Consider the principle: we cannot have this without that and we cannot have that without letting go of this.
When things are not going well, we may conclude that we are hopelessly incompetent and that conclusion then removes any motivation to even try and that leads to nowhere good. We may even purposefully make choices that we suspect will lead to difficulty in order to punish ourselves as somehow we will prove our incompetence or unworthiness. We will punish ourselves, in other words. Throwing caution to the wind like this can be rather dangerous and leave lasting scars.
Concluding that we are hopelessly incompetent is also a false conclusion. We are neither “all that” nor are we “nothing”. We all have a God-given ability and responsibility to make choices that have the potential to benefit us and the more purposefully we use that ability for our good and the good of others, the more long-term benefit.
So, it is in our nature to sabotage ourselves when things are going well and when things are not going well – but humans are a higher order of living creation and are spirit/soul and are able to choose to oppose our nature for a better state. Sure, we want to be in comfort, want to put out least amount of effort, and want the quick relief. When we take that to the extreme it is easy to see that it does not work in the long run – it is tempting, because it does work right now – yet, if we opt for the most convenient food and drink we become unhealthy, if we opt for the least amount of physical exertion we become weak, if we opt for the least effort in our education we miss out on being able to appreciate the mysteries and beauty of creation, and if we opt for the least effort in work we find ourselves unsatisfied and lacking financial means to maintain even our life of comfort.
Al Ellis (psychologist) said that we all (none of us are immune) have a tendency to think and act in an unhealthy and a healthy manner – this is largely the difference in looking for a short-term solution vs longer-term solution. This does not mean that some things cannot work in both the short-run and long-run, but too often the short-term fix leads to more problems; therefore, it bears being mindful when making choices (using your self-worth).
We will enjoy the journey of life more when we neither think of ourselves as “all that” nor “hopelessly incompetent” – simply accept yourself while continuing to learn and grow more each day! Consider this:
Not by might, nor by power, but My spirit says the Lord of Hosts – Zech 4:6
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Col 3:23-24
When we take this spiritual outlook, we rely on God’s working in our life and we realize our true purpose which then gives life meaning. With that perspective we are much less likely to self-sabotage.