Four Steps to Break Free from Self-Sabotage

You never know how you are going to be called to serve in a given day.  Today, I was called to serve by rescuing a trapped bird.  During the recent storms we’ve been experiencing, the bird found shelter in a lamp post outside my home.  At the time, it likely seemed genius for the bird to score such a safe, dry, comfortable place to rest.

Fast-forward to the next day and the bird is wigging out because what, at one point, looked like safety was now her trap.  As soon as I saw her, struggling and fighting to break her way free, I could relate to her instantly.

So many times, I have found myself or one of my clients pushing and fighting to make things happen.  We have set in our mind what we want, yet our actions only leave us exhausted and nowhere closer to where we want to be.

It would be easy to think “Dumb bird, can’t you see the big hole on the back panel of the four-sided lamp?  You know – the same broken-out area you came in through yesterday?”

Yet, the bird wasn’t facing toward the back of the lamp, which was facing my garage wall.  She wanted out, to be free and survive and therefore was searching for the most apparent routes that would lead to her freedom.

Humans are highly intelligent, and yet the same thing happens to us.

Think about the last time you experienced a fear.  You get locked in on the idea that there is only one way out or one way to survive.  This describes so many who are stuck in a job or a relationship that is not fulfilling.  Your fear of lack of money or love keep you staying right where you are, fighting to try to make your circumstances work.

As I knocked the plastic plate of glass out of the way, I thought for sure the bird would make her way free.  But she couldn’t because she was still focusing the wrong way because of her fears.  In that moment, I knew I had to do what I do with my clients – get right in her face with her fears.

For the bird, I happened to be a big part of her fear.  I got in front of her and looked her straight in the eyes.  Only in that moment was she able to turn the other direction and finally see how to set herself free from her own trap.  In an instant, she was gone and free to live as her heart guided her.

Here’s the human guide to break free from fear and/or self-imposed limitations:

Step One: Recognize that where you are is not where you want to be.

It is so easy to keep ourselves busy – so darn easy in our world to stay busy, right?  The truly courageous move is to slow yourself down and see if you are living in alignment with what you truly desire.  Otherwise, you are acting like our bird friend – doing a lot of the same action over and over, yet not getting very far.

Step Two: Listen to your feelings.

Sound too fluffy for you?  Take this into consideration: this is another courageous step in a society that has a multitude of ways to drown out how you actually feel.  If you truly are committed to living your fullest life possible, you must be willing to face your fear.

For us human folks, that means listening to aspects of ourselves that aren’t happy.  The good news is that you only have fear when you are ready to expand.  Otherwise, you would feel fulfilled right where you are.

Step Three:  Look your ego in the eye.

When you listen to your feelings, the ego is the first to speak and its language is fear.  What your ego is going to share with you is the illusion.  Remember, to our bird friend, she only saw one way to freedom, yet it was completely incorrect.

Write down the limitations that you hear come forward from your fear.  How are they working for you?  You need to know because that is what you are operating from.  If you feel that what you have is better than nothing, that is a clear indication that fear is running and limiting your life.

Step Four: Risk letting go of fear.

You have a choice — either holding onto the fear or letting go of your fear.  Your ego will tell you a whole bunch of stories that you are letting go of your dream if you let go of your fear.  That is the illusion!

You access co-creating your ideal when you choose to let go of fear.  Back up, choose another option (there are truly plenty of them after all) and witness real courage and strength within you.  Ride on those feelings and you will see your life shaped into what you have longed for all along.

You soon will be flying, free to live as your heart guides you.

Share This Page

Leave A Reply (2 comments So Far)

  • Michelle, Thanks for this great advice for anyone who is stuck, trapped, and limited by the apparent options. The ego has it backwards. Letting go of fear is the only way to hold onto our dreams.

    • Michelle Bersell

      Thanks so much Tom for your comment – you are right on about our fears and ego – it is self-imposed limitation that can absolutely be shifted.  Thanks for sharing!   Michelle