Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OCD & Subconscious Sabotage

Why do some people with OCD (or many others for that matter) sometimes subconsciously sabotage themselves? Why is that? Why do we sometimes stop ourselves from enjoying things and being happy? I’m trying to be aware of this in my life, and want to raise awareness of this in your lives also. It is not the universe that has it in for us – it is the constant, automatic thought patterns that we have created over the years which automatically kick in when we sense that something good is about to happen.

I found a good site, http://www.eruptingmind.com/why-people-self-sabotage/ and got this:
“Self-sabotage is a term used to describe the things people do or say which ruins success or happiness they experience in life.” You are a victim of this if:
1) You acquire some degree of good fortune, success and happiness, but can never reach the next level no matter how hard you work.
2) You achieve something great – a high level of success or happiness, then quickly lose it.
3) You are close to achieving something, then it suddenly slips away.

I think that the causes are deeply rooted in the unconscious mind and mostly formed in childhood. Guilt or low self esteem that is instilled in an impressionable child’s mind could cause him as an adult to unconsciously think he doesn’t deserve anything good. Perhaps it could be self-hatred a child acquired from not living up to someone’s ideals. Perhaps a sensitive child was moved from place to place and never settled into a school or made friends. As an adult, any change or move could trigger unconscious pain. Maybe a child who got sick or failed at something was treated with love and attention or rewarded, so as an adult she may have a twisted connection between illness, failure, and pleasure.

I really liked how the site described all of this; we have created a “success thermostat” and the subconscious mind will automatically regulate our success and happiness levels with what we believe we are worthy of. The major areas of our lives that this affects are relationships, money, health, and career. There was a story about a girl named Mary, whose parents constantly told that she was not as attractive as her sister and that she would be lucky if men even looked at her. She grew to be a beautiful woman and attracted many men, but she couldn’t sustain a relationship with any of them. She had held that belief that she wasn’t good enough, and subconsciously reinforced this by being demanding, obsessive, possessive and controlling. She always got what she subconsciously thought she deserved.

Awareness of thought is critical. Identify the automatic negative thinking when something potentially makes you happy and link it to something in the past that may have caused this. Challenge your subconscious belief system – it is not real. I hope this helps all of us to move upwards, reset our “success thermostats” and to enjoy all the good things in life.

19 comments:

James Markardt said...

Ms. Cunningham I think you strike something of interest to all that have paid for therapy. You explain in a lot of your articles what works out of research which is important in every day learning.As a former P.I. I too have learned its importance and have learned that in life. Keep on informing us that need the guidance

G said...

Thanks for explaining this so simply. I have often found myself in these same conditions, left to wonder why I can't accomplish something, get to the next level, and why the universe has it in for me. Thought awareness is really the only way to interrupt these patterns. But that is much easier said than done.

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