Have you ever been on a winning streak, where you were finally making good progress on your personal goals…only to make a mistake so dumb it feels like you’re deliberately sabotaging yourself?
Or maybe every time you start to make great progress, your loved one shuts you down and you start to doubt your abilities to love your life and do the work you came here to do?
You’re not alone. It’s a totally normal human tendency to curb your own growth. But why do you do it, and how can you break free of it? And if there is conflict every time you start making money and your partner tell you, you are delusional and you shut down you most definitely want to know about gas lighting and how to stop it fast.
In his book, The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks calls this phenomena “upper-limiting”.
You have a limit to how good you can feel about your health, relationships, career, and financial life.
This inner thermostat is rooted in your deep conditioning from childhood, and the messages that took hold in your psyche about how much goodness you deserve.
Based on that inner conditioning, you keep yourself within a range that feels “normal”.
This range feels safe and comfortable – even if it’s miserable, frustrating, and disappointing.
You may be under the spell of a gas lighter!
Can you think of an aspect in your life where this is happening?
When you start to reach that upper limit, you do something – often unconsciously – to bring you back to your set point.
You eat the bag of potato chips just when you’re starting to feel great on your clean diet, because feeling yucky was is your normal. You pick a fight with your partner after having a wonderful week of connection and love – because your parents fought constantly, and having a great relationship feels odd and somehow inauthentic.
What’s the solution?
Hendricks’ central piece of advice is this:
cultivate a willingness to feel good all the time, and for life to go well all the time.
This, he says, “is a genuinely radical act.”
Think about it.
Feel into that part of yourself where you feel good inside.
What if you could expand your capacity, so that you could feel better and better, without limits.
How would that change things?
What would happen if you were willing to feel good aka LOVE yourself, all the time?
If that feels a little scary, it’s because feeling good is scary.
Researcher Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, goes so far as to claim that nothing is more terrifying than joy.
Why is that?
Love, joy, inspiration, contentment – these are states in which you are extremely vulnerable.
So vulnerable, that you instinctively brace against the pain you would feel, should something happen to take away your happiness.
You may also be under chronic daily stress of a gas lighter and be a co dependent.
Not sure what that is?
If you are struggling to know who you are or
feel like you are losing your mind listen in.
Everyone should know the dangers of gas lighting
so take a listen here and download the
Cheat sheet to stop mental and emotional abuseand get back in touch with your intuition.
Brown calls this “foreboding joy” – dress-rehearsing tragedy so that you’re not caught unawares when it hits.
She cites the example of looking at your child, and experiencing more love than you ever thought possible…and then imagining something horrible happening to them. You might let yourself be overwhelmed by fear, creating a mental loop of anxiety that plagues you at odd hours, stealing your happiness.
Perhaps this is why, for many women, anxiety levels skyrocket after having children. Maybe it’s the inability to tolerate the deep sense of vulnerability that comes with parenthood.
What is the antidote to not loving you, of foreboding joy?
How can you soften into self love, living deeply happy,
so that you give yourself permission to experience it all completely without shutting it down?
According to Brown, the most loving, joyful, wholehearted people are those who have a practice of gratitude.
Note that she doesn’t say “attitude” or “feeling” of gratitude.
It’s an active choice, something you practice consciously, daily. And especially when you are faced with the terror of joy.
Instead of rehearsing tragedy, instead of breaking the spell and returning to your place of (less joyful) safety, practice gratitude for what you have. Name it. Write it. Say it to yourself and to the one you are with.
If you have downloaded the cheat sheet on gas lighting and it does not apply to you, then you may want to get honest about what is underneath your unconscious commitments to self sabotage and stop sucking up your life.
Here’s how you can heal your self-sabotage and cultivate joy:
- Think about the area of your life where you self-sabotage the most.
- Feel into the place where you feel good, when that part of your life is going well.
- See if you can sense the upper limit of that good feeling.
- Ever so gently, feel that upper limit expanding, just a bit.
- Practice and express gratitude every day, especially in the area where you feel most vulnerable.
What will be the focus of your APPRECIATION practice?
And above all love yourself no matter what arises.
Shine your light,
know you are loved
and tread gently on yourself.
Much love and to your success
P.S. Interested to know how I can support you tap back into radical self love and confidence and live a happy, fulfilled, abundant life?
Book your 30 minutes CLARITY the love warriors way here
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