Sometimes, our relationships can hold us back from making crucial changes in our lives. We don’t want to outgrow them, so we end up sabotaging ourselves: whether it be through food, drugs, alcohol, reckless behavior, and the like.

 My name is Dr. Debi Silber, and welcome to another exciting episode of A Dose of Dr. Debi.

Today, I’ll be discussing how you can stay connected with people who make you feel safe and comfortable while achieving personal growth and development.  

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In This Episode

  • Find out how sabotaging yourself begins
  • Recognize self-sabotage and how it manifests 
  • Learn how to make changes that help you move forward


Hi there, Dr. Debi here. Welcome to another Dose of Dr Debi. Today I want to talk about sabotage and I want to talk about a specific way we sabotage ourselves. This is something I see all the time. I see our members within The PBT Institute do it. I see friends do it. I see family members do it and I’ve done it myself. And I want to bring it up because if you know what you’re doing here, you can you can make some changes that’ll really help move you forward instead of keeping you stuck-it’s all about moving forward instead of keeping you stuck.

So, I did two TEDx talks. The first one was about sabotage: Stop Sabotaging Yourself, and I remember seeing this so often with a lot of clients back then, and it really got me thinking about how we sabotage ourselves to prevent outgrowing a certain relationship, whether it’s with a partner, with friends, with relatives with whatever. It happens so often so I want to talk about it to see if you’re doing this because if you are, I want you to know about it so then you can make some changes.

What happens is, there comes a time where what used to work doesn’t work anymore. What used to fit doesn’t fit anymore. What used to make sense doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s like that little tap on the shoulder we get. It’s like, “Hey, time to make some changes.” And here’s where we use things like food, drugs, alcohol, work, tv, keeping busy, reckless behavior to numb, avoid and distract ourselves from that voice, from that noise. Why? We don’t like change. We have it all figured out. And if all of a sudden we address that we fear, well that’s going to, invite all of these questions, all these questions will invite all this change all this change will shake up everything that I’ve figured out already. So, we’d rather not.

Instead, what we do is, we use those things to numb avoid distract yourself. It’s really funny, it’s almost like (now I’m totally dating myself), but remember when you were a little kid if you’re 50 and above, I guess, I don’t even know maybe young people still do this, who knows. But, when I was little, if someone said something I didn’t want to hear, you know, you stick your fingers in your ear and you’re like; “La, la, la, I don’t hear you. Well, when we use food, drugs, alcohol, work tv keeping busy, reckless behavior, that’s the adult version of that same game. But, you can’t very likely go into your boss’s office and he or she is asking you to do something you stick your fingers in your ear, and say; “La, la, la I don’t hear you.” It really may not be the most mature thing, if you do that with your friends or your partner. So what we do is, we sort of stuff it, and we just handle it.

But then there comes a time where the voice gets louder and louder. So the stakes get bigger and bigger. So if it used to take one glass of wine, now it’s taking two. If it used to take a few cookies, you’re eating a whole sleeve of cookies. If it used to take one show, now you’re binge watching the whole series, One shopping spree, now it’s double the price, whatever it is for you. And the stakes, the stakes get bigger and bigger and bigger until and unless you do something about it. Then there’s that moment where you realize, “Okay, it’s time to grow, it’s time to change.” What does that look like, what does that feel like? Now you’re on this path, and you’re exploring and you’re doing new things. It’s like a kid in a candy store, If you remember the first time you ventured into the personal development world or the world of spirituality or something that- it was just so new and interesting for you.

You just took to it and you just kept going and going and growing and growing. But what happens is, the people around you may not. And then you’re in sort of a little bit of an odd predicament here because they haven’t changed. It’s not them, it’s you. You’re changing, we can even see this, we even see this with changes in your eating habits here you were you had your food buddy, and you and your food buddy we’re having nachos and margaritas and all of a sudden you’re on this healthy eating plan.

Well, two things going on with your food buddy now. They’re worried, they’re afraid. First of all, now they have to look at what they may or may not be doing right or may or may not be willing to do. And there’s this little fear of abandonment- if you’re off in this new direction where does that leave them? So there is a lot going on, but what happens is were off in this new direction and it feels good.

So for those of you who are watching we’re going to explain what I’m doing with my hands. Those of you who have seen lots of my talks you’ve seen this over and over. So here we are, and then all of a sudden we rise (and I’m raising my hand) , both hands were level, and now I’m raising one hand so we are improving physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically spiritually, but the other person is right here, and we don’t want to outgrow them. We fear; “Oh, where are my people, where are my friends, where are my partners, were my coworkers? So do you know what we do? We sabotage ourselves, (and what I did was I brought my hand right down.) And so we sabotage ourselves but you know what, we like it up here (and I raised my hand up again.) This feels good. This feels like where we want to be, but all of our people haven’t changed, it’s us, so we keep sabotaging ourselves so that we don’t outgrow them.

But you know what happens as we go? (and I’m moving my arm up again my hand up again.) Now we’re like, Well why don’t they do this? (I’m raising my other hand.) Well, because that’s not what they’re ready for just as before you are ready you weren’t ready for it. So inevitably, what happens is we do this, (I’m raising up that arm,) and the other people is here. And then we sort of get this weird dynamic where we’re like; “Oh, I don’t seem to resonate with you anymore” and they’re looking at you like; “What the heck happened to you?”

So, what we really need to do and the way that it prevents this sabotage, (because we don’t want to be alone here), we don’t want to outgrow our tribe, our group, our community, whoever we’ve felt so comfortable and safe with. So, instead of sabotaging ourselves so that we don’t outgrow them what I have found in my 30 plus years of coaching is one of the simplest ways to manage this.

You continue to do the work, don’t let anything stop you, but here’s what you need to do, so that you don’t fear outgrowing these people. Your goal, as well as doing the work is you need to find people at this new like-minded level you’re seeking. So whether that’s in certain groups, certain mastermind groups, people who read the same books, that have the same hobbies, have the same interest, whatever it is, it doesn’t even make a difference. The idea is, if you seek out those people as you’re doing that work, and then you meet up with these new people, you don’t fear the; “I don’t have anybody, I feel, only a loss.” What then happens is you continue to do the work, you now are part of a group, and a community, and like-minded people that get you, that understand this unique language you speak. For example, I have an online business, and that is a completely different language for a lot of other people. So having like-minded people who understand that it’s a different it’s a different conversation. But what happens is when you take care of that up here, you don’t fear the growth. You also take the pressure off the people here, so you can love and appreciate them for who they are and where they are. You can love when you see them and connect the way you did before. If that still resonates if not that’s, that’s okay too. But because you’re not alone in the stratosphere here with your new ideas and new thoughts and your new everything, it’s not as scary and it takes the pressure off of who you feared, leaving behind here.

For example let’s take that food buddy, so here you are here was your food, buddy. You were meeting every week and, and, doing your thing, and now all of a sudden you’re exploring healthy eating and this and that and you are loving it, you’re learning about all these new things and meeting up with all these new people who share the same ideas about food and community. You join all these groups about healthy eating this and that, and you love it. Well you know what? Now that you have this group and it’s satisfying that need, when you see this person who still was your previous food buddy, of course you want them to join you, but you don’t feel the pressure that I have to sabotage myself in order to stay connected with this person. You can love and appreciate them for who they are and where they are. Now that’s not to say if at some point along their journey when they’re ready, when they’re willing when they’re able, they won’t do the same thing, but that’s completely on their terms.

I just found that we do sabotage ourselves so often, because we worry oh I’m going to make all these changes and what happens to that connection. Well, when we take care to make new connections, we’re not just sort of headed off in this new direction without a clue of where we’re headed, and at the same time, it takes pressure off of the connections that we had. Now it’s a bit different when we’re talking about a romantic relationship because that’s a whole different story and maybe I’ll do a whole other topic on what happens when you are doing the work, to heal or just to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and that person is stuck right here that’s step one. That’s step one. And it depends on what the need is here, is it just that you love and appreciate this person for where they are but they don’t have similar interests, so you find people here, where you can? Let’s say, explore new interests, that don’t damage the relationship or whatever it is?  That’s a whole very different experience, but something that we can take on for another day.

What I wanted to be sure I shared was it when you have that group, when you seek out these people, these like-minded soul warriors- whatever you want to call them, you don’t fear the growth as much, because you have your people, it takes pressure off of the old group, and you don’t feel so alone.

So I hope that I hope that helps. Out of the two TEDx talks I did, this would be more aligned with that first one what we just talked about Stop Sabotaging Yourself so if it serves, definitely watch that watch that TEDx talk.

If you haven’t taken the healed or hardened quiz, you’re going to want to do that because we will show you which force of nature you are, you’ll know exactly out of the five Stages from betrayal to breakthrough which also resonate to just an old set of lingering beliefs that no longer serves other types of traumas, it really works for a lot of them. Take the quiz and you’re going to see where you land. And of course, share the podcast with anybody who would benefit from this information so healed or harden quiz, go take the quiz and stop sabotaging yourself. I’ll see you next time. Bye.


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