How to Stop Self-Sabotage FOREVER

by Brian

Self-DestructionI got into Social Dynamics because I was depressed. My dreams had been crushed at the age of 17 and I never emotionally recovered. I decided to start meeting people because having somebody else like me, made me like me. The only problem was that it only lasted for moments. I went to bed every night feeling empty and alone.

I believe in living a life full of happiness. I believe that the only thing that keeps us from living a life full of spirit and life energy is ourselves.

I am my strongest companion and my greatest enemy.

During the 3 Day Intensive Program I teach I fully educate each student on the importance of the present moment. This moment is the only moment that has ever existed, and will ever exist. The “PAST” is a memory inside of our minds of moment like this one that have passed. The “FUTURE” is an idea inside of our minds of what present moments will look like. The present moment, this moment that I write this blog post and the moment you read this blog post, is the only moment that is real.

Why do we put things off until “tomorrow”? Why do we put things off until “next year”? Procrastination because of fear of the unknown and regrets of moments past keep us from acting NOW. The physical body can only ever exist in this moment, the moment I write this blog and the moment you read this blog. Our mind is powerful, though, and has the innate ability to live in the past, dwelling on experiences that will never come back. The mind also has the ability to see into the future and project circumstances that haven’t happened yet.

The mind is our greatest tool; yet so many of us use it to sabotage our success in this moment.

What is Self–Sabotage?

“Self” ; A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others.

“Sabotage” ; Deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct.

Self-Sabotage is the art of destroying ourselves. It doesn’t make sense – why would we destroy ourselves? Why would we hold ourselves back from going after what we want? There are countless reasons – too little time, it’s too late, I’ll do it tomorrow, it’s not important enough right now, it’s not a priority, but in the end it all boils down to one basic concept.

Fear.

Fear is the ONLY cause of self-sabotage.

Our mind’s ability to live in the past dwells on experiences where we have failed; believing that past failures will repeat themselves over and over again. This keeps us from getting into relationships again for fear of getting hurt, this keeps us at home when we want to make new friends, this keeps us working at a job we hate to make enough money to exist while we try to repress our dreams into memory.

Fear that the past will repeat itself or that the future will bring pain is the cause of our own self-destruction.

I’m 20 years old now. For 4 years I’ve toughed my way through my Social Dynamics journey. I’ve always believed that I have the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any point in time I desire. I know my potential to be unlimited, and I know my options to be the same. There are 7 billion people on this earth and I would love to meet each and every single one of them.

Unfortunately my time is limited by the span of my life.

I am made out of the exact same materials as you. Our body types may be different and our experiences unique but in the end my body has the exact same internal functions as yours. My brain has the same chemicals as yours. I have unlimited potential and I know that I can do anything I desire. With support from my environment and determination in my heart, my mind’s ideas continue to breathe life. Unlimited potential lays in front of not only me, but in front of everybody that has a brain and a body.

That means you.

Fear is the only cause of self-destruction. For 4 years I’ve faced my fears in the art of Social Dynamics. I’ve walked up to strangers on a daily basis to improve my communication skills and develop the ability to speak the thoughts on my mind. Approaching people is the scariest thing I can do for free, without jumping out of an airplane.

In my 4 year journey I’ve faced more fears on a daily basis than most people face in their entire comfortable lives.

There’s only one problem with my journey – I teach students how to face their fears consistently, yet my greatest fear speaks to me on a daily basis and I repress it – denying it’s existence.

Football is the love of my life, and I have backed away from the challenge for years.

Fighting My Demon

At 14 years old I began playing Football.

Football was the first sport in my life that I have ever played. In Grade 10 I perceived myself to be one of the worst players on the team. I couldn’t catch, I was afraid to hit, and I didn’t know how to unleash my spirit. Nonetheless – I was determined to play. The sport was the first skill that got me off of Nexopia and the online game of Runescape.

Finally — an escape from Video Games.

Football was the only skill up to this point in my life that let me live my life… and feel alive while I was doing it.

I played for the next 3 years for a total of 5 seasons. By Grade 12 I was the Captain of the team. I played on offence, defense, and all of the Special Teams. I had an energy that I brought to the field unlike any feeling I had ever experienced.

I fell in love with the game of Football — I was convinced that I was going to do it for the rest of my life.

In April of 2009 I tried out for Team Alberta. I tried to convince myself I could make the team. My mind was no where near as strong as my talent. In the months leading up to the tryouts, I joined the rugby team with the purpose of keeping my tackling ability fresh.

Seeing McMahon stadium through my visor was extremely intimidating. The players were big, fast, and my mind knew the best players my age were on the field for this game of Football. I was so aware of their skill level that I forgot to focus on my own game.

FootballThe weekend was full of hard hits, high intensity and extreme emotion. On Saturday of the tryouts I made a tackle that sent an unfamiliar pain to my shoulder. Taking off my shoulder pads was a challenge, taking my mind away from my shoulder was even harder. I played on Sunday through the feeling. I was determined to play, no matter how intense my shoulder felt.

This was my dream and I was determined to live it.

Come Monday morning the pain was more intense than anything I had ever experienced. I couldn’t accept the fact that I had a serious injury. I had never been injured before – to be injured now, in the biggest moments of my life, wasn’t an option. I couldn’t lift my hand to eat my cereal. I couldn’t go to sleep because of the agony.

I gave in and went to the doctors on Monday for a bone scan. I was called that same night with news that shattered my reality.

“Hey Brian. You’re going to have to come in and grab a sling. The scan shows that you separated your shoulder.”

I was crushed. I knew that I’d have time for my shoulder to recover if I made the team. The team would be announced on Wednesday. Sling or no sling, I was glued to the computer waiting for the roster to be released.

The moment came where they updated the Team Alberta website. I scrolled through the offence and saw familiar names. I was proud of the people I played with — they made it. I scrolled down further to the defence to come to the most reality shattering moment I’ve ever had — my name wasn’t on the roster.

Painful Memories Plague This Moment

Football has always existed in my memory. The moment I made the tackle that separated my shoulder changed my entire life. I believed that I was going to play football for the rest of my life. This was the only vision that I had ever imagined. It’s funny how one moment has the ability to change the course of the rest of your life.

I failed that day at Team Alberta.

I couldn’t help the fact that I was injured. This was an external circumstance over which I had no control. I failed that day because I allowed my mind to dwell on my injury. I never let myself forget that I didn’t make the team and up to this point the experience speaks to me every time I face a challenge and says “Even when you give it 100%, you’re not good enough.”

I am a firm believer in facing my fears. This is why I work with Kingpin Social. I face my fears consistently and I show every student that I work with how to do the same thing, and how to grow from each experience. The only thing that keeps me from living a life of pure abundance is the ability to face my fears consistently. It’s 2012, meaning that 2 football seasons have passed where I could have tried out for a team.

I love the game so much. Each day since the injury it burns my soul not to play. My shoulder pads stand strong in my closet, underneath them lay my football pants. The helmet I used in High School lay on my mantle (sorry Coach :P) and my gloves stay attached to the helmet I used to dawn for each game. My silver City Championship metal hangs on my wall to remind me of all the fears I have yet to face.

ObstaclesThis weekend was an intense weekend full of growth for the newest Kingpin Social graduate.

I was a witness to enlightenment. My student came into Friday with mental agony — painful past experiences kept him from living his life in this moment. Watching my student face every fear that existed inside of his mind and come out stronger than he has ever been inspired me to do the same.

The man feels a better emotion than he would ever feel going to a psychologist, taking depression pills, or sitting at home thinking about his sorrows.

He feels alive.

The only thing that kept me from playing Football is my fear of the separated shoulder. I wanted to play for the last 2 years but fear of re-separating it kept me from stepping on the field and playing with the big boys. Painful memories of the past kept me from pursuing the skill that lay in my heart. For 3 years I’ve thought about playing Football, and for three years I’ve denied the fact that it was my dream.

Football is, and has always been, a part of me.

This weekend I decided that I was no longer going to run from that which scared me. In fact I’m going to run towards it.

It is impossible for my body to live in the past, or in the future. It is only my mind that dwells in the past, or worries about the future. I’ve chosen for my mind to exist in this present moment alongside with my body to create a powerful unity.

I’ve made the commitment to face every challenge this moment brings with not only my body, but with my mind.

Destroying Self-Destruction

I’ve chosen to live my dream.

My first tackle football practice for the Calgary Gators starts on Tuesday. The only thing that kept me from living my dream was my thoughts. My thoughts about the experiences of the past and worries of the future kept me from pursuing the dreams of this moment. Social Dynamics is a massive part of my dream – without Kingpin Social teaching me how to face my fears, and how to learn from each experience, I never would have been able to pursue my passion as a football player.

After my injury I fell into depression, constant agony… a mental wasteland. My mind couldn’t move past the moment where I failed. I held onto that experience for so long that I forgot that life moves forward.

Self-sabotage is the art of destroying your dreams for fear of the unseen. Past failures keep us from pursuing our dreams because of fear of repeated pain. Worries of future events keep us from facing inevitable challenges on the path to the pursuit of our dreams.

Learn the lessons of your failures, each and every single one of them, so that when you experience similar situations moving forward you’ll know how to deal with them.

Breaking Free

I’ve chosen to face my fears.

I am made out of the same materials as you. Although our external appearance and genetics differ, our bodily functions and brain’s chemicals are the same.

I’ve chosen to fully commit to living my dream, no matter what challenge life throws my way. I realized that I was the only one that kept me from living the life that I wanted. I am the only one that chooses to live with anxiety, depression and negative emotion. I’ve chosen to run towards the fears that live inside of me. Maybe I’ll re-injure myself. Maybe I’ll fall flat on my face in the pursuit of that which I love. It’s irrelevant though – because if I do, I’ll get back up and keep running towards my passion.

Life moves forward – so should I. I’ve made the commitment to facing my fears and destroying the art of self-destruction. It’s your turn. Commit to facing your fears. Every single moment, no matter what it takes.

Commit to Your Dream

Understand that you can live any life you want to. You weren’t destined to work at a job you don’t like, sit at home without social options, or go to school for a degree you’ll never use. You can do anything you want.

  1. Think about what you’ve always wanted to do. Play a sport, pursue your creativity as an artist, be the most skilled person at “x” that you can possibly be.
  2. Write it down and commit to your dream. Make the decision to get it. Do whatever it takes. Face any challenge that comes your way with creativity and persistence. Understand that you will fail; that’s the beautiful part of the process.
  3. Get another perspective when you fall on your face. Life moves forward. So should you. You’re doing the best job that you know how to with the knowledge you have. Learn from someone who is wiser then you at your desired skillset. Greatness comes from creativity and persistence.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
– Albert Einstein

About Brian
Brian is a firm believer in living in the present. Brian lives his life by the philosophy “Act for the future, not because of the past.” He is a passionate writer, a sober socialite and aspires to be a positive influence to everyone he interacts with. Read more about Brian here.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaleigh April 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Once again another inspirational post about passion and determination to continue on in the face of fear and the unknown.

I completely agree that fear is the number one reason for self-destruction. Memories/experiences of the past can hinder future performances (Negative learning Transfer) or facilitate them (Positive learning transfer) it all depends on how you want to view the situation you were given.

I know myself that injury is a huge part when it comes to destroying dreams especially sports related ones, since the career lifespan for them can be quite limited and highly competitive. However if life were constantly easy and there were no setback, life would be boring. There would be no challenges to overcome and no opportunities for growth.

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but rising every time we fall. We grow stronger; mentally and physically and can be better prepared for situations in the future. Everyone has heard the saying, “no one ever said life would be easy.” But you can make it worth it when you believe in what you’re doing.

One thing that I think about to keep me motivated during times of hardship and when it feels like my desires are slipping through my hands, is a little saying, “The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.” Keeping that in mind, I remember that I am the only one who has the control over me, how hard I try and what steps I take to accomplish my goals.

Congratulations Brian on taking steps towards your dream. You will do amazing; just remember a setback, whatever it may be, will only be as debilitating as you let it. I wish you all the best. <3

Kaleigh

Brian April 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Looove it Kaleigh! Thanks for the long response.

I can see where you’re coming from with the career lifespan. That was one of the reasons I refused to try out for any teams anymore. “It’s too late,” “My athletic ability has dwindled,” “I’ll never make the team,”. The reality I came to is that it’s never too late, I can always get better, and not making the team isn’t an option because I’m going to out-hustle everyone on the team.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” I love that you said that.

One thing that keeps me going is the quote, not sure where I heard it:

“The measure of a man is not what he knows, but what he does with what he knows.”

Thanks for the support Kaleigh!

Kaleigh April 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Any time Brian!
No matter how “late” you try for something you want, your already one step further ahead than those who havent tried yet. Good luck with football and let me know if you need any taping or bracing! I can’t wait for the next article.

Kaleigh

Manny April 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Brian love the article bro!!
You are an inspiration and motivates me to conquer my own fears man.

“limits like fears is often just an illusion”

Trevor April 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Great Article. I was really able to relate to a lot of it, it seemed to frame my life. Now I just need to get over the fear and go for what I want….as soon as I figure out what it is I want! But Great Piece Brian!

Liam April 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

This just reminded me of ego integrity. It’s something you either learn when you come to a point of great loss, and you transcend your old self into a new, wiser one, or you don’t learn it, and you suffer denial and depression until you learn it. In human world, you don’t die, society doesn’t allow you to die when you’ve lost everything. You just go on existing, and yeah, not everybody makes it the first time they put their everything into something, thinking it’s the only path to completeness. That may in fact be life’s greatest curse on someone, is to prevent them from learning ego integrity. Life is more like you said, running towards those things that scare you until you know the limits that exist on every aspect of yourself, and THEN pushing them backwards. This is deep, but you don’t face mortality when you die, you face it every time you aren’t sure of your own inner strength anymore because you’ve gone as far as you can fathom in one dimension of your growth, you see the end, and you say “no”.

Will April 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

Another great article Brian! Thanks for sharing – one of the best reads I have had in a long time! Can relate to your words easily and it has actually made a difference.

From now on, will stop running away from my fears but towards them! Nothing will be able to stop me!

Truly another life changer, so thankyou.

Brian April 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Manny! Thanks for the comment bro. Fear is anything but an illusion; it’s more than real. Your decisions to face it are your only potential limitations.

Trevor! Thanks for the comment man. I think knowing what you want is the first step to getting it. Start asking yourself what you do that makes you feel good. You’ll start to come to the conclusion the closer you get to understanding what you enjoy spending your time on.

Liam! I don’t believe there are any limitations; only the limitations placed on us by our own and society’s rules, norms and stipulations. Thought is unlimited and our mind harnesses thought; which means our minds are unlimited. Which means you can do anything.

Will! I appreciate the feedback. Keep running towards what you want and don’t stop until you get it.

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