This has been a crazy week. I have been reading alot, mostly David Platt’s Radical, and of course, talking to people all day long. I feel like a key theme is floating around me. It is the idea of self – sabotage.
As a Christian, this idea takes on a whole new dimension.
Not only do we as humans have a tendency towards negative self talk, but we many times, have Satan jumping on the bandwagon or even leading the way. It is disconcerting in any scenario, but in thinking about it, I see a couple of different ways that we are impacted by our negative self-talk which can result in self-sabotaging behaviors.
When Things Aren’t Going Well
“Kick me while I am down” comes to mind when things are not going well, and new issues, and problems seem to occur. Especially in business. If we have a bad month or lose a big sale, we begin to wonder what we did to cause it. Should I even be in this business? What was I thinking? We begin to have tapes play in our head that effect our mood and our decision-making. Before we know it, one small setback turns into giving up, changing directions yet again, or maybe just into apathy which becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
When Things Are Going Great
I know it doesn’t make sense, but even when things are going really well, those of us with self-sabotaging tendencies can ruin the moment. Can’t I just be happy things are going well? No! Of course not! Many of us will feel happy that our business is flourishing. But, then read a book like Radical and wonder if our priorities are wrong. For me, even if my business is just doing okay, when I realize how much I am not doing for God’s Kingdom, I can psyche myself out. Maybe I shouldn’t be praying about my business? If it is doing well, is it because I am obsessing over my work and making it an idol?
I know this can drive a person crazy.
When You Don’t Even Realize You Are Doing It
Then there are those who don’t even realizing that they may be sabotaging themselves with their thinking. In this scenario, they may avoid opportunities, decisions, or situations that make them uncomfortable. They may not have the confidence, or subconsciously do something, that makes the opportunity go away.
The Roller Coaster Pattern
The lost opportunity could just be coincidence. But look for the pattern. Like when things get better, and then right when you think you may be able to relax and breath out, the bottom falls out. Your business takes a turn. Or, you do something impulsively that negatively impacts your objectives. Usually when we have this pattern, it continues into our thought life.
Why did I do this yet again?
When will things just get consistent?
I knew it was too good to be true.
As a Christian, we want to please God and get it right. I know I want to have the right prayers. I want to honor God in what I do. I really do want to do His work.
But I would be lying if I didn’t confess my self-doubt at times.
A Straight Path
This post isn’t a confession or cathartic outlet. It’s because I know many Christian business owners share these feelings at different times.
As a counselor, I should follow up with a post about what we can do to take these thoughts captive, but for now, I just want to let you know you are not alone. It is human nature on one hand. On the other, it is the opportunity for Satan to help us grow our doubt and lead us to self sabotaging behavior.
As a coach, I can’t help but give a suggestion….move closer to God.
As I have talked to people and seen this theme emerging, it has pushed me towards prayer. As I read David Platt’s book Radical and feel like I am not doing enough, I go to God and confess. But I think the most important thing we can do to end the self-sabotage is to wait on the Lord. Don’t act based on feelings. Don’t react based on guilt. Let’s bring it to the Lord and ask our Father to help us discern what is true and what is lies. I just have to always remember to turn to Him to make my path straight.