You ever wake up with a sabotage hangover?
Your head is pounding and foggy. Your mind is pumping guilt-fueled thoughts. Your body feels anxious and wired, yet completely exhausted.
"I can't believe I did that again."
Whatever your vice is..... binge eating chips and ice cream, starting an argument with your significant other because of your own insecurities, drinking too many cocktails and acting obnoxiously, spending all of your money when you're drowning in debt, cheating on your significant other, etc. Basically all of the things you're doing that you really wish you could stop doing.
If you think back to when it happened, you knew in the moment it was wrong. You wanted to stop yourself. But, you couldn't. You were pumped with anxiety and felt like you might literally die if you didn't act out in the way you had. The energy was too intense and you just had to act on it.
So you did.
And now you're here. With this painful, yet familiar sabotage hangover. After you toss and turn in bed ruminating in your own negative thoughts, you finally muster enough energy to wake up and fix what you've done.
So you go to the gym, commit to a new diet, apologize to your boyfriend, go return everything you bought, tell your friends you're never drinking again.... and VOILA! You get a little relief. You can breathe now. You tell yourself it's all going to be okay. But deep down.... you know it's only a matter of time before you do it again. Sigh.
I hate to state the obvious, but good ole' Albert Einstein said it best "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results."
So the question you need to ask yourself is "Has shaming myself or my behavior gotten me anywhere? And if not, I'll offer this shift in perception.
Instead of viewing your behavior as a weakness in character, what if you viewed it as a call for love?
So, in the morning of your sabotage hangover, instead of beating yourself up and asking "What is wrong with me?" or "Why do I suck so much?"... you asked "How could I have given myself more love in that moment?"
Because LOVE (and all feelings associated with love) is all you were actually craving in that moment.
You felt lonely and sad, so you ate the cookies to feel calm.
You felt insecure and afraid, so you lashed out to get attention.
You felt stressed and sad, so you downed 12 margaritas to feel happy.
ALL of these things you were after fall in the same beautiful and bountiful bucket of love. Gratitude, joy, interest, affection, calm, clarity, support, happiness, kindness, awe, serenity, hope. If it makes you feel good, it's love.
That is all you were after. Because human beings are love-seeking machines. It's not like you acted out in sabotage in that moment just so you could feel like shit the next day.
So now you're probably thinking to yourself...
"Okay, I understand that. But, how do I get love without eating all of the cookies, tequila, or forcing my boyfriend to tell me he loves me?"
The answer is simple. You give it to yourself.
In that moment of anxiety, frustration, fear, insecurity, shame, compulsion....you PAUSE.
You take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart, and say to yourself "I love you and it's going to be okay."
Words cannot begin to describe the power of a pause. The pause gives you clarity. The pause gives you the choice in how to react. The pause sparks a pattern interrupt in your neurological wiring to create new and healthy habits.
Take this pause and remind yourself that all you're seeking in this moment of fear and anxiety is comfort, joy, support, and love.
So, how can you give that to yourself in that moment?
Taking some deep breaths. Reciting a few mantras. Writing down in your journal. Going for a long walk. Taking a bath. Letting yourself be vulnerable with your partner. Watching your favorite show on Netflix. Cuddling with your dog. Dancing. Coloring. Lying on your bedroom floor. Listening to music. Whatever works.
What can you do in that moment that feels good to you?
What can you do in that moment that actually serves you?
What would the person you want to become do in that moment?
If you understand, implement, and practice this concept....you will transform your behaviors, your relationships, and your life. Guaranteed.
If you're dealing with a sabotage hangover right now, take a deep breath, look at yourself in the mirror, and say "I'm going to get better at this. I'm going to take care of us more. I love you. And it's okay."