November 1, 2021

Do you sabotage yourself?

If you say you will not be successful in your thoughts, it then comes through in your actions. This has become one of my favorite topics to talk about as we know that the key to long-term success is long-term behavior change. If we ‘change’ the mind, the body will follow. Let’s first start with […]

If you say you will not be successful in your thoughts, it then comes through in your actions.

This has become one of my favorite topics to talk about as we know that the key to long-term success is long-term behavior change.

If we ‘change’ the mind, the body will follow.

Let’s first start with the practice of goal setting and relate it to sabotage. I have a few examples of how I wrote out my fat-loss goals when I was on my journey to lose 90+ pounds: 

I am so happy that I can walk in my closet and pick up any pair of jeans and they fit with ease.

I love that my bikini fits me perfectly.

I am thrilled that going shopping for bikinis this summer is so much fun!

I’m loving that my little black dress can now zip up without any sucking in.

Do you notice anything in the structure of how I wrote these out? 

Let me give you a clue; I am speaking as if I am in the future and the goal has already been achieved. 

So, why does it need to be said AND written and if it is already true/happened?

In the book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, Tom Venuto sums it up so well: 

“Your mind has two components: the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind is the rational, logical, analytical, thinking part of the mind. It’s constantly taking in information from the five senses, and then it reasons, analyzes, and concludes whether the input is true or false.

The subconscious is the part of the mind responsible for storing data (memory) and for automatic behavior (habits), reflexes, and the body’s autonomic functions such as digestion, breathing, and circulation.

Unlike the conscious mind, your subconscious does not think or reason. It’s essentially like a computer. All the data programmed into your subconscious computer is accepted as a command. It doesn’t matter whether the input is actually true or false; everything that reaches the subconscious is assumed to be true. Your mental programming is then carried out in the form of behaviors the same way a computer executes its programming.”

“Suggestions given under hypnosis or visualization during deep relaxation are quick ways to access the subconscious mind. Another way to penetrate the subconscious (although much slower) is through spaced repetition. Everything you hear, see, say, read, or think repeatedly eventually filters into your subconscious mind, especially if it’s repeated with emotion. In other words, you are constantly programming your brain through conscious self-suggestion—or you are allowing your brain to be programmed through unconscious external suggestion. That’s why you must take conscious control over programming your own brain.

The basis for positive thinking and philosophies such as the law of attraction is that the subconscious is flexible to suggestion. People who say that positive thoughts and affirmations don’t work, aren’t using them effectively or consistently, or they’re wishing for the positive while thinking about the negative.

If a captain gives an order such as “Go east,” then keeps changing his mind—“No, go west … no, go north”—the ship would never get anywhere! This is also why most people get nowhere with their fitness, weight loss, or muscle-building endeavors. Ironically, the very statement “Positive thinking doesn’t work” is a negative suggestion guaranteeing that it won’t work!

The conscious mind is a lot like the captain at the bridge of a ship. The captain sends a command to the engine room. The subconscious mind is like the people down in the engine room. No matter what orders come down from the bridge (conscious mind), the crew obeys, even if the orders are stupid ones that crash the ship into a rocky shore. The reason this happens is because the crew (the subconscious) can’t see where the ship is going; they are simply following orders.

Like the ship’s crew, your subconscious mind carries out every command it accepts from your conscious mind. Its sole purpose is to obey your orders, even if you give ones like “I’ll always be fat.” Frequent repetition of thoughts (mental orders) is one certain way to penetrate the subconscious mind. By constantly repeating negative commands such as “I can’t lose weight,”

Your subconscious will see to it that you never lose weight because that’s its job: to follow your every command literally and without question. If you program your mind with negative suggestions often enough, it will lead you right into cheating on your diet, skipping workouts, or some other form of self-sabotage.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of the incredible book Psycho-Cybernetics, described the human brain and nervous system as a “perfect goal-striving servo-mechanism.” This mechanism helps you achieve your goals much like a self-guided torpedo or missile seeks out its target and navigates to it. Like the torpedo, the cybernetic mechanism in your brain can only work in your favor if you’ve chosen a target.

Without a target, your mental “servo-mechanism” simply steers you toward your dominant thoughts. The subconscious mind is always at work 24 hours a day, whether you direct it consciously or not. Denis Waitley says, “Since we become what we think of most of the time, whatever we are thinking of now, we are unconsciously moving toward the achievement of that thought. For an alcoholic, this could be the next drink; for a drug addict, the next fix; for a surfer, the next wave. Divorce, bankruptcy, and illness are all goals spawned out of negative attitudes and thought patterns.”

I challenge you to take the time to rewrite your goals in this format. And then take it a step further and place them on index cards and place them in areas you will read them often: your car, your wallet, your nightstand, your bathroom mirror, etc. 

Watch the self-sabotage disappear!

You might also like…