Rosa is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Empowerment Mind Coach, Motivational Speaker, Certified Hypnotherapy Instructor, as well as the published author of “Self Sabotage: The Art of Screwing Up”. Rosa’s passion and dedication is to help others, especially women, re-discover their authentic selves and rise above limiting beliefs. She is a volunteer and speaker with SheTalks and an Activator with SheEO. With over a decade of experience, she blends the science of the mind, body, & energy, along with her skills in trauma healing, to help others that are willing and ready to discover their wings to fly! When she is not twisting herself in yoga poses or reading a great book, you can find her loving her ‘girl time’ over lattes, and exercising her Portuguese roots by cooking wholesome meals for her wonderful husband and two awesome sons in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Hi! I’m Rosa and I am a self-saboteur. There…I said it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten in my own way….running from relationships, blocking career success, beating myself up for reasons I wasn’t even aware of. Any of you do the same?
Well, if you can admit you do, then you’re not alone either. We all have an inner saboteur. Each of us has an “inner critic” judging our every action and instructing us on how to live our lives. It lives in the shadows, below the level of your conscious awareness. How much are we letting this mysterious inner critic with a big mouth control us? Are our actions based on our truest feelings and beliefs about ourselves (because there’s a lot of good stuff in our subconscious mind) or are we living our lives based on our negative long-past programming that’s still running amok in the background? These are questions I invite you to think about honestly, without fear or denial. Then observe the answers as they come to you, for they will come, if you listen. Here lies the first step in life changing shifting.
I recently published my first book, “Self-Sabotage: The Art of Screwing Up”. And I’d been ‘thinking about it’ since 2008. The key word is ‘thinking’. It began with offering free information evenings to anyone that was willing to come and hear about how we all self sabotage, what it is and why we do it. I’ve spoken publicly in my career on many occasions about the blah-blah benefits of my company’s product but never about a subject that I believed in as much as I did from a personal perspective. This didn’t offer me a curtain to hide behind. I would be up there on a stage with a spotlight shining on my head. But I was excited to put on paper what I was teaching in order to reach a larger audience. They asked for me to put my concepts and ideas on paper! This is my passion! Educating and coaching. So, why not do it?
In 2010, I began working on chapter titles, playing with content, looking at book cover ideas and even attended an evening writing workshop. It all sounded so good, even if I’d never written anything other than private journals lamenting love and life through dark poetry. I had thought, “This is the time!” with a fist pump in the air. But something began to happen to all this dizzying insight and euphoria. I’d been in the runner’s stance, like the little girl I used to be who loved to run races, getting ready to run the 100 meter dash. But then I heard a voice in my head that just paralyzed me, saying “You’re going to bomb. No one’s going to read your book. You’re not good enough!” This last degrading comment was said so loudly I was sure others heard it outside my head! My inner critic, from the shadows of my mind, decided this was the time to brow-beat me and to remind me of all the other ideas I’ve had that never went past the starting line as I fizzled before the bang of the starter gun (but my ‘get ready’ runners stance was awesome, if I do say so myself). That negative and authoritative voice that sounded suspiciously much like my Mother’s (scary pause), had me cowering on the floor in full fetal, my hand over my eyes and my thumb in my mouth, like the skinny kid I used to be, feeling too weak to stand up for myself when the bully Sherry beat me up in Grade 1.
I saw, for the first time with, startling clarity and bleeding eardrums that I was self sabotaging! Me, the one who thought she understood this concept from a professional standpoint but who obviously hadn’t looked at it more acutely in her own closet. Every person, without exception, has a destructive inner voice that, given reign to do so, will sabotages their goals. This inner critic judges our every action and tells us, using either a stern authoritative voice or a cajoling whine, how to live our lives. It actually has the ability to have us act in crazy-ass ways that are self-destructive and to take actions that undermine us and hold us back from taking positive, healthy risks. I believe that learning to deal effectively with our critical inner voice is central to all areas of life: personal development/self esteem building, healthy relationships, and career success.
I have been a student of self-help books since my 20’s. But when I needed to have the rubber hit the road and work through my own myopic point of view when it comes to what I can create for myself, what I can bring to the table, and most importantly, how I see myself and not worrying about how others see me, I needed to do MORE. And it took me six years to finally sit down and write my book.
We can never stop learning and working on ourselves. Feeling better = thinking better = doing better. I needed to set myself free! I knew I needed help to get over my own fear of judgment and attracting/perpetuating all those things into my world that disempowered me because I’ve been the one to let it do so. I did a lot of self-hypnosis!
Time goes forward, no stopping it, and as imperfect human beings, we often fall back into old thought patterns and habits that are less than inspiring. By our vary nature, we have to be reminded to “look for the good” and to keep compounding healthy ideas and concepts to evolve. “I mind expanded never snaps back” is a proven concept.
Imagine that life stretches like a road cutting through the land. You can see that there are long and short roads; smooth and unpaved roads. They zig and they zag on this journey of life. There are roads that lead to many fabulous experiences. There are also roads that lead to being isolated and lonely. There are roads towards amazing experiences and roads leading to sabotage and disappointment.
Let me state the obvious: life doesn’t come with any guarantees. You don’t really know where a road will lead you until you take it! And whatever road you choose is the right one in that moment, even as you look back and think it wasn’t. There’s always something to learn from where you came. And there are no guarantees in life. This is one of the most important things you need to realize about life. Nobody said that choosing to do the right thing all the time would always lead you to happiness. Loving someone with all your heart doesn’t guarantee that it will be reciprocated. Becoming famous and making scads of money doesn’t guarantee happiness. There are too many possible outcomes, which your really can’t control.
Decisions judged as wrong are always seen from a hindsight position. What a skill we’d have if we had crystal balls, right? Had you known that you were making a wrong decision, would you have gone along with it? Maybe. I’ve done when I didn’t listen to my heart but to my head. And really, it’s only after you’ve made a decision and reflected on it that you realize the value of that decision. If the consequences or outcomes are good for you, then you may decide it was the right one. Otherwise, your may decide the decision was wrong. I don’t believe in wrong decisions. I believe in the right decision was made for your personal evolution. Sometimes we need to walk into the tree enough times to realize it actually hurts.
And making decisions is taking the risk. That’s ok! The only thing you have power over is the decisions that you will make, and how you would act and react to different situations, and how well you address and work on what sabotages you by keeping you small and scared.
Again, life offers no guarantee and you’ll never know that your decision was the right or wrong one until you’ve made it. So, sometimes you might as well take the risk. We learn through contrast. How would we know when something feels good if we hadn’t experienced the opposite? I took a risk by putting myself out there with every workshop, every motivational talk, with every word I scribed into my book. It’s was better than staying in limbo. So what if a wrong turn could get you lost, it could also be the turn that becomes an opportunity for an adventure and even open more roads for you. It’s happening for me right now with this amazing opportunity to speak to you by meeting Jody and Kyla at a recent SheTalks event.
Whatever your choices, it’s all about perspective. You have the choice between being a lost traveller or an accidental tourist in life. We can’t foresee all outcomes. But we can take time to ‘feel’ out your decision and this should be the biggest marker in making choices (back to that ‘gut instinct” which is our most valuable measure of gauging whether we are on the right path, even if that path seems scary and risky and no one understands why you’re leaping). Taking risks and deciding to follow your heart/gut isn’t about being careless and blind. It’s about weighting things out. Sure, I’d love to take a year off and travel the world but I have responsibilities that out-weight my goal right now. I take into consideration the practical/logical knowledge I have and apply it in the decision process. For me, for example, it’s means taking smaller trips with the knowing that the longer adventure will come. Or wanting to branch out in my business but feeling it’s not the right time. Using my gut and sprinkling it with logic feels right. This applies to any area of our lives. Sure, smaller risks seem easier but that’s perspective as well. The process is still the same when deciding. I break it down to 3/4 gut/heart + ¼ logic = right decision.
So, I offer up some questions to ponder to help you focus on what sabotages you from the inside out. No matter how hard some things in your life have been, you’re here, with a right to occupy your space fully:
What keeps you from crawling into a hole and never coming out?
What prevents you from becoming resentful, angry and sad in life?
What makes you feel passionate enough to keep moving forward?
What has you finding the resolve to keep going when everything sometimes feels so hard?
You can change the habit of sabotaging your dreams and desires. But change won’t happen by a miracle. “A miracle is just a shift in perception” (A Course in Miracles). And it’s a life-long journey that, over time, yields amazing personal results. And it’s for you to decide whether you ready and willing to drop that gun you’re using to shoot yourself in the foot or stay that high-heeled stiletto that’s kicking you in the arse.
Rosa Livingstone, CHt, CLC, CI
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Mind Coach; Certified Life Coach;
Author of “Self-Sabotage: The Art of Screwing Up”;
Motivational Speaker; Certified Trainer
A Load Off Your Mind Hypnotherapy: www.aloadoffyourmind.com
“Coaching Minds for positive change”