Thursday, February 26, 2015

About Subconscious Self-Sabotage

Have you ever noticed a pattern in your life that seemed detrimental to you? I’m talking about the kind of repeating experience where you are likely to say to yourself, “Why is this always happening to me?”

The fact that you want to know “why” is a good thing. If you understand why something is happening you are in a better position to do something about it. Right? Right. There’s a problem, though, with the way your question is stated. It’s the “to me” part. That’s a victim position. If something is happening to you—if the world is doing it to you, or God is doing it to you—how are you going to change that? Change the world? Change God?

If you really want to do something about an adverse experience you keep having over and over again, a good first step is to be willing to take personal responsibility for its occurrence in your life. The fact is, repeating experiences are usually something you—yourself—are creating through your choices. And those choices are often influenced by the beliefs you harbor deep within your subconscious mind—beliefs about life, the world, and your role in the world that you developed at a very early age.

Many of your subconscious beliefs are simply the assumptions and misunderstandings of a child. They are flawed, faulty, and based on information that was incomplete at best. And yet, even though you are no longer consciously aware of those childhood beliefs, they still have enough influence to affect your life in ways that are not beneficial to you.

For example, if you subconsciously believe you will never be wealthy—or simply don’t deserve to ever live a luxurious life—you will consistently make decisions that will limit your ability to thrive financially. Time after time you will set monetary goals, but then make choices that sabotage your ability to achieve them. The choices you make will seem perfectly reasonable to you. But their self-sabotaging nature will be quite obvious to others.

The good news is this: Since you are the one creating this pattern—even if you are doing it unconsciously—you also have the power to change it! The trick is to discover the subconscious belief that is fostering a repeating experience, so you can dispel it and replace it with an idea that serves you better. And I have found one quick and easy way to do that. It doesn’t work for all people, all the time, in all situations. But it’s a simple technique that has instantly worked for me on several occasions, so it’s certainly worth sharing.

To set the stage for this technique, allow me to tell you a long, but entertaining story about the first time I employed it, even though I wasn’t aware of what I was doing at the time. It’s a good example of how this method works.

When I was in my 30s I recognized a pattern in my life that was extremely frustrating. I was the person who was constantly forgotten. If I was in a meeting of 10 people, and sometime later a list was made of everyone who attended that meeting, I wouldn’t be on the list. If I signed up for a seminar in advance, when I arrived at the check-in desk to pick up my name-badge, there wouldn’t be one for me. It was as if I didn’t exist.

This hurtful pattern came to head when I turned forty. A magazine advertisement I had created for American Airlines was up for an award. I went to the awards show, and when the Master of Ceremonies got to my category, he announced, “And the winner in this category is . . .” and my ad appeared on the overhead screen. I won! I began to rise up out of my seat as the MC called out the name of the person who created the ad, “Joe Thornton! Joe, come get your award!”

Joe Thornton? Who’s Joe Thornton? I created the American Airlines ad! Not Joe Thornton! But wait. Is it possible that Joe actually did win in this category, and they just showed the wrong ad? 

As I half-stood, half-sat, trying to figure out what was going on, Joe Thornton looked at the screen, assumed they had simply put up the wrong slide, and stepped onto the stage to accept the award.

Oh no! What happened here? Did my ad win, and the MC called out the wrong creator? Or did Joe win, and they showed the wrong ad? I slumped back into my chair, confused and dejected.

When the awards show was over, I sought out the awards committee and explained the situation. I told them I was the creator of the American Airlines ad, but they had called out Joe Thornton’s name instead of mine. “So who actually won?” I asked. “Did I win for the American Airlines ad, or did Joe Thornton win for some other ad?”

They looked at their paperwork and replied, “Whoever created the American Airlines ad won. We have Joe Thornton listed as that person.” 

“No!” I exclaimed. “I created that ad . . . me . . . Steve Taylor.”

“Oh! Sorry, Mr. Taylor, but we don’t have your name listed here . . . or anywhere.”

Once again I had been left off the list. They told me I could come by the office on Monday to pick up a duplicate award, but that was little consolation for missing an opportunity to finally be recognized.

This experience really hit me hard. I was so despondent, someone at my office suggested I talk to a therapist about this issue. I agreed that would be a good idea, so I asked for a recommendation of a good therapist, and I was given the name of a woman named Charlie.

I called Charlie and made an appointment for 2 o’clock on a Tuesday. When Tuesday arrived, I went to Charlie’s office and knocked on the door. There was no reply. Hmmm, I thought, perhaps Charlie is conducting another session that isn’t over yet. So I waited five minutes and knocked again. Still no answer. Ten minutes later, no answer still. This was before cell phones were commonplace, so at 2:15 I finally left and went back to my office to call Charlie.

“Charlie,” I said, “I thought we had an appointment at 2 o’clock today. Did I have the wrong time or wrong day?”

After a long pause, Charlie responded. “Mr. Taylor, I am so sorry. You are right. We did have an appointment for 2 o’clock today. But I forgot you! This has never happened to me before.”  (It’s happened to me before, I thought.)

Charlie then said, “Please let me make it up to you. If you will come tomorrow at 2 o’clock, I promise I will be there. And there will be no charge for our introductory session.”

Hmmm, I thought. No charge? That’s nice. “Okay, Charlie,” I said. “That sounds good. I will be there at 2 o’clock tomorrow.”

You know what’s coming next, right? I go to Charlie’s office at 2 o’clock the next day, knock on the door, and once again there is no answer. I wait five minutes and knock again. Still no answer. Ten minutes later I leave and drive back to my office to call Charlie.

“Charlie,” I said. “I am certain we rescheduled my appointment for 2 o’clock today, but you weren’t there. Was there a reason you couldn’t make it?”

There was an even longer pause this time. Then Charlie finally said, “Mr. Taylor, I don’t know what to say to you. I am so, so sorry. I forgot you again! To forget you one time is one thing, but to forget you twice?” Then Charlie said something extraordinary. “Mr. Taylor, I would like to suggest something to you. Would you be willing to consider the possibility that you have something to do with me not showing up?”

What? I couldn’t believe what I just heard. What would I have to do with her not showing up? Do I have some kind of magical power that makes people forget me? “Sure Charlie,” I replied half-heartedly. “I’m willing to consider it.” And I hung up.

Well, guess what? My half-hearted willingness to accept personal responsibility for this pattern was enough for me to experience a dramatic revelation right on the spot. The moment I was willing to consider the possibility that I was at the root of this issue, several things happened:

First, I remembered that my brother was 20 years old when I was born, and my sister was 17. Obviously, I wasn’t planned for. And I always knew that. But that’s no big deal, right? Lots of children aren’t planned for.

But suddenly, along with that memory, a deeply seated belief sprang into my conscious awareness. It was a young boy’s conclusion about not being planned for. And it was a big deal. Because this is the belief that immediately came up: “I am not supposed to exist. I am not supposed to be in this Universe at all.”

The second I identified that old, underlying, subconscious belief, my whole life flashed before my eyes, and I could clearly see how it not only influenced my choices, it influenced every aspect of my behavior. I would go into a room full of people, and immediately hide in a corner. My demeanor and body language would clearly broadcast the message, “Don’t pay any attention to me. I’m not supposed to be here.”

I lived life in the cracks, disappearing into the woodwork. I would even refrain from asking people for help or special favors, because I felt that I might be interfering with some kind of divine plan for their lives—lives that were supposed to happen . . . unlike mine.

I was so good at making myself invisible, I once ran into a man I knew from a weekly share group that both he and I had been part of, and this was our conversation:

“Hello,” I said.

“Excuse me,” the man replied. “Do I know you?” 

“Yes,” I answered. “Steve Taylor.”

“Who?” he asked.

“Steve Taylor . . . from the weekly share group.”

“Not ringing a bell,” he said.

“There were only six of us!” I responded, incredulously.

“Sorry,” he replied. “I just don’t remember you being there.”

So, I have identified the subconscious belief that was influencing my behavior and limiting my life. But that’s only half the battle. The next step is to dispel that detrimental belief and replace it with an idea that is more beneficial.

Dispelling a subconscious belief is not as difficult as it seems, because in most cases, the belief you identify is obviously flawed. Like I mentioned earlier in this message, it is often the inaccurate belief of a child. And as an adult, the childish nature of that belief is usually quite apparent.

Replacing the old belief with a new one is another matter. It may take some time for you to identify a new belief you can whole-heartedly adopt. In my case, however, it was incredibly easy for me to replace my old belief. Why? Because I already had a replacement idea waiting in the wings.

You see, as a result of a mystical experience I had at the age of fourteen, I have long believed in reincarnation. That’s not an idea I am asking you to buy into. What’s important here is that reincarnation is true for me. And as part of the reincarnation process, I believe you choose your parents. Their personalities, convictions, and lifestyle create a springboard for your life . . . a jumping off point to propel you towards the kind of life you want to live this time around.

So, based on that idea, is it true for me that “I am not supposed to exist?” Of course not! What’s true for me is that I chose to be here! I chose my parents! I might have been a surprise to them, but I wasn’t a surprise to me! I knew exactly what I was doing when I decided to come here. And my life has purpose and meaning, just like everyone else’s.

Unfortunately, as a child, that’s not what I concluded to be true about my place in the world. And that demonstrates just how influential a childhood subconscious belief can be. Because the idea that I wasn’t supposed to exist continued to influence my behavior up to the age of forty, far beyond the age I came to believe in reincarnation.

So, you might ask, how did things change once I was able to see the fallacy of my subconscious belief, and replace it with a more beneficial idea?  Simple. I was no longer left off of lists. In fact, in some instances, I was placed at the very top of the list. And the reason was this: From that point on, whenever I walked into a room my demeanor and body language no longer said, “Don’t pay attention to me.” Instead, it simply announced, “I am here. And I have a divine right to be here, just like everyone else.” And no one ever forgot me again.


So, my friends, as loosely illustrated by my story, what follows is the technique I promised you for bringing subconscious beliefs to light, so you can dispel them and replace them more productive ideas.

1. Look for a pattern in your life that seems detrimental to you.

2. Don’t ask, “Why is this always happening to me?” Instead, turn that question around by saying, “At some level I must be creating this experience. Why would I?”

3. Having taken personal responsibility for what you are repeatedly experiencing, the reason why—often in the form of a subconscious belief—may pop right up.

4. If it does, identify the fallacy in that belief, so you can let it go.

5. Replace your old subconscious belief with a new belief that serves you better.

6. Continually reaffirm your new belief, so it can consistently influence your choices in new and better ways.

That’s it. I know it sounds simplistic, but as I mentioned earlier, it has instantly worked for me on more than one occasion . . . and I know it has worked for others, as well.

But, as I also stated, it does not work for all people, all the time, in all situations. So here are two more suggestions to help you reveal subconscious beliefs that may be sabotaging your life.

1.  Try the White Light Meditation I offer as a free download on this page of my website:

2. Check out a book called, The Key. In this book, author Joe Vitale describes ten other techniques for revealing and dispelling subconscious blocks.

Here’s wishing you a life that’s rewarding and fulfilling . . . and free from any belief that might get in the way of that.


P.S. I should point out that a subconscious belief is not the only thing that might come up when you state, “At some level I must be creating this experience. Why would I?” Sometimes it’s the realization that you are recreating a detrimental or abusive situation from your past—a situation you were not able to effectively handle or heal from back then. But now you have the opportunity to do what needs to be done, or say what needs to be said, so you will no longer experience that kind of situation.  

© 2015 by Steven Lane Taylor
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I have found you, I cried when I read this message.
Now I can begin to heal.

Thank you.