The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery

The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery

by Brianna Wiest

Why do we often struggle to make progress or find healing in our lives despite our best attempts to do so? The simple answer is self-sabotage. 

The Mountain Is You will teach you how conflicting needs within your subconscious mind create self-sabotaging behavior that causes you to resist positive change. This book sheds light on the role trauma plays in self-sabotage and why you need to release the pain of your past to create the life you truly desire. If you want to understand self-sabotage, why you do it, and how to finally master your life, this is the book for you.

Summary Notes

Your Biggest Challenge Lies Within

“If there is an ongoing gap between where you are and where you want to be—and your efforts to close it are consistently met with your own resistance, pain, and discomfort—self-sabotage is almost always at work.”

If there’s one thing that’s probably holding you back in life, it’s self-sabotage. On the surface, self-sabotage seems like a deliberate attempt to hinder your progress. Others may assume you suffer from self-hate, low confidence, or weak willpower. But the truth is that you have an unconscious need that’s being fulfilled by your self-sabotaging behaviors. Self-sabotage is an indicator of hidden trauma and unprocessed emotions from a painful event in your past.

Since most people cannot face up to their painful past, they use self-sabotage as a coping mechanism. They find ways to sabotage their relationships, careers, and health by refusing to meet their innermost needs directly. 

For example, you may be in a relationship but have a deep need to connect to yourself. This unmet need causes you unconsciously sabotage the relationship, even though you’re afraid of being alone. Every time you do something that sabotages the relationship, you’re numbing the unmet desire. Unfortunately, this feeling of relief is only temporary.

All your irrational fears and limiting beliefs create a wall of resistance that keeps you trapped in a life you don’t want. Furthermore, you can become so attached to the familiarity of your pain that you refuse to take risks that can set you free. You must start to be honest with yourself, take responsibility for your life, and stop justifying your unhappiness. If you want to truly become the person you’re meant to be, you must be willing to make radical changes no matter how uncomfortable the process is. 

Actions to take

Signs of Self-Sabotage

“When you habituate yourself to do things that move your life forward, you call them skills. When they hold your life back, you call them self-sabotage. They are both essentially the same function.”

To fully understand self-sabotage, you have to know where it comes from, why it exists and how it shows up in your life. 

All those destructive habits you feel compelled to engage in are not a sign of something wrong with you. They don’t mean that you’re trying to harm yourself. Self-sabotage is a way to protect yourself from an unconscious pain hiding deep within you. Unfortunately, you can become so attached to the story around this pain that you’ll do anything to avoid it.

For example, if your parents were always scrutinizing and badmouthing a successful neighbor, you may associate wealth with being disliked or envied. Since you’d rather be liked by people, you give up opportunities to become wealthy. Some people make themselves look less attractive to avoid the discomfort of public scrutiny. Others refuse to commit to a relationship to avoid the pain of vulnerability. To overcome self-sabotage, you have to realize that your behaviors are just symptoms of a bigger problem.

Self-sabotage manifests differently in people. Also, while some habits may be healthy in a particular setting, they may be unhealthy when framed differently. However, there are specific patterns that indicate self-sabotaging behavior.  These include resistance to change, switching relationships, perfectionism, making excuses, constantly being busy, etc. You must watch out for and resolve these symptoms to limit their damage to your life.

Actions to take

Your Emotional Triggers Are Your Path to Freedom

“On the surface, it seems as though the thing that triggers our emotional response is the problem. It is not. The problem is that we don’t know what to do with how we feel and therefore do not have all of the emotional processing skills we need.”

Once you’ve identified the symptoms of self-sabotage in your life, you can use them to reveal deeper truths about who you truly are, your needs, and your emotional triggers. These emotional triggers usually reveal where you’re storing pain. However, negative emotions also carry messages about past trauma. Unfortunately, you often don’t know how to interpret these uncomfortable messages, so you suppress the emotion whenever it arises.

If you avoid dealing with it for too long, what was initially a challenging emotional trigger becomes a chronic problem in your life. You now keep such negative emotions deep within your body and avoid anything that may bring them up. As these repressed feelings increase, you become more sensitive to the world around you. If someone says or does something that triggers a particular emotion, you quickly overreact and may even blow things out of proportion. 

You must develop emotional processing skills so that you’re able to identify the trigger and release the underlying pain. Condemning or running away from negative emotions only worsens things in the long run. At some point, you’ll have to listen to what they’re trying to tell you so that you can learn your lesson and let go of the pain. 

Actions to take

Achieving Your Breakthrough Moment

“Trying to shock yourself into a new life isn’t going to work, and that’s why it hasn’t yet.”

Most people believe that a personal transformation is an event that happens in an instant. They wait for that moment where all their fears dissolve and achieve such clarity that they immediately rise from complacency and ascend to a new reality. Unfortunately, that’s not how breakthroughs are achieved. Breakthroughs are tipping points that come at the end of the process of making small changes to your life.

In other words, it’s the restructuring of your habits in small ways over a long period that creates breakthrough moments. Flashes of brilliance and radical epiphanies occur, but they are rare and don’t usually create lasting change. But if you go through the process of gradually unraveling your preconceived ideas and slowly adopting a new paradigm, micro-shifts can begin to take place.

Microshifts are small incremental changes that you make every day in your life. You change one aspect of your life and keep repeating the process every day until you get used to the new behavior. Once the new behavior becomes familiar, you can increase the change's complexity. Making micro-shifts is how you trick your mind into becoming accustomed to things that it once considered unfamiliar and scary.

Actions to take

Releasing Your Painful Past

“We often find that we are stunted by the time in our lives in which we were damaged or traumatized. We got scared, we never got over the fear, and as a result, we stopped growing.”

Change is something that we cannot run away from. For example, our body cells are constantly being replaced, and we become a new kind of person every seven years. The same applies to our minds and emotions. We’re supposed to undergo mental and emotional growth throughout our lives. 

The problem, however, is that we tend to hold on to baggage from the past, particularly trauma. This tendency to resist change and hold on to past hurts creates profound suffering in our lives.

Some people may become addicted to revisiting earlier traumas as they become accustomed to them. Living in the past prevents you from growing and changing into a new you. To step into your new version of self, you must release the pain of childhood trauma, past relationships, and all the negative experiences you’ve been through. You cannot force yourself to release this baggage or move on just because someone tells you to. You can only start to let go when you realize that staying the same is no longer an option.

You shouldn’t judge yourself during this process. There’s nothing wrong with struggling to let go of past trauma. Let your emotions flow, whether anger, sadness, or resentment for what you’ve been through. As you release these emotions, take one day at a time and start to rebuild the life you want. You’ll gradually realize that the path to your best life is to go through the pain rather than avoid it. 

Actions to take

Building Your Future Self

“The best possible version of yourself—the most loving, kind, productive, and self-aware version—is who you really are. Everything else is the byproduct of coping mechanisms you’ve developed and picked up from other people.”

Releasing the trauma of the past can be quite challenging, but many people are capable of going beyond their past experiences. But the work doesn’t stop there; you have to quickly turn your attention to building a new life in the present and future. Unfortunately, most people stumble and fail at this stage because their mind is still focused on the past. Once you’ve released the shadows of your past, your next step should be to decide the kind of person you want to become and design your life to fit your future version.

This is important because you want to live a life aligned with your true purpose. You want to be spending your days engaging in activities that are leading you toward your intended destiny. This can be achieved by first rediscovering your inherent desires, passions, and fears and then connecting to the most powerful version of your future self.

Think of it as bridging the gap between your inner child and your future self. When releasing your past trauma, you connect to your inner child to reveal your fears and desires. Once you’ve done that, you can now visualize a future life where all your goals and desires have been met. You must envision what kind of person you would be in your ideal future, including your personality, social status, etc. Then you can reverse engineer that future to finally determine the steps you can take today to achieve your most powerful future self.  

Actions to take

Mental Strength on the Path to Self-Mastery

“The greatest gift that life will hand you is discomfort”

Mental strength is the component that is crucial in determining whether you actualize your potential. Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living, you need mental strength to stay the course whenever life throws challenges your way. The journey of personal transformation is long and arduous. Your mind and emotions will be tested, so you have to develop the right attitude and character to achieve your goals and dreams.

The good news is that mental strength is not a fixed trait; it’s something you can work on and develop. Coincidentally, people who’ve endured and overcome many difficult situations in life tend to have the highest degrees of mental strength. But you don’t have to create or expose yourself to problems to enhance it. You just have to learn to face your fears, take risks, and become comfortable being uncomfortable.   

Actions to take

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