I go through pretty epically proportioned bouts of self-sabotage. It starts out with something that’s showing up as difficult. Which then usually turns into a seemingly insurmountable problem. Then I turn against myself.

Full-on discouraging, undermining, and diminishing myself. “How did you not see this coming? How could you be so naive to believe this person? You’ll never be able to get this right. Why did you even try when you should have known you were bound to fail? You’ve really embarrassed yourself there. You’re so weak and oh-so-boring. You have nothing to offer to the world.”

All of that is obviously quietly taking place in my head. The outside persona probably wouldn’t give you a hint about the voraciousness of my brain. I doubt anyone else knows about this self-hindering part in me, when it gets triggered.

Then one day, I was catching up with my friend Lizzie (who is an executive coach and recruiter so every time I talk to her I feel coached). I decided to open up this part of me to her. Instead of keeping it hidden and ashamed, I decided to let the light in, on a whim.I went really deep. I shared examples of when I give myself a hard time and retold stories I tell myself. My friend dropped her “coach” ways. You know that thing they do when they answer your questions with a question? And she got very serious with me. “Maria, you have to stop that.”

This didn’t really sound like the easiest of advice to take. How the f*** do you expect me to stop the narratives in my brain that have had such a prolific “career”?

It’s honestly shocking to me that I’ve generally thrived in life, despite all the negative self-talk I have had to deal with… Like - who could I have become as a human being if I didn’t have to deal with that sabotaging brain of mine?

But Lizzie’s words had a really deep, profound effect. I kept thinking about what she said all day. Later that night, I felt a really strong urge to do something about this pattern. As with many other things I need to process - I started writing. See the image attached to this post for what came out of my stream consciousness.

Since the day Lizzie called BS on me and the day I made that commitment to myself… I have referenced it at least a dozen times in the past few months. It’s helped me reset when I’ve felt myself going to weird mental places. It’s helped me re-commit.

I’m sharing this because my hunch is I’m not alone in self-sabotaging. I’m sharing this because I’m trying to challenge the notion that bringing your best self to the table has to always mean bringing a joyous, easy-going, chilled-out, always-coping version of yourself. I’m sharing this because I wish more people shared their demons. Ironically, I think, the world would be a more human, kinder, friendlier place.

I’d be humbled and honored if you shared your demons with me. Comment / DM / email @ [email protected] Inviting all the demons across all the channels.

Hi! Sorry to hear this, inner demons suck. @MichaGoBig might be able to help. I recently started to consistently meditate pretty much every morning and I know it sounds cliché, but it has helped a lot with this issue. I highly recommend it. I noticed it about the 3 week mark.
Thanks for the shout-out, @ElenaNL! @mariapoto, I'd be happy to gift you a session to help you talk this through and refer you to some more resources. If you're interested, just get on my calendar: