EP16: Overcoming Self-Sabotage With Christopher Carrick

On the Profitable Joyful Consulting podcast, I teach you how to increase your profits and enjoy your business more. In this episode, you’ll learn how to overcome self-sabotage.


What would be possible for you if you didn’t get in your own way? What kind of results could you get for your business and for your clients? I had a client who was writing her speeches the night before big keynotes, and they never went as well as she wanted them to. I once had the habit of making really bad hiring mistakes. I’ve had clients exhaust themselves in pursuit of doubling their business. These are all different, but they’re all examples of self-sabotage.


It may be an unconventional one, but overcoming self-sabotage is a vital growth strategy for your business. When you learn to work with your Saboteur, you unleash possibilities.


Key Areas Discussed:

  • Self-sabotage isn’t what it seems like on the surface. There’s a spiritual and energetic perspective to it, which I cover here with Spiritual Director (and my husband) Christopher Carrick.
  • Why we sabotage ourselves – how we disguise it from ourselves – and how we can stop doing it, so we can be the productive, effective people we know ourselves to be.
  • You don’t have to exhaust yourself in the process of doubling your business. Exhaustion is actually one of several sly sabotage strategies we reveal.
  • “I’d never do that to myself.” Find out the sneaky way powerful, confident people sabotage themselves.
  • The role of the unconscious and the ego in self-sabotage — and how to better understand the voice of your own inner saboteur.
  • With the right awareness and tools, dealing with self-sabotage can actually be kind of fun (I said “kind of”!) and doesn’t have to be shaming. We share simple exercises to take back control and get out of your own way.


Listen to this episode to learn how to change your relationship with your inner saboteur wherever you get podcasts or click here to listen and subscribe: https://enlightenedmarketing.com/podcast/.



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Overcoming Self-Sabotage With Christopher Carrick

In this episode, we’re going to talk about a very unconventional growth strategy for your business, which is overcoming self-sabotage. Imagine what would be possible for you if you didn’t self-sabotage yourself at certain times. We’re going to get into that topic. As you can see, I have a guest with me who’s going to help me expound upon this topic.

This is Christopher Carrick. He is a spiritual director who works with his clients to find meaning in the breakdowns and blocks that happen in their lives. One of the ways that we discovered that he could be helpful with self-sabotage is that I was struggling with myself at the time and also with my clients sabotaging themselves so much that they couldn’t get the results that they wanted for my programs.

I called upon him, which was not difficult to do because he’s my husband as well. He happened to be in the same household. I could say, “Why am I doing this to myself? Why are my clients doing this to themselves? What can we do about it?” We are going to talk about why we sabotage ourselves, what it means, what kind of things we do when we do sabotage, and how we can stop doing it so that we can get on and be the productive and effective people that we know ourselves to be. First of all, welcome.

Thank you.

I’m super excited to have you. For some people, it may seem weird to have your spouse on but this is the person that I have worked with on this issue, most of all, and also who has helped my clients. I want to start with some crazy examples because I’ve never met anyone who said, “I don’t self-sabotage.” One of the funny things that I tell in my workshops about messaging is when Christopher uses his jaw-dropping self-introduction, which begins with, “I help entrepreneurs who are struggling with self-sabotage,” they always interrupt him and start telling their sabotage stories.

It isn’t an unusual issue. It’s something that artists, entrepreneurs, and human beings struggle with. What’s interesting is the unusual ways that it can show up. I have come to him and said, “Is this a sabotage thing that’s happening?” Just a couple of examples to start. I had a client who was writing her speeches the night before she was going to do this big keynote thing. I would say, “How did the keynote go?” She would say, “It could have been better.” I would say, “Just as an idea, maybe you could rehearse that a little bit in advance.” I’m being gentle about this because that’s a self-sabotage strategy.

Other things are not as clear. I’m going to put a couple of examples on the table for us to come back and unpack later. Another one of them is my promise to you that you can grow your business double, triple, and 5X your business without exhaustion. You don’t have to exhaust yourself in the process because exhaustion is a sabotage strategy. Another unexpected one. The last one got me, which is I was making bad hiring mistakes.

In a future episode, I’m going to talk about how to find a team. One of the big things about a team is that you have to be committed and sold on the fact that you want a team. Christopher at one point said to me, “You’re sabotaging yourself.” I was like, “No, this person isn’t good. That’s not sabotage.” I want to talk about that. What is self-sabotage? How might we recognize it?

I look at it as an archetypal entity that you’ve been possessed by. It’s like when we talk about the inner child, warrior energy, or something like that. It’s a thing that we all have and deal with. We all have some kind of relationship too. It helps to personify it too. Otherwise, when I self-sabotage, I am the saboteur. It overtakes me in a way. If it’s a part of me, then I can deal with it and I can change my relationship to it.

One thing that’s interesting in the first example you gave about doing the speech is I bet when you asked her what happened or why she had no idea. When we start with self-sabotage, our initial understanding is it’s that tendency I have to get in my way. People self-identify very quickly but they rarely can tell you how or why they’re doing it. They might notice something like, “I get to the end of the day and I wasted a lot of time.” That doesn’t put you in a position to know what to do about it.

You have chosen the term saboteur to personify it. When you do that, it’s a different aspect of yourself so I’m not doing that to myself. Other ways that you talk about interacting with the saboteur make it fun to deal with and not so shaming.

One confusing thing is that when we sabotage, we don’t understand why we would do that to ourselves. It makes no sense. It’s helpful to think of it this way. We exist on many levels simultaneously but they don’t all agree. The saboteur is the part that doesn’t agree with what you’re doing or what you want. You get conflicting commands. It’s a little like a computer program where when you get conflicting commands. It either freezes or crashes. That’s what the saboteur is looking to create. As you begin to learn how your saboteur operates, when we talk about personifying it, it has a personality. It talks a certain way and it introduces beliefs. It has a worldview.


We exist on many levels simultaneously, but they don’t all agree. The saboteur is the part that doesn’t agree with what you’re doing or what you want.


It’s the part of you that has the worldview that says, “I don’t want to go any further.” Most of us don’t want to honor that. We aren’t able to acknowledge, “I don’t want to be more successful and have a better relationship,” those kinds of things because that doesn’t make any sense. That makes the saboteur very mysterious. The more we learn about it, the more we can hear, “It talks to me this way. It has this tone of voice. It reminds me of me in this situation or my mother’s voice when I was growing up.”

That helps us recognize it because the saboteur thrives in mystery. It likes to stay in the shadows. It can be very aggressive and obvious, and overwhelm and beat you up but a lot of times, it’s murmuring in your ear. It’s lurking behind you saying the thing that will launch the program to get you to crash the plane because you have that internal conflict.

I want to hear more about the voice but one thing that you said is it’s a part of you that doesn’t want you to double the business, crush it at that workshop, or get new clients. What part of me doesn’t want that? Why doesn’t it want that?

As we begin to understand the saboteur better, the definition goes from, “That part of me seems to get in my way for reasons I can’t understand.” It goes to, “The part of me tries to protect me from change by removing choice.”

Why does it want to protect me from change?

One of the hardest things to convince people of in my business is how stabilizing change is. We all have a comfort zone and we all understand what a comfort zone is. We think of it as a place where I’m comfortable and I feel good but your comfort zone is just known. A lot of people don’t get any further because they know how to be what they are and where they are. Moving past that takes them out of their comfort zone. That’s nice for a while. We stretch a little but then it becomes stressful. That speaks to those levels that don’t agree with what we want.

We say, “I want a promotion, make more money, be more successful, or be more high profile.” When you do that, it will take you into the unknown. The main level that disagrees with this is your ego. Your ego position will often be, “Yes, I do want those things.” That is true. What’s more true is that the ego fears change because the ego is all about feeling in control, knowing who I am, and defining myself.

That means staying in the known so I can have the ambition to grow. I can feel like, “I want all that stuff.” The ego is always understanding things based on its past experiences. When you introduce the possibility of something different, the ego panics and then it pulls back. It says, “I want to have control.” That’s the part that comes in and sabotages us.

This is amazing because it reminds me that the most messed up version of this to me is the people who are addicted to struggle. There will be people that I’ve worked with over the years who are up against a revenue ceiling and they can’t cross it. I feel like success eludes them because they can’t cross that barrier. My version of it wasn’t that they were constantly self-sabotaging. It was that they were addicted to the struggle. The charge of like, “Here I am. It’s bad. Nothing I do works.” Being right about that and how right I am won’t work for me. Whenever I’ve met people, I’m like, “Here are fourteen ideas for how you can do this.” They’re like, “That won’t work for me.” I’m like, “How are you so sure?”

They get to feel right, which is big. Ego loves to feel right. It is addicted to being right. In a way, what they’re also saying is, “This makes me safe.” That’s not a thing we want to acknowledge to ourselves. It’s painful. Imagine staring at yourself in the mirror and saying, “I was afraid and I chose to stay small.” That’s heartbreaking. We have to hide that from ourselves. That’s why I go back to your first example where you said, “Why didn’t you rehearse your speech? Why didn’t you prepare?” She would say, “I don’t know.”

She would say, “I was too busy. I had all these other commitments. It fell to the bottom of the list. I couldn’t get to it. There was no way. It was impossible.”

What she’s telling you is, “These are the things that are persuasive to me. These are in a way my excuses that cover up that I’m not going to do this.” It’s hard to believe that speech wasn’t her highest priority. Why wouldn’t she do that first? Why wouldn’t she put the most energy into that? The saboteur works well when it starts to introduce things without you acknowledging that you’re using and putting these in the way. Later, you go, “Stuff happened. People called and I had to attend to that.” Maybe you didn’t or maybe you shouldn’t take the call. The saboteur lures us into unconsciousness, which doesn’t mean asleep. It means, “I’m unaware of my motivation. I’m not sure what’s driving me.”

A little part of your brain turns off and when that happens, we go into habit. She has pre-programmed mental habits, which say, “I will respond to these things or prioritize this over my highest priority. I will become unclear.” We have these little programs and agreements that say, “I can’t work if I’m unclear. If I’m overwhelmed, what can I do? That’s not a very productive place to be. That means I should go over here and do this instead.” Even those distractions like, “The house is clean.” You have that little voice that says, “Let me get this out of the way. I’d feel better.”

That’s the cover story. You had this space for this work and I’m going to put stuff in it. Later, I can go, “Look what happened. I don’t know how it happened.” Another key thing is the unconsciousness. At the end of the process, you get to feel a lack of responsibility. It can’t be changed. When they’re saying to you, “That won’t work,” they’re saying, “It can’t be changed. That’s my position because it’s safe. There’s nothing I can do that gets me off the hook.”

I want to go back to this concept of identifying the saboteur. You mentioned the voice. Christopher has a workshop on saboteur and I did this workshop with him. One of the things that we do in it is identify the voice that it talks to inside your head. Mine has this, “You work hard. I’m going to let you off the hook. You shouldn’t do that. You listen.” You can hear it has a specific tone of voice. I know other people had different voices. I’m not sure if you can speak to what other people’s voices were but it’s so interesting to me because I feel like it gives you that mystery you’re talking about. You can crack the code, get in there, and recognize when you’re self-sabotaging yourself.

When you were doing that, you get like, “This is the character of my saboteur.” It will have a bunch of them. That’s not your only one. As it’s seducing you into, “Why don’t you go take a nap,” bullying you, or accessing an experience you had and saying, “You don’t want to repeat that,” those are the things you want to listen to. It’s hard to do but it’s great when it’s happening to notice. Next time you feel lost, take a second and say, “What’s going on here? What was my intention? What happened?” A lot of times people won’t be able to tell you. They’ll say, “One thing led to another.”

Profitable Joyful Consulting | Christopher Carrick | Overcoming Self Sabotage

Overcoming Self Sabotage: Next time you feel lost, take a second and say, “What’s going on here? What was my intention? What happened?”


If it’s at the end of the day, look back and see if you can get it. If it’s happening and you can notice, it’s a great time to collect information. “What’s the voice? What’s it saying? What was the story? I told myself to get here.” A lot of times, that’s difficult. If you have to, set an alarm on your phone every hour to check in and see what happened. See how far you drifted, what you started to do, or if you can catch the story, the voice, like the way that it bullies, persuades, intimidates, or loves you to sleep, whatever it is. The more you can treat it like a person, the more you can have a relationship with it. The real trick to what we want to do is to change the relationship.

How do we want to change this relationship?

Everybody has a saboteur but not everybody’s saboteur is tormenting them. Not every person is self-sabotaging. A lot of people are. People who aren’t self-sabotaging have a good relationship with their saboteur. The saboteur is neutral. That’s the first key thing. We are certain that it’s out to get us. It’s this negative evil force that loves to screw with us. It is a neutral part of us, which is collecting information on our behalf.

The problem is, when it comes at us, it has all this information to give us but it doesn’t tell us. It shows us. It induces the experience and it doesn’t feel good. We immediately say, “You’re not my friend. A friend wouldn’t treat me that way. It attacked me. It must be my enemy.” All it did was give you information. It says, “This is how you do this. I’m going to show you.” We don’t perceive it that way.

We perceive it as, “You ruined my speech.”

“I ruined my speech but I have no idea how.” Sometimes our saboteur is to blame outside too. That’s when you were talking about, “I’m hiring the wrong people.” That’s where that goes. Let’s stay on this. When the saboteur comes at us, we dictate the relationship unbeknownst to us. We say, “We’re enemies.” The saboteur is neutral. When you say, “You’re my enemy, Saboteur.” It goes, “That’s the game we’re playing.” It doesn’t care. It’s not invested. It’s there to serve you. If you say, “Serve me by being my enemy,” it says, fine. We have an adversarial relationship with it. What we want to do is make it an ally.

Think of it this way. The negative version is the saboteur is me. It knows every part of me and exactly how to defeat me so I can’t win. The converse of that is what if I wanted to know the answers to what’s in my way? “I would ask somebody who knows me very well.” You know who that is, that’s the saboteur. When you collect this information, it’s coming at you, and you listen to it, learn about it, and you start to get, “This is what it does to get me down,” you can say thank you. You have a chance to say, “You are educating me.”

Here’s the big part of it. The saboteur doesn’t come out for no reason. We think it comes out to mess up our life. What it does is it comes out to tell us, “You are in the presence of possibility.” If you have a negative relationship with the saboteur, it will convert the possibility to not possible. When those people are saying, “That won’t work for me. I’m in my comfort zone,” it’s not possible. What you’re saying is, “Here’s a possibility.” They’re going, “Change, which I can’t perceive.” The saboteur comes in and says, “I don’t think that’ll work.” “Now I’m safe.”


The Saboteur doesn’t come out for no reason. We think it comes out to mess up our lives, but what it does is come out to tell us we are in the presence of possibility.


“I almost had to venture out of my comfort zone and experience something.”

“I don’t have to be the bad guy because I already know that doesn’t work. That’s not me being negative.”

I’m big on claiming your power and business and taking responsibility. I’m like, “If something goes wrong, take responsibility for it.” My policy is always no blame, no shame. For anybody who works for me, any of my clients, and myself, no blame, no shame. Why? That doesn’t help anybody. I want you to take responsibility for it. When you take responsibility for it, you can then take new actions and empower yourself to take new actions. What I like about this is a lot of clients come to me and what they’re looking for is for me to name that.

It’s for me to say, “Here’s what’s in your way. You have this huge opportunity. You’re about to break through and be a star in your niche. You’re about to break through and be able to cross the million-dollar mark or the $250,000 mark,” whatever is that next thing or, “Your book is going to come out and then you’re going to be a sought-after speaker.” That’s where the saboteur piece comes in. I can say to them, “You’re taking these actions and that’s preventing that from happening for you.”

A lot of times, we can’t identify our self-sabotaging behaviors. I can say to them, “Every time you’ve gotten a chance to go make a speech, you’ve blown it because you haven’t done the preparation that needed to be done. What if we did things this way?” I can also help them break that down into steps so that it isn’t like 1 to 100. It’s a gentler slope. Maybe there’s less self-sabotaging between those steps.

You can always take the next step. You don’t have to consume the whole thing. It’s a lot easier to do it in manageable bites. The saboteur is telling you to first notice what you do to get in your way. Notice the thoughts, habits, energy states, and agreements you have. “I’m allowed to not work if,” because then you will do those things. When overwhelmed or lack of clarity comes, it’s not because you said, “I’ll do this.” It’s because you say, “I’m going to look over here and let this program run.” I only notice it maybe once it’s running.

Once I can say, “I’m doing that thing where I fill the space so I don’t have time to prepare,” I know what it feels like to do that, what the thoughts in my head are when I do that, and what the energy state is. I can recognize it and then I can wake up in the moment and say, “Thanks, Saboteur. What you have alerted me to is that this is a big deal. This speech is important. I feel the presence of possibility.” One of the things I tell people is we don’t sabotage our dreams because dreams can stay unattainable. They’re big and over there. The saboteur comes in to sabotage our potential realities. The potential realities build toward the dream. That’s the incremental thing that you’re talking about.

Profitable Joyful Consulting | Christopher Carrick | Overcoming Self Sabotage

Overcoming Self Sabotage: We don’t sabotage our dreams because dreams can remain unattainable. They’re big and over there. What the saboteur comes in for is to sabotage our potential realities.


I’m all about taking small steps. Very often people try to do something super hard and then it doesn’t go well. I’m like, “You took too big a bite. Let’s break that down.”

What they’ve done is create a new thing for their saboteur to use. You’ve collected more evidence for why this can’t happen. Next time all your saboteurs have to do is say, “Remember last time?”

It is defeating and seems mean but it’s trying to protect me from feeling that terrible way again.

I’ll make a huge exaggeration. What if I said to you, “If you jump off that cliff, you can fly?” It seems like a bad idea. You can understand why you might shoot yourself in the foot to not be able to jump off the cliff. It’s not that obvious or absurd but it’s like, “This is a better idea than that but I have to hide it from myself.”

“I have to do a thing that seems damaging to keep me small enough that I don’t attempt the big thing that will be damaging in another way.”

Another example I use is people who win the lottery. Frequently, it ruins their life. There are support groups for people who won the lottery. That’s insane. Why is that? That’s a different life they’ve moved to. Their friends are probably going to change. Their options can change. Their ego does not know how to accommodate like, “I have money. I’m not used to having money.” We would all make that deal. We all want more money.

I’ll give you another example. I had a client who came into a larger amount of money and then suddenly felt guilty because she felt like, “I could help people. I could send my son’s friend to college if I wanted to. Should I always pay for dinner?” That’s a good problem to have but it was confusing. She turned a wonderful thing into a complicated thing to suffer about.

Was she sabotaging her happiness in that case?

She was sabotaging who she could become. One of the things we’re attracted to with money is its empowerment. It’s an opportunity. “I can do more things.” We see people with money differently. While we all think we want to be that person, we don’t necessarily know how to be that person. We’re in unfamiliar territory. I was talking about the ego before. One of the important things to know about the ego is that when things radically change, our ego in a sense dies. We stopped becoming who we were. The ego is who I am right now. If I suddenly lived in a different place, we got divorced, and I had a ton of money, who am I now?

An example I usually use is to think of somebody like Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson, at a certain point in his life, is the baddest man on the planet. He is the Heavyweight Champion of the world. He cannot lose. He’s undefeated. He then loses to the biggest underdog ever. Who is he now? What happened to his life? He radically changed. He goes to jail, gets religion, and gets addicted to drugs.

He eventually becomes spiritual. We find out he was bipolar. That’s a huge change. That’s an ego death. Who is Mike Tyson now is so different from the other one. The ego doesn’t want to die. When the ego feels, “You’re taking me into this other thing,” even if it’s technically good news, it says, “I don’t want to go, I don’t want to die. Let’s put the brakes on.”

I can be a $ 100,000-a-year entrepreneur. To be a $1 million, that’s going to be a different version of me. I’m going to have a different self who does that or me unsuccessful and struggling and addicted to struggle versus me succeeding and doing well. I see this a lot of times also in peer groups where you’re like, “I have this mastermind and we all get together, complain, moan, and talk about how hard everything is.” If they get into a different environment, suddenly it is why people talk about environment and masterminds. You get around another one and these people are succeeding. That person sold a $500,000 offer and was doing that.

It’s interesting for us to be more intentional with how we’re treating that ego. The ego is our identity. When I work with a brand, the brand is your business identity. What do I want my business to be known for? Are you ready to embody that? Being intentional about who I want to be and how I want to be is part of this because that begins with a marketing campaign on your inner voices. Say, “Let’s all get on the same page about this because this is what I want.” Having a vision statement that you’re reading daily, talking to people, having people around you who are affirming that you are who you are and that you’re evolving and becoming.

When my clients do a hard thing, I’m constantly affirming, “You’re different than you were months ago. You wouldn’t have done something like that. That’s a courageous thing to do.” That kind of movement forward is important. I love that you’ve talked about this daily and how to stay conscious of this. Set the timer and check in with how you’re doing. “Did you do the dishes this hour or did you get your blog written?” That’s a personal example. “Are you getting the things done?”

What I love is that it’s almost the simplest technique possible to thwart this because it’s about bringing yourself into awareness. It’s not this deep, difficult thing that you’re doing. You’re saying, “Here’s my day and what I want to have happen.” Getting to $1 million happens one day at a time. It happens with one day of effective habits. Tomorrow is another day of that. The number one thing for the day is one of the most transformational things that I’ve ever gone through. Talk about that because I feel like if somebody said, “What’s the secret to your productivity and focus,” I would say, “It’s the number one thing.” People would be like, “Really?”

One thing I was interested to learn is that originally, the word priority was a single thing. We turned it into priorities, which is an interesting sabotage strategy right there. The priority means there’s one. What I suggest is don’t do it in the moment. Don’t wake up, get to your desk, and go, “What’s my highest priority?” You’re in the moment and it’s very easy to sabotage at that point because you’ll go, “I can’t think of anything. I have five things.” Extremes and opposites are tricks it uses a lot. What I suggest is to do it the night before. “I’m willing to try stuff next week. I’m very comfortable. The closer I get, the more I feel like, I don’t know. It doesn’t feel right.”


Originally, the word priority was a single thing. We turned it into priorities, which is an interesting sabotage strategy right there.


That was the voice of the saboteur.

Let’s follow that out because it’s vague. I would want to go into that. If you don’t feel like it, then get it to talk. Get it to say, “I don’t think you’re prepared. I don’t think that guy’s going to like you.” You get those patterns that you’re too much or you are not enough. You keep digging and you get to those voices.

All your limiting beliefs come up through it. “I’m not prepared. I’m not ready. Things don’t work for me.” It’s all of these stupid limiting beliefs because they don’t have to be true.

Some of them are true but becoming aware of them so I can address them is different. The saboteur wants to leverage it against you and make it seem like it can’t be changed. “You’re not a morning person so this is not a good time to make that big call.” You’re going to wait until the afternoon and then use your afternoon strategy.

It is like, “I don’t have that energy in the afternoon.”

Most of the time, it’s very hard to know these things about yourself. A lot of people will sit here and go, “I don’t know. I thought about it. I’m not sure.” It’s helpful to have somebody else to mirror it, observe it, or point it out for you. Another strategy you can use is to force the issue. If I said, “On the other side of that door is all the money you ever wanted,” and then the saboteur comes in and says, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. I won’t say why. I don’t trust this. I think that door might be locked.” What you do is you get up and say, “I’m opening the door.” If it overwhelms you with anxiety, you say, “Anxiety, can I open the door even though I have anxiety?”

Open the door and tell me specifically what I would do in my business. I would be doing that.

Pick something like calling that client that you want to work with. You can come up with tons of stories about why that’s not a good idea. If you’re feeling that vague like, “I don’t want to, I shouldn’t,” or something like that, tell your saboteur, “I’m making the call. Here I go. I’m getting up and reaching for the phone.” You will scare it into saying, “You’re too much. You’re going to overwhelm them. People don’t like your personality. You’re too big. Hold back. Let them come to you.” You go, “Nice to meet you.” I can anticipate, “That’s a thing I use against myself.”

My mother told me, “You should hold back. You’re too big. Don’t be such a bull in a China shop.” I can say, “What’s the reverse? I have a big personality. That could be very attractive.” In the meantime, what you can also do is say, “When that thing and belief comes up, it’s a worldview.” I can say, “The saboteur is here.” The saboteur doesn’t show up for no reason. I must be in the presence of powerful possibility. I’ve turned the focus of like, “1) She shouldn’t make that call because it’ll probably go wrong for reasons I’m not even clear on. 2) This is a big deal. This is important. This is a time to be courageous and aware that the saboteur would not have intervened if this wasn’t a possibility.”

I’m intuiting that this is a big possibility.

The saboteur is telling you that. Its job is to say, “You’re in the presence of possibility right now.” If you don’t do this consciously, you will self-sabotage or in a sense, he shows up and says, “You’re about to become me. Is that what you want?” It’s not judging you. It’s just saying, “You’re going over a cliff. Do you want to turn?”

Do with this information what you will.

It’s bringing you to consciousness. That’s why we go unconscious to let the habit turn us into an adversary.

That was two things. It was the number one priority of which there is one and not many. As far as a habit, I have software I use with a prompt that on Sundays says, “What three things are priority for the week.” I know there shouldn’t be three. “What are the three things I’m going to focus on this week?” On a daily basis, it says, “What’s number one for today?” At 5:00 PM it says, “What did you get done today?” It checks in and follows up with me on that.

I like that because it keeps me focused. As Christopher says, your number one thing on the day is harder by preparing that in advance on Sunday evenings or Sunday afternoons. I think about my week and I have a different perspective on it. I’m surprised sometimes by what I choose because it won’t always be the things that an urgent thing. Sometimes it’s the thing where I’m like, “I want to make some progress on that.” A different part of me makes that decision on Sunday afternoons. We talked about when you’re wondering why something won’t get done, force it. You hear and can’t unpack what’s going on with why you’ve been avoiding something.

They’re similar and the same thing. If I set the priority the night before, then I also set when I’m going to do it. If you don’t have a good reason, the default is always first. If it’s your priority, why not do it first? When you do that, either you’ll do it, your day will move forward, and that’s great or you will confront the saboteur. When you wake up first thing, look at what happens. Look at what you tell yourself. It’s not always the voices or beliefs. Sometimes it’s feelings. Sometimes it’s energy.

Profitable Joyful Consulting | Christopher Carrick | Overcoming Self Sabotage

Overcoming Self Sabotage: If you don’t have a good reason, the default is always first.


When I’m in the presence of priority, I’m going to make that big call and it’s important. My energy starts to rev. It’s the way that people are afraid of public speaking. I believe that most people aren’t afraid of public speaking. Some people are. What I think is that we’re not used to broadcasting our personality. We’re used to this kind of energy. I used to be an actor. When you’re getting ready to perform, you can feel that energy surging because you’re going to have to put it out to the audience. If I label that nerves or I label that fear, I have a negative relationship with the saboteur. If I say, “This is energy. I need big energy, this is great.”

“I have to fill this room.”

“This is my friend. I have to get used to the feeling.” Now, I understand, “When I go to make that call or speak in public, my energy is going to start to rev.” That’s normal. It’s not a bad thing. It’s telling me you’re getting ready to enter the possibility. You get used to that and you can change your relationship. If actors don’t start to feel that feeling, they get worried because they feel like, “That’s my friend.”

This is the get comfortable with being uncomfortable. There is discomfort in sitting down and doing the number one priority first thing in the morning. I can tell you I will fight against that a lot of times like, “I need to do these thirteen things first.” I have made an appointment with myself and I’m then doing the thing and following through with it.

That feeling that we have in our bodies when we’re doing that, and I’m sure you are coming up with a similar feeling that you have when you do something like that, if we can get comfortable with that feeling, then we don’t sabotage it anymore. I love how this is progressing and that we are becoming comfortable with it. I want to go back to the couple of things that we talked about in the beginning. One was exhausting ourselves as a sabotage strategy. It feels like I have a lot of clients. I get tired and I do too much.

You’ll find your results start to diminish. It’s not like, “I’m doing all this stuff and it’s working great.” When you’re noticing it is when you’re saying, “I’m exhausting myself and it’s working less well.” Most of us are a combination of things. I’m going to talk about two polls for clarity. The best way to talk about them is our fight and flight response. Mostly, when we think of self-sabotage, we think of the flight one, which is, “I’m not good enough. I don’t have enough time. I don’t know what I’m doing.” It’s easy to see how that deflates you.

The other kind is the fight one. That’s the people who feel very capable. They think they should be successful. In a way, that possibility scares out the saboteurs who live there. They are a possibility. Your saboteur in that case is going to play more of the long game. It’s not going to be able to get in your face and say, “Who do you think you are?” You’re going to say, “I’m a very successful person. I’m going to go out there and be powerful.” What your saboteur is going to do is use that against you.

People who fight people usually are blind to the damaged parts of themselves. For instance, one of the things that will come up a lot for them is, “I have shame about failure and ever being seen to not be working hard enough, trying hard, or anything like that.” If I’m your saboteur, you’ll finish up that last thing at the end of the day. I’ll say, “You’re going to quit? Why don’t you clean up this one last thing here? Just 1 more and maybe 2 even.” Somebody calls and says, “I need this thing quick. Can you do that for me?” Their ego says, “I am powerful. I can do lots of stuff.” I will set aside the thing I’m doing and I will do your work.


People who fight people are usually blind to the damaged parts of themselves.


I’ll be resentful and I’ll get to blame you. I’m piling on and this is backing up. I have to live with this sense of like, “There’s more. I’m falling behind.” It’s a war of attrition. Over time, it will start to make you vulnerable to your doubts. I’ll go with another boxing analogy. In The Rumble in the Jungle, we all know when Muhammad Ali did the rope-a-dope against George Foreman. People were scared that Muhammad Ali was going to be killed. This guy was so overwhelming. His strategy was to cover up and let George punch himself out. He’s the baddest man on the planet. At that point, he’s the Heavyweight Championship. He’s never lost. He’s going to win. He’s knocked out everybody. He’s banging away and Muhammad Ali’s taking it. He’s doing the War of Attrition.

In the documentary, George Foreman is telling the story and he says, “I’m wailing away at him. He leans in and says to me, ‘George, is that all you got?’ I thought, ‘Yes.’” He’s worn down to the point where he’s vulnerable to, “I don’t have enough.” He’s beatable. He can lose. The fight people are going to take on too much habitually. They’re going to abuse themselves and that’s going to lower their stamina. It’s going to drain them of power and start to make them vulnerable to their doubts. You mentioned another one too, which is a lot of time, people will surround themselves with people who will fail them. That’s a great strategy.

That’s my bad hiring question, which happened to me. I want to point out that a lot of my clients are super capable people. I’m a super capable person. Our strategy happens to be that we kill ourselves with capability. This is why I work on the issue of exhaustion because I’ve been there and I don’t do that anymore. From here on the other side of a healed person, I can speak to that issue. The bad hiring.

A good example would be, “I might carry the belief that I am the most capable person. If you need something done right, you have to do it yourself. What I will then do is hire people who won’t do a good job.” I won’t admit that I’m doing that. I won’t see it as that. It’s something you have to look at in retrospect, unwind, and say, “I was attracted to the part of him or her who would cause me to have to go, ‘Let me do that.’” Activate the parts of me that say, “I don’t want to waste the time teaching you so I’ll just do it.”

We also set them up for failure. Unconsciously, we select the person who’s going to let us down.

It activates the belief that others cannot be trusted.

Others will fail me. We get to be superior in that like, “It’s true that only I can do it.”

It’s another no-responsibility. I didn’t create this failure, everybody else thinks.

“Seven in a row, nobody can do it. It’s a mystery.”

It can’t be done. I found a way to limit myself and still maintain the ego position that I’m awesome. It’s not my fault.

I love that you said limit myself and this is the thing that I see happening. There are certain things I had to go through myself before I could help others with it. I say so that we can learn empathy. You would consistently prevent yourself from hitting the thing that you want and going to the next level. To me, that is super brilliant. I love being shown because as a powerful person, “I know how to get things done and all these things like that. I would never do that to myself,” which is one of my favorite things to think about. Having all of these things revealed to me has been helpful. There’s something in there that’s doing that.

I hope this has also been helpful for you. We covered a lot of territory and there’s a lot of vocabulary in this because we speak the language of saboteur and things like that. I hope that this is enough to help you identify some patterns that you’ve had and get some light bulb moments around things. If you would like to learn more about Christopher and how he can help you with self-sabotage, where can we find you online?

My website is ChristopherCarrick.com and I’m also on Facebook.

You can always find him through me because we’re in the same house. Thank you, everybody. I am hoping that you have greatly expanded your awareness of self-sabotage and any negative behaviors. With this information, you can build a more profitable and joyful consulting business. I’ll see you next time.


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