An unexpected epiphany of self-sabotage

I had an epiphany when watching this video.

(Update: I found the video missing. If the code is ever broken again, this is the direct link.)

I’m self-employed and Christopher Duncan is the latest motivational†business coach I follow.

I did not expect that his video would enlighten me and speak such truth ó I’m sure my type of epiphany was not his intention either.

The epiphany was at Step no. 5

The whole video is worth watching, and you SHOULD watch it, to gain some inspiration. In any case, Step no. 5 is from 4:27 onwards.

I realised that everything I have been working toward, everything that I’ve been struggling with and all the self-sabotage work-wise, has all been due to wanting to†win the approval of my mom.

In group therapy†now, Steve has introduced us to the phase where we deal with our “inner child”. His theory is that there is a part of us that never grows up; we are all essentially of two parts ó our “grown up” selves and our inner child.

Our inner child is the part of us which is hurt and needs healing. It is unfortunate but a lot of our present day “adult” issues stem from when we were young, all the unfinished business from our childhood. We were programmed by the immediate influence of the adults in our lives (our parents or parental figures) and our immediate environment ó the home, the school, etc.

My trail of self-sabotage

Back to my point of self-sabotage. What have I struggled with all these years:

  • Doing well in school. I was/am not book-smart, I had extreme exam-jitters (anxiety, perfectionist tendencies), I did not fare well in school
  • An internal conflict of finding a job in an industry that I like but yet wanting my mom to be in favour of it, to approve. It was not a popular industry that I chose and it got her (and my father) mighty worried for many years
  • Finding and keeping a job that paid well
  • Seeking a new industry for work†so that I could earn more money, since my mom always talked about how “successful” other people are, I wanted to be “successful” in her terms ó to be rich
  • My sister is a medical professional in a semi-government company, and is earning a steady and increasing income; I want to earn as much as or more than her so that I will prove to be as worthy as my sister in my mom’s eyes
  • I falter a lot, work-wise, because I always think what I have/am now is never good enough, since my mom has never said so. She is quietly supportive, but has never uttered a word of encouragement. Whenever she shows support through action, I am always hard on myself, punishing myself thinking that even my mom has to be involved in my “climb to success”
  • I have been self-employed for almost 5 years, I’ve been doing sales for two different industries, and since this is fully commission-based work, she†lends me money during tough times, and I HATE myself for it
  • It is as if I will inherently get myself into financial trouble just so that I will need her help ó for her to fulfill her role as my mother the nurturer; for me to silently say to her: look, can’t you see I’m struggling, is what I’m doing still not good enough for you? This is a never-ending vicious cycle ūüôĀ
  • I have a near non-existent saving habit, which leads to me to not having enough money a lot of the time. I’m not sure if it is because I’m making up for all the material goods that my parents never gave me while growing up (maybe that is a post for another day)

All the silly things people with unfulfilled needs as children do. I cover my face in despair.

My own success, my own freedom

Now that I am made aware of my subconscious desire to win my mom’s approval, of which anxiety and low self-esteem being a by product of it, the only way I can move forward†is to shed these desires and want “success” in MY OWN TERMS.

These have been my desires for striving for a better life (which I have been newly made aware that they run concurrently with my desire to please my mom):

  • I want to be location-independent and not tied to any locale to earn a living
  • Financial freedom, based on recurring income
  • I do not have to worry for my future generation
  • To prove to myself that the sky is the limit; there is no such thing as an income ceiling
  • I want to provide for my loved ones, if they ever need my help
  • Money is not the end-all, but money is the means to freedom, independence

My new mantra: I live for myself, not for my mother. I want success in my own terms, and no one else’s.

Recently my group therapy mate signed†off on an email with:

“Keep on keeping on.”

This touched my heart.

She said it was from a Bob Dylan song. And I found it ūüôā ó Tangled Up In Blue

I guess I will do just that, “keep on keeping on“!!!

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