Self-sabotage is a phenomenon most people are not aware of. The funny thing is that, it is something we all indulge in every now and then. It is in fact responsible for most of our set-backs. I have no doubt that you can recall a time when you built something halfway and did something that destroyed it all before you could finish it. Unfortunately for some it has become a habit. I have had my personal share of self-sabotage and sometimes the set-backs can be tremendously disheartening. There are statements we use every day that represents self-sabotage quite well. Among them;
…being your own worst enemy
…getting in your own
Those who suffer from another phenomenon called fear of success tend to self-sabotage more frequently. There is an internal program who’s job it is to destroy the very thing they have been building. This ensures they never reach their goals no matter how hard they work. This group will need some expert attention to address the problem. As a minister I should also point out that there can very often be a spiritual dimension to this although it is mostly psychological. This of course means it is a solvable problem.
But let me point you to something I saw on TV recently that might bring the idea closer to home for you. One of GBCs greats; Gifty Anti was making a presentation at Springboard which happens to be one of Ghana’s finest platforms for inspiration. The founders of springboard are known to be a solid Christian couple with the husband serving as executive minister with one of Ghana’s most powerful Churches. Over the years Springboard has brought inspiration to both young and old across the country and recently beyond. Every one of the speakers is a recognized success in their own way and supposedly has a positive influence in society.
I believe it was Gifty’s first appearance on Springboard. She started on a wobbly note but that is nothing unusual. Those who have ever mounted a stage to speak are familiar with the initial nervousness. As she picked up speed, she normalized into a comfortable position as she shared her experiences as a broadcaster. Inspiring was the only word that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then she did it:
She mentioned E. L James (the author of 50 shades of grey) as one of the women she looks up to. Really…Gifty? She didn’t end it there in fact. She talked about the author and the success of her book as the fastest selling book of all time. Well in case you didn’t know, 50 Shades of grey is classified erotica. In fact it is not just erotica, it is extreme erotica. Some critics have called it pornography. It can easily be described as the single most effective instrument of the BDSM crusade.
Now I happen to know Gifty is a Christian who was raised by a strict police officer father. How it is that she now enjoys extreme erotica is not particularly my concern. What is an issue however, is that set out to inspire people and ended up introducing them to BDSM. This is a clear case of self-sabotage not only to herself but also to springboard. Why? There is a debate about whether self-sabotage is what you do alone or whether it includes what you don’t do. I am of the second school of thought. What you fail to do can be just as harmful as what you do? Hopefully, from now on Springboard managers will take interest in the content speakers are bringing to ensure it doesn’t become an unregulated platform. By this I am of course assuming that they failed to check content which in many ways is better than assuming they knew she was going to be mentioning E. L James.
Hey, I have nothing against Gifty- I have never met the woman. But there are lots of inspiring female authors who have made a fortune selling their books she could have turned to for inspiration. There is always Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or even good old Rhonda Byrne and many others. Good grief whatever happened to Maya Angelou?