If you are used to betray yourself, then many of the characteristics of the long list below may apply to you. Check it out, how many of them fit your profile?

1) Suffering from low self-worth.

2) Constantly comparing yourself to others and having thoughts of self-lack and inadequacy (others seem to be better or luckier than you).
3) Being a perfectionist.

4) Playing small.

5) Having difficulty soothing self after a failure (having very harsh self-judgment).

6) Needing constant approval/validation from others.

7) Fearing people’s criticism or caring too much for their perception of you.

8) Exposing inappropriately yourself in order to be likable (e.g. giving away too many personal information in order to make a bond/connection with someone else).

9) Suffering from a continuous feeling of anxiety.

10) Having lack of boundaries (difficulty saying NO or expressing your true desires).

11) People pleasing.

12) Difficulty taking decisions on your own.

13) Not keeping promises to yourself.

14) Quitting easily hobbies, plans, agreements, arrangements or breaking deals.

15) Having difficulties committing to people or circumstances.

16) Feeling often out of control, angry or stuck (and blaming others for it).

17) Feeling like a victim or as if you have no choice (and blaming others for it).

18) Having a deep desire to be rescued, fixed or saved.

19) Having an inner impulse to save/rescue others.

20) Engaging in relationships that feel draining (feel like you are over-giving to others).

21) Feeling often disappointed or let down by others.

22) Feeling that you are often betrayed by others.

23) Having difficulty trusting others.

24) Having the tendency to judge others for their choices/preferences/lifestyles.

25) Engaging in relationships with people who do not trust themselves.

Self-betrayal is not an inherent behavior. We are not born with it. We learn it. And we learn it from a very young age from the people who are the closest to us, our caregivers. It is a behavior that we observe, copy and then repeat for the rest of our lives (consciously and most often unconsciously).

Self-betrayal is a repeated pattern of self-neglect (both physical and emotional) and broken promises to one’s self, that gradually leads to lack of self-trust. Adults who betray themselves, raise kids who also betray themselves. So, self-betrayal is a trait that passes down from generation to generation.

The self-betrayal story (similar to every trauma-related theme) goes as follows. When we are young, the one thing we crave for the most is our parents’ love. Besides taking care of our physical needs, we need them to meet all of our emotional needs as well. Therefore, they automatically become our number one example and our teachers on how to regulate our emotions, on how to evaluate our reality (how we view the world) and on how to connect to ourselves.

However, if parents carry unprocessed trauma from their own childhood it is very possible that i) they are unable to process and handle their own emotions, ii) they have low self-esteem, iii) they consistently neglect their own emotional or/and physical needs, iv) they are overly concerned with their public image and with how other people perceive them (living in superficiality), v) they frequently deny or dismiss their kids’ reality and emotions (e.g. if the parent is always depressed but never admits it), vi) they tend to systematically trespass or violate their own and their kids’ boundaries, vi) they live their own dreams through their kids’ lives and often have unreasonable high expectations of them and/or vii) they have the tendency to overprovide everything to their kids in order to compensate for what they missed in their own childhood.

Now, kids that grow up with this type of parents and are faced with such a reality, will still do anything to gain the so much wanted parental love and attention and will do so by betraying their own true essence. They will gradually develop a false self that engages in a number of behaviors that will ensure that they is eventually SEEN. These behaviors do not vanish in childhood. Instead, they carry on and become part of the adult personality and unconsciously continue to fuel a low sense of self-worth. Behaviors like that are:

• Denying or being ashamed of any aspect of self that a parent has rejected or judged as bad.

• Rebelling, acting out, creating drama and troubles.

• Overperforming (being the best student, athlete, etc.), wanting to be “perfect”.

• Developing addictions (excessive shopping, drugs, alcohol, porn, gambling, etc.).

• Self-doubting and being unable to trust inner voice/intuition.

• Having denial or “toxic positivity” when dealing with problems.

• Not knowing how to understand, identify and communicate physical/emotional personal needs.

• Allowing systematic violation of personal boundaries. Boundaries are seen as blurry lines; not knowing where one begins and where one ends. Fearing that setting boundaries will block true connection with others.

The truth is that self-betrayal is a pandemic nowadays. We are surrounded by people who do not trust themselves and who consequently do not trust others. And this brings up a lot of frustration and confusion that bubbles up and contributes to the collective chaos we are witnessing these days around us.

To BREAK FREE from this intergenerational conditioning of self-betrayal requires becoming aware of all the toxic patterns that we have adopted and made part of our adult personalities. It requires that we start choosing against our instinctive drives that secretly feed our sense of not being enough or that the world we’re living in is a cruel place. We need to reparent ourselves and to choose differently from the paradigm our caregivers taught us, keeping in mind that they themselves didn’t know how to take care of their own needs and how to provide a better example for us.

Small and gradual steps to reparent ourselves are:

1) Becoming aware of all the ways we betray ourselves. What patterns of self-betrayal do we practice in our everyday lives? How consistent are these patterns? What do we gain by playing out these patterns and what kind of troubles have they brought up?

2) Becoming aware of all the ways we betray others. People who betray themselves will unavoidably betray others too. Think of it as a virus, it is contagious. Take a moment to see how you betray others (gossiping, talking behind their backs, not keeping your word, cancelling last minute, not showing up on time in your appointments, not expressing directly to them how you feel or what you really think, hiding your true intentions, etc.). We all want to view ourselves in the bright light, as good and honest people, but self-integrity is not inherited either. Self-integrity is a choice. So, where do you really stand when it comes to your own self-integrity?

3) Becoming aware of how we set people up to betray us. When you do not trust yourself, the signal that you radiate is that you are not reliable and trustworthy. Therefore, you unconsciously ask from others to betray you or reject you.

4) Keeping the promises, we give to ourselves is essential. Start by keeping one promise to yourself every day. Commit to your schedule, your program, your plans and your priorities. Discipline can help you beat the resistance and all the self-doubting that comes up when attempting to change these persistent patterns. This way you’ll stop feeling angry and pissed off at yourself for not sticking up to your word.

5) Creating a vision board for your future and setting intentions. How do you want to see yourself in the future (short term and long term)? If you have difficulty creating a vision, take it one step at a time. Put some small goals and targets in your list starting already from today (e.g. washing the dishes or doing a set of push-ups might be enough for a start). Make it a habit of yours to conquer one little target each day.

6) Acknowledging or rediscovering all the gifts and talents you have taken for granted without expecting the external admiration or validation from others. In what things are you good at? Have you locked your naturals talents in the closet? Do you have the tendency to underestimate them? Do you get competitive or jealous when you see other people expressing their own talents? What things bring you joy? Could you invest some more of your available time/energy pursuing things that make you happy?

7) Setting boundaries even if that means that some people might misunderstand or misjudge you is a MUST for your healing process.

8) Expressing your truth even if it makes some people feel uncomfortable. You cannot control how others perceive you so instead of spending all that energy caring of what others think of you or trying to persuade them to like you, practice speaking up!

9) When coming across some difficult emotions, don’t run away. Stay with them, observe them, feel them. Allow them to come up, do not suppress them. Let them BE and you’ll soon notice they’ll start lifting and leave space for inner quietness. By doing this process you will start developing again your own capacity of managing and regulating effectively your emotions. The more you practice it, the better and easier will be for you to move through heavy emotions.

10) Make yourself and your needs your NUMBER 1 priority! Give to yourself all the attention, love and approval you always wanted from others. Listen and take care of YOUR NEEDS. BE the one who’s always there for YOU.

11) Do not forget honoring and celebrating every little progress you make when it comes to your healing journey. Give thumps up to yourself for all the good work you do and keep going. You’ll soon see unexpected happy changes and new opportunities showing up in your life that will help you grow into the person you truly ARE.

Dealing with self-betrayal is painful and frustrating, but the good news is that with conscious work you can shift this pattern that doesn’t serve you anymore. If you need any help in your healing journey, do not hesitate to contact me and schedule a private session. In case, you are in need of just a quick advice, check out the new “QUICK ADVICE SERVICE” in the Holistic Awareness homepage. If you want to share your own experience with dealing with self-betrayal drop a comment below and I'll get back to you asap.

In the meantime, stay safe and take good care of yourself!