How Avoiding Your Stress/Anxiety Produces Self-Sabotage and Restricts Your Personal & Professional Growth
Various Mental and Emotional Challenges
Intrusive thoughts and overwhelming emotions determine so much of our lives, but only because we avoid them (and our tendency to continue to avoid them means that they will continue to prevent us from being free). These unwanted thoughts/emotions include self-criticism, insecurity, isolation, excessive worry and fear of failure, and difficulty coping with stress and the various pressures of personal and professional life. As a result of spending energy avoiding our stress and anxiety, we may experience reduced productivity and efficiency, and even cognitive functioning, a lack of focus/concentration, impaired decision-making, impaired learning, creativity and problem-solving, poor time management skills, etc.
Dysfunctional / Strained Relationships
Escaping our uncomfortable feelings and thoughts means escaping people and situations that produce these feelings and thoughts. And when we can’t avoid these people and situations (at home or at work), those who are closest to us are most victimized by our destructive habits, including the consequences of our unchecked self-interested motivations. Our own inability to deal with our inner life leads to conflict, poor communication, excessive irritability/anger, feelings of disconnection, and perhaps even being trapped in co-dependent relationships. Work-life balance becomes near impossible, and so do effective networking, delegation, and management. And then these strained relationships produce more stress than they alleviate.
A Lack of Meaning or Purpose
It’s difficult to pursue your most meaningful projects if you aren’t connected with your deepest values and if you spend your life avoiding whatever triggers pain—being pulled/pushed around by emotional overwhelm, perfectionism, insecurity, and self-criticism, etc.. Life becomes narrower and narrower (and the habitual self becomes more rigid). You feel more unfulfilled, unmotivated, and less connected to yourself, others, and to life/nature—you feel less present. Being connected to yourself means being able to drown out all the noise in your life (i.e., setting boundaries and gaining inner clarity, stability, and a sense of direction amidst the uncertainty), so you can manage stress levels, manage anxiety, and remain on a path of mastery, growth, and impact.
Doing what you know is aligned with your core values (which include addressing various kinds of personal and/or professional challenges) can feel overwhelming, and this overwhelm can lead to procrastination, missed opportunities, intense self-criticism, and self-sabotage. Advancement becomes nearly impossible and so your work becomes less fulfilling and you feel less appreciated and recognized and more self-critical. Overreacting to stress responses produced by uncertainty and inner/material instability (including catastrophizing, rumination, and prematurely acting on unrealistic comparisons or expectations, etc.) are counter-productive: overwhelming emotions often reinforces self-sabotaging tendencies, causing you to attempt things (that you think will get you ‘unstuck’) that actually keep you trapped in (or even reinforce) old patterns, making growth (and stability) seem more out of reach. In terms of dealing with stress, the very attempt to reduce stress can actually prevent stress relief.
Declining Health or A Lack of Energy
Destructive physical health effects of anxiety abound, from health anxiety, headaches, and fatigue to sleep disturbances, chronic pain, obesity, weakened immunity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, etc. (and the very arising of these issues can lead to burnout and often produces even more anxiety). Apart from physiological issues, it costs energy to continuously suppress your most overwhelming emotions and negative thoughts (including the effects of trauma) and (attempt to) micro-manage your inner/outer life, including how others perceive of you. It costs energy to manage dysfunctional relationships. It costs energy to be the person your anxieties tell you that you need to be in order to succeed. It costs energy to not have resilience (and integrity). And all of this energy can be wasted or simply put in the wrong places (or it simply being pent-up). Without an effective use of energy you can feel out of control, more anxious and overwhelmed, and less confident (which only exacerbate existing problems).
Lost Money and/or Time
Apart from the myriad costs associated with poor physical and/or mental health, strained relationships, poor productivity, missed opportunities, ineffective health coaching and/or stress management programs, etc., the habits you develop to manage overwhelming emotions, intrusive thoughts (and even to overcome anxiety) often end up being expensive (as do your attempts to stop sabotaging yourself). These habits include “destructive” addictions (e.g., gambling, food, shopping, sex, social media, dysfunctional relationships, drugs/alcohol, attempting to “buy” connection/relief, etc.), but also addictions that we might not think to be destructive (e.g., spirituality, exercise, self-help or self-perfection, “helping” others, attempting to “buy” connection/happiness, etc.). Your addictions and avoidant tendencies only frustrate your ability to develop both inner and outer skills and competencies (including emotional intelligence and improving your relationship with your own inner life).
Beyond Stress Management Techniques: What Results You Can Expect from Learning to Confront Your Stress & Anxiety
Improved Personal & Professional Relationships
Improved Performance & Productivity
Greater Emotional Intelligence & Regulation
& Sense of Direction
Greater Work-Life Balance
& Mental Health
& Sense of Contribution
Greater Capacity for Leadership & Management
More (Useful) Energy
Greater Personal Fulfillment
A More Holistic Approach:
Individualized Stress Management & Self-Sabotage Coaching from an Eastern Perspective
Your efforts to change/fix/solve yourself can actually reinforce the very habitual self from which you are seeking freedom. Focusing on your ‘self’ can cause you to remain firmly in the grip of your compulsions, anxieties, rumination, intrusive thoughts, overwhelming emotions, and self-sabotaging behaviour and/or thought patterns. On the contrary, focusing your efforts on making your implicit habits more explicit—gaining clarity about your unconscious, habitual self—will allow you to see how your fulfillment is tied up in the tangled emotions connected to the things you avoid.
A professional birth chart reading is a unique and rich source of self-awareness. Balrāj identifies and addresses the most significant ways in which your habits are sabotaging your own efforts to find a sense of freedom from limitations so you can connect with your true self (i.e., the ‘version’ of your self less ensnared by your habitual anxieties/compulsions) and act on your deepest values.
A reading allows you to feel deeply seen and understood, and often provides a reality check and helps you to stop asking the wrong questions. You experience a more meaningful connection to your past and to your current situation, allowing you to make better sense of the moving parts in your life and experience a greater sense of choice and empowerment.
Traditional Breathwork & Meditation
Traditional approaches to breathwork and meditation were focused on breathing re-education and self-awareness (not “fixing the self” in any way). Classical eastern spiritual traditions weren’t concerned with solving the ego’s problems. Instead, these traditions were concerned with freeing awareness from the limitations imposed by the ego’s desire for self-existence (i.e., by the ego’s anxiety of inadequacy). Freed from these limitations, experiencing more clarity, calm, and deeper connection with yourself, with others, and with life itself is not optional. But this meant no longer avoiding parts of oneself that one was content to (continue to) avoid, especially those parts that motivate self-sabotaging behaviour.
Even though these practices address various physical effects of both chronic stress and acute stress (in particular the nervous system, immune system, stress hormones, etc.), these practices are deeper than stress reduction techniques, relaxation techniques, or “anxiety hacks” (i.e., approaches that covertly promise tools for being able to “control” overwhelming emotions and/or stress). These traditional practices are, first, about producing the attentional stability and resilience to become aware (without reactivity or judgement) of the forces running your life (and perhaps the root cause of your stress). This stability provides the opportunity for re-habituation, to re-construct a self who is less inclined to be anxious and more inclined towards growth.
When addressing the deepest challenges in your life, willpower and a purely intellectual understanding of your habits, problems, and behaviours aren’t always enough to produce change. Furthermore, we often tend to employ remedial measures that only help us further bypass or even reinforce our problem, thus making overcoming self sabotage seem impossible.
Conversational hypnosis allows us to harness the intelligence and resources of the unconscious to untie the knots that keep us stuck. It is remarkably useful for those who are struggling with self-sabotaging behaviour (and who are too unclear/overwhelmed to correct these behaviours using their conscious will).
And it isn’t magic. It is simply a method that allows us to directly confront our problems (and feelings of anxiety) with fierce compassion. Breakthroughs are not simply intellectual, but rather produce unexpected behavioural and perspectival changes. No longer your own worst enemy, you experience less restriction when attempting to pursue the things that make your life more meaningful, including your personal and professional growth. This goes beyond correcting “limiting beliefs” or “erasing memories”, or trying “manifest” what (we think) is in our best interests (but could actually be reinforcing our self sabotaging habits).
& Anxiety / Stress Coaching Services
Psychological Vedic Astrology
Traditional Mindfulness Meditation Training
Traditional Resilience Breath Re-Training
Self-Awareness & Self-Discovery Exercises