When does Self-Care become Self-Sabotage?
It’s a weird question.
Especially from ME… someone who teaches Self-Care as the WAY to access your innermost magic, light, and inspiration.
And that’s all TRUE.
Self-Care is a powerful practice of getting YOU back on the calendar, renewing your energy and allowing yourself to truly give to YOURSELF so that you have energy, time and compassion to give to others.
But there’s a dark side of Self-Care.
And I know it intimately BECAUSE I’ve been exploring and teaching Self-Care in some form over the last 17 years.
In fact, my VERY FIRST newsletter that I sent out after I launched my first coaching practice (Northstar Coaching) was titled ‘Ten Steps to Extreme Self-Care’.
I guess I felt my passion for teaching Self-Care from the very beginning.
Now that I’ve been teaching it to clients, practicing it myself, talking about it on stages and implementing Self-Care strategies, I can see the shadow side of Self-Care.
First, let’s define Self-Sabotage.
Here’s the textbook definition of Self-Sabotage:
Behavior is said to be self–sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self–sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury.
So… let me ask the question again.
When does Self-Care become Self-Sabotage?
I believe that this shift happens when you set a BIG goal for yourself.
These goals can include:
starting a new business
losing 20 lbs
writing a book
starting a podcast
creating boundaries in your relationships
These goals take time, effort, energy, a plan, and support.
This is why so many people spend a lifetime wishing, dreaming and hoping that SOMETHING, SOMEONE, SOME EXTERNAL force is going to come and change things FOR them.
Setting the GOAL is only the FIRST step.
It’s an important step, but only ONE step in a process.
So when exactly does Self-Care turn into Self-Sabotage??
I believe it happens when you’re in the midst of actually IMPLEMENTING the steps to manifest or create your BIG goal.
And you begin to FEEL the energy that it takes to actually keep going on a daily basis.
It takes WORK to create something. YES… you can do it with EASE, FUN, and GRACE (all things I teach in my work)
AND…. it still takes effort on your part to meet your goal at least halfway.
And that’s when it becomes scary.
And you feel the self-doubt creep in.
And you feel tired… because the creation process can be TIRING.
So you decide to take a day off from WORKING on your goal.
And then maybe another.
And before you know it… you’re more concerned about how much Self-Care is on your calendar vs. how much specific process and goal-nurturing is on your calendar.
Can you feel that shift?
It happens when you let self-doubt take over.
It happens when you lack the support of people who are ALSO on the path of creating something BIG for themselves.
It’s a delicate balance.
But there’s a mindset shift that can REALLY help you to stop the Self-Sabotage and be able to benefit from Self-Care as a source of power of energy.
There’s a simple shift that I teach my clients and the women in my Divine Self-Care Circle.
Wanna know what it is??
I hope so.
The mindset shift is to EXPAND your definition of Self-Care.
YES… Self-Care can and does include days of NOTHING-ness… time on the couch cuddled with a blanket and a binge session of Netflix.
YES… Self-Care is long sweet sessions sitting in the coffee shop writing in your journal or reading your favorite book.
YES… Self-Care includes long naps and chats with your besties.
AND… Self-Care is also a creative adventure. Self-Care includes energy enhancing activities like:
learning to play a new instrument
creating a vision board
organizing your closet
writing a letter to your future self, envisioning life with your goals accomplished
learning to paint or draw
learning to surf or paddleboard
These are Self-Care activities that EXPAND your soul and SHOW you what’s possible.
These are the Self-Care practices that NOBODY else is talking about.
Here’s the deal.
You can lay in bed all day… yes… it’s healing and nourishing. AND… you can activate your soul to think, see and FEEL the light and POWER that you have to CREATE.
I’ve seen this over and over with my clients.
Self-Care is MORE than massages and naps. (though these are crucial to nourishing your gorgeous self)…
But I invite you to EXPAND your definition of Self-Care to include SOUL-IGNITING creative endeavors that allow you to MEET you most powerful, creative and playful self.
From THAT place, watch how your own sense of yourself starts to shift and expand.
Love, light & gratitude,
P.S. one of the action steps I take CONSISTENTLY and have been for the last 10 years is my morning practice.