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Self Sabotage is Your Biggest Hurdle to an Extraordinary Life



the mechanics of self sabotage
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Self-sabotage. It’s the timeless tale of potential gone wrong and opportunities missed. It’s the hidden enemy that launches an attack when we least expect it. And it causes us to engage in all sorts of behaviours and habits that we never would logically conduct. 

From procrastination to jumping into the wrong opportunity without due diligence, from skipping the gym to not paying our taxes, from staying in a relationship laden with red flags to turning to alcohol, drugs or any other numbing activity…there is no behaviour so low that self-sabotage won’t stoop to. All these behaviours are designed with one goal in mind – to stop us from following through or reaching our full potential.

There is a misconception that our unconscious mind works against us. Despite Freud’s belief that the unconscious mind is this big, bad, dark thing that wants to see you fail, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, our unconscious mind exists to serve us. It wants us to succeed. 

The trouble is, most people communicate ineffectively with themselves, leaving their unconscious mind to create a reality out of limiting beliefs and negative experiences. When we’re creating a reality from a negative and disempowering foundation, we can’t help but find ways to be let down, miss opportunities and sabotage ourselves.

To further add fuel to the fire, we are also wired to always be right. So even when the opportunity does arise to make more money, find more fulfilling and loving relationships, advance in our careers or grow our business – our unconscious mind pulls the proverbial handbrake before we move into unchartered (and therefore the potentially unsafe) territory of our reality not aligning with our beliefs, thereby proving them wrong. And so, like a fish out of water, we find a way to flop.

So despite our best efforts to show up as our best selves and achieve our full potential, how does self-sabotage still sneak in to derail us? Let’s take a look inside the mind:

Step 1: You experience a situation that threatens to challenge one of your belief systems

It could be finding a relationship where you feel loved and supported (when you believe that you’re not good enough). In business, it could be where you have opportunities to increase your income through high paying clients, high profile opportunities or company growth (when you believe you’re unworthy of success).

Step 2: There is an incongruency between your conscious and unconscious mind as the fear of the unknown kicks in

Consciously, we enjoy the opportunities that come our way, however, our conscious mind is only 4% of our minds capacity. Our unconscious mind is 96% of the minds capacity, and it goes into panic mode because the beliefs it has long held to be true are being challenged. The amygdala, the fear center of the brain, goes on high alert from the perceived threat of this new reality that is unfolding.

“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” – Dale Carnegie

Step 3: Course correction begins

The unconscious mind will kick into action to bring you back to the reality you’ve always known and begin taking action to undermine the new relationship or extinguish the opportunities in your business.

In the relationship, you will start misinterpreting their communication or their tone. You’ll go back into your old patterns of not being able to trust the person or not believing what they say to you. You’ll start questioning everything they say and do, and find reasons to discredit them by any means necessary. Over time, this will lead to a complete and total breakdown of a relationship that once held so much promise.

In business, you find logical reasons to justify buying unneeded items, or you overpromise and underdeliver for a client so they decline to continue working with you. You make business decisions or take risks that are unnecessary or costly. Or you procrastinate on getting important tasks done until your cash flow is scarce and the business is financially stressed. Slowly, but surely, any business success you were finding disappears – further validating that you aren’t good enough.

Step 4: Nothing changes

The reality that we’ve created for ourselves is one that never changes, because we’ve never taken the time to work on the belief systems that reside in the dark recesses of our minds. Our relationships progressively get worse and worse. In business, we experience crushing blows after any amount of success. We may even get drawn into the victim mentality cycle of “why me” and “poor me.”

The good news is, we can change! We can stop self-sabotage in its tracks and create a reality that has everything we’ve ever wanted…and more! How? It starts with recognizing that our behaviours and habits are nothing more than symptoms of our belief systems. 

When we have enough self-awareness to recognize the patterns that we continually engage in that derail our forward progression, we can begin the process of questioning them and digging deeper to find out the belief that is at play.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Victor Frankl

Once we know the root of the problem (the belief) we can do the work needed to revisit the circumstances in our life that created the belief in the first place. We can reframe our perceptions of these events to recreate the old belief. 

The truth is – the bulk of the belief systems we carry around in our adult years were created between the ages of 0 and 7. These beliefs are then further cemented in place in our unconscious mind by how we choose to view other events that occurred in our life.

For example, what if that significant other who cheated on you, leading to the belief that you can’t trust anyone, didn’t cheat because you weren’t good enough, rather they were demonstrating their own lack of confidence or self-worth. Or maybe they were just a jerk with no self-control. Either way, none of those realities have anything to do with your personal self-worth.

In business, what if those challenges and obstacles that popped up were designed to help you tap into the internal resources you needed to cultivate (like strength, resilience, tenacity, compassion or grit) to help you become more effective in reaching your potential? What if failure was an event and you had made the unconscious choice in the past to take it on as your identity?

Being able to see the failures of others that are considered successful by society helps reframe these beliefs quickly as well. Afterall, it’s hard to feel like a failure when one or two ventures didn’t go your way, when Thomas Edison “failed” thousands of times at creating the lightbulb!

Take the time to reflect on the habits that you continually engage in that seem to derail your progress or success. Be willing to dig in and ask the question “what is the purpose of doing this?” so that you can, like so many other successful entrepreneurs and business people have before you, say goodbye to self-sabotage and fully embrace your potential!

How do you make sure you don’t self-sabotage your potential success? Share your thoughts with us below!

Tiffany Toombs is a mindset coach, trainer, and presenter that specializes in helping people rewire their brains to overcome self-sabotage and limiting beliefs that stop them from finding success. Tiffany runs courses and workshops all over the world to empower people to take control of their lives and their minds so they can achieve their true potential in life. She believes that everyone has a message to share and helps her clients reconnect with themselves to find their passion and purpose. Tiffany has a range of valuable resources for people to understand their minds and how to access the power of their unconscious minds on YouTube or in her eBook “Unlocking The Secrets To The Unconscious Mind.

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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