Since childhood, you've known that you possess immense potential. Dreams of a brighter future have always been by your side, and you've worked hard to turn them into reality. However, the desired results still seem out of reach.
For those caught in this situation, it can feel like drifting through life, far from where you should be based on your abilities and experience. This can lead to self-doubt and questions like, "Is something wrong with me? I know I have potential, so why do I keep holding myself back?"
Finding a way forward might seem unclear, and anxiety takes hold. Self-esteem becomes a roller-coaster ride from "I'm extraordinary" to "I'm a complete failure." Time keeps moving, but it feels like you're standing still.
This resembles a curse, much like an old fairy tale: "Once upon a time, there was a girl blessed with incredible talents. But an envious sorcerer cast a spell on her, preventing her from using her gifts."
In this lecture, we'll explore how to break free from this metaphorical "curse" and equip you with tools to overcome self-sabotage. This lecture is free, and you can start using these techniques immediately. So, please stay tuned until the end. It can change how you perceive yourself and the world around you.
Upon closer examination of our perplexed protagonist, we notice an inconspicuous yet crucial feature. She remains immobilized, her energy drained by relentless inner conflicts: "Should I take this step, or should I abstain? Will it yield results, or will it end in futility? Is this truly my path, or am I deceiving myself? Maybe this whole thing is just not worth my time.”
What does this signify? The girl is grappling with a profound lack of self-understanding. Self-sabotage raises its head because she comprehends the expectations imposed by everyone else but herself. Her family, colleagues, clients, the government, and even an imagined audience seem to scrutinize her every move. Yet, she fails to grasp her own needs. Misunderstanding begets doubt, and doubt breeds stagnation or erratic actions that yield no favorable outcomes.
Self-sabotage takes on both passive and active forms. Passive self-saboteurs, do any of these sound familiar?
Active self-saboteurs achieve similar results but wear themselves out more in the process.
In each case, the primary issue lies in a lack of self-understanding.
Why does this happen? Why aren't we inherently equipped to understand our true potential and how to unlock it? Birds know what they must do, as do dogs and flies. Yet, somehow, humans aren't bestowed with this knowledge.
In reality, we possess all the necessary inherited programs. They have developed over millions of years, finely tuned to the conditions under which humanity thrived for 99% of its history. Civilization, in contrast, is a mere few thousand years old. In such a short period, our biology hasn't been able to adapt to these rapid external changes. As a result, we find ourselves in a world misaligned with our natural programming. The brain imparts one message, instincts convey another, and the ever-present influence of TV and the Internet adds yet another layer of complexity.
Faced with this deluge of conflicting information, our natural response is to pause and contemplate our next steps or revert to familiar, comprehensible actions. This is precisely what self-saboteurs around the world do, and that's perfectly okay!
To progress, you need a “manual” for your inner self. This will enable you to recognize your inherent worth and realize that you entered this world with a purpose. A deep understanding of your true self will help you quit unproductive comparisons with others and let go of self-loathing for not fitting into preconceived molds. It will allow you to identify your strengths, dispel detrimental intrusive thoughts, and shed habits that hinder your growth.
Your personality consists of two layers: consciousness and subconsciousness. Psychologists prefer to use the term "unconscious," but we'll stick to "subconscious" to highlight its role as a subordinate part of your personality. While subconsciousness plays a huge role in our lives, consciousness takes the lead in mature and rational individuals.
Consciousness embodies your sense of self, your "I." It operates based on the stories you create about yourself and the world around you. Your beliefs, opinions, values, convictions, memories, aspirations, and dreams aren't fixed facts of the external world but rather narratives that can change as needed.
The subconscious, on the other hand, governs everything beyond your conscious control. It's home to spontaneous desires, intuitions, preferences, anxieties, interests, and emotional responses. Remember moments when you couldn't stop crying in public, even though you tried? That's your subconscious at work.
The subconscious operates based on programs passed down from our distant ancestors, with one primary goal: the survival of you and your kin. However, it remains oblivious to the realities of the 21st century, sometimes offering advice better suited for ancient times than today.
The subconscious finds pleasure in things even remotely reminiscent of the joys experienced by our ancestors—for example, the sheer enjoyment of a delicious meal or the collective euphoria of harmonious singing. The delight we get from a massage or a visit to the hair salon goes back to the ancestral practice of grooming, an activity used for relaxation and strengthening social bonds. The examples are endless.
The realm of the subconscious doesn't solely operate on universal programs all humans share, like instinctively flinching from sudden loud noises. It also manages programs associated with the unique facets of our personalities.
We are inherently social creatures, deeply connected to our “tribespeople.” To ensure the smooth functioning of our tribes, the division of labor became crucial. This enduring pattern persisted for millions of years: some became skilled hunters, providing sustenance for the group, while others explored new territories. Some dedicated themselves to caring for the wounded and the young, and still, others assumed the role of mediators, facilitating conflict resolution and maintaining social cohesion.
While we all can perform various roles when necessary, those with a particular affinity for their tasks tend to excel beyond their peers.
This communal framework greatly benefited our species, leading nature to endow each of us with predispositions and interests. Thus, we willingly invest our time and energy in specific domains crucial for our tribe's survival.
However, it's important to note that these predispositions have limited relevance in the 21st century. You might naturally excel in running or singing, attributes highly valued during the Ice Age when our species took its current form. In contrast, talents like playing the piano, mastering mathematics, or writing novels didn't exist back then. These pursuits emerged only a few centuries ago, and in such a short time, they couldn't be etched into our genetic makeup. Think about fields like programming and web design; they belong to even more recent times.
What people often refer to as "talents" are essentially skills honed from ancient aptitudes for something else. The same principle applies to success in nearly any endeavor. So, if you ever wonder, “Do I have a gift for accounting?” rest assured, such a gift isn't innately bestowed upon anyone. It’s self-acquired. A very different question is whether that interests you enough to master.
The quest to "understand yourself" involves delving deep into your core interests and fears.
You were destined to play a unique role when you entered this world. Nature took great care to ensure that your tribe had the essential individuals it needed. We'll refer to this combination of predispositions, interests, and fears as your core personality type.
Your subconscious diligently guards against straying from this designated path. It wouldn't benefit your tribe if someone skilled in hunting diverted their time and energy into crafting baby swaddling clothes. That responsibility belongs to other members of the tribe.
You're unlikely to feel drawn to activities misaligned with your core personality type. Moreover, you naturally resist anything that obstructs your progress in fulfilling your true mission.
Fears vary greatly among individuals and are highly subjective. Some may fear financial scarcity, while others are indifferent to wealth. Being single might cause apprehension for some, yet others remain nonchalant. Criticism from loved ones could be a personal catastrophe for one individual, while another might shrug it off.
Interests and fears serve as distinct indicators of our personality types. We naturally lean towards certain activities, even though these tendencies aren't necessarily connected to modern jobs. These inclinations reflect what we might have done if we lived in the Ice Age.
In a prehistorical tribe, life assigned a few critical roles:
Each personality type gravitates toward specific themes that trigger immediate interest, while others induce unbearable boredom. This isn't something we can change at will. For instance, if you find football uninteresting, you can't force yourself to love it. Conversely, if your soul craves romance, no external force can render you indifferent to such matters.
Within each core personality type, there are subtypes that hinge on the dominant driving force of an individual. While these subtypes may share similar interests, they manifest them in distinct ways.
Take, for example, the subtypes of the Hunter personality: the Commander, Strategist, Warrior, and Player. They are all driven by the pursuit of prizes and a thirst for victory, yet each approaches these goals differently. The Commander aims to gather subordinates who can do the work for them, the Strategist looks for the most innovative way to navigate challenges, the Warrior strives to achieve their goals through their actions, and the Player relies on luck as their guiding star.
Your driving force is your trump card in the grand game of life. It shapes how you tackle problems because it aligns with your natural inclinations. Moreover, using your driving force, you can influence those around you. Success flows effortlessly because it's your “thing."
If you possess immense potential but find self-sabotage blocking your path to success, it signifies a conflict between your actions or plans and your core personality type, the essence of who you are.
In these situations, your subconscious promptly stifles your motivation, "Halt now! We shall not continue; this is not our path!" No matter how strenuously you push or reprimand yourself, your subconscious prevails with a full arsenal of tools capable of invoking fatigue, laziness, or even worse.
Your subconscious isn't trying to sabotage or deprive you of success. Instead, it seeks to assist you in realizing YOUR potential, not someone else's. However, it holds its own view of how things should unfold.
When your conscious actions align with your personality type, your chances of success significantly increase. You gain the strength and motivation to learn, make mistakes, overcome obstacles, and steadily progress towards your goals, one step at a time.
Self-realization means fulfilling your inherent program in a way that's natural for you, considering your circumstances and the demands of society.
Confidence comes from understanding who you are, your purpose, and the reasons behind your nature. This awareness reinforces your belief in your ability to succeed because of your innate inclinations.
Self-identification is crucial, instilling a sense of clarity. When you know who you are, your subconscious doesn’t waste precious resources on futile quests and doubts. Exploring various alternatives takes a substantial toll on your energy, tormenting both your subconscious and conscious self and hindering progress.
To initiate transformation, three vital components come into play:
Second: After completing these quizzes, closely examine your daily activities and plans. Do they align with your core personality type and subtype? If they do, you can confidently anticipate success by proceeding in your chosen direction.
However, if your daily actions or plans deviate from your core personality type, it becomes imperative to implement change. No individual should lead a life where their strengths are squandered in internal conflict. It’s just wrong.
Third: You need to learn practical techniques customized for your situation so you can tackle self-sabotage when it comes back.
Let’s face the truth: Self-sabotage will reappear, but having clear strategies designed for your personality type will prepare you to deal with it, making a significant difference.
Now that you grasp the fundamental principles of how your inner world operates and why someone might engage in behaviors that harm them, let's delve into specific techniques for combating self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage doesn't define who you are as a person. It's simply a learned response to specific situations.
For instance, let's take the example of an engineer who receives an invitation to speak at a conference but declines, even though he genuinely wants to share his ideas with his audience, recognizing that this speech could significantly boost his career. His hesitation is puzzling, but there’s a reason behind it.
The issue’s root lies in this individual's deep-seated beliefs about himself and the world around him. In this case, it's a belief like, "I can't speak in public. I know I'll mess it up." This belief took root back in kindergarten when the boy struggled with pronouncing certain letters, which he was teased for.
In such situations, people often don't realize that their initial experiences occurred in entirely different contexts. The engineer unintentionally applied this childhood belief to various stressful public speaking situations. Consequently, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: "I believe it, I act accordingly, and the outcome aligns precisely with my expectations."
Through countless repetitions, these patterns solidify into an "unchangeable truth," leading the person to conclude, "I'm simply not cut out for public speaking."
This same principle applies to many self-sabotaging behaviors, from longstanding conflicts rooted in cultural backgrounds to seemingly insignificant habits like “Let me check the news before going to bed." Behind all these behaviors lie deeply ingrained beliefs and familiar scripts refined through practice.
Individuals teach themselves how to react in specific situations. They invest time and effort in mastering these behaviors to the point where they become automatic. Just like experienced drivers no longer consciously think about complex maneuvers, it becomes second nature.
To address this, we must undergo a process of retraining. You need to create new, more advantageous scripts that guide your actions in specific situations.
Can you retrain yourself? Absolutely!
People can have either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset means they see themselves as unchangeable, attributing all their positive or negative qualities to their inherent nature. For instance, they might say, "I'm inherently a failure" or "I'm naturally gifted in public speaking." With this mindset, these attributes are set in stone, and there's little one can do to change them.
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to talents or a lack thereof, nature only equips us with attributes essential for the survival of early humans. Everything else falls into the category of skills. Skills like good handwriting, artistic abilities, and business smarts are not innate.
We don't have genes responsible for procrastination, either. What we do have are behavioral scripts that kick in when we face familiar stressful situations. These scripts can be replaced with more helpful ones.
Once a person understands this, they shift to a growth mindset: "I can grasp this subject," "I can develop this skill," "I can change this habit," and so on.
Our success isn't just about our genes; it's influenced by our upbringing and current environment. But the good news is that we can actively manage these factors.
For example, think about a child taught to hide their emotions from a young age. Their upbringing can make it hard for them to write engaging stories because they struggle to understand and express feelings about themselves and others. As a result, their writing might seem dull.
Can this be fixed? Absolutely, but it takes a lot of effort and time because a skill lost in childhood needs to be relearned.
Our environment also has a significant impact on our beliefs. Imagine a situation where a girl's parents dismiss her love for video games as silly and unworthy. Because she values her parents' opinion, she starts thinking of herself as "dumb" and believes she shouldn't pursue her interests.
The issue is that her parents might not be aware of the huge video game industry, with its massive revenue, well-paying jobs, and numerous opportunities. When it comes to career advice, it's crucial to consider the guidance of those we look up to.
When we try to change deep-rooted attitudes we've had since childhood or challenge the "truths" imposed on us by our surroundings, we're essentially talking about retraining ourselves. It's like trying to act in a new way after years of behaving differently.
Another essential thing to consider is the learning curve during this process. You'll inevitably face setbacks. At first, you might start with enthusiasm but then slip back down the hill. Someone with a fixed mindset might feel defeated and think, "Well, I guess I'm just not cut out for this." This can lead them off track.
On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset sees setbacks differently. They understand that setbacks are part of their journey. These pauses in progress give them a chance to gather strength before continuing.
Think of children who, not yet influenced by ingrained attitudes, learn to walk, use the potty, talk, write, and more through trial and error. They stand up, take a few steps, fall, cry, and then get up and continue trying. This ability is in our genes.
To make these setbacks easier to handle, don't dwell on them. Instead, celebrate your achievements as if they’re all significant accomplishments.
Also, if you are often hard on yourself, learning self-compassion is crucial. No one deserves to be constantly criticized and bullied, not even by themselves.
As mentioned earlier, self-sabotage is a kind of automatic response to situations that subconsciously stress us out. Let's call them trigger situations.
For example, you might intend to start working, but suddenly, you find yourself engrossed in social media. An hour goes by, then another, and you've spent all your energy on nothing.
The first step in retraining yourself involves identifying and making yourself aware of these trigger situations. For instance:
By recognizing and noting down these trigger situations, you can work on developing new behavioral patterns for each of them.
For instance, a woman might realize that arguing with her husband about dirty dishes left in the sink harms her well-being. This argument puts her in a bad mood, leading her to lash out at her children, which in turn makes her feel like a terrible mother and prompts her to overeat and gain weight.
Now, she needs to plan how she'll respond when she finds a dirty dish left in the sink in a way that benefits her marriage, family dynamics, well-being, and overall health. By creating these scenarios in advance and practicing them repeatedly, she can develop new automatic responses to stress over time.
In conclusion, let's recap the key takeaways from this lecture:
Cultivate a growth mindset to boost confidence.
By identifying your trigger situations, you gain a sense of control. This awareness allows you to pinpoint when and why negative scenarios are triggered, hindering your progress.
You don't need to transform into someone else; you already have all the essential qualities. Think of it like Mr. Potato Head, the toy. You can create a monster or a cute character with the same set of pieces. Your life holds the same potential. You can arrange all its elements into something daunting or craft a beautiful, inspiring life story.
I assist my clients with the mentioned challenges in two ways: a one-time consultation or the three-week-long Three Wishes program.
Counseling serves as a fast and highly effective solution for sudden self-sabotage issues.
Contact me if you feel confused, lost, and uncertain about your next steps. In just one hour, I will help untangle your thoughts, and you'll experience an immediate sense of relief.
Consultation price: $150
This three-week program aims to take you on a deep dive into your inner world, uncovering concealed self-sabotage tendencies and gradually steering your life towards a more positive trajectory that aligns with your true purpose.
The cost of the Three Wishes program is $900, roughly equivalent to the cost of learning how to drive.
Learning life efficiency is much like learning to drive a car. We look for the same things:
As a new driver, you could read the manual and venture onto the road, praying for dear life. Alternatively, you could hire an instructor, master driving techniques in a few hours, and practice your skills confidently.
Self-realization and overcoming self-sabotage follow a similar logic.
Here's an overview of my program:
1 Personality Analysis: We examine your personality and current situation, identifying your core personality type and subtype while pinpointing self-sabotage patterns.
2 Goal Assessment: We evaluate your goals, differentiating between what genuinely matters to you and what others have imposed upon you.
3 Self-Compassion: If self-compassion is underdeveloped, I’ll teach you valuable techniques that can make your life much easier. Think of it as your seatbelt on this journey.
4 Trigger Situations: We meticulously monitor situations that trigger self-sabotage and craft alternative, empowering scenarios.
I’m really good at this, with two decades of writing practice and a passion for storytelling. So, I bring top-tier expertise to the table.
People approach me feeling a sense of insufficiency. They lack self-identity and self-realization. Through my program, they gain clarity about the world, a deep understanding of who they are, and a vision for their personal development.
I don't merely "believe" in my clients; I "know" their potential because I can see it.
However, I must make it clear that I'm not in the business of digging up past traumas or engaging in philosophical discussions for financial gain. I'm an educator, and my role is to reveal your "blind spots" and equip you with practical techniques for self-realization.
If you require the expertise of a psychologist, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist, I am not the right fit.
Also, I cannot cheer someone on with blind enthusiasm if I observe them attempting to score a goal in their own net. Even substantial fees won't make me wave pom-poms and provide unwarranted encouragement. I’m here to offer a dose of practicality and common sense.
For those who are new to my system, let me share its origins.
I'm much like you. During my childhood, I recognized my immense potential but had a million reasons why none of it would come to fruition. I grew up in Russia, in a decent-sized provincial city. My loftiest aspiration was to become the director of a vegetable warehouse simply because it would grant me access to oranges, a rare treat for ordinary citizens.
However, life had different plans for me. I eventually became a fiction author and a creative writing teacher. I've authored 17 books, all published by leading publishers, some even translated into foreign languages. Over the years, thousands of students from around the world have taken my writing courses.
The system I'm sharing today was initially designed for aspiring writers. I needed a method to teach them how to create compelling characters who had limited self-awareness and purpose at the beginning of their stories. Then, like magic, these characters would evolve and embark on incredible journeys.
This pursuit led me to delve into various fields, including psychology, history, anthropology, and religion. I poured over numerous textbooks and developed a comprehensive curriculum. Surprisingly, my students were using my system not just for character development but also for personal growth.
That realization made me think this could be an invaluable tool for anyone with ambition. After all, what is success in life, if not the transformation of an ordinary person into a hero, much like in novels or movies?
So, I recorded this video to share my insights.
For those interested in finding out more, you can find my biography on my website.