Are You In A Locked Room With The Windows Open?
The Enemy Within

It’s hard to imagine how you can be locked in a room with all of the windows open, isn't it? But more often than you realize, we sabotage ourselves by reacting to events, circumstances or people in ways that hinder our progress. This will ultimately prevent us from taking steps forward to move from our present to our potential. Self sabotage not only prevents you from reaching your goals, but also becomes a safety mechanism that you can use to protect yourself from disappointment. In other words, your brain is protecting you from getting hurt by doing what it thinks is best, keeping you in your comfort zone-keeping you in that locked room with open windows. The locked room represents your mental attitude-it’s those chains that immobilize you. People seldom intentionally sabotage themselves. We don’t generally make a conscious decision to “spoil” things in our lives. When it happens, we can be left with a feeling of ,”why did I do that?” It is important, then, to identify those behaviors that “lock us in” and prevent us from moving. To do this, we must become consciously aware of our daily decisions, actions and the resulting consequences. Identifying specific triggers can go a long way towards overcoming this limiting and potentially debilitating behavior. Examples of some triggers can be:

Specific times, events or locations

Sometimes, if we simply remove these triggers we will be better prepared to take control of the associated thoughts, feelings and actions. Other times, we have to also consider the beliefs that come with these triggers. In other words, what are your thoughts when this behavior happens? How can you transform these negative thoughts into positive, empowering beliefs that work for you and not against you?

There are several reasons for self sabotaging and it’s important that we understand these reasons. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what the reason is, if we don’t do something about it, we will continue to live a life of regrets and unfulfilled dreams. What possible reasons could we have for such a self destructive behavior?

1.The familiarity of disappointment – sometimes you can get so used to things not working out that, to avoid what you deem as inevitable disappointment, you put a “kink” in the works to deliberately sabotage the outcome. It’s that, “I knew it wasn't’t going to work out anyway!”

2.Low self esteem – low self esteem can drive you to feel that you are not worthy of happiness or the “good feelings” that life can offer you. This behavior will stop you in your tracks towards achieving any goals in your life.

We all have “chains” that keep us bound. It’s not the chains that cripple us, but our inability to recognize and “break out” of those chains that immobilize us. How many people do you know that are locked down by their self imposed chains? How many of the following chains do you have?
1.Fear - fear is probably the most crippling chain. Fear of failure, fear of taking risks, fear of making mistakes, fear of living your life, even fear of success. Fear can have you so locked down that you can become afraid to even dream of a better life. Fear becomes your dark room where all of your negatives are developed! Don’t get me wrong, almost everyone has an irrational fear or two-even if it’s your annual dental checkup! It’s when these fears become so severe that they impact your life, then they become chains to be broken.

2.Worry – there are a million different things in your life that you can worry about. You can worry about your spouse, your children, your job, your finances-you name it and you can worry about it. A little worry is healthy. It keeps us thinking ahead and helps us prepare to work around unexpected circumstances. However, when you worry too much, you make your life miserable, you burden yourself with unnecessary stress and you limit the possibilities of good fortune in your life. Your goal isn't to pull the plug on all of your worries, but to better understand where they come from and start seeing and changing the effects they have on the way you live.

3.Limiting thoughts – these thoughts tend to focus on what is not working rather than what is. Those thoughts that say, “this won’t work or I can’t do this or I’m just not ready yet or the best one is, I’m just not good enough!” The way you think is the way you behave and the way you behave is what you ultimately become. In other words, your thoughts shape your life. Negative thoughts act like a filter. They change the way you experience people and events, and over time, they chip away at your sense of self.

The good news is that once you recognize what has you bound, you can begin to unlock whatever keeps you bound. And like the rays of sunlight that come through those open windows, your inner capacity for joy will begin peeking through. An unknown author said, “If you want to fly, you have to give up those things that weigh you down.” Stop doing these things, TODAY:

Stop focusing on obstacles…focus on possibilities

Stop resenting the things that went wrong…just figure out what you were supposed to learn so you don’t need to get the same message again.

Stop worrying about what could possibly happen…and realize you are so much better off to believe that things will work out (even if you end up wrong in the end.)

Stop being afraid to fail…and know that oftentimes the only path to success is through failure.

Just as we didn't master the process of walking in one day, change also doesn't happen overnight. However, it does happen over time. Before you walked, you stumbled, fell and got back up to continue until you mastered the process of walking. The process of change is exactly the same. Your will not be victorious overnight and you might end up losing a few battles. However, in the end if you persist, you will end up winning the battle with the “enemy within” and emerge from that locked room through one of those open windows.

Author's Bio: 


Mission Statement: Linda empowers women through her gifts as a life coach, facilitator, author and inspirational speaker. Her passion is to influence women in such a way as to motivate them into positive action.

Linda works tirelessly providing her services to various women’s organizations. She facilitates several support groups, workshops, seminars and provides inspirational speaking for many women’s causes. She provides life skills to the Women’s Prison system and to community based programs offered through local agencies. Linda provides professional development to local colleges and businesses.

Linda is the author of “Your Past Has Passed” and is a contributing writer to It’s All About and Self

Linda has a degree in English and is a Certified Life Coach.