The Comedy and Tragedy of Self-Sabotage

This blog captures the occasionally irreverent approach to success used with #thesoulsavvyway. Yes, the work is also way serious. But when it comes to re-purposing your inner bastard, self-sabotage, a wily approach can save time. Humor helps too, when you are dealing with the tragic old ways that used to derail you from your soul genius and sacred work. 

Note: Our Authentic Action Mastermind Sanctuary begins September 10th – doors close this week.


It was a gorgeous summer day, clear blue skies and blazing sun sparkling on the turquoise chlorine water. Jen just spent the last two swim team races screaming her head off harder than at horror movies – her brother and sister just had their main tournament races. Now it was her turn. Panting, she jumped in and took the position for the 13-14 age group’s backstroke race.

Based on prior performance, she was seeded third place. The beauteous gorilla-armed Crystal Garrett was seeded first, and Corinne Mathers second. Crystal especially was from that serious swimmer mode, in the upper echelon of all year round elite swim team training. Jen and her family swam at the Y, which yeah, did have a winter team but no, no gorilla arms and high placement in multiple swim strokes. Nope, she felt like it was probably a mistake she was even in third place…

Bam! The starting gun is shot, and they’re off. Jen’s adrenalin was still pumping, and she swam hard on the first length, and did her flip. As she reached third of the way back on the last lap, she thought, something’s wrong. Crystal and Corinne were way behind her. “Wait a minute!” her insides freaked, “What’s wrong with this picture?” Then automatically-like, she started to slow down. She was almost treading water, for heaven’s sake. And by the end of the race, it was as it should be. Crystal was first, Corinne came in second, and she hit the wall in her rightful and expected third place, with a sick feeling in her stomach.

This little story shows the seeds of how early you can be trained in self sabotage. With awareness, you can learn to see the humor of sabotage. Without awareness, it can get pretty tragic real fast. First, let’s look at how to recognize sabotage patterns, and then, how to foil their dastardly deeds. Once you see this dynamic more clearly, sabotage will lose its sneaky power and provide helpful clues to your growth.

THE SANITY OF SABOTAGE – How it Propels you to Change

Once you’ve been around the sabotage wheel a few times, you can start to smell it approaching. You will be able to appreciate that you must be on the verge of something new. Sabotage will show you the old ways that don’t serve anymore, and invite you to stand up to it, and create a new way. It will also help you prepare for the bigger player you are invited to be. By doing one last replay of the old voices and put downs, it will show you what you need to clear and what else you’ll need to put in place, to be your best self.

Here is how sabotage tends to operate to keep you from stepping into your greatness.


1) “Wound replay”

Sabotage will replay the dynamics of your wounding. If you were told to chill out, and got the old, “Who do you think you are?” – That voice will show up. If you were made fun of, criticized or even humiliated, you can bet you’ll replay this tape, or be overly sensitive to any outside pointers. Every expansion you wish to make is surrounded by these old voices and fears from your core wounds. And this is how you heal, and heal the world; by rehabilitating these destructive ways and creating new ones.

Jen’s wound training told her she was out of line by being in first place, and her own internal system shut her down fast. Her own internal dynamics kept her in the old place.

I know this is not very funny yet…

2) Putting Yourself Last

Sabotage will usually suggest that you care for others first. Otherwise, it will insist, you show yourself to be the “selfish” one that you truly are. Your light and creative energy was likely interpreted as just too much self-importance or conceit in the past, especially if it hit the wounds of your elders who had to shut that shit down long ago. If it isn’t other people you should serve first, then it’s the endless distractions that arise when you’re on the trail of genius. Following genius is the last thing allowed in most dysfunctional training of early life on earth.

3) Sabotage Loooooves Drama

No friend to clarity and discipline, sabotage lives for the funky dramas of life. You might be able to see this easier in others, that tendency to go to the problems in life and sensationalize them like a master yellow journalist. After more time spent in the clear and disciplined space of following soul work, this will lose its previous entertainment value and cause nausea. Then, you’ve likely learned how to sidestep your own drama-loving neurosis, though oh, it’s was so fun at times. You got good at it. Now, you’ll opt instead for the peace and quiet, and the whole new adventure of the drama of courageous truth.

4) Safe yet Stagnant Avoidance of your Destiny

For Soul Work Warriors, leaning into the expression and proper employment of your goddess ordained gifts is scary as shit. Oh it gets less scary over time, but at first it’s like the worst wound-replaying mine field/hellish landscape that threatens to torture you worse than the rat-in-the-face-cage punishment of Winston Smith in 1984. It’s no wonder that staying safe is chosen again and again. At first. But after time, that disheartened feeling from missing your destiny and denying your soul work mission is a worse pain. Phew. Bloom forth, tight bud of destiny. Soul’s got your back.

5) Wishy Washy versus Soul Work Warrior Stance

When sabotage remains in power, you are denied the ability to plant your flag and take your Soul Work Warrior (aka ‘sweet’ tribe) stance. You remain unclear about your true mission and purpose, though you may have occasional bouts of brilliance that you later unravel. The sweet stance does not require full blown militancy about your mission, but it is a definite shift and commitment that happens once you’ve decided you are taking the wheel from the sabotage auto pilot. At that point, you may be terrified but you also seem to be grinning and spouting occasional shouts of delight amidst the shaking.


One of the new ways light workers are fostering that “be the change” paradigm is abandoning the old “divide and conquer” war-like mentality. In dealing with that old internal self-sabotaging mentality today, more merciful methods are favored. In the past I might suggest murderous tips to Jeffrey Dahmer-ize this undermining bastard called Sabotage. Well, we’ll have to save this energy for the video games friends. OK, go ahead and have a wrestling or shouting match at first. Then… I’m afraid you can guess what I’m going to say here… you will learn to BEFRIEND this bastard. Sorry.

Here’s what it looks like to befriend that wiley inner bastard of sabotage and whining wound replay that keeps you small:

1) Love the Funk Field Sabotage Creates

When sabotage descends, whether silent or shrieking (and often a motley tag team of both), start to have positive suspicions. Say that three days ago, you’ve created a brilliant business plan. Today for some reason, you feel the backlash asswipe energy of (oh yes), “What the hell was I thinking? I’m in no position to do this, I just spent 3 hours playing maudlin video games when I should have been …“ Guess what sweet one? This is distracting bull shit.

Yes, it may be true you’ll need to curb the tendency to play video games so you can avoid the discomfort of facing your edgy work. Oh, and that’s exactly what you’re teaching your best clients you say? Perfect. See how the funk field had a purpose? When you befriend sabotage, and even then employ it in creative ways (e.g., tips to inquire re: relevance of said video games in this moment), you’ll see how that sabotage funk field is clearing the path to your next brilliant steps.

2) Use your Tools

The other day I had one of those funk fields descend. I had big plans of other work, but my work that day was, look at the fears and beliefs that were triggered, before I more clearly stepped forth into my … OK brilliance. (Still hard to defy the “be small” training.) I used three writing exercises – thought changing, problem solving and core belief process. That helped. There were still a few more hours before I emerged from the field, but then the light was much better and my plan was enriched. Befriending these fears and revising the old beliefs? Again, this is how you heal, and this is how you heal the world. And usually if you make a pit stop for the healing, what you offer the world improves.

3) Take a Risk, However Small

Sabotage, even when trying to behave or be polite, will imply you are not ready to proceed. You better just wait. Then because that doubt was instilled, you may get distracted, since you don’t proceed. Well, do be sensible and as clear as you can with your plans. Then, just do something anyway. Perhaps a small step that feels doable. Do it imperfectly. Make a shitty first draft. This is how you start to butt bump sabotage out of the auto pilot driver’s seat, and into the luggage section.

4) Create a Support System

To be a Soul Work Warrior in full regalia, you will need inner and outer support. Inner support means developing your inner guidance. This requires the horrendous skill of … getting still and going inside. In primitive societies, this nefarious practice is called meditation or self-inquiry. The approach ramp is truly terrifying, but this does pass within about thirty seconds.

Outer support is also required, because to join the tribe you will be asked to break through your safe but shoddy isolation tendencies. You’ll have to show up to give and receive support – I know, more terrifying stuff for that who-do-you-think-you-are/you-don’t-deserve-kind-allies reflex. Your inner guidance and peer or mastermind support will usually see through the BS of sabotage, quite rapidly. That’s the whole idea of why your brave inner Yoda got you here. You’ll move along faster and with more ease and fun.

5) When Seriously Stuck or Facing Critical Mass, Get Help as Needed

There will be times when the pressure of letting go of the walls of the old ways will make your head and/or heart feel as though it is ready to implode, explode or contribute to a worldwide nuclear event. There is enough of that already going on out there. This might be a good time to call in the mentors, supervisors or intuitives you know and trust. A little assistance at the right time can go a long way to easing your heart and adjusting your perspective to a more sustainable stance. It will soon be about ease and fun, once the truly deadly old shit has been cleared. Yes, some of that poison will benefit from a bit of help at times. Especially if there are centuries of abuse or injustice in your ancestral lines, and you’re the designated driver of the unfolding new ways.


What’s the point of all this malarkey about sabotage? Well friend, this part of your ego doesn’t want to die either. So if you keep your eyes open and befriend this former-worst-enemy, you can make it your ally. Heck, you can give it a new job, and change things up like the New Freakin’ Deal of the 1930s.

What am I saying? When you smell even a hint of sabotage, just turn on the lights and watch more. Think, “Hey I must be doing something cool here, because old S-y (sounds like ess-ee – code nickname) be squirming.” Then you can let old S-y have its say – heck, let her rant and rave, make the fears big, or just go to the café like I did yesterday and write about it from different angles for a while. Thank S-y for pointing out the next habits and distractions to be cleared, or the areas your confidence will need to be boosted. Or those next steps you should be sure NEVER to take (which of course, you’ll take in small and shitty first draft ways).

You might even think of a uniform or costume for S-y, say a nice peach cap for her new role as virtual assistant. With sassy new threads, she might more gently and gladly point out the potential barriers to be cleared. She might more compassionately share the theoretical truth-telling about the ways you still need to clean up your game as you expand. “Why thank you S-y you previously nasty vixen – love the new shoes!”

This is still very new, this brave new world of S-y training and her new right livelihood. I trust you will at least have some fun and a few more creative options with upending the previous format of wrestling or just being held in a headlock with dear old sabotage, aka S-y.

P.S. Half the battle with shifting S-y out of the driver’s seat is NOT taking her too seriously. Never mind not even noticing her wily ass approaching. The beauty of having your support in place, say a mastermind group, is that you see these silly things as if in the clear light of day. They don’t get to go sneaking around anymore. No, Just a few words out of your sabotage-infused mouth, and you/she be BUSTED! Of course the advance practice here – careful of doing this at home – is getting STILL, OMG…

P.S.S. Oh yeah, I forgot all about the Anti Self Care method of sabotage. One of her favorites. So, Sabotage will often insist you stop exercising, meditating, and eat nachos or the like. You deserve a bit of a break, after all. Oh yeah, that makes you the Ironman of manifestation. Oh yes, you are rocking it now. Just look how ease-full this path is, now that you’re sleep-deprived, bitchy, and feeling the weight of the world (or is that just the pound of nachos you consumed)… Just see how easy it can be to sit on that cushion and meditate NOW! Watch out world! Yeah… No. Soul Work Warriors eat healthy, dammit, and get good sleep. They meditate or something like it regularly. They exercise and all that shit. Oh yeah, and they plan social, fun and creative time. Sorry. It does help though.

Better get moving, and eat some greens. OK, add a little cheese. Let me know how it goes.

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