I was walking home from my swordplay class the other evening, and my subconscious mind detoured me right to a burger place that I’d planned on trying on my “cheat day.” The only problem was that this was a Monday and my cheat day was yesterday, Sunday. (I had eggs Benny.) So, when I found my feet leading my body into the burger joint, I cursed myself: “Stop being a knucklehead! Stop self-sabotaging, Anna J!”
However, that note was quickly followed with “Table for one” and “The mushroom burger … with fries.”
Damn it, foiled again. By me!
We all self-sabotage. Well, maybe not Eckhart Tolle or the Dalai Llama, but I’m talking about us mere mortals.
The simple answer is that our primate brain—aka the subconscious mind—is built to keep us safe, and to this part of our brain, safe means familiar. (A fancy psychology term for this bad habit is “Cognisant Dissonence.”)
Our primate brain doesn’t want us to:
Gain a lot of weight or lose a lot of weight.
Gain a lot of money or lose a lot of money.
Be in a healthy relationship because what is familiar is being single or being in an unhealthy relationship.
Our subconscious mind (primate brain) wants us to stay safely in our comfort zones, which are mainly established in early childhood. Damn.
Our primate brain thinks there’s danger outside our comfort zone …
Gain a lot of weight and we might lose friendships. Lose a lot of weight and we might attract a different (unfamiliar) type of mate.
Gain a lot of money and we might lose friendships. Lose a lot of money and we might lose friendships.
Get into a healthy relationship and our partner might discover our flaws and leave us.
So, obviously, our subconscious is sabotaging us for good reason. Or at least what it thinks is good reasoning.
When our logical mind (neocortex) knows why we self-sabotage, it can start negotiating with the illogical or primate mind (amygdala) and start convincing it (ourselves) of the benefits of change.
Do things that give you the big-picture feel-goods. That increase your “dateablity” score and self-esteem at the same time.
Dude. You got this.
p.s. If you’ve been reading my posts for more than a couple months and are still single and not making headway to getting a girly friend, perhaps it’s time to consider my Get A Girlfriend program. Yep, it’s kinda pricy compared to some programs (that haven’t worked for you so far), but if it gets you a girlfriend, it’s also kinda worth it, no? Um, YES! Oh, did I mention the money back guarantee? Just sayin’. Talk it over with your primate mind. 😉
Vancouver Matchmaker and Dating, Love and Relationship Expert