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Healing shame and guilt (aka the root cause of self-sabotage)

Self-sabotage is something common that a lot of people do without realizing they're doing it. I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs, executives and more generally high achievers sabotage their success. It has nothing to do with motivation (or lack of), it has nothing to do with being lazy or unworthy...

The root causes of self-sabotage are deeper than what one could think of. It's mostly subconscious and comes from wounds.

Let's dive in, here is the map of this article:

- What is the root cause of self-sabotage?

- The cause of soul wounds

- The key to overcoming self-sabotage and becoming unlimited

- Journal prompts: Are you shaming yourself or talking negatively about yourself?

- Always feeling guilty for no reason?

- How to heal shame and guilt

- How to accept yourself and practice radical self-acceptance

- Asking for help is a sign of strength

Healing shame and guilt to overcome self-sabotage - woman hiding her face in her hands, feeling shame and guilt

What is the root cause of self-sabotage?

Self-sabotaging behaviors are the result of complex associations in the subconscious mind.

By "association", I mean a succession of events of different nature that the mind labelled as "dangerous" or "unsafe" or "uncomfortable".

Self-sabotage usually goes hand in hand with negative self-talk, low self-confidence, low self-esteem. But these things also have a cause!

It's not "natural" for a baby to be born and think negatively about himself/herself. It's a learnt behavior, whether it has been developed in early childhood, passed down from previous generations or whether it originates from a past life.

Side note: usually, a past life wound will be echoed in this lifetime as our soul generally chooses to heal a wound in a next incarnation.

If there's a recurring pattern, you can be almost certain that it started in a past life.

Healing the past life in which the wound was created will definitely accelerate the healing and make it easier for you to overcome and end the pattern in question in this lifetime.

It is safe to say that the root cause of self-sabotage is a wound, a deep wound that has affected you at a soul level.

Shame and guilt cause self-sabotage, all comes from deep soul wounds

What trauma causes self-sabotage? What causes soul wounds? One common cause

We live in a world of duality, everything has its polar opposite...

In society there is a belief according to which the opposite of love is hatred. personally, I don't agree with it.

To me, hatred is a by-product of fear.

The opposite of love is fear. Fear can be traumatising!

You get wounded when there is an absence of love, an absence of true unconditional love.

Love heals. Fear creates wounds.

In childhood, when we experience our first traumas and wounds, it's because of fear: fear of punishment, fear of losing the love of our caretakers, fear of being humiliated, rejected, abandoned...

More generally, a fear that one of our basic needs won't be met and we're too young to be able to meet those needs by ourselves.

At some trauma is created when one of our basic needs is not met and when circumstances make that we feel threatened and fear for our survival.

Shame and guilt are 2 main results of core wounds that are very toxic and harmful. We can feel shame and/or guilt when we are rejected, abandoned, humiliated, betrayed and when we feel separation or "in lack".

Shame and guilt are toxic, healing shame and guilt to overcome self-sabotage

Healing shame and guilt is the key to overcoming self-sabotage and becoming Unlimited

I think it is safe to say that shame and guilt are the root cause of a lot of what we go through as entrepreneurs...

A lot of what we go through as children create soul wounds: guilt, humiliation (shame), rejection, abandonment, betrayal and separation (lack).

Here, I wanted to focus on shame and guilt, to me, they go hand in hand.

Podcast episode: Healing shame and guilt, overcoming self-sabotage to become unlimited

I recorded a podcast about self-sabotage on October 3rd 2022, I will share it here so you can have some of my food for thoughts. Keep reading this article for the journal prompts I am talking about in the podcast.

If you know you're ready to delve deeper in self-leadership so you can be the unapologetically successful leader of your life and you'd like to chat about how I could help you accelerate your journey, book your free clarity call now.

Journal prompts to heal shame - image of journals and pens

Journal prompts: Are you shaming yourself or talking negatively about yourself?

Journal prompts:

  • Why am I shaming myself?

  • When did I develop this tendency?

  • Why do I think I need to have everything figured out?

  • What do I need to release in order to stop this?

  • How can I be there for myself and accept myself?

The truth is that:

♥ shaming yourself doesn't serve your highest good.

♥ you don't have to have everything figured out

♥ you don't need to compare yourself

Keep going, keep being yourself and if you are going through an "identity crisis", if you're not sure who you are, ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to be?

  • How would I act, behave, speak, write if I didn't take the external world into consideration?"

  • Then close your eyes for a second and image the version of yourself who has everything you desire: how is he/she showing up? What is he/she wearing? What are his/her values? Write down everything that comes up and think of how you could embody this version of yourself more and more everyday.

Seeing yourself as an innocent child

  • What part of yourself are you ashamed of right now? Think about it and ask yourself why...

  • What would you tell a child who would tell you that? (ex: you'd feel compassion, you'd want to give him/her a hug, tell him/her that all is well, all will be ok and that (s)he is safe, you'd want this little child to success in life...)

  • What if you were that little child? Tell these kind things to yourself right now.

You are good enough, you don't need to be ashamed of yourself or of xyz. It's ok to feel a certain way but shame is a burden that isn't necessary. Ex: you can feel bad and apologise for being late to a meeting, but you don't need to shame yourself for that.

A character hugging his/her own inner child to bring healing to shame and guilt
Seeing yourself as an innocent child to heal shame and self-sabotage

Always feeling guilty for no reason?

Whoever has ever made you feel guilty was acting from a place of wounds

Feeling guilty is the result of being traumatised and being shamed, punished, yelled at.

As a child, you feel guilty for having done something considered as wrong by a caretaker as you were just minding your own business, playing and being carefree. You therefore developed the belief that it is not safe to be yourself, something will happen and you will be punished. This plays a big role in self-sabotaging, you're on high alert, expecting something to go wrong and you end up creating this in your reality.

The day you start healing from the "guilt wound", you'll wonder why you don't feel guilty anymore...

You'll almost guilt-trip yourself for not feeling guilty, wondering if you're a cold human...

And the answer is no... You're not a cold human if you don't feel guilty for something you wouldn't need to feel guilty in the 1st place.

I'm here to tell you that guilt isn't a proof of empathy or compassion. Guilt is low-vibrational, it's not a "proof" that you're a "good human".

When you start healing guilt, you're healing yourself at a deeper level. You'll still care, you won't be as affected, you'll actually be affected or concerned to the level you need to be, no more, no less.

For example: if you -subconsciously - feel guilty for being successful and for having more money because you're afraid of leaving people behind and have the false belief that you don't deserve it more than anyone else, healing childhood wounds related to guilt will enable to you claim your birthright to success, prosperity, etc.

If you're ready for the guilt-free & next-level you, we need to talk! :) Get in touch either by email or book your call now!

Woman with hands on her chest, healing shame and guilt

How to heal shame and guilt

This is an excerpt of an e-book I wrote and self-published back in 2018 ©.

If we want to heal shame and guilt, we need to know what hides behind these notions.

What are shame and guilt?

→ We feel shame when we feel bad about ourselves, when we reject a part of ourselves that we consider shameful, bad, dark, unacceptable or any other pejorative adjective...

→ We feel guilt when we regret or feel bad about something that we have done or said for whatever reason.

—> Both of these emotions and feelings have a low vibration in terms of vibrational frequency, therefore shame and guilt harm us, they are not based on (self-)love but rather on the rejection of self.

When you start feeling emotions like shame or guilt, just try to be aware of them and ask yourself what could be so terrible in yourself for your to feel that way about yourself?

Try to dig within yourself to find the origin, you can ask yourself these questions:

Journal prompts

  • When was the first time that you felt shame/guilt?

  • How old were you?

  • Is there a trauma?

  • Has someone reproached you with your actions, words or personality?

  • Who was this person?

  • Does this person’s opinion really matters now?

  • When you think about it and when you are bringing this past memory into the present moment, do you think that you deserve to feel shame or guilt about yourself?

I am encouraging you to take a closer look at that wound, there is a false belief that is now outdated because it belongs to the past and it is related to an event that happened in the past.

The past is past, it does not exist anymore in the now, it only still exists in your memory and in your energy field.

When you become aware of this false belief, you are opening the door to freedom, you can work on healing the different layers related to this wound and free yourself.

Accepting yourself is the key.

Make peace with yourself - self-acceptance, image of a rose
Make peace with yourself

How to accept yourself and practice radical self-acceptance

It is a process and the very first step is to decide to accept ourselves fully and to set the intention to work on it.

We do that by thinking about our feelings, thoughts, emotions, actions, words, etc. and by trying to understand where they come from in a constructive way, without judging ourselves but simply observing the reactions and feelings that come up.

Just know that you did your best, even if you are not happy about this part of yourself (whatever it may be: an aspect of your character, of your physical appearance...) or your actions. The fact that you are questioning this very thing shows your awareness that something in you is not in harmony and that is ok.

We are all human beings and it happens to all of us.

The thing is to not stay stuck in the past and to forgive yourself, to accept and to love yourself and then to integrate this part of you that you consider as dark (what we call the “shadow self”).

There is nothing that can't be changed, we can all work on aspects that we don't really like and we do not do this by rejecting or running away from that aspect but instead by including it, by acknowledging the way we feel and by deciding mindfully to do something that makes us feel better about ourselves or our actions.

To summarize, accepting ourselves can be done through forgiveness, acceptance of the fact that we can’t change the past and understanding that we can change the way we feel about the past in the now moment.

Understanding our wounds and their origins can also really help us to forgive ourselves and to heal these wounds.

Free shadow work masterclass, 3 steps to get you started on your healing and self-acceptance journey

In any case, decide to be your own friend and to support yourself from now on. It is important that you are one with yourself and that you