Sabotaging Ourselves

“Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E. E. Cummings


I am going to experiment with this blog and see how it goes writing shorter posts more frequently. Lately I have been frenzied and torn among all the things I am writing, and I have let that small annoying part of me that believes in lack and limitation chatter through my brain:

If you had made that blog post longer, you could have submitted it as a memoir piece somewhere and actually gotten Published.

The more you work on your blog, the less you can work on other things.

You remember that you aren’t Published, right? Just checking.

How is that memoir about your eyelashes going? Poorly and slowly? Don’t bother – no one will be interested either way.

You’re writing another book too? About creative empowerment? How nice, too bad you don’t have any accomplishments to your name that would make people listen to you.

And so on and so forth, until it overwhelms me to the point of numbness where I stop working on my writing at all. I could recreate this exercise for all the other non-writing components of my life, but the point isn’t to expose how neurotic I can get. The point is this:

We are all powerful beings, supernovas really, that are capable of experiencing all the bliss and zestiness and miracles of the universe. We are fabulous and magnificent and worthy of our desires. We are bombarded from all angles by things to be grateful for, and we are living in an age of tremendous evolution and growth.

Yet we sabotage ourselves far more than anyone else sabotages us.

In fact, no matter how many people we blame for our own problems, we have more power than anyone else in the world to crush our own dreams. We kill our dreams by engaging in negative self-talk and by choosing to believe in the limitations that have been put on us by our families, our society, our health, and the mean girl at the lunch table in seventh grade.

We piss away our holy time by sitting on the internet for hours, and then we lament to anyone who will listen that we just don’t have time for making our dreams come to life, that it’s just too hard to balance everything.

We let ourselves believe that success must be a struggle, that nothing good comes easily, and that we must fight to prove our worth before we can become Somebody.  We have let ourselves believe that we are what we do, and that we especially are the gaping holes of what we have not done. We tell ourselves that we’re too old, too young, too hysterical, too inexperienced, or too weird-looking to chase after our glowing dreams.

And then we pretend that we are Okay, that we didn’t want happiness anyways, that Daily Life is a suitable alternative for the life we have been imagining. We lick our wounds by telling ourselves that no one likes their jobs anyways, that all men (or women) are jerks, that the world will always be stacked against us, and that we shouldn’t be so unrealistic as to demand a life worth living.

Stop. Just for a second.

Watch how quickly we cocoon into these thoughts and get caught in our own psychic crossfire. No wonder our dreams become so paralyzed.

The next time you unravel into a negative conversation with yourself like the one above, allow yourself to pause and gently examine how you are harnessing your own power to bring yourself down. Notice it. No need to judge it, but make a commitment to become keenly aware of every point in the day when you ebb into this pool of self-criticism.

(This is where you may be tempted to judge yourself. Remember that these negative thoughts are like wispy clouds that dance across the sky at a glittering summer picnic with your friends. We observe the shape and color of the clouds, laugh, and continue on. We don’t hate the clouds for existing, and we certainly don’t decide that the entire sky is useless.)

We are not weird, crazy, or un-spiritual for accidentally sabotaging our own success. Our difficulties do not mean we are lazy or useless. The big secret is that everyone does this to themselves, but not everyone admits it – it’s easier to stay snuggled in our cocoons of the status quo.

As we open our eyes to the ways that we block ourselves from living our most vibrant lives, doors open up and “Aha!” moments occur. So let’s speak to ourselves nicely, as if we still harbor all the secrets and joy and wonder of our seven-year-old selves. And let’s laugh in the playful recognition that we sometimes are our own worst enemies – and let’s dare to love ourselves anyways.


Love & Wonder Forever,



(Do you like this piece? Hate it? Can you relate to this experience? Share your wisdom in the comments section!)

for 4 2 2013 blog

26 thoughts on “Sabotaging Ourselves

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  2. Kelsey, this piece really resonates. Thank you for sharing your good spirit with others through your gift of writing. Your positivity is contagious, inspiring. Published or not, it’s clear you’re making quite an impact on others – and that’s what really matters!

  3. This is the first comment I’ve written, but what I say goes for just about everything I’ve read here thus far. I have never felt such potent empathy. Your words resonate with me in a way that stuns me. Sometimes when I read your posts I tear up because you’ve said exactly what I needed to hear and I genuinely feel so much better. So many people go out there and preach, but at the end of the day you know it’s all total bullshit and you wave it off. But not you. It amazes me how you can speak to my soul and at the same time you’re able to make this stunning commentary on the human condition as a whole. Well… I’m starting to ramble. But I wanted to make sure you knew that you’ve made a huge impact one me and I thank you for that.

  4. I love this! I have these same negative thoughts/doubts about my path and it is refreshing to recognize that I am in fact harnessing my OWN power to discourage myself… to a complete halt! I forced myself to take a break after my research this summer, (after finishing my finals, after my trip to India, after Trev died) … phew. I needed the break. And I’ve been taking advantage of that break and have been working on healing myself physically and emotionally. But now I find myself struggling to move forward! I’m quick to say I feel overwhelmed but it’s not so much overwhelming as it is… lost, stuck, discouraged. Anyway, I must be pretty powerful! I will notice these moments from now on and harness that power in other ways. Thanks, Kelsey! I love your writing! Oh, and I’d buy your book too! 🙂

  5. KelseyNic – I swear you are inside my head! Your words are like listening to the voice that screams to me when I doubt myself. I have been published twice and sold about a hundred books – Big Deal 🙁
    Please keep sharing with us – it is a great comfort to know someone else feels the same!!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support! As artists, these nagging voices of self doubt are so debilitating but we often don’t talk about them publicly. I’m honored to band together online with other writers like you to share our universal experiences 🙂

  6. Very uplifting and inspirational. And remember, being published doesn’t make you a writer. Being able to put into words what is in your heart does and that ability is what will get you published if that is your dream. Keep up the good work and continue to write from your heart.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I really appreciate the enthusiasm and encouragement I have received from so many people in this endeavor. You’re absolutely right – the joy must be in the doing and expressing, not in the aftermath. Something I need to be reminded of often 🙂

  7. I love this, I’m glad you are sharing your inner most thought that we all hold and are too distracted or in denial to admit it.i think everyone can relate to this. Keep writing 🙂 btw just the right length, don’t doubt yourself just do, n who cares who is listening, do it for yourself first, then others.

    1. Thanks Sandra! I miss you a lot – I feel like I was supposed to take the next step in getting together, but dropped the ball, and I am sorry for that. You are dazzling and fabulous and I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me!
      I see you as a role model in my life as someone who walks the walk and actually DOES exactly what you’re talking about – live your life, don’t doubt yourself, follow your dreams, etc. It’s so easy to think these things, but sometimes I miss the jump into actually doing them, so I am always inspired by watching you live out these ideals. <3

  8. You make me so proud to be your friend you have no idea! You make me want to do better. I love you & your writing/thoughts. You spoke right to my heart. If you ever did write a book you know I would be buying a copy. Not just to support you as a friend but because I truly love what you have to say.

  9. wow!! this was beautiful. i’m so proud of you Kelsey. i thank God for people like you with so much goodness in their hearts. i’m happy that you have the courage and open mindedness to share that goodness with whomever may hear, see or feel it.

    1. Thanks Noorah! I appreciate your positive words, and I’m glad you liked this post. I am always inspired by your thoughts and positivity on facebook, and I am so grateful to have you in my life as a friend.

  10. Kelsey, I so needed to read this! You spoke directly to me and I love and thank you for that!!! Smooches baby!

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