Below is a very simple mental-map representing some aspects of what occurs when you self-sabotage, get into a rut, and/or get into a negative downward/spiral.
Next time, you are going downhill, simply observe the mental process that occurs throughout the experience. Try to notice if there are any similarities between the above mental map and what you go through in your own life.
#1 I engage in self-sabotaging and low consciousness behavior.
This is when you do something you know you shouldn’t do. This is when you wake up at 11:36 AM on a Monday when you promised yourself you were going to wake up at 5:30 AM. This is when you give in and eat a bag of Doritos when you told yourself that you were doing a 30-day no junk food challenge. It’s basically the initial act of falling off your path and giving in to your superficial desires AKA the desires of the monkey-mind.
#2 I feel guilt, anger, and/or confusion towards myself for what I just did.
This realization often occurs while you’re in the midst of engaging in deviant behavior. You know you shouldn’t be eating the donut but it feels too good to stop. So after you’re done, you analyze yourself and you wonder why it’s so fucking hard to stay disciplined. You start feeling anger, resentment, guilt, and confusion as to why you would deliberately sabotage all of your own efforts. The act of ignoring your conscience is catching up to you and beginning to weigh down on your soul.
#3 My old conditioned response is to numb the pain with further self-sabotaging and low-consciousness behavior.
Your whole life, you dealt with pain by running away from it, numbing yourself from it, or waiting until the last moment to finally confront it. You’ve done this by emotional-eating, porn use, drugs, or other reactive behaviors.
The pain that occurs during phase#2 of this mental-loop begins to feel unbearable. The confusion and anger become very loud within you. You start feeling the urge to numb yourself from it. You hate what you’ve just done and you can’t cope with the fact that you can’t go back into the past and change it.
So what do you do? You engage in the same exact coping mechanisms that got you there in the first place. Why? Because this is how you’re used to handling pain…
You’re used to running away and finding something to give you happy feelings. When you were a baby and you started to cry, mommy would come and nurse you with attention and milk.
Now as a grown man, you look for comfort in other ways. The ways that we have just described above.
They offer certainty and comfort even if only for a few short superficial moments…
This is how you get into and stay in a rut.
A strong man must learn to deal with pain skillfully but the first step is awareness and hopefully, this article planted that seed.
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