Friday, August 12, 2022

Stop the Sabotage!

Do you live in a friendly or hostile universe? Is this a dog-eat-dog world, where people are either actively trying to bring you down, or laughing behind your back when you fail? Are you constantly being sabotaged by evil-doers?

Maybe you’ve been sabotaged at work, where people stole your ideas and presented them as their own. Sometimes, people may also deliberately keep us in the dark and starve us of information we need to know, to hamper our progress and frustrate us.

Other times, they undermine our authority. They give us impressive titles but effectively whittle away our functions, reducing us to ceremonial puppets. They may even form powerful cliques or sub-groups within an Organization, banning or ostracizing anyone who shows the slightest originality in their thinking.

What about sabotage when it comes to our romantic relationships? After speaking to most people, you could be forgiven for thinking that there’re no monogamous people in the world. Many people believe that some calculating person is always waiting in the wings, ready to thwart their happy union.

They lack trust because someone ‘wrecked their relationship’ in the past. They also regularly converse with people who’re in relationships where at least one person is cheating, thereby exposing to themselves the ‘fallacy’ of happy, romantic relationships.

These problems are real. Some people live and see these types of scenarios every day.

Many working environments are cut-throat; with no shortage of people willing to persecute others to further their own ends. There’re also many supposedly monogamous relationships that are anything but in reality. In fact, there’re countless experiences that we could point to, apparently caused by negative external factors and influences ÔÇô or saboteurs.

Yet we don’t need to give our attention to something just because it exists. In fact, focusing on something true, but negative, is detrimental to our cause.

Never focus on ‘reality’ unless it’s exactly as you want it to be. What we focus our attention upon creates our reality.

People protest when they hear this. They say they weren’t thinking about being sabotaged at work, or in their marriage, before it happened. But if they’re being honest and examine the balance of their thoughts before the negative experience, they’ll see that they were predominantly negative and so they attracted a negative experience.

Everything in our lives existed first as a thought in the mind. If you don’t like the life that you’re living, renew your mind (for more details on how, read my article of the same title from 5 August 2011). Decide that you live in a friendly, not hostile, universe and it shall be so.

Of course there’re people who want to sabotage your efforts, but you don’t have to give them that power, or allow them into your personal experience, by giving them your attention. If you find yourself dealing with negative influences, stay focused on what you want, not what you don’t want. What you focus your attention on grows.

Can you imagine what would’ve happened if Nelson Mandela, who had many people who wanted to sabotage him and his movement, had ceased to focus on what he wanted? South Africans would still be living under an unjust apartheid system today.

If he’d let twenty-seven years of prison break him or make him bitter, he could’ve instigated a violent chain of events and plunged the entire sub-region into chaos. But he kept his vision of a peaceful, rainbow nation and taught us that no individual, or group of people, however powerful, can sabotage our dreams.

Consider also Barack Obama’s performance in the 2008 US Presidential race. Before he captured the global imagination with his ‘Yes We Can!’ slogan, people had all sorts of compelling statistics about why he’d never win. They said the majority of white Americans would never vote for a black man; and that his so-called lack of experience would let him down.

Yet Obama defied expectations; and the prevailing ‘reality,’ to change the course of history. He endured a gruelling campaign by keeping his eye on the prize. While would-be saboteurs fell by the wayside, ‘Yes We Can’ became ‘Yes We Did!’

How about Amantle Montsho? Coming from a country that frankly, not many people have heard of, she recently joined the ranks of the world’s sporting elite when she became the woman to beat in the 400m race. Although her sporting achievements are staggering, many people are still stunned by her victory; so much so, that some are even calling her recent gold medal performance at the World Championships in South Korea an “upset.”

But who’s upset? Surely not Amantle, who must’ve know that she would win? She didn’t see her lack of world-class training facilities, or coaches, as a hindrance. She, and other champions, don’t allow themselves to be daunted by apparently negative circumstances. They create their own circumstances.

Who is sabotaging you; and what are you doing to assist them? Do you know that your negative expectation, of any situation, helps bring it to pass?

Nobody can sabotage you unless you give them the power to by focusing your attention on them. And since you control where you place your attention, the only person sabotaging you – is YOU!

If you find yourself attracting negativity from someone, withdraw your attention from them and place it on something more positive. When you do this, they’ll move out of your experience; and on to someone else who’s worried about being sabotaged.

Ignore your detractors and stay focused on your dreams. Stop the sabotage: “people are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on…are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” ÔÇô George Bernard Shaw.

*Primrose Oteng is a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) and the Founder of the Positive Peace Project, an organization dedicated to creating positive change through personal empowerment. For more information, please contact: [email protected]


Read this week's paper