"Soft" Sabotage Unmasked

Today we go a-hunting after a prey we spend our lives trying to avoid and ignore. Today we get our bravery on because today we go after the stealth and persistent destroyer of our confident yes/no-making ability

Truth: not everyone is going to welcome your yes/no-making.

Some see a yes for you as a no for them, and will resist your efforts at authenticity.

This is true whether the resister is outside yourself, another person, or if the resister is inside, a part of you that would rather things stay exactly as they are.

The resister pushes back, sometimes loudly, but most often in a way few of us are equipped to handle. S/he pushes back covertly, spinning soft, but debilitating negatives.

Soft negatives are those subtle internal states that generally fall under the category of discomfort - like feeling uncertain, unbalanced, self-doubting, etc. They are negative states, but ones we could almost miss if we weren't paying attention.

Their subtlety is the very thing that makes them dangerous, because they often operate under the radar, directing behavior as surely as some of their more noisy cousins such as anger, fear, abandonment and depression; they are cloaked, and thus harder to apprehend. 

Soft negatives have two more things working for them, unfortunately supplied by our overriding preference to ignore and avoid experiencing them. 

Many of us have basically normalized living various degrees of discomfort. We've grown so accustomed to unease in its many forms we no longer register their comings and goings. We miss precisely those moments where targeted action would make a difference.

Being out of touch with our soft negatives, we also don't understand them. We don't know how to use the information they contain, and thus don't respond appropriately even if we get the chance to do so.


Feeling brave? because there are things to do. You can stop sabotaging the life you want under the spell of soft negatives. You can pay attention and learn to discern.

Here's how:

  1. Make the decision to move toward vs. away from your feelings.  Getting on board with feeling what you're feeling is key. 

  2. Check-in with yourself multiple times a day, asking the same basic question - "What am I feeling right now?" If you have trouble answering this question - start here.

  3. When you discover a soft negative - don't get hung up on the why of it. Ask instead: "If I act on this discomfort, does it take me farther from or nearer to my authentic self?" 

  4. Act accordingly.

While the why of any situation can be helpful, it's a distraction when dealing with soft negatives and authenticity. Learn to reference your authenticity when dealing with soft negatives and they will cease to sabotage, regardless of origin.

Join me in the comment thread below to share some success stories battling soft negatives. It's rewarding to hear of others' triumphs.

And as always, feel free to click around on the social icons below and spread the love.

In bravery,