Here’s the thing: our unconscious mind runs the show. Whatever is down, there affects us - and if it’s not dealt with, it runs our entire life.
So it is not rare that just before we start to gain success - instead of moving forward and simply continuing to do what we were doing before - we do something to stop that. Logically (consciously) it wouldn’t make any sense to do it, but we do it nevertheless. We don’t even know why we do it; we just do it.
Why? Again, because the unconscious is running us. Imagine the conscious mind being the tip of the iceberg and the other 90% the unconscious mind. E.g., when you were bullied in school, then those certain negative aspects that you didn’t want to deal with, go down there. Everything we’ve ever suppressed is in there. Unless we deal with them, they stay there - they haven’t gone anywhere.
Therefore, deep down inside, we might not feel worthy of success. This becomes our identity, and we rationalize our failures accordingly.
When we do gain success, it’s not in accordance with the identity we have constructed, so we unconsciously behave in a way to become in sync again. Instead of shooting for the stars, we shoot in our foot instead.
This is exactly why we might feel that we’re stuck never moving forward and always falling back again.
The solution would be to let all that negative mess bubble up and accept it. Focus on it until it disappears.
However, instead of focusing whatever comes up, we don’t want to deal with it and shove it in our unconscious until it reaches a critical mass and we burst out over some little thing to let that pressure out. This process repeats until the next critical mass.
Another way we tend to deal with those negative thought patterns is to escape from them. This is why people watch Netflix or play video games all day, drink excessively, do drugs, etc. So they wouldn’t have to deal with themselves.
So, how to deal with it? By letting go.
Focus on the feeling that comes up - not on the thoughts. There are too many thoughts, and thoughts are endless. By focusing on thoughts, we’re essentially trying to solve the problem of thinking by thinking. It doesn’t work. However, when the underlying feeling disappears, the thoughts associated with the feeling disappear as well.
The feeling needs to be experienced and not judged. Bring it up, let it stay with you, and eventually, it will go away. Another one might come up (there’s probably plenty of mess in our subconscious), so just repeat the process. The more you let go, the lighter it will feel. Try it!
It’s all about self-acceptance. Al that “we’re not good enough unless…” needs to come up and let go of. Until the subconscious is cleaned up, it keeps running our lives - it’s just too heavy compared to our conscious mind.
How to do it in practice?
Meditation is one way that personally has helped me. Also, simply being alone with your own thoughts. Here’s a test: next time you meet a friend at a cafe - arrive 30 minutes early and see if you can simply wait without checking your phone once. Instead of thinking, focus on being present.
Nowadays we’re so caught up in constant action, and we do all we can to avoid being with ourselves. This is being unconscious. Being present is being conscious. You’ll notice that if you focus on the present moment, to the sounds, to the feelings and not thinking, you’re highly conscious instead.