Why do I Keep Self-Sabotaging and How Can I Stop?

Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

How many times in our lives do we give up on things we want to achieve because we lack the self-confidence to take a step forward? Have you ever fallen ill or had a silly accident that cost yourself an important appointment or event that could have changed your life forever? Have you ever messed up a good opportunity or a relationship because of your behaviour?

That’s called self-sabotage.

The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice

Stories of self-sabotage have existed in myths and legends for thousands of years. As a teenager, I used to read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics and one of its special editions featured the myth of Orpheus retold under Gaiman’s magical writing. I never forgot that tragic tale and to this day I still reflect upon it.

The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice tells the story of Orpheus, son of the Thracian King Oeagrus and the Muse Calliope, who lost his beloved wife Eurydice to a serpent’s venomous bite. Orpheus, a very talented musician and poet, travels to the Underworld and beg Hades to have his beloved wife back into the world of the living. He does so by playing a sorrowful and beautiful song, which soothes Hades petrified heart. He consents to Orpheus having Eurydice back, under the condition that he would have to walk back into the upper world while she followed behind him, as long as he would never look back until he ended his journey. Unfortunately, a few steps before he reached sunlight, Orpheus lost his faith, thinking that the gods had fooled him, and looked back. This caused Eurydice, whose shadow had been silently following him, to disappear back into the world of the dead.

Distraught by the consequences of what his actions had caused, Orpheus desperately tried to go back into the underworld to retrieve Eurydice, but he wasn’t granted a second entry. She was lost forever. Later, Orpheus had his head and limbs severed from his body. His limbs were buried by the Muses and his ever singing head was mercilessly thrown into the river Hebrus.

Why did Orpheus look back? Why did he ruined everything by acting in a way he wasn’t supposed to? Why didn’t he believe in the power of his own song?

Why do we Self-Sabotage?

As children, we are taught about how life should be lived, but it’s the actual experiences we have that shape up our lives. Our parents may have been well-meaning and doing the best they could to teach us, but rarely have come to terms with their own childhood and relationship issues before diving into parenthood themselves. Many of the good things we hear as children have very little coherence with what we see happening around us.

We do not always hear positive words coming from our traumatised parents and people around us in general. It might sound very much like a cliche, but nasty criticism heard during childhood can cause permanent damage.

All these experiences enter our subconscious minds and wire up our neurones in a way that our beings won’t connect to any experiences that will differ from what we are used to. It is very much as if these negative voices were a tape player, telling us repeatedly of how much we are not enough, or how incompetent we are.

“What’s the point of applying for that job since we won’t amount to anything?”, “why even try, since no-one is successful in our family?”, “who do we think we are to have a great relationship?”.

Do these sort of questions sound familiar?

The Billions of Nervous Cells in Our Bodies And Our Well-Being

The average human brain has about 100 billion neurons, whilst the human digestive system has about 100 million, added to about 40,000 contained in a human’s heart. We have an amazing energy system capable of creating or destroying things, depending on where that energy is channelled to.

It is not by chance that we often hear people saying “I can feel it in my gut” or “I have a gut feeling” - it is simply because our brain, our heart and gut are intimately connected by these billions of nervous cells. So when we are traumatised by any event, whatever it is, all of these nervous cells become involved in it, shaping themselves up to help us live through it and beyond.

So whilst thinking positive is good, its pure random exercise won’t help at all as long as we feel completely differently in our bodies about who we are and what our experiences are meant to be. Whilst we have a tape player loaded with negative talk about our self-worth blasting in our subconscious minds, conscious positive thinking won’t help.

How EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Can Heal Our Memories and Negative Feelings Towards Ourselves

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), or simply “Tapping”, will dig deep into the core of self-sabotage and treat all the emotions attached to it, unveiling the reasons why we are not able to achieve what we want, or why we are not able to make progress, or even kick a bad habit out of our lives.

The in-session EFT treatment happens by tapping into specific acupuncture points as we speak about the emotions related to certain memories or beliefs. The aim is to neutralise the emotional charge connected to those events or ideas in order to balance out the flow of electromagnetic energy in our bodies. The more we tap, the more the emotions will subside and the more our subconscious mind will allow our shadows to emerge and be resolved.

So are you aware that you might be self-sabotaging your own life? If so, have you ever asked yourself why do you do it and where does it come from? Is it anger-related? Is it grief, resentment, fear, sadness, frustration, dread, low self-esteem or low self-confidence that makes you to do exactly what you’re not supposed to do in order to succeed? EFT is a great way to get to the bottom of those issues and gently resolve them.

Although at this time we are talking specifically about the benefits of EFT for self-sabotage, the treatment is also great for PTSD, trauma, fear, phobias, depression, anxiety, weight loss, smoking, physical pain, relaxation and much more.

By Juliana Alves.

Juliana has been in practice as an EFT practitioner since 2017. She specialises in treating issues including abuse, anger, anxiety, depression, grief, trauma and physical health-related concerns. She is a fully insured member of the FSB and the Association for the Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioners.

To book an online video appointment with Juliana as soon as tomorrow, just click here.


[1] The Sandman, The Song of Orpheus, by Neil Gaiman. In Gaiman’s version the character Dream is Orpheus's father instead of Oeagrus.

[2] Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, The Complete and Definitive Edition, Kindle version, Penguin Books Ltd., Chapter 28, "Orpheus", p. 111-115.

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