Are you at cause or effect in your life?

Most people think they're in charge but when you dig a big deeper into their story you find they're wired by something under the surface.

Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee
Jul 25, 2017
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Most of us like to think of ourselves as drivers in our lives.  We want to be at cause.  We want to make amazing things happen. We want to live the life of our dreams, be the change and have a positive impact.

Yet we can find ourselves stuck, spinning our wheels and feeling like no matter how hard we push, we end up back at the start. After a while the pushing exhausts us. We wonder if we're ever going to get it together. We end up in a depleting cycle of self judgment and criticism until we bounce back and start the cycle of pushing forward again.

This was my pattern of self sabotage. A part of me thought I was in charge and I was living my life on my terms. A big part of me believed the only way was to push myself hard, self criticise and use my grit and will to move forward. If things were hard I'd hear my grandmother's phrase in my head, "If at first you don't succeed try, try, try again."  But I'd reach a point where pushing didn't work, I'd feel overwhelmed with emotions I'd stuffed down and suddenly I'd find myself exploding. That would push the cycle off again because the explosion would be with people I loved and felt safe with and then I'd feel awful and beat myself up, going over and over why I lost my temper and how I shouldn't have. I'd make that worse by then comparing myself to other working mothers around me who always appeared perfect.

It was this cycle that was causing symptomatic issues in my business and life. Personally it squeezed the joy out of things and in work it was creating an on/off cycle in my ability to show up, be seen and promote myself.

I kept trying to deal with the symptoms and not the cause. I would read more self help books, I hired coaches, I bought business building courses but whilst they helped me with the activity side of things, I still didn't get to the heart of the self sabotage.

Who would have thought it was little wounded Vanessa that was causing the issues?  I was at effect.  My unconscious belief that I would never be good enough was still holding back my potential. A big part of my energy was trapped in this self-sabotaging pattern. I thought I was the driver of my own bus, I'd put the accelerator on full speed ahead but unconsciously I'd also put the break on.

Realising this and finally getting hold of this pattern is what's helping me soothe my fearful inner child that often feels unheard and rebels against being told what to do. Instead of stuffing down my emotions I've learnt to be with them, express them in a healthy way. I'm not allowing myself to be inauthentic in the old way - I don't slap on a smile and tell you what you want to hear. I've got much better at naming my own resistance and being with conflict. I'm making my opinion the one that counts and have stopped giving my power away.  

It's a practice. I work this daily. This new awareness gives me a freedom of choice and responsibility I didn't have before. And what I'm loving most is that as I share this story I find others who resonate and are caught in their own self sabotage pattern. I invite them to jump in to my movement and ignite their lives with compassion, love and whole different kind of rocket fuel. 

Top Tip:

If you feel overwhelmed and whilst you might look great on the outside on the inside feel you wake up with a list, feel there must be more than this and are sick of being hard on yourself ... try this.

  1. Write out all the symptomatic issues you have e.g. don't feel as happy as you think you should be, doing a job you hate but can't let go, not able to promote yourself at work, can't assert your opinion etc. 
  2. Ask yourself what is your belief under the surface? e.g. I had a strong default belief that I would never be enough or as good as everyone else. I always felt wrong or stupid. I never felt I fitted in. Seeing that I was still playing out and sabotaging my adult life enabled me to do the inner work to heal that pattern and take charge of it.


When we realise we are being run by an unconscious, outdated operating system, we get the opportunity to invest and upgrade in a new one. We get to heal the old wounds and reclaim our life and let our real self shine through. We get to be at cause not effect.

Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee

Vanessa Anstee

Life Coach

I'm inspired by who you can be without apology and I want to help you let your real self shine. I've been a life coach for 10 years. I've always been a seeker trying to discover a way of being in life that feels soulful, authentic and aligned to what my heart wants not what my head thinks I should have, be or do. I spent 20+ year career in HR, OD, talent management and executive coaching. My kids were my biggest wake up. I saw the way I was working wasn't working anymore. I couldn't keep pushing myself harder. I had to accept I couldn't attain this perfected version of myself that I had strived most of my life to achieve. I had to find love not from accolades and other people's acceptance but from deep inside me. That's when I learnt to connect to my heart, heal my childhood wounds and fears of never being enough and set light to my passion in a completely new way. I want one thing for my clients. Be real. Be themselves, fall madly in love with that person and honour their soul's calling.

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