you are unhappy with. It is to be able to state the problem plainly and straightforwardly.

Take a paper and pen, and write down everything you aren’t happy with. Write down, very specifically, every single problem you face. If you are struggling with finances, you need a prominent picture of what’s wrong. Write down every debt, every bill, every asset, and every bit of income. If you struggle with self-image, write down exactly what you dislike about yourself. If it’s anxiety, write down everything that bothers or upsets you. 

First, You must get out of denial and be clear about what’s wrong. At this point, you have a choice: you can make peace, or you can commit to changing. The linger is what is keeping you stuck. 

The Path Begins Right Where You Are Now

If you know what needs to be made in your life, it is okay if you are far away from your goal or cannot conceive how you will arrive. It is okay if you are starting at the beginning. It is okay if you start at rock bottom and cannot yet see your way through. 

Rock bottom is very often where we begin on our healing journey. This is not because we suddenly see the light, not because our worst days are magically transmitted into some epiphany, and not because someone saves us from our madness. Rock bottom becomes a turning point because it is only then that most people think: I never want to feel this way again. 

At that moment, fault becomes irrelevant. You; ‘re no longer mulling over who did what or how you’ve been wronged. At that moment, only one thing guides me: no matter what it takes, I will never accept my life getting to this point again. 

Rock bottom isn’t a bad day. It doesn’t;t happen by chance. We only arrive at rock bottom when our habits begin to compose upon one another when our coping mechanisms have spiraled so out of control that we can no longer resist the feelings we were attempting to hide. 

We don’t reach a breaking point because one or two things go wrong. We get to a breaking point when we finally accept that the problem isn’t how the world is; it is how we are. 

Most people do not change their lives until not changing becomes the less comfortable option. This means that they do not embrace the difficulty of altering their habits until they do not have another choice. Staying where they are is not viable. They can no longer even pretend that it is desirable in any way. 

If you want to change your life, let yourself be consumed with rage: not towards others, not with the world, but within yourself. 

Get angry, determined, and allow yourself to develop tunnel vision with one thing and one thing only at the end: that you will not go on as you are. 

Preparing for Radical Change

One of the biggest reasons that people avoid doing important internal work is that they recognize if they heal themselves, their lies will change – sometimes drastically. If they come to terms with how unhappy they are, they will have to temporarily be more comfortable, ashamed, or scared while they start all over. 

Your new life is going to cost you your old one.

It’s going to cost you your comfort zone and your sense of direction.

It’s going to cost you relationships and friends. 

It’s going to cost you being liked and understood. 

It doesn’t matter.

You will build a new comfort zone around the things that move you forward. Instead of being like, you’re going to be loved. Instead of being understood, you’re going to be seen.

Remaining attached to your old life is the first and final act of self-sabotage, and releasing it is what we must prepare for to be willing to see real change truly. 

There’s No Such Thing as Self-sabotage 

When you habituate yourself to do things that move your life forward, you call them skills. When they hold your life back, you call them self-sabotage. They are both essentially the same function. 

The habits and behaviors you can’t stop engaging in – no matter how destructive or limiting they may be – are intelligently designed by your subconscious to meet an unfulfilled need, displaced emotion, or neglected desire.

Overcoming self-sabotage is not about figuring out how to override your impulses; it is first determining why those impulses exist in the first place.

Self-sabotage is often misunderstood to be a way in which we punish, deride, or intentionally hurt ourselves. On the surface, this seems true enough. Self-sabotage is committing to a healthier diet and finding yourself driving to the drive-thru a few hours later. It’s identifying a market gap, conceiving an unprecedentedly brilliant business idea, then getting “distracted” and forgetting to work on it. It’s having strange and terrifying thoughts and allowing them to paralyze you in the face of significant life changes or milestones.

We often misattribute these beavers to a lack of intelligence, willpower, or capability. That is usually not the case. Self-sabotage is not a way we hurt ourselves; it’s a way we try to protect ourselves.

What is Self-sabotage?

Self-sabotage is when you have two conflicting desires. One is conscious; one is unconscious. You know how you want to move your life forward, yet you are still stuck.

When you have significant, ongoing, insurmountable issues in your life – incredibly when the solutions are so easy and impossible to stick with – what you have are not big problems but big attachments. 

When it comes to self-sabotage behaviors, you have to under and that sometimes, it’s easy to get attached to having problems. 

All you are self-sabotage is how you feed a need you probably do not even realize you have. Overcoming it is not only a matter of learning to understand yourself better but realizing that your problems are not problems; they are symptoms. You cannot eliminate the coping mechanisms and think you’ve solved the problem. 

What Does Self-sabotage Look Like?

There are some specific behaviors and patterns that are typically indicative of self-sabotage, and they usually fail to be aware that there’s a problem in their life yet feel the need to perpetuate it regardless. 


Resistance happens when we have a new project that we need to work on and can’t bring ourselves to do it. It’s when we get into a great new relationship and keep bailing on plans. It’s when we get a fantastic idea for our business and then feel tension and anger when it comes time to sit down and get to work. 

We often feel resistance in the face of what’s going right in our lives, not what’s going wrong. When we have a problem to solve, resistance is usually nowhere to be found. But when we have something to enjoy, create, or build, we are tapping into a part of ourselves that is trying to thrive instead of survive, and the unfamiliar can be daunting. 

How to Resolve This

Resistance is your way of slowing down and ensuring that it’s safe to get attached to something new and vital. In other cases, it can also be a warning sign that something isn’t quite right, and you might need to step back and regroup. 

Resistance is not the same as procrastination or indifference and shouldn’t be treated as such. When we are experiencing resistance, there is always a reason, and we have to pay attention. If we try to force ourselves to perform in the face of opposition, it usually intensifies the feeling, as we are strengthening the internal conflict and triggering the fear that’s holding us back in the first place. 

Instead, releasing resistance requires us to refocus. We must understand what we want and when and how we want it. We have to identify unconscious beliefs preventing us from showing up, and then we have to step back into the work when we feel inspired. Wanting is the entryway to showing up after resistance. 

Hitting Your Upper Limit

There is only a certain amount of happiness that most of us will allow ourselves to feel. Gay Hendricks calls this your “upper limit.”

Your upper limit is essentially the amount of “good” that you’re comfortable having in your life. It is your tolerance and threshold for positive feelings or expiring positive events. 

When you begin to surprise your upper limit, you unconsciously sabotage what’s happening to bring yourself back to what’s comfortable and familiar. For some people, this manifest physical, often as aches, pains, beaches, or physical tension. For others, it manifests emotionally as resistance, anger, guilt, or fear. 

It might be counterintuitive, but we are not wired to be happy; were are wired to be comfortable, and anything that is outside of that realm of comfortable feels threatening or scary until we are familiar with it. 

How to Resolve This

Hitting your upper limit is a great sign. It means you’re approaching new levels of your life, which is something to congratulate yourself on. The way you resolve an upper-limit problem is by slowly acclimating yourself to your new “normal.”

Instead of shocking yourself into being changed, allow yourself to adjust and adapt slowly. By taking it slow, you are allowing yourself to gradually reinstate a new comfort zone around what you want your life to be. Over time, you progressively shift your baseline to a new standard.


In uprooting, you are not allowing yourself to blossom; you are only comfortable with sprouting. 

It might be constantly needing a “fresh start,” often due to not having healthy ways to deal with stress or struggling with conflict resolution. Uprooting can divert attention from the actual problems in your life, as your attention must go toward reestablishing yourself at a new job or town. 

Ultimately, uprooting means you are always just beginning your new chapter but never finishing it. Despite your efforts to keep moving on, you end up more tuck than ever before.

How to Resolve This

First, recognize the pattern.

One of the primary symptoms of uprooting is not reading that one is doing it. Therefore, the most crucial step is to become aware of what’s happening.

Next, you need to get clear on what you want. Sometimes, uprooting occurs because we step too quickly soars what we think we want, only to find that we didn’t think it through and don’t want that much. Claire is critical because you; er thinking long-term now.

Remember that healing from an uprooting pattern is not about settling for something you don’t want; it’s about getting clear and determined on the right path and then planning how you contrive, not just survive. When the moment comes that you would typically flee, comfort the discomfort and stay where you are. Figure out why you are uncomfortable getting attached to one thing or another, and determine what healthy attachment would look like for you.


Perfectionism isn’t wanting everything to be correct. It is a hindering thinks because it sets up unrealistic expectations about what we are capable of or what the outcomes of our lives could be. 

Perfectionism keeps us from showing up and trying or doing the vital work of our lives. This happens because when we fear failing, feeling vulnerable, or not being as good as we want others to think we are, we avoid the work required to become that good. We sabotage ourselves because it is the willingness to show up and do it repeatedly and again that ultimately brings us to a place of mastery. 

How to Resolve This

Don’t worry about doing it well; do it.

Don’t worry about wiring a best seller; write, don’t worry about making a Grammy-winning hit, make music. Don’t worry about failing; keep showing up and trying. At first, all that matters is that you do what you want. From there, you can learn from your mistakes and, over time, get to where you want to be. 

Instead of perfection, focus on progress. Instead of having something done ideally, focus on just getting it done. From there, you can’t edit, build, grow, and develop it to precisely your vision.

Limited Emotional Processing Skills

When you can only process half your emotions, you stunt yourself. You start going out of your way to avoid any possible situation that could bring up something frustrating or uncomfortable because you have no tools to be able to handle that feeling. This means that you start avoiding the very risks and actions that would ultimately change your life. 

In addition, an inability to process your emotions means you get stuck with them. You sit and dwell on your anger and sadness because you don’t know how to make them go away. When we only process half of our emotions, we ultimately only live half of the life we want to.

How to Resolve This

Healthy emotional processing generally involves these steps:

1. Get clear on what happened.
2. Validate your feelings.
3. Determine a course correction.

First, you must understand why you’re upside down or why something bothers you. Without clarity on this, you’ll continue to waste your time mulling over the details without really understanding what’s hurting you so much.

Next, you have to validate how you feel. In doing this, you can allow yourself a physical release, such as crying, shaking, journaling about your feelings, or talking to a most faithful friend. 

Once you are clear on what’s wrong and have allowed yourself to express the extent of your emotions fully, you can determine how you will change your behavior or thought process so that you get the outcome that you want in the future. 


Your outcomes, not your intentions, ultimately measure your life. It is not about what you wanted to d or would have done but didn’t have time. It’s not about why you thought you couldn’t; it’s just whether or not you eventually did. When you’re in a pattern of self-sabotaging behavior, you’re often treating those excuses the same way you would treat measurable outcomes: using them to make yourself feel momentarily satisfied, using the mass as a replacement for the accomplishments themselves. 

When we have a goal, dream, or plan, there is no measure of intent. It is only wheaten you did it or did not. Any other reason you offer for not showing up and ping the work is simply stating that you prioritize that reason over the ultimate ambition, which will always take precedence in your life. 

You may also be using excuses to help navigate away from uncomfortable feelings that are ultimately necessary for your growth.

How You Resolve This

Start measuring your outcomes and coursing on at least doing one productive thing each day.

It’s no longer about how many days you wanted to go to the gym; it’s about how many days you did. It’s no longer about your great ideas about changing your business; it’s about whether or not you did. 

Stop accepting your excuses. Stop being complacent with your justifications. Start qualifying your days by how many healthy, positive things you accomplished, and you will see how quickly you begin to make progress.


By leaving our lives and spaces in disarray, we are not just mindlessly forgetting to take care of our surroundings. We are often actually creating distractions and chaos that serve an unconscious purpose.

Without cleanliness, we create fewer opportunities for ourselves. Nothing positive nor beautiful flows from chaos. Deep down, we know this. Often, when we are self-sabotaging through disorganization, it is because when we are very clean or organized, we get an uneasy feeling. That uncomfortable feeling is what we are trying to avoid because it is the recognition that now that everything is in order, we must get to work on doing what we need to do or who we want to become. 

When we leave our spaces messy, we are always a few tasks and priorities away from stepping out and showing up. 

How to Resolve This

Like anything, you need to start slow and adjust yourself over time. To deciliter and reorganize, start with one room, and if that is too much, try one corner, drawer, or closet. Work on that, and only that, and then implement a routine that maintains the organization.

From there, start arranging your space to work for you, not against you.

Attachment to What You Don’t Want

Sometimes, your dreams for your life are adapted from other people’s preferences. In other cases, you determine what you want, and then you outgrow your old ambitions.

Sometimes, we fight endlessly to try and force ourselves to want something we do not wish to, and it always leaves us empty because it isn’t a genuine desire. This is different than lacking motivation or experiencing resistance. Our inability to perform is not based on fear or lack of skill, it is found in an inherent knowing that this is not what we want for our lives, and perhaps we’re feeling lost or unable to change our path.

Self-sabotage sometimes shows us that we aren’t entirely on the right path yet and that we need to revalue to determine what would feel best for our lives, even if that means disappointing some people or even our younger selves.

We do not have to live the rest of our lives trying to achieve some measure of success we thought was ideal when we were too young to understand who we were. Our only responsibility is to make decisions for the person we have become.

How to Resolve This

Be willing to accept that maybe your “success story” doesn’t look the way you once thought it might.

Maybe the kind of success you’re hungry for is to feel at peace each day or make your life about travel instead of work. Perhaps the business you got into ten years ago isn’t the business you want to be in forever. Maybe the job you thought you’d love isn’t coming as naturally to you as you’d hoped. 

When we let go of what isn’t proper focus, we have space to discover what is. However, doing so requires the tremendous courage to put our pride aside and see things for what they are.

Judging Others

If we feel wrong about not being as successful as another person, we might try to find something negative about them to make ourselves feel better. If we do that every time we come across a person who is more successful than we are, we begin to associate the level of success with being disliked. When it comes time for us to take action to move our lives forward, we will resist doing it because becoming more successful will create a breach in our self-concept.

When we set up judgments for others, they become rules that we have to play by, too. By judging others for what we don’t have or because we envy them, we sabotage our own lives far more than we ever really hurt anyone else. 

How to Resolve This

Many people say you must love yourself before you can, but if you learn to love others, you will learn to love yourself. 

Practice non-judgment through non-assumption. Instead of concluding a person based on the limited information you have about them, consider that you’re not seeing the whole picture and don’t know the entire story. 

When you are more compassionate about other people’s lives, you become more understanding about your own. 


Pride is often involved in many of our worst decisions.

Sometimes, we know a relationship is wrong, but the shame of leaving seems worse than staying. Occasionally, we start a business and realize we don’t like it very much or refuse to accept that we need to change or ask for help. In these cases, our pride is getting in the way. We are making decisions based on how we imagens people view our lives, not how they are. This is not inaccurate, but it is always very unhealthy.

How to Resolve This

To overcome our attachment to pride, we must start those ourselves more wholly and honestly.

Instead of taking that we need to prove to everyone around us how perfect and flawless we are, we can imagine ourselves more realistically; as people who, despite our weaknesses, are trying our best. Ultimately, it looks far worse to hold onto what’s wrong because you care about what others think than to let go because that’s what’s right for you. People will respect you far more if you acknowledge that you are an imperfect person learning, adapting, and trying your best.

Guilt of Succeeding 

One of the most prominent mental barriers people face is the guild that comes with finally having enough or more than one needs. This can come from many different sources, but it ultimately boils down to feeling like you “don’t deserve” to have it.

This feeling often arises when we earn more money or have more excellent things. Often, people will sabotage their higher incomes with reckless discretionary spending or by being less vigilant about their clientele or workload because they are not entirely comfortable having more than necessities, so they put themselves back into a comfortable feeling of lack.

How to Resolve This

What you have to realize is that money and success are tools. They repurchase your time and offer you the opportunity to help, employ, influence, and change the lives of others. Instead of looking at your success as a status differentiator, see it instead as a tool to do essential and positive things in the world and your own life. 

Fear of Failing

The fear of failing often holds people back from putting in the work they need to become great at something, but it can also take another, more insidious form. Once we have established something new in our lives, this fear can come up as a constant irrational worry that we’re “missing something,” that our partner is being unfaithful, or that we’re one misstep away from losing it all.

These catastrophic thoughts happen when we want to shield ourselves from potential loss. They come up when we finally have something we care enough about and want to keep.

How to Resolve This

There is a difference between failing. You are trying something new and daring and failing because you are not showing up, doing the work, or being responsible for your actions.

 These are two very different experiences and should be separated in your mind.

As scar as it might be to not be great at something initially, or perhaps even experience a loss, it is even worse to fail by never trying and always playing small. Failure is inevitable, but you must ensure it’s happening for the right reasons. 

When we fail out of negligence, we take a step back. When we fail because we are attempting new feats, we take one step closer to what will work.


When we downplay our success in life, we are either trying to make ourselves seem less impressive so others do not feel threatened and, therefore, like us more, or we are trying to avoid the sense that we have “made it” because we are afraid of peaking.

Though so many of us long for the moment when we feel as though we have finally arrived and achieved the measures of success we so profoundly desire, we often receive them only to feel then as though they aren’t that great, impressive, or that they don’t make us feel as good as we thought they would.

This happens because of downplaying.  The idea of having “made it” makes us afraid that we are reaching the pinnacle and, therefore, will fall off it. If we acknowledge that we’ve arrived, what goals remain? It is a feeling of asking for death, so we find another measure to work toward.

Likewise, when we are around other people, we do not stand firmly in our pride because we are taught it is a bad thing. We are sensing the feeling of being “better than” others because we have achieved something. This makes us uncomfortable because we know it’s both untrue and unkind. 

How to Resolve This

Instead of shrugging off compliments, we can respond by saying: “Thank you, I worked hard, and I’m happy to be here.”

If we fear “peaking” too soon, we must reform our idea of progress. We do not get better, only to get worse again. We do not achieve one thing only to lose it and return to what we were before. That instinct is a self-sabotaging behavior, one that wants to keep us wishing our old comfort zone. 

Instead, we can acknowledge that when one part of our life improves, it radiates to everything else. When we achieve one thing, we are better equipped for the future. 

Unhealthy Habits

This is the most common way people sabotage their success: by maintaining habits that actively keep them away from their goals. This is when someone declares that they want to be in better shape but don’t change anything they do daily to facilitate that. Or when they want to make a change professionally but find ways to make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to do it. 

At the court of all these behaviors is that one part of our psyche understands that we should evolve and move forward with our lives. Another feature is intimidated by the potential discomfort it would bring. Usually, this culminates in so much inner tension and frustration that a breaking point is reached, and changes are made from there. 

However, the goal is not to get to a crisis point before you can become aware of ways you’re holding yourself back from living peacefully and comfortably.

How to Resolve This

Define health on your terms. What does a healthy life look like for you? How would it make you feel, and what would you be doing? 

Deceit what combination of healthy eating, exercise, and sleep is right for you, and stick to it. Like so many things, healthy habits are best established gradually. 

Make it easy for yourself to succeed. Prep your meals or keep water by your desk so you can sip it throughout the day. Gradually recondition yourself to prefer healthy habits, ones that work for your lifestyle.

Being “Busy”

Another prevalent way people sabotage is by distracting themselves to the point of being completely phased out of their lives.

People who are constantly “busy” are running from themselves.

Nobody is “busy” unless they want to be busy, and you will know that because so many people with extremely hectic schedules would never describe themselves that way.

Being busy communicates importance; it often makes you seem a little untouchable to others. It also overwhelms the body so that it can only focus on the tasks at hand. Being busy is ultimately a way to distract ourselves from what’s wrong.

How to Resolve This

Your first job has to be to streamline and prioritize your stats in order of importance, outsource whatever else you can, and then let go of the rest.

If your issue is that you intentionally create chaos and busyness in your day when there is no need for it, you have to get comfortable with simplicity and routine. Start with writing down your top 5 tasks that need to be done each day, and then focus on doing those and only those. 

You might also need to confront the sense of “protection” that being busy gives you. Does it make you feel more important than others? Doesn’t it give you an excuse to say no to plans or avoid someone?

 Spending Time With the Wrong People

So many of our lives are indeed saved by the people we spend them with, and the company you keep is another common way to that people self-sabotage. 

Indeed, you can think of some people in your life who stress you out, make you feel insecure, and yet keep you coming back for more. These relationships exist at the lighter end of the toxicity spectrum, but they are self-defeating nonetheless. 

You must understand that the people you spend the most time with will shape your future irrevocably, so you must choose them wisely.

How to Resolve This

Work on building a circle of people who support and inspire you, have similar goals, and enjoy spending time with you. Yo, unsoundly leave a get-together feeling energized and inspired, not exhausted and angry. 

How to Tell if You’re in a Self-Sabotage Cycle

Some of the most prominent symptoms of self-sabotage are as follows:

1. You are more aware of what you don’t want than you do.
2. You spend more of your time worrying, ruminating, and focusing on what you hope doesn’t happen than you do imagining, strategizing, and planning for what you do.
3. You are most focused on growing into the person who evokes the envy of your supposed enemies rather than the type of person loved by their family and friends and prioritizes them no matter what. 
4. You’re putting your head in the sand. 
5. You don’t know basic facts about your life, like how much debt you have or what other people are being paid for similar work. In other words, you’re in denial.
6. You put more effect toward trying to convince everyone you’re doing well rather than being honest and connecting with people who could help or support you.
7. Your main priority in life is to be liked, even if that comes at the expense of happiness. 
8. You think more about whether or not your actions will earn you the approval of “people” rather than whether or not they will make you feel fulfilled and content with who you are.
9. You’re more afraid of your feelings than anything else. 

If you get to the point of whether or not you will be able to handle your emotions, you are the one standing in your way – nothing else is. You’re blinding chasing goals without asking yourself why you want those things. 

Instead of trying to incite war on yourself to overcome your overeating, sending, drinking, sexing – whatever it is you know you need to improve – ask yourself what emotional need that thing is filling. Until you do, you will battle it forever. 

You value your doubt more than your potential.

Your willpower is limited resources. You only have so much in a day. Rather than using it to try to become good at everything, decide what matters most to you. Focus your attention on that, and let everything else slip away.

You are waiting for someone else to open a door, offer approval, or hand you the life you have been waiting for.

We grow up with the illusion that success is what’s headed to people who are most deserving, talented, or privileged. When we arrive, however, we realize it is constructed by those who find an intersection of their interest, passions, skills, and a market gap. Sprinkle on a little persistence, and the only way to fail is to give up.

Identifying Your Subconscious Commitments 

Part of the reason we often experience intense inner conflict or self-sabotage is because of something called a core commitment, which is essentially your primary objective or intention for your life.

Your subconscious commitments are basically what you want more than anything else, and you often aren’t even aware of them. You can identify your core commitments by looking at the things that you struggle with most and the things you are most driven by. If you can peel back the layers of your motivations toward each, you’ll find a root cause. When you find a root cause for everything, you’ve found a core commitment. 

People seem irrational and unpredictable until you understand what they are committed to. 

For example, if someone has a core commitment to feel free, they may find themselves sabotaging work opportunities to achieve that. If someone’s core commitment is to control their lives, they might have irrational anxiety about things that represent a loss of control.

But the most important thing to understand is that your core commitments are a cover-up for core needs. Your core needs are the opposite of your commitment. Your core needs are also another way to identify your purpose. For example, if your subconscious core commitment is to be in control, your core need is trust. If your subconscious core commitment is to be needed, your core need is to know you are wanted. 

 The less you feed your core need, the “louder” your core commitment symptoms will be. 

If you are committed to freedom and therefore need a sense of autonomy, the less that you build a life on your terms, the more you are going to sabotage opportunities and feel drained and exhausted when you “should” feel happy. 

The more you lean into fulfilling your core needs, the more your commitment symptoms will disappear. 

Confronting Repressed Emotions and Taking Action

There is a difference between understanding why we self-sabotage and the act of no longer self-sabotaging. 

This means that once we understand the root and purpose of the behavior, we adjust it. We adapt. Overcoming self-sabotage is not just a matter of understanding why you’re holding yourself back; it is being able to take action in the direction that you want and needs to, even if it is initially uncomfortable or triggering. 

When you stop engaging in self-sabotage behavior, repressed emotions that you weren’t even aware of will start to come up, and you might feel even worse than you did before. 

The thing about overcoming self-sabotage is that we don’t often need to be told what to do. We know what we want to do, and we know what we need to do. Our fear of feeling is simply holding us back. To bring to unravel this emotional holding pattern, we can work through the following to find more ease and space, and freedom while we change our lives.

The Most Common Emotions that Arise While You’re Breaking Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

The first feeling you are likely to confront is resistance. This is that generalized sense of being “stuck” on your body, feeling so tense that it is almost “hard,” as though you are hitting a wall. This feeling is usually a masking emotion that prevents you from actually being aware of the sensations beneath it, which are more acute.

Start asking the right questions instead of pushing through:
Why do I feel this way?
What is this feeling telling me about the action I am trying to take?
Is there something I need to learn here?
What do I need to do to honor my needs right now?

Then you have to reconnect to your inspiration or your vision for life. Determine why you want to take this action and make a change. When your motivation is the fact that you want to live is different and better existence, you’re going to find that a lot of resistance fades because you’re being pushed by a vision that’s greater than your fear. 

In other cases, you might run into emotions such as anger, sadness, or inadequacy. When those feelings come up, it is essential to make space for them. This means to allow them to rise in your body and observe them. Feel what you need to feel. 

Remember that many of these feelings may have a root in something related to self-sabotaging behavior. If you are angry about how one of your parents treated you, it probably won’t come as a surprise that the core feeling of why you are sabotaging your relationship is anger and mistrust. 

Give yourself space to experience the depths of your emotions so that they do not control your feelings.

Disconnecting Action and Feeling

The final and most important lesson to overcome self-sabotage is to learn to disconnect action from feeling.

We are not held back in life because we cannot make changes. We are held back because we don’t feel like making change, and so we don’t.

You can have a vision of what you want, know others it is undoubtedly suitable for you, and not feel like taking the action required to pursue that path.

This is because our feelings are essentially wired as comfort systems. They produce a “good” sense when doing what we have always done: staying familiar. This, to our bodies, registers as “safety.” In other cases, the accomplishments or changes we are pleased about are those we also perceive to offer a more significant measure of safety. If the achievement potentially puts us at risk in any way or exposes us to something familiar, we aren’t happy about it initially, even if it is a net positive for our lives. 

However, we can train ourselves to prefer behaviors that are good for us. This is how we restrict our comfort zones. We begin to crave what we repeatedly do, but the first few times we do it, we often feel uncomfortable. The trick is overriding that initial hesitation, so we are guiding our lives with logic and reason, not emotionality.

Most importantly, you may think you cannot act, but you certainly can. You do not feel willing because you are not used to it.

Using logic and vision to guide ourselves, we can identify a different and better life experience. When we imagine this, we feel peaceful and inspired. To meet this version of our lives, we must overcome our resistance and discomfort. We will not feel happy initially, no matter how “right” for us those actions are. 

It is essentially that you learn to take action before you feel like doing it. Taking action builds momentum and creates motivation. These feelings will not come to you spontaneously; you must generate them. You have to inspire yourself; you have to move. You have to begin and allow your life and your energy to reorient itself to prefer the behaviors that are going to move your life forward, not the ones that are keeping you held back. 

Your Triggers Are the Guides to Your Freedom

Our triggers do not edit to show us where we store unresolved plains. They show us something much more profound. 

Each negative emotion we experience comes with a message, one that we do not yet know how to interpret. This is when a single challenge begins to become a chronic issue. Unable to honor and use the guidance of the emotions, we just the feeling down, store it in our bodies, and try to avoid anything that might bring it up, Alina. This is when we become sensitive to the world around us because there are a lot of repressed feelings mounting.

On the surface, it seems that the thing that triggers our emotional response is the problem. It is not. The problem is that we don’t know what to do with how we feel and therefore do not have all the emotional processing skills we need. 

How to Interpret Negative Emotions

Some emotions most strongly connected with self-sabotage behaviors are essential for us to understand better. It is not about simply “getting over” them; it is about listening to what they are trying to tell us about our experience.


It is healthy to be angry,y and anger can also show us essential aspects of who we are and what we care about. For example, offense shows us where our boundaries are. Anger also helps us identify what we find to be unjust. 

Ultimately, anger is trying to mobilize us to initiate action, anger is transformative, and it is often the peak state we reach before we genuinely change our lives. This is because the offense is not intended to be projected onto someone else; instead, it’s an influx of motivation that helps us change what we need to change within our lives. 


Sadness is the standard and correct response to the loss of something you very much love.

This emotion often comes up in the aftermath of a disappointment. This could be the loss of a relationship, a job, or just a general idea of what you thought your life would be. 

Sadness only becomes problematic when we do not allow ourselves to go through the natural phases of grief. Sadness does not release itself all at once. It often happens in waves, some striking us at unexpected times. 


Guilt tends to affect us more for what we didn’t do than we did. People who struggle the most with guilt are the pole who are not guilty of something terrible. The fact that you feel bad that you could have done wrong by someone is a good sign in itself.

However, guilt requires us to look deeply at what behaviors, if any, we feel wrong about, as well as what we may have done that is not in our best interest. If guilt is more generalized and specifically relates to any one incident, we must look closely at who or what made us always feel as though we were “wrong” or inconveniencing others. 

Guilt is often an emotion we carry from childhood and project onto current circumstances when we feel burdens to those around us. 


Embarrassment is what we feel when we know that we did not behave in a way that we are proud of. Other people can never make us feel as embarrassed as we think. When we honestly and compel confidence that you are doing the best we can with what we have in front of you, you top feeling embarrassed all the time. 

Shame is the shadow side of embarrassment. This is when the natural, occasional feeling of embarrassment turns into a way for us to completely condemn ourselves as human beings and begin to see ourselves as worthless and invalid. 


Jealously is a cover-up emotion. It presents as anger or judgment when in reality, it is sadness and self-dissatisfaction. 

If you want to know what you truly want out of life, look at the pole you are jealous of. 

When we use our jealousy to judge other people’s accomplishments, we are siding in its shadow function. When we use our jealousy to show us what we want to accomplish, we recognize the self-sabotaging behavior and get ready to commit to what we desire.


When we resent people, it is often because they did not live up to the expectation of them we had in our minds.

Resentment, in some ways, is like a projected regret. Instead of showing us what we should change, it wants to tell us what others should change. However, other people are under no obligation to live up to our ideas of them. 

When faced with resentment, we must reinvent our image of those around us or those we have priced as having wronged us. Other people are not here to love us ideally; they are here to teach us a lesson to show us how to love them – and ourselves – better. 


Much like jealousy, regret is another way we show ourselves, not what we wish we could have done in the past but what we need to change. 

The truth is that most people regret what they died, not do more than they ever regret what they did. Regret isn’t trying to make us feel bad we didn’t meet our expectations. It is trying to motivate us to live up to them in the future. It is trying to show us what is imperative to change in the future and what we care about experiencing before we die. 

Chronic Fear

When we cannot stop returning to fearful thoughts, it is not always because there is an actual threat in front of us. Often, it is because our internal response systems are underdeveloped or sidelined by trauma. 

Chronic fearful thinking often comes back down to feeling the need to focus our energy and attention on a potential threat so we can protect ourselves from it. We imagine that if we are worried, anxious, or angry about it, it will remain within our awareness and, therefore, cannot surprise us. We can retain some control over it. 

The very act of holding these fearful thoughts within our minds is precisely how the fear is controlling us in the first place. It is derailing our lives right now because we are channeling our energy into something that is outside of our control, as opposed to using it for everything that is actually within our control – the habits, actions, and behaviors that would move our lives forward. 

In this sense, what we are afraid of is a projection of what’s already happening. 

The only proper way of overcoming chronic fear is to get through it. Instead of trying to battle, resist, and avoid what we cannot control, we can learn to shrug and say, if that happens, it happens. When we fully accept, fear leaves our consciousness and becomes a non-issue. 

Our Internal Guidance System Whispers Until They Scream

The things that are bothering you most right now are not external forces trying to torture you for the sake of it – they are your mind identifying what in your life can be fixed, changed, and transformed. If you continue not to take action, the siren will only get louder, and if you never learn to listen to it, you will probably just disassociate from it and then be a victim of it. 

There’s no such thing as self-sabotage because the behaviors you think are holding you back are just meeting your needs. It’s not a matter of trying to push yourself beyond them; it’s a matter of seeing them for what they are and finding better, healthier ways to fulfill them. 

Your Subconscious Mind is Trying to Communicate With You

Wishing our self-sabotage behaviors lies incredible winsome. Onto only can they tell us how and what we have been traumatized by, but they can also show us what we need. Embedded within each self-sabotaging behavior is the key to unlocking it, if only we can understand it first.

These are a few examples:

The way you are self-sabotaging: going back to the same person who broke you in a relationship. This could be a spiritual friend but is most commonly a former romantic partner.

What your subconscious mind might want you to know: it could be time to evaluate your childhood relationships. If you find something comforting or appealing about someone who hurts you, there’s usually a reason. 

The way you are self-sabotaging: feeling unhappy, even if nothing is wrong, and really, you’ve got everything you’ve wanted in life.

What your subconscious mind might want you to know: you are probably expecting to outdo things to make you feel good rather than relying on changing how you think and what you focus on. No outward accomplishments will give you an accurate and lasting sense of inner peace, and your discomfort, despite your actions, is calling your attention. 

The way you’re self-sabotaging: eating poorly when you don’t want to.

What your subconscious mind might want you to know: you are emotionally hungry. Because you are not giving yourself the experiences you crave, you are satisfying your “hunger” another way.

How you are self-sabotaging: not doing the work you know would help move your career forward.

What your subconscious mind might want you to know: you might not be as straightforward as you think about what you want to do. If it isn’t flowing, there is a reason. Instead of trying to push through and continuously hitting the same wall repeatedly, take a step back. Maybe it’s time to regroup, re-strategize, or seriously think about why you’re trying to take the steps you are. Something needs to change, and it’s probably not just your motivation. 

The way you’re self-sabotaging: sending too much money.

What your subconscious mind might want you to know: things will not make you feel more secure. You cannot purchase your way into a new life or identity. If you are overspending or spending outside of your means regularly to the point that it is detrimental to you, you need to look at what function buying or shipping serves. Is it a distraction, a replacement for a hobby, or an addiction to the feeling of being “renewed” in some way? Determine what your needs are, and then go from there. 

Learn to Listen Again

Now that you’re starting to pay attention to your internal cues, it is essential to understand how to listen, not o yourself, and respond in real-time. 

You are in the current situation because you did not know how to understand or meet your needs. If you undo not want to constantly have to be “fixing” your choices and behaviors, you have to learn how to process and interpret your feelings in real-time. A process of building emotional intelligence will do this. You are by understanding how to listen to our instincts. 

If you want to tune into yourself more, the first thing you must understand is that your “gut instinct” can only respond to what’s happening in the present. If you have an “instinct” about a future event, you’re projecting. 

This is how you can break down your “gut feelings.” Are you responding to someone in front of you, or are you responding to your idea of them in your head? Are you resting in a situation parlaying out right now, or are you reacting to one you imagine, assuming you know how it will go? Are your feelings regarding what’s happening or what you hope and fear will happen in the future?

Aside from only being able to function in the present, your gut insists it is also quiet. The “little voice” within is just that: minor.

Your gut instinct functions to make things better, whereas your imagination can often make things worse. 

But this often confuses people because which feelings are your instinct, and what are your fears, doubts, or limiting benefits? How do we know the difference? 

Well, your instincts aren’t feelings; they are responses. 

If you find yourself mainly drained after springtime with someone or don’t want to see them again, that’s your instinct. If your work exhausts you and every bit of it is forced and undesirable, that is your instinct. Instinct is not a feeling; instinct is quickly moving yourself out of harm’s way without thinking about it.

You have to remember that your feelings are not often real. They are not always accurate reflections of reality. They are always accurate reflections of our thoughts. Our thoughts change our feelings. Our thoughts do not alter our instincts. What you naturally gravitate toward or away from is your instinct. It’s not something you feel or interpret; it’s something you naturally do. 

When Pole talks about using their instinct to craft a life they love, this is what they mean: that they are obeying what their subtle intuition tells them they feel best doing. Sometimes, your instinct can move you towards your art, even if it makes you uncomfortable and resistant. Sometimes, your intuition can force you to keep working on relationships, even when it’s hard. 

Your instinct doesn’t exist to ensure you feel comfortable and ecstatic at all hours of the day. It moves you toward what you’re meant to do because it shows you where your interest, skills, and desires intersect.

Instinct and fear can feel similar. 

To trust your gut is not to treat it as an oracle. 

The feeling does not inform you of the right decision to make.

The right decision create the right feelings.

Your feelings are not intended to guide you through life; that is what your mind is for. 

You are experiencing feelings of peace and joy when you condition yourself to take repeated daily actions that facilitate clarity, cálmenles, healthfulness, and purposefulness, not the other way around. To master your life, you must learn to organize your feelings. By becoming aware of them, you can trace them back to the thought process that prompted them, and from there, you can decide whether or not the idea is an actual threat or concern or a fabrication of your reptilian mind just trying to keep you alive. 

Remember: your brain was built for nature. Your body was designed to survive in the wild. You have an animalistic form trying to navigate a highly civilized, modern world. Forgive yourself for having these impulses, and at the same time, underhand that you have choices that are ultimately yours. You can feel something and not act on it.

So why are we even told to “listen to our instincts” in the first place? 

Your gut is deeply connected t your mind. There’s a psychological connection between your gastrointestinal and serotonin production in your brain. Your vagus never runs from your gut to your head, acting as a communication drive that helps your system regulate. 

Your stomach and your mind are inherently connected, which is why people allude to just knowing something “deep down” or explain that when they’re upset, they’re “sick to their stomach” or had a “gut reaction” to something. 

When you have a “gut feeling” about someone, it is after interacting with them. When you know whether or not a job is right for you, it is only after doing it for a while. 

The problem is that we are trying to use our instincts as a fortune-telling mechanism, our brain’s creative way of manipulating our body to help us avoid pain and increase pleasure in the future. But that’s not what happens. We end up stuck because we trust, the single thing that we feel, instead of discerning what’s an actual reaction and what’s a projection.

Identifying the Difference Between Instinct and Fear

First and foremost, understanding and your instinct can serve you immensely in the present moment. Your first reaction to something is often the wisest because your body uses all the subconscious information you have logged away to inform you about something before your brain can second guess it.

Overall, your honest gut instinct won’t ever frighten you into panic. Your gut is always subtle and gentle, even if it tells you something isn’t for you. If your heart wants to know not to see someone or to stop engaging in a relationship or behavior, the impulse will be quiet. 

Intuitive Nudges VS. Intrusive Thoughts 

When you start listening to yourself, you might find it hard to tell the difference between thoughts that are helpful and intuitive and thoughts that are demanding and intrusive. They function similarly – they are immediate, reactive, and offer some previously unseen insight – yet work differently in practice.

This is how to start telling the difference between thoughts that are informed by your intuition and thoughts that are informed by fear:

1. Intuitive thoughts are calm. Intruding thoughts are hectic and fear-inducing. 
2. Intuitive thoughts are rational; they make a degree of sense. Intruding thoughts are irrational and often seem to aggrandize a situation or jump to the worst conclusion possible.
3. Intuitive thoughts help you in the present. They give you the information that you need to make a better-informed decision. Intruding thoughts are often random and have nothing to do with what’s happening.
4. Intuitive thoughts are “quiet”; intruding thoughts are “loud,” which makes one harder to hear than the other.
5. Intuitive thoughts usually come to you once, maybe twice, and they induce feelings of understanding. Intruding thoughts tend to be persistent and cause a sense of panic. 
6. Intuitive thoughts often sound loving, while invasive ideas sound scared.
7. Intuitive thoughts usually come out of nowhere; external stimuli usually trigger invasive thoughts. 
8. Intuitive thoughts don’t need to be grappled with – you have them, and then let them go. Invasive thoughts begin a spiral of ideas and fears, making it impossible to stop thinking about them. 
9. Even when an intuitive thought doesn’t tell you something you like, it never makes you panicked. Even if you experience sadness or disappointment, you don’t feel overwhelmingly anxious. You experience panic when you don’t know what to do with a feeling. It is what happens when you have an invasive thought. 
10. Intuitive thoughts open your mind to other possibilities; invasive thoughts close your heart and make you feel stuck or condemned. 
11. Intuitive thoughts are from the perspective of your best self; invasive studies are from the perspective of your most fearful small self. 
12. Intuitive thought solves problems; invasive thoughts create them.
13. Intuitive thoughts help you help others; invasive studies tend to create a “me vs. them” mentality.
14. Intuitive thoughts help you understand what you’re thinking and feeling; invasive studies assume what other people think and feel.
15. Intuitive thoughts come from a deeper place within you and give you a resounding feeling deep in your gut; invasive thoughts keep you stuck in your head and give you a panicked feeling.
16. Intuitive thoughts show how to respond; invasive studies demand you to react.

Building Emotional Intelligence

Self-sabotage is ultimately just a product of low emotional intelligence. 

To move on with our lives in a healthy, productive, and stable way, we need to understand how our brains and bodies work together. We need to know how to interpret feelings, what different emotions mean, and what to do when faced with significant, daunting sensations we don’t know how to handle. 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, interpret, and respond to your emotions in an enlightened and healthy way.

People with high emotional intelligence can often better get along with different types of people, feel more contentment and satisfaction in their everyday lives, and consistently take time to process and express their authentic feelings.

The root of self-sabotage is a lack of emotional intelligence because, without the ability to understand ourselves, we inevitably become lost. These are some misunderstood aspects of our brains and bodies that inevitably leave us stuck.

Your Brain is Designed to Resist What You Want

When we imagine what goals we want to achieve, we often d so with the expectation that they will elevate our quality of life in some tangible way, and once we have arrived at that place, we will be able to “coast.”

That is not what happens. 

Neurologically, when we get something we want, we enjoy it more. New research into the nature of the chemical dopamine proves that it is more complex than previously thought. In The Molecule of More, Daniel Z. Lieberman explains that experts who studied the hormone found that when an individual was introduced to something they highly desired, the dopamine surge would dismiss after acquisition. Dopamine, it turns out, is not the chemical that gives you pleasure; it’s the chemical that gives you the satisfaction of wanting more. 

So the big, huge goal that you’re working toward? You’ll get there, and then there will be another mountain to scale. 

This is one of the many reasons we deeply sabotage what we truly want. We know instinctively that “arriving” won’t give us the ability to abstain from life; it will only make us hungrier for more. Sometimes, we don’t feel up for the challenge. 

What happens when we start to change what we want: we resist doing the work it takes to get it because we are so afraid of not having it; any brush with failure makes us resign our effort and tense up.

When we go so long not having what we want, we create subconscious associations between having it and “being bad” because we have judged others for having it. 

When we get it, we fear losing it so severely that we push it away from ourselves, not to have to withstand the pain. 

We are so deeply enmeshed in the mental state of “wanting” we cannot shift to a state of “having.”

When we are relying on some goal or life change to “save” us in some unrealistic way, any incident of failure will trigger us to stop trying. For example: if we are confident that a romantic partner will help us stop being depressed, we will be extremely sensitive to rejection because it makes us feel like we will never get over depression. 

If you have spent the majority of your life in a state in which you are “just getting by,” you are not going to know how to adapt to a life in which you are relaxed and enjoying it. You will resist it, feel guilty, perhaps overspend or disregard responsibilities. You are, in your head, “balancing out” the years of difficulty with years of complete relaxation. However, this is not how it works. 

However, this is not how it works. 

When we are so deeply enmeshed in the feeling of wanting, it becomes tough to adjust to the experience of having. 

This is because any change, no matter how positive, is uncomfortable until it is familiar. 

It isn’t easy to acknowledge how we are so profoundly inclined to self-validate, so we end up standing in our way out of pride. It is even more challenging to recognize that very often, the things we envy in others are fragments of our deepest desires, the ones we won’t allow ourselves to have. 

A Homeostatic Impulse Governs Your Body 

Your brain is built to reinforce and regulate your life. 

Your subconscious mind has something called a homeostatic impulse, which regulates functions like body temperature, heartbeat, and breathing. 

But what many people don’t realize is that just as your brain is built to regulate your physical self, it tries to control your mental self. Your mind is constantly filtering and bringing to your attention information and stimuli that affirm your preexisting beliefs (this is known in psychology as confirmation bias), as well as presenting you with repeated through and impulses that mimic and mirror what you’ve done in the past. 

Your subconscious mind is the gatekeeper of your comfort zone. 

It is also the real in which you can either habituate yourself to expect and routinely seek the actions that would build and reinforce the tremendous success, happiness, wholeness, or healing of your life. 

This teaches us that when we go through a healing or changing process, we must allow our bodies to adjust to their new sense of normalcy. This is why all change, no matter how good, will be uncomfortable until it is also familiar. This is also why we get stuck in self-destructive habits and cycles. Even though they feel good, that does not mean they suit us.

We cannot live being governed by how we feel. Our emotions are temporary and not always reflective of reality. 

You don’t change in breakthroughs; you change in micro-shifts. If you’re stuck in life, it’s probably because you’re waiting for the Big Bang, the breakthrough moment in which all your fears dissolve and you’re overcome with clarity. The work that needs to happen happens effortlessly. Your transformation rips you from complacency, and you wake up to an entirely new existence. 

That moment will never come.

Breakthroughs do not happen spontaneously. They are tipping points. Revelations occur when ideas in the margins of our minds finally get enough attention to dominate our thoughts. These are the clicking moments when you finally understand the advice you’ve heard. The moments when you’ve habituated yourself to a petter of behavior for long enough that it becomes instinctive. 

A mind-blowing, singular breakthrough is not what changes your life. A micro shift is.

Think of micro shirts as tiny increments of change in your daily life. A micro shift is changing what you eat for one part of one meal just once—then it’s doing that a second time and a third. Before you even realize what’s happening, you’ve adopted a petter of behavior.

What you do daily accounts for the quality of your life and the degree of your success. It’s not whether you feel like putting in the work but whether or not you do it regardless.

This is because the outcomes of life are not governed by passion; they are governed by principle. 

Making significant, sweeping changes is not difficult because we are flawed, incompetent beings. It isn’t easy because we are not meant to live outside our comfort zones. 

If you want to change your life, you must make tiny, nearly undetectable decisions every hour of every day until those choices are habituated. Then you’ll continue to do them.

Trying to shock yourself into a new life isn’t going to work, and that’s why it hasn’t yet.

You don’t need to wait until you feel like changing to start changing. All you need is to make one micro shirt at a time and then let the energy and momentum build.

Your Mind is Antifragile

Is your brain the most significant antagonist in your life? 

Is irrational fear the color of the majority of your most significant stressors?

Do you ever have the hunch that you’re almost seeking out problems, creating issues where they don’t exist, overreacting, overthinking, and catastrophic?

If you said “yes” to these congratulations, you’re self-aware. 

You’re also like anybody else. 

What we fear most is what our minds identify as the least likely threat we can control. If the danger is highly possible, we don’t fear it –  we respond to it. That’s why most worry comes from not just identifying the one thing we cannot control but the one small, unlikely thing we cannot control.

So why do our minds need this?

Can’t we enjoy what we have and be grateful?

To a point, absolutely.

But our minds also need adversity, so it’s instinctual to keep creating problems – even if there aren’t any real ones in front of us. 

The human mind is something called antifragile, which means that it gets better with adversity. Like a rock that becomes a diamond under pressure or an immune system that strengthens after repeated exposure to germs, the mind requires stimulation in the form of challenge. 

If you deny and reject any real challenge in your life, your brain will compensate by creating a problem to overcome. Except this time, there won’t be any rearward at the end. It will just be you battling you for the rest of your life.

Shielding the mind from adversity makes us more vulnerable to anxiety and chaos. 

Those who can’t help but create problems in their minds often do so because they have ceased creative control of their existence. They move into the passenger’s seat, thinking that life happens to them rather than being the product of their actions. 

But what most people don’t tell you is that adversity makes you creative. 

It activates a part of you that is often latent. It makes things interesting. Part of the human narrative is wanting something to overcome. 

The trick is keeping it balanced and choosing to exist in your comfort zone and endure pain for a worthy cause.

But most importantly, it’s about staying engaged with what we can control in life, which is most things if you think about it. Antifragile things need tension, resistance, adversity, and pain to break and transform. We get this by deeply communing with life and being part of it rather than fearing our emotions and sitting on the sidelines.

New Changes Creates Adjustment Shocks

Of all the things that nobody tells you about life, that you might not experience instantaneous happiness after a positive life change is perhaps the most confusing.

The truth about your psyche is this: anything that is new, even if it is good, will feel uncomfortable until it is also familiar.

Our brains work the opposite way, too, in that whatever is familiar is what we perceive to be good and comfortable, even if those behaviors, habits, or relationships are toxic or destructive. 

It comes down to the simple fact that any accomplishments, achievements, or life changes, no matter how positive, elicit change. A change produces stress. This is particularly true for those predisposed to anxiety and depression because one’s comfort zone is absolutely to stabilize their mood. This is also why those people can often seem overwhelming particular, or narrow-minded.

What at the Signs of Adjustment Shock?

Adjustment shock can manifest as simply an increase in anxiety or irritation. However, it is often more complex than that. 

Adjustment shock often comes across as hypervigilance. If you make financial gains, your mind immediately shifts to what could derail your progress, a big bill that could come up, or the loss of the job you just got. If you have a new, happy relationship, you could become paranoid about infidelity or lies.

Adjustment shock can bring light to unconscious attachments and beliefs. It can also bring feelings of intense fear. This is because when we attain something we care about or have worked toward for a long time, our instincts can be to shield ourselves from the potential loss of it by putting up walls and desensitizing ourselves to the experiences. 

We often resist the things we want most. 

It is scary to receive everything we want because it forces us to shift out of a survivalist, fear-based mindset and into a more stabilized one. If all we are accustomed to is doing what we need to do to survive, we are then confronted with the haste of our self-actualization.

If we are no longer worried about basic survival, our minds can turn to the more significant questions in life: what is our purpose? Have we lived meaningfully? Are we who we want to be?

We often consider significant achievements a “get out of life easier” card. They rarely are that. The opposite tends to happen. They level us up, force us into more significant responsibilities, to think more deeply about big issues, to question ourselves and what we previously knew to be true.

Significant achievements pressure us to become an increasingly better version of ourselves. This is a net positive for our lives but can be just as uncomfortable as struggling was, if not more so.

How Do I Overcome Adjustment Shock?

When something positive happens, you must adjust your mindset to create alignment and a new, more accurate, sustainable perspective. 

Your significant life change is going to force you to level up in every way imaginable, and the way to overcome the initial fear of stepping into the unknown is to familiarize yourself with it, to make it part of you, one that you are sure you are prepared for – and that you deserve. 

Psychic Thinking Isn’t Wisdom

Psychic taking assumes you know what somebody else is taking or what they intend to do. It is believed that the least likely outcome is the most viable to do. It is assuming that the least likely outcome is the most feasible outcome because you feel it most strongly. It believes that you have missed out on “another life,” a path you did not choose, with whom you have the most electric connection is your ideal life partner.

Of course, the way other people see us is dynamic. Their thoughts, feelings, and intentions are primarily, if not entirely, unknown to us. The least likely outcome is just that: the least likely outcome. There is no such thing as the path we could have taken, only a projection of our needs and desires onto another fantastical idea of what our lives might be. 

Psychic thinking detaches us from reality. In place of logs, we put emotions, ones that are often incorrect, unrealizable, and wholly biased toward what we want to believe. 

Beyond being inconvenienced, psychic thinking is terrible for your mental health. Psychic thinking breeds anxiety and depression. It’s not just that something scares or upsets us; it’s that we believe that the thoughts must be accurate and predictive of future events. Instead of relying like we are having a down day, psychic thinking makes us assume we are having a terrible life. 

Psychic thinking has begun taking on an entirely new light because of the popularity of pop psychology, dating back to the 50s and 60s. Trust yourself, the gurus tell you. Deep down, you know the truth.

This is valid. Your Inter sites are connected to the stem of your brain; the bacteria in your stomach respond to subconscious intelligent awareness faster than your mind can. This is why your “gut” is indeed correct in instinct. But when this advice is given to people who cannot differentiate a gut feeling from fear or from a passing thought that has no bearing in reality or their lives as a whole, it becomes a dangerous practice in which they become completely stuck and limited because they assume their random feelings are all accurate – and then not only natural but a prediction for what’s to come.

Psychic thinking is nothing more than a series of cognitive biases, the most prominent of which are the following:


At any moment in time, your brain is inundated with stimuli. To help you process, your conscious mind knows about 10% of it or less. Your subconscious mind is still paying attention, logging away information you might one day need. 

However, what determines what makes it to that 10% of our conscious awareness has much to do with what we already believe. Our barns are working to filter out information that does not support our preexisting ideas and then draw our attention to information that does. This means that we are subject to a “confirmation bias,” which is that we seek out and sort through stimuli that support what we want to think.


Extrapolation is when we take our current circumstances and then protect them in the future.

Extrapolation makes us think that we are the sum of our past or current experiences and that whatever stressors or anxieties we are currently experiencing are ones that we will grapple with for the rest of our lives. Unable to see through the problem, we assume it will never resolve itself. Unfortunately, this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we are so easily defeated and exhausted by the idea that we will never get over our problems, then we make it more likely that we will hang onto them instead of logically trying to resolve them for much more time than necessary.


The spotlight effect happens when we imagine that our lives are performative or “on display” for others to consume. We remember the last two or three embarrassing things we have done and imagine others also thinking about them actively. Can you recall the previous two or three awkward things someone else did? Of course, you can’t because you aren’t paying attention.

Spotlighting gives us the false impression that the world is all about us when it is not.

These biases, plus others, when combined with psychic thinking, or the idea that our assumptions and feelings about the world will transpose into realization, are harmful and primarily incorrect. Instead of trying to predict what will happen next, our energy is better used when it’s focused intently on the moment.

Logical Lapses Are Giving You Profound Anxiety

Most of the anxiety you experience in life results from inefficient critical thinking skills. You might assume that because you are anxious, you are an overthinker, someone who obsesses about unlikely and scary outcomes more than is reasonable. The reality is that you are under thinker. You’re missing a part of your reasoning process. 

Let’s start at the beginning. Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives, typically when circumstances are stressful, tense, or scary. When chronic anxiety interferes with day-to-day functioning, it becomes a clinical disorder. We understand the importance of speaking about mental health with the same legitimacy as physical health. However, in the same way that we’d question what someone keeps tripping over if they repeatedly sprain their ankle, a lot of anxiety is similarly precise, as many illnesses are. Specifically, anxiety tends to be restful of an inability to process acutely stressful and ongoing circumstances.

If we want to heal, we have to learn to process. 

One of the hallmarks of anti-wet is rapid thinking. Because you focus on some issues so profoundly and for so long, you assume you are also thinking through the problem thoroughly and arriving at the most likely conclusion. However, the opposite is happening. 

You’re experiencing logical lapses. You’re jumping to the worst-case scenario because you aren’t thinking clearly, and then you are engaging your fight-to-flight response because the worst-case scenario makes you feel threatened. This is why you obsess about one terrifying idea. Your body is responding as though it’s an immediate threat, and until you defeat or overcome it, your body will do its job, which is to keep you in defense mode, which is a heightened state of awareness of the enemy. 

What is Logical Lapse?

Think of something that you aren’t afraid of, maybe something that other people might find scary. 

Why aren’t you afraid of it? Because you don’t have logical lapse there. You can visualize yourself going on an airplane and successfully getting off without freaking out. You can imagine yourself being happily single or happily committed. Even if the worst were to happen, you can think a situation through, from exposition to climax to conclusion. You know what you would do. You have a plan.

When you experiment with a logical lapse, the climax becomes the conclusion. You imagine a situation, you figure that you would panic, and then because you’re scared, you never think through the rest of the scenario. It bothers me that you don’t think about how you’d get through it, how you’d respond, and how you’d eventually move on with your life afterward. If you could do this, you wouldn’t be scared of it because you wouldn’t think it had the power to end you.

This is why exposure is the most common treatment for irrational fear. By reintroducing the stressor into your life in a safe way, you can reestablish a line of thinking that is healthier and calmer. You reestablish a line of thinking that is healthier and calmer. You prove to yourself that you will be okay, even if something scary happens. 

Either way, mental strength is not just hoping that nothing goes wrong. It believes that we can handle it if it does. 

Maybe you don’t have that self-belief yet. That’s okay. It’s not something you’re born with; it’s something you build slowly over time. You develop it with practice by addressing minor problems and then learning healthy coping mechanisms and practical reasoning skills. 

When we are hung up on one scary thing over another, it’s not because it’s a more imminent or likely threat; it’s because we are less convinced we can respond to it. To heal, we don’t need to avoid it. We need to develop logic to see situations for what they are and respond appropriately to them.

So often in life, our most considerable anxiety comes not from what’s happening but from how we think about what is happening. In that, we reclaim our emotional freedom and power.

Faulty Inferences Are Holding You Back From Success

Knowledgeable people have a psychological function others do not, which is the ability to infer. They can extract meaning and understanding from things others somos take at face value. This is why people with extremely high IQs often struggle with basic things such as social skills or driving cars. Where others see the world as one-dimensional, the highly intelligent see it as three-dimensional. They think more de deeply than is often necessary. This allows them to create, understand, strategize, and invent. 

A knowledgeable person’s brain can work against them because, at times, they make something called “faulty inferences,” which are when fallacies, biases, and incorrect assumptions are made from valid evidence. 

What’s happening in your brain when you’re very anxious is that you’re taking an often innocuous stimulus and extracting some meaning or prediction from it. When you’re scared, your brain works overdrive to identify what can potentially hurt you and creatively devise ways to avoid that experience altogether. The brighter you are, the better you become at this. 

However, the more you avoid a fear, the more intense it becomes. 

What’s Faulty Inference?

A faulty inference is when you come up with false conclusions based on valid evidence.

This means that what you see, experience, or understand might be accurate, but the assumptions that you are piercing together from it are other, not genuine, or are highly unlikely. 

A false dichotomy happens when you assume that only two possibilities could be valid when in reality, there are far more that you aren’t off. An example is when your boss calls you to a private meeting, and you assume you must either get a promotion or get fired.

These are just some of the myriad ways your brain can, in a sense, betray you. Though it intends to keep you alert and aware, sometimes, the threat becomes overinflated. Unable to decipher the difference, your body responds regardless.

How Do I Correct This?

Correcting faulty inference nag begins with being aware that you’re doing it. In most cases, once you realize that you’re thinking in a false dichotomy or making a hasty generalization, you stop doing it. You understand what it is, and you let it go. 

Training your brain to stop doing it automatically takes time. Think of your mind like a search engine that auto-fills your terms. If it’s something you’ve input many times over the years, it will still come up for a while. You must consistently add new thoughts, options, and stimuli that come up naturally. 

Worrying is the Weakest Defense System

Rumination is the birthplace of creativity. The same part of the brain controls them.

The crisis is the worst-case scenario. And yet how many of us place ourselves in a state of panic over the fear of that “least likely scenario” coming true? How many of us, to shield ourselves from terror, actually create a crisis out of our fear each day? We’re not masochists. We’re wildly intelligent unconscious, functioning beings. Our brains understand something: if we imagine our worst fears, we can prepare for them. If we mull them repeatedly, we can feel protected in a way. If we are ready for the storm, it can’t hurt us. 

Except it can.

Worrying excessively is not a malfunction. You are not a lesser character because you can’t stop and enjoy life. Worrying is a subconscious defense mechanism. It’s what we do when we care about something so much we are equally terrified that it could hurt us, so we prepare to fight for it. 

The reality is that worrying does not protect us in the way that we think it might. We cannot beat fear for the finish line. Worrying sensitizes us to an affinity for adverse possible outcomes. It shifts our mindset to expect, seek out, and create worst-case scenarios. If a crisis were to occur, we’d start panicking because our brains and bodies had been preparing for this epic war for a long time.  

That’s where the nasty cycle forms: once we worry ourselves sick over something delusional, and it doesn’t happen, we associate fear with safety. But that’s not what’s happening at all.

Rather than spending your time rehearsing how much you’d panic if such and such situation were to come to fruition, imagine how a third party would handle it if they were in your shoes. Imagine getting to the other side of the issue, perhaps even treating it as an opportunity to create something you otherwise couldn’t.

Rather than spending your life trying to identify the next thing to worry about and overcome, learn to move into a new pattern of thinking in which you recognize that you don’t need to balance out the bad with the good to live a full and fair life. 

Worrying is primal in that it fulfills a deep need within us to feel as though we’ve conquered and thus are protected and saved. Yet at the same time, our discomfort with it is a higher aspect of ourselves informing us that it isn’t necessary, and in fact, it’s holding us back from the people we want and are meant to be. 

Releasing the Past

Over time, we are meant to change, and we are designed to evolve. Our bodies show us this as we eliminate and replace cells to the point that some argue we are entirely made “new” again every seven years. 

Our mental and emotional growth follows a similar process, which tends to occur much more often. It makes sense, then, that some of our most profound suffering comes from resistance to this natural process. We are in pain because, though we must change our lives, we are holding onto baggage and debris from the past. As we carry unresolved emotions daily, we gradually move our past trauma into our future lives. 

Releasing the past is a process and practice – one that we have to learn.

How to Start Letting Go

You cannot force yourself to let go, no matter how much you know you want to.

Recovering from self-sabotage always necessitates a process of letting go.

However, you cannot force something out of your brain space, no matter how much you don’t want it to be there.

You are not going to let go the moment someone tells you to “move on,” the day you realize you have to admit inevitable defeat, the heart-dropping second it occurs to you that hope is futile.

You do not let go by simply willing yourself not to care anymore. This is something that people who have never really, really hung up on something would assume. This is something that people who have never been deeply attached to something for a sense of safety and security and love and their future believe. 

How can you become so passive about something you have spent s much of your time in your life actively working to maintain and then restore?

You can’t, and you don’t.

You start to let go on the day you take one step toward building a new life and then let yourself lie in bed and stare at the ceiling and cry for as many hours as you need.

You start to let go on the day you realize that you cannot continue to revolve around a missing gap in your life, and going on as you were before will not be an option.

This is when you realize that you will never find peace stained in the ruins of what you used to be.

You can only move on if you start building something new. 

You let go when you build a new life so immersive and engaging and exciting you slowly, over time, forget about the past.

Don’t tell yourself to let go.

Instead, tell yourself that you can cry for as long as you need. That you can fall to pieces and be a mess and let your life collapse and crumble. 

Tell yourself that you can let your foundation fall through.

What you will realize is that you’re still standing. 

What you build in the wake and the aftermath of loss will be so profound, so stunning, you will realize that may the loss was part of the plan. 

The Psychological Trick to Release Old Experiences

Just because an experience has ended doesn’t mean it’s over.

We store unfinished and unresolved emotional experiences within our bodies. Cognitively, we often find that we are stunted by the time in our lives when we are damaged or traumatized. We got scared, we never got over the fear, and as a result, we stopped growing. 

Often what we don’t realize is that the experiences that hurt us most aren’t usually the ones that we are indifferent about: there is something within them that we sincerely wanted or still desire. A breakup didn’t break us; we were broke by wanting love that wasn’t right for us. We weren’t devastated by a loss; we were devastated because we wished for that person or thing to remain in our lives.

We mentally become trapped in these places where we still crave an experience. We don’t realize that we have to free ourselves from it to go forth and create it in real-time.

Instead of accepting the ways we think life did not work out, we have to be able to see what was at the core of our desire and figure out a way to give ourselves still that experience now. 

If you want to let go of a pst experiment, enter it through your memory. Close your eyes and find the feeling in your body that is uncomfortable.

This is your portal to its root. Follow the feeling and ask it to show you where it started. You’ll remember a time, place, or experience. Sometimes, the memory is fresh enough that you don’t need to do this, and you can reenter the memory by imagining that you are back where it all began.

Now, you have to superimpose a narrative to your younger self. It would help if you imagined that you, your healed and happy older self, are imparting some wisdom. 

Imagine sitting next to your younger self when they feel down and giving them the exact instructions regarding what they need to do to feel better: who they need to call, where they need to go, what they need to begin doing, and what they need to stop doing.

Though you cannot change how what happens in the past, by shifting your perspective of it, you can change how you are right now. You can change the story, and you can change your life. You can stop holding onto the old life in which you were required to be someone you are not. 

When we do this, we become free to enter the field of infinite potential. We become free to be who we always wanted, to create what we always wanted, and to have what we always wanted. This time is now, and the place is here.

Letting Go of Unrealistic Expectations

You do not change your life when you fix every piece and call that healing.

You change your life when you start showing up exactly as you are. You change your life when you become comfortable with being happy here, even if you want to forward.

You change your life when you start doing the terrifying thing, which is showing up exactly as you are.

Most of the problems in our lives are distractions from the real problem, which is that we are not comfortable in the present moment, as we are here and now. 

So we must heal first. We must address that initially because everything builds from it. 

What Leaves the Path is Clearing the Path

There is nothing that you can do to win someone or something that is not meant to be yours.

What isn’t for you will never remain in your life.

The truth is that what is right for you will come to you and stay with you and won’t stray from you for a long. The truth is that when something is right for you, it brings clarity, and when something is wrong for you, it brings confusion. 

You get stuck when you try to make something wrong for you right. When you try to force it into a place in your life where it doesn’t belong. You get split; you barred internal conflict, which you cannot resolve. The more it intensifies, the more you mistake it for your passion. 

The truth is that what is not suitable for you will never remain with you. I thought you might want to print that you don’t know if this is the case, but you do. The things that are right for you can be free from you. You don’t have to convince them that they are right. You don’t have to line up the evidence like you’re pleading your case. 

Because the truth is that we do not want what is not suitable for use, we are attached to it. We are merely afraid. We are stuck in the assumption that nothing better will replace it, that its absence will open up a well of endless, invite suffering for which there will be no solution. We do not want what suits us; we are just scared to let go of what we believe will secure us.

What is not suitable for you will never remain in your life, not because there are forces beyond us navigating the minutiae of our everyday lives. What is not ideal for you will not stay with you because, deep down, you know it’s not right. You are the one that eventually lets go, sees reality, and walks away. You step away when you are ready, you let go when you are able, and you realize, all along, that all you were really in love with was a little trick of the light that made you feel safe. 

Recovering From Emotional Trauma 

Trauma happens when something scares you, and you do not overcome that fear. If you do not resolve or “defeat” it, you get into and remain in a sustained state of fight-or-flight, essentially the human panic response for survival.

Trauma is the experiment of disconnecting from a fundamental feeling of safety. Unless you can reestablish that connection, a particularly destructive bias distorts your worldview: you become hypersensitive, which means that you will ascribe that, overthink, overreact, become triggered by innocuous stimuli, personalize neutral situations, and remain in a mental “combat mode.”

After experiencing trauma, your brain will retire itself temporarily to seek out the potential “threat” in anything, which makes it very difficult to both move on from the initial problem and then not develop a victim complex. After all, your brain tries to show you every imaginable way the world could be “out to get you.”

This is why exposure is so effective as a treatment for fear and anxiety. By gradually reintroducing the stressor into someone’s life -and showing them they can handle it – the brain can return to a neutral state because a feeling of control and security is being re-established. 

What Happens to Your Brain After a Traumatic Event?

Neurologically, we process stress in three parts of the brain.

The first is the amygdala, the second is the hippocampus, and the third is the prefrontal cortex. Individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a smaller hippocampus (the center of emotion and memory), increased amygdala function (the center for rumination and creativity), and decreased medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate function (the center that governs complex behaviors like planning and self-development).

It becomes clear why trauma tends to have the following impact on us:

1. Our brains stop processing memory fully, leaving us with fragments of what happened, sometimes contributing to the feeling of dissociation.
2. Our ability to manage a range of emotions decreases.
3. We become stifled and stuck, have trouble planning for the future, and our self-development and actualización halt.
4. When we enter a state of fight-or-flight, our bodies cease any advanced function that is not necessary for our survival. The body’s central receptors become extremely sensitive and reactive stimuli. This is a beautiful and essential part of being human; it’s kept us alive as a species. However, it is not a state that is meant to be sustained.

Recovery comes down to something straightforward, which is restoring the feeling of one’s safety.

However, the essential part of this restoration is to reestablish a feeling of safety in the area of life that traumatized you.

Often if someone is traumatized by a relationship they had when they were young, they will reinvest that energy into valuing being attractive or successful. To them, they believe that if they are “good enough,” they can never be denied or rejected again. However, it makes us have unhealthy and destructive attachments to these things.

If we are traumatized by a relationship, we store the feeling of safety by working on other healthy, safe relationships. 

If we are traumatized by money, we restore the feeling of safety by doing what we must to ensure we have enough and save for an emergency.

What most people try to do is overcompensate in an area of life that is not the real problem. For example, if they struggle in a relationship, they hoard money to keep themselves feeling “safe.” Of course, this is always futile because the problem never gets solved.

Your trauma is not “in your head”; it is a changed state in your brain, and the only way you will help your body to return to its actual form is by recreating the feeling of safety that allows you to “turn off” survival mode and return to everyday life.

Releasing Emotional Backlog

It is a mistake to assume that emotions are optional experiences. They are not. But we are masters of avoiding our feelings, and we do it in so many ways. Often, we really on substances that physically numb us, projections and judgments that place the attention on someone else’s faults as opposed to our own, all kinds of otherworldly pursuits, and on the most basic level, tensing our bodies up so efficiently that we are rendered incapable of feeling.

Psychologically, you probably know that this doesn’t work for long. The backlog starts to jam eventually. You are forced to sit and be still and sleep and cry and feel it all. 

Emotions are physical experiences. We flush our bodies of everything and regularly do so. Feelings are not different; they are experiences that must likewise be released.

When not felt, emotions become embodied. They become stuck in your body. This is because they have a motor component, meaning the minute they begin – before you can suppress or ignore them – they create a micro-muscular activation. 

Our bodies respond instantaneously.

We often store pain and tension in the area of the body where an expression began but was never fully materialized.

This is because, neurologically speaking, the part of our brain that regulates emotions, the anterior cingulate, is next to the premotor area, which means that when a feeling is processed, it immediately begins to generate a physical, bodily response. The premotor site connects the motor context and then spans back into the specific muscles expressing the emotion.

Which muscles express which emotion? Well, it depends.

We have a lot of langue that clues us into where we have physical reactions to emotions. We often feel fear in our stomachs and heart hace in our chests, stress, anxiety in our shoulders, and relationship problems in the neck. But it goes even deeper than this. Let’s say that someone did something to you that crossed a boundary, and your instinct was to yell at them. However, because you understood it was ineffective to scream literally, you held back. Though this may have been the right thing to do now, your body may be storing residual tension in the neck or throat area. In other cases, people can experience psychosomatic effects of their emotions that are a bit more abstract, such as pain in their knees or feet when traumatized by “moving forward” in their lives, and so on.

So you know that emotions sometimes get stored in your body when they are not fully expressed. But this as it is, do we begin to flush ourselves from them?

There are several strategies that you can use to do this; what matters it’s what effective for you. 

Stop meditating to feel calm; start meditation to feel. 

The point of mediation is to sit idly as you experience all those feelings coming up: the rage, the sadness, the overwhelming mind chatter, and despite how alluring or triggering it may be, you learn to stay still and not respond to it. You know to allow these thoughts and feelings to come up and then pass by your not reaction to them. 

Use break scans to find residual retention in the body.

It usually doesn’t take too much extra effort to figure out where in your body you are storing pain. You feel it. 

Once you know, you can start to go into that feeling more, visualize what it is, where it comes from, and what it needs you to know. Often in this scenario, we are brought back to superficial memories or past versions of ourselves that need assistance or guidance. Use a journal to write down what you experience and see, and remember that the body often speaks in metaphors, so don’t necessarily take everything literally.

The last, the hardest, and the most essential part of releasing your emotion is the only thing you have to do… you have to feel them. 

Remember that emotional health is not the experience of being perpetually calm and happy. It is the experience of allowing a range of emotions, both good and bad, and not getting too stuck on either one. Similarly, mental health and self-mastery are the ability to see and feel and experience a thought without responding to it. The response, or lack thereof, is where we regain our power and reclaim our lives. 

You were not born happy all the time.

 But if you commit each day to fully human and feeling even when you are afraid, you can transcend wonderfully.

What It Means to Heal Your Mind

Healing your mind is the same as healing your body. When you’re physically wounded, you often go through a progressive, linear repair. You get better until one day; you are nearly back to where you were before. 

Healing your mind is entirely different because you aren’t returning to what you were before. You are gutting yourself and becoming someone altogether new. 

If that seems a little bit violent and harsh, it should. Healing is not a lovely ascension into comfort and wellness to be experienced once and always. Healing yourself is the most uncomfortable, disruptive, and essential thing you will ever do.

Healing yourself is returning to your most natural state, which is hungry for personal freedom, irreverent to the suffocating opinions of others, create without doubts, shows up without fear, and loves without stipulations and agreements and conditions. Who you indeed are is the best version of yourself you might not have ever imagined and the most essential version of yourself that you have always been. 

And are you getting to that place? It requires a lot. 

Healing requires you to take an honest inventory of your grudges and aggressions and the wells of longing and fear you’ve ignored all this time. It requires you to take stock of precisely what is wrong with your life so you can work to make it right. It requires you to be completely honest about how you feel, and it requires you to handle it. 

Healing requires you to fully express every emotion you can cut off and burn when you decide you are no longer comfortable with it. Recovery requires facing every ounce of darkness within you because just beneath what appears to be an impenetrable barrier is complete, radical, total freedom. When you are no longer scared to feel anything, when you no longer resist any one part of your life, something magical happens: you find peace. 

We are meant to go through these pensions of what some revert to as positive disintegration. It is when we must adapt our self-concept to become someone who can handle, if not thrive, the situation that we are in. This is normal. This is how we are supposed to respond. But we cringe because it will be uncomfortable. It will not immediately give us the virtual of what we are taught is a worthwhile life: comfort and ease and the illusion that everything is perfect on the surface. 

Healing is not merely what makes us feel better the fastest. It is building the proper life, and slowly, over time. It is going back and resolving our mistakes and going back within ourselves and resolving the anger and fear and shall-mindedness that got us there in the first place. 

Healing is refusing to tolerate the discomfort of change because you refuse to accept mediocrity for one second longer. The truth is that there is no way to escape misery; it finds us wherever we are. But we are tiene going to feel uneasy pushing past our self-imposed limits, breaking boundaries, and becoming who we dream of being, or we will handle it as we sit and mull over fears we fabricated to justify why we refuse to stand up and begin. 

Healing is going to be hard at first. It will mean looking at yourself honestly, maybe for the first time. It will mean stepping out of your comfort zone to leap toward the person you want to be. It is not what makes you more comfortable and idle. It is what conditions you to be more motivated by discomfort that you are scared of and inspired by your still moments more than you use them to forget the chains of worry. Healing is going to change everything, but it has to start with you being willing to feel what you are afraid to touch.

Healing is not about returning to exactly who you were before because that person wasn’t yet capable of seeing the storm before it hit, and that person didn’t know how to shield themselves from it.

But what you don’t need to be more of is afraid.

Fear is not going to protect you. Action is. Worrying is not going to protect you. Preparing is. Overthinking is not going to protect you. Understanding is.

When you heal completely, you stop tolerating discomfort. When something is wrong, you recognize it and take action to fix it because you’ve seen what happens when you don’t. 

When you heal completely, you can think ahead and rationally consider cause and effect. You recognize that your actions will generate results, and if you want to control the outcomes of your life better, you have to adjust your habits better.

Moving Forward Isn’t About Getting Revenge

In a world of revenge bodies and comeback relationships, a world that tries to tell you that your ultimate transformation should be splayed out across your Instagram feed, we’ve lost what it means to heal, to improve, and to move on with our lives.

The natural glow-up isn’t proving the people from your past wrong. It is finally feeling content and hopeful about your future that you stop thinking about them entirely.

When you want to change your life so it looks different, and only that, you are still orbiting around the opinions of people who didn’t love you and didn’t have any intention to. 

People who have genuinely transformed are not concerned solely with how things appear. Their lives are now focused intently on how things feel, how they are underneath it all.

A natural glow-up is authentic. It is lifting all the cover-up bullshit and addressing the real problems. It is healing. It is changing for food; it is, for the first time, prioritizing your heart over someone else’s eyes. 

Anyone can piece together an image that looks better. Anyone can edit and filter and lay pictures to create a narrative, a story, a semblance of the whole. Anyone can buy their way into beauty; anyone can look nicer if they try; anyone can convince you that they are doing better than they are.

If they are so intent on proving that, it is probably because they are still empty inside. 

Nobody is looking at you the way you think they are. Nobody is thinking about you the way you wish they would. They are looking at themselves. 

They are thinking about themselves.

They are reading themselves.

 The truth is that you have nobody to prove wrong but yourself. The people from your past didn’t disapprove of you nearly as much as you feared they did.

This closure is for you. This growth is for you. This change is yours. This is about you becoming who you know you can be. This is about you finally living up to your potential.

Building a New Future

Now that you have done the challenging work of beginning to relax your past experiences, you must focus on building a new present and future. When we release, we clean the slate to create something better.

The work now is to envision who you want to be, content with the most potent version of yourself, design your life and your daily routine, and uncover your proper purpose for being. 

Meeting Your Highest Potential Future Self

A popular tool in psychotherapy is inner child work or the process of imagining and reconnecting with your younger self. In this process, you can offer yourself guidance, even going back to certain traumatizing events and readdressing them with the wisdom you have now. 

But more often, reconnecting with your inner child is to let them communicate with you. It is how you can rediscover your inherent desires, passions, fears, and feelings. 

The process asks for reverse engineering, which is when you identify the end goals for your life and then work backward to see what you need to do each day, week, month, and year to get there. However, it works the opposite way as well. You can use a visualization technique to connect to your highest potential future self. 

Step 1: Face the Fear First

Sit down in a quiet place with a journal. Make sure you’re doing it at a time when you feel relaxed and open to receiving guidance.

Next, close your eyes and begin a meditation session. Take a few moments to breathe deeply and center yourself. Imagine sitting down somewhere that you are happy and feel at peace.

Then, invite your future self to sit with you and talk. Superficially ask for the highest possible version of yourself to sit down. If you see anything scary at first that it is your fear of what could happen to manifest in your mind, not the truth of what will happen.

Once you pass that, you can start receiving advice. 

Step 2: Notice How Your Future Self Looks

Aside from what you imagine this version of yourself telling you, please pay attention to what they look like, how they behave, and their fácil expression. 

The point of doing self-work is to merge with this aspect of yourself. You can envision the ideal version of yourself that you know how your own life needs to grow, shift and change. 

See what they wear, how they feel, and what they do daily. These will be keys to your becoming.

Step 3: Ask For Guidance

If you go into this process with a laundry list of scary, huge questions for your future self to answer, you’ll probably end up bound by panic rather than being open to receiving powerful guidance. 

Instead, keep yourself open to whatever this person wants to share. The message should be positive, uplifting, affirming, and helpful.

Step 4: Imagine Them Handing You the Keys to Your New Life

Another powerful exercise using your future self is to imagine yourself sitting down with your wolf 3, 5, or seven years ago. It has to be close enough that you can relate to this person but far enough that you’ve changed. 

What you are going to do now is hand them the pieces of your current life and all of the information they will need to go from who they are then to who you are now.

Releasing Your Past Into the Quantum Field

Trauma is the experience of disconnecting from a fundamental source of safety. It happens most severely when our attachment to our primary caretakers is compromised. But there are infinite ways the world can traumatize you, and to varying degrees.

There are lots of theories about what trauma is and where it comes from. Some believe that it is passed down physically through DNA. Others argue that it is scary mentally and emotionally through learned patterns and observations. Most commonly, trauma is believed to be an interpersonal experience in which we were challenged and lacked the skills and coping mechanisms to rise to it. 

No matter where it comes from, if you have some lingering trauma, you will know because you will feel it. You will feel it physically in your body. You will feel anxiety, tension, fear, terror, sadness, or guilt. It will be displaced. It will not have a clear, direct cause. You will overreact to certain things, and even when a problem is solved, you will still panic. This is the mark of trauma. 

Trauma is not in your head; it is in your body.

Trauma is a legitimate, physical issue. You store those emotions, energies, and otters at a cellular level.

First, identify what caused the traumatic experience. 

You do this by feeling into yourself and noticing where you are tight or tense. Our bodies harden to protect us. When we have a broken leg, our fascia tightens like a natural cast so that we do not bend ourselves that way again. Similarly, when our hearts are broken, our emotions draw so we do not let ourselves feel again. 

Healing trauma is not just a matter of psychoanalyzing it. It is a matter of literally working through it physically. The next time you feel yourself overreacting to some stimulus, you will notice that your body is starting to tense up and create a fight-or-flight response. To heal this, you must force yourself to take deep, soothing breaths until the part of your body that was once tense is relaxed again. 

Second, reinstate a sense of safety.

You are traumatized because something scared you, and you are convinced that it is still “out to get you.” This happens when you don’t face or overcome something difficult – we assume that threat lingers indefinitely.

The psychological aspect of trauma healing is that you have to restore the connection that was severed in the same way that it was broken.

We do not find the resolutions to avoid these things forever. If we act just underneath the fear, we often find that they are what we want more than anything else. 

Third, stop taking thoughts and feelings at face value. 

Last, to overcome trauma, you have to stop engaging in psychic thinking. It would help if you stopped pretending you can predict what will happen, know people’s intentions, or that what you feel and think is absolute truth and reality. 

This kind of thinking takes a triggering feeling into a defeating spiral. You take one scary thing and make it into a prediction for the future.

Becoming the Most Powerful Version of Yourself

The first step to becoming your most powerful self is envisioning that person. Don’t take yourself out of your current context, either. Ask yourself: what would the most potent version of me do right now? What would they do this day? How would they remind to this challenge? How would they move forward? How would they think? What would they feel?

Your most potent self needs to be the CEO of your life. It is the person making managerial decisions, governing everything else: this is the editor-in-chief, the matriarch or patriarch. You are working for your most powerful self. 

Once you have a more precise image of what your most powerful self is like, you then need to evaluate what habits, traits, and behaviors are actively holding you back from fully embodying that person. 

Be Aware of Your Weaknesses 

Influential people are not delusional. They do not believe they are perfect all the time at everything. This is not what makes them mentally strong. Instead, influential people are very aware of their varying strengths and weaknesses.

In business, influential people will often outsource the tasks at which they are less skilled. In life, influential people know where their limits are and what their triggers might be. This allows them to move through their lives with more ease and to vie themselves the time and space need to work on their faults.

The ability to say to yourself: “I know I struggle a lot with this, so I’m going to take my time and work on it,” is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Be Willing to Be Disliked

Influential people are not most universally liked. 

They are also not the ones vying for others’ approval, and that’s the key. To be mighty powers, you must be willing to be disliked.d this is not to say that you behave maliciously, but to say that no matter what you do, others will judge you. There’s no path in life that you can take that will be free of resistance from others, so it is crucial that you not only become okay with being disliked but anticipate it and act anyway.

Act-On Purpose

To be a compelling person, you must have complete, unwavering conviction about what you want to create. To do this, you must shift from a “live for the moment” to a “live for the legacy” mindset.

Your purpose is a dynamic, evolving thing. Most of the time, it is at the intersection of what you are interested in, what you are good at, and what the world needs. A clear vision of what you want to create and accomplish is essential to finding your inner power. You will not feel strongly about a dream that is not part of who you most essentially are.

Do Your Inner Work

To do your inner work means to evaluate why something triggered you, why something is upsetting you, what your life is trying to show you, and the ways you could grow from these experiences. Compelling people absorb what has happened to them and the sport of metabolizing it. They use it as an opportunity to learn, to develop themselves. This inner mental and emotional work is non-negotiable if you want to be truly powerful. 

Learning to Validate Your Feelings

Validating someone’s feelings doesn’t mean you agree with them. It doesn’t mean you concede that they are correct. It doesn’t mean those feelings are the healthiest; it doesn’t mean they are informed by logic. Validating feelings does not mean you make them more accurate; you remind someone that it is human to feel things they don’t always understand.

When we let ourselves have it – the feeling, that is – something incredible happens. We no longer have to take it out on other people because we no longer rely on their validation to get us through it.

We can be aggrieved and poised and mad and do our processing without hurting anyone else.

When we cannot validate our feelings, we go on a never-ending quest to force others to do it for us, but it never works. We never really get what we need. 

This looks like needing attention, affirmation, and compliments. But it also looks like being dramatic, negative, and focusing disproportionately on what’s wrong in our lives. When someone is comparing something simply – and they aren’t trying to get your help about a minor issue. They are trying to have their feelings validated.

This is also a common root of self-sabotaging behaviors. Sometimes when we have deep wells of trying, we cannot relax and enjoy our lives and relationships. We cannot just “have fun” because doing so feels like a betrayal. It doesn’t feel very kind. We need to feel validated, but we don’t even know why. 

“Validating your feelings” sounds like a significant term, but it means one thing: it’s just letting yourself have them.

Once we have and acknowledge an emotion, it will often go away on this own. If there is no course of action to take – if all we need to do is accept – then we must let ourselves be there. 

The reason we don’t do this more naturally is that we can’t burst into tears at our desks every time we feel bothered by something. It is okay to control when and where we process, and in fact, it’s better when we learn to do it in a more stable, safe space. 

This can look like taking a few minutes to “junk journal” each day, in springtime, by ourselves, where we can experiment with how we feel without judgment or trying to change them.

Validating the way one else feels is an exercise in radical empathy. The conversation starts with, “It is okay to feel this way.” Because when we point out how wrong someone is to feel the way they do, they shut down. And they shut down because they feel shame. They already know it’s outright to feel the way they do. If you start the conversation by heightening someone’s defense or making them panic and suppress even harder, you worsen the situation. 

Validating other people teaches us how to validate ourselves. And when we learn how to validate ourselves, we become more robust. 

Adopting Your Principles

If you feel lost, as though you don’t know what you want your life to go next, or worse, fear that everything you have built could come crashing down, you don’t need more inspiration. You don’t need more positive thinking.

When you have money problems, you have money principles.

When you have relationship problems, you need relationship principles. 

When you have work problems, you need work principles. 

When you have life problems, you need life principles. 

Problems don’t inherently make you a strong person unless you change and are apart. The variable here is you. The common denominator is whether or not you shift your foundational perspective on the world and how you behave within it.

If you don’t have principles, your life will not get better. Problems will only follow you and get bigger as your life does.

If you don’t have principles now, you won’t have them later.

What Is A Principle?

A principle is a fundamental truth that you can use to build the foundation of your life. A guide is not an opinion or a belief. A code is a matter of cause and effect. 

Principles can be personal guidelines. 

Principles govern most things in our lives. Stephen Covey explains this well: principles are a natural law like gravity. It’s different than a value. Values are subjective; principles are objective. “We control our actions, but principles control the consequences that flow from those actions.” 

If we are committed to eating good food daily, we will inevitably reap the benefit of better or improved health. If we write a sentence every day for many, many years, we will inevitably write a larger piece of work. If we commit to paying off some of our debts each month, we will inevitably clear our balance. If we invest consistently and wisely, we will eventually see a return.

Why Is Inspiration Ineffective Here?

Inspiration can be misleading. Significant realms not backed by strategic plans are big flops waiting to happen. 

Inspiration means you take a feeling and elaborate on it. You allow your mind to wander; you piece together pretty pictures and create an image of how you’d like your life to feel.

Principe is boring. They aren’t inspiring. They are laws of nature. Princes are not immediately gratifying.

They do not make us feel better right away.

That’s why we often reach for inspiration but find it ineffective. This is because we get our minds and hearts set on a vague idea of what we think we want without ever really evaluating whether or not we want to engage in the daily work and effort it would take to get there. 

When we don’t pair inspiration with the principles it takes to achieve those dreams, we become more lost and disappointed than ever before. 

How Do I Start Developing My Principles?

Begin with this:

1. What do you value? What do you genuinely care about?
2. What feelings do you want to experience in your life?
3. What makes you uneasy or gives you anxiety?

Perhaps you value financial freedom, so by principle, you will put your extra cash toward repaying debt or building savings or investments. Maybe you love to travel and space, and so by code, you are going to start working for yourself and always prioritize being able to work remotely or make your schedule. 

When you are clear on your principles, you can build your life from a genuine, healthy place. You can start working toward goals that support what you do and do not want to experience, making you the calmest and happiest version of yourself. 

A good life is built from the inside out and is based on a foundation of self-conduct and prioritization. It’s as dreamy as a vision board, but it’s a lot more effective. 

Finding Your True Purpose

When you start thinking that you don’t know what to do with your life, you mean that you don’t yet know who you are.

Most people wonder about their purpose; they are often referring to their life’s work and their jobs. Your career is not anything. It is how you will spend most of your day, every day, for the better part of your life. That’s why figuring out how to serve the world best makes the long days’ problematic moments bearable. 

Your life purpose is where your skills, interest, and markets intersect.

You are the blueprint of your future. Everything that you are, everything that you have experienced, everything that you’re good at, every circumstance you have found yourself in, and everything you’re passionate about is not random; it’s a reflection of who you are and a sign of what you are here to do.

However, it’s not as easy as it sounds to become self-aware. You may still think that you’re not sure what you’re good at or that you’re even more passionate about one thing over another. That’s okay because your purpose does not require you to be the best at something.

It is not the thing at which you, and only you, can succeed more than anyone else. It is the things that naturally call you, effortlessly flow out of you, and evoke specific emotions. Everything else flows from there.

Figuring Out What You Want to Do With Your Life

Here are some questions you should ask yourself if you want to know what your purpose is:

What, and how, is it worth suffering for?

Even doing what you love for a living doesn’t mean every day will be easy. Everything comes with its own set of challenges. So the question is really: what are you willing to work for? What are you ready to be uncomfortable for?

If social media didn’t exist, what would you do with your life?

If you knew that you wouldn’t be able to show off, impress, or even share what you chose to do with your life, how would it change your ambitions? This differentiates what you are doing because you want to do it from what you are doing for the sake of how it looks to other people.

What comes to you naturally?

What you are most naturally good at is the path you should follow first because it’s the path on which you will most effortlessly thrive. 

What would your ideal daily routine look like?

Forget about the elevator speech. Forget about having a fancy title or impressing people on LinkedIn. Think about what you want to do day in and day out. Many people get into jobs they think will make them happy but realize they only like the idea of them and not the day-to-day reality.

What do you want your legacy to be?

Instead of worrying about the virtues of your resume, focus on the integrity of your eulogy. Who do you want to be remembered as? What do you want to be known for?

Most people become aware of their purpose not because they are effortlessly clear on their talents and how they can best utilize them but because, at some point, they find themselves lost, depleted, exhausted, and with their backs against the wall.

If you listen to the stories of many of the most successful people in Interworld, they often begin with unimaginable hardship. In the face of the most, unlike situations, these people are forced into action. Comfort and complacency is not an option. They realized they must become the heroes of their own lives and the creators of their futures.

At the end of your life, your purpose will be defined not by how you struggled, what circumstances you were in, or what you were supposed to do, but by how you responded in the face of adversity, who you were to the people in your life, and what you did each day that slowly, in its unique way, changed the course of humanity. 

From Self-Sabotage to Self-Mastery

Moving from self-sabotage to self-mastery sounds like an extraordinary transformation when in reality, it is the natural course of coming to understand that you were responsible for holding your life back. So you are also capable of moving it forward. 

Controlling Your Emotions VS. Suppressing Them

The Buddhists believe that controlling the mind is the path to enlightenment—Enlightens, by which they mean spontaneous and true happiness. 

The idea is simple in theory and complex in practice: by exploring and understanding the mind and training it to behave in a certain way, we sort of purity ourselves to experience the essential nature of what we are, joy.

If you’ve ever stood in a meditation class, you’ll know that the first principle of mind control is the opposite of what you’d think: it is about letting go. To truly master blind people, the Buddhist practice non-attachment, in which they sit placidly, breathe steadily, and allow thoughts to rise, cohere, and then pass.

Their approach is that controlling the mind is a matter of surrendering to the mind, allowing it to behave as it pleases while regulating its reaction to it.

How do you know if you’re suppressing your emotions or controlling them?

Emotional suppression is a regulation strategy people use when they do not have adequate coping mechanisms for their feelings.

The partner is often this: the person denies or ignores their genuine reaction to a situation or experience, bevies it will simply go away if they continue to disregard it, find that their day-to-day lives are disrupted by a sense of unease and one day, it comes to breaking point, and they have an emotional outburst that they cannot control.

Therapy generally aims to help patients no longer suppress how they feel. Instead, they are encouraged to recognize those emotions but choose how they respond.

In the healing process, suppressing and controlling can seem like a fine line. 

Suppressing is unconscious; controlling is conscious. 

Suppressed emotions function similarly to unconscious biases. One such type is confirmation bias, wherein your brain sorts thought stimuli to bring your attention to facts or especiéis that support your beliefs. Though you’re not aware of the bias, it’s still affecting you. 

On the other hand, controlling your emotions involves becoming more conscious of how you feel. You know you are angry, sad, or arrived, but you are choosing what you do about it. It is not really that you are controlling your emotions, but your behavior.

When you suppress your emotions, you don’t know how you feel, and your behavior seems out of control. When you’re controlling your feelings, you do know how you think, and your behavior seems within your control.

We often think physical strength is how much weight we can bear, how long we can run, or how pronounced our muscles are. In reality, physical strength is a measure of how efficiently the body runs itself and how capable it is of effectively performing day-to-day tasks and occasional challenges when they arise. 

Mental health is the same way. It is not a measure of how happy we seem, how perfect things are, or how unconditionally “positive” we can be, but that we can move through day-to-day life and occasional challenge with enough fluidity and reason that we aren’t stifled or held back by ourselves. 

Learning to Trust Yourself Again

Inner peace is connected to the deep internal knowing that everything will always be okay. The concept of finding one’s “inner peace” has been part of spiritual and metaphysical paralysis for centers and has just recently become more mainstream with the development of popular psychology.

Inner peace is the understanding that no matter what is happening around you, there is a place of total knowing and calmness within you. Not only can you return to that place when you need to, but it’s possible to live your entire3 life from there. The challenge is learning how to connect with it in the first place and retiring how you respond to your mind, which is constantly jumping from one worst-case scenario to the next.

So much of the process of finding inner peace is getting to that “deep down” place where you know and feel that ultimately everything will be okay.

Creating Aligned Goals

One of the most important parts of discovering your inner peace is that you trade in your desires for “happiness.”

Unfortunately, happiness is fickle. It can lead to being attached to creative achievements, belonging, or specific circumstances. It can lead you to depend on other people’s opinions or life unfolding in a particular way. Inner peace, however? That’s the state in between the scales. When it’s your goal, there’s no way to lose.

Finding Your Peace

Finding inner peace isn’t always so much about just sitting in the lotus position until wisdom becomes you; it’s about making the uncomfortable decision to stay with your discomfort and to choose differently.

Another fantastic way to find your inner peace is to constantly remind yourself that your worries are a fabrication of your mind’s need to identify potential survival threats and true happiness is being here in the moment. 

Detaching From Worrying

In the same way that it’s easy to become addicted to substances or behaviors that allow us to avoid the present moment, worrying is among the coping mechanisms people use to distract themselves from what matters.

Over time, you convince yourself that worrying equals being safe. You think that by running worst-case scenarios through your head repeatedly, you will be better prepared for them. This is entirely false. Not only are you draining your energy imaging status that is very often wholly manufactured, but when you are already hypersensitive to any of these fears or ideas, you will create those circumstances simply out of your avoidance or over-responsiveness.

Finding your inner peace is just connecting to your most profound wisdom. It’s not something you have to Crete, imagine, or reach for. It’s always within you, it’s always an option, and it’s constantly a choice. 

Remembering that Your Feelings Are Not Always Facts

The most challenging part is arriving at a place where you can discern which feelings are intuitive and informative and which are rooted in fear and ego.

What holds so many people back from finding their inner peace is the fact that they can’t tell the difference between which is correct: their fear or their peaceful feeling.

Remember this: the feeling of peace is telling you the truth.

Your feelings aren’t here to tell you what’s going to happen. They’re only here to inform you of where you are energetically and mentally and how you should respond to what happens around you. 

Becoming Mentally Strong

Mental strength is not a fixed trait. It’s not something we inherently have or don’t. 

Being mentally strong is a process, and it is a practice.

This is where you can begin:

1. Get a plan because plans fix problems. 
2. Humble yourself because it’s not all about you.
3. Ask for help because you’re not supposed to know everything.
4. Know what you don’t know, and stop false dichotomous thinking.
5. Stop trying to be psychic because this is cognitive distortion.
6. Take responsibility for your outcomes – yes, all of them.
7. Learn how to feel better by processing complex emotions.
8. Forget what happened and focus on how you will make it right.
9. Then let it go.
10. Talk it out because things are often more complicated in your head.
11. Take your time because you don’t need to figure everything out now.
12. Take triggers are signals because your wounds need attention.
13. Honor your discomfort because it was trying to tell you something. 

How to Truly Enjoy Your Life

1. Stop trying to be happy.
2. Arrive in the present.
3. Strop trying to assert dominance.
4. Lean into the little joys when you find them.
5. Nature positive relationships when you have them.
6. Learn something new as often as you can.
7. See challenging times as opportunities for transformation.
8. Be aware of what you give your energy to.
9. Schedule time to do nothing. 
10. Schedule time to play.

Becoming a Master of Yourself

When you reach the end of your life, you will begin to see your mountains for what they were. Gifts. 

When you look back on your life, you won’t remember the hardships. You’ll see them as the pivot points, growth opportunities, and the days of awakening right before everything changed. 

To become a master of oneself is first to take radical and complete responsibility for your life. This includes even that which is beyond your control. A true master knows that it is not what happens but how one responds that determines the outcome. 

My rating:

This book in 3 key points

1. Self-sabotage is a coping mechanisms for the trauma we refuse to feel. 

2. First figure out what it is that you’re avoiding, and then figure out the habits and behaviors your using to cope.

3. Let yourself feel the emotions you’ve been avoiding. They’re the key to your self-sabotage. 


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