Ahhh, self sabotage. Anyone who writes music, makes art, choreographs, writes, or does anything else creative knows how closely just that term hits home. Living within each one of us lurks the Saboteur, like a devil on our shoulder. Even when things seems to be going well, we can feel it hiding in the shadows, like a grim reaper awaiting it's victim. It stalks us...patiently...waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike us down, with lethal blows.
The Saboteur prays on our weaknesses, our doubts, our holes. It puts us on the defensive, where we feel we have to justify our place in the world, our community, our home, and even ourselves. And being a saboteur of the self, it remains hidden from view from all those around us. Only we are aware of it's presence, only we can hear it's taunts. It lives with us as we work, and we can hear it panning schemes of our undoing.
But people around us can see it's handiwork. i can see that you are your own undoing. I can see that the only thing stopping you is yourself. I can see that you're making excuses, finding reasons why NOT to do, and making assumptions based on fear. But YOU....you live WITHIN the world of the Saboteur. To you it's not that simple, because it haunts you every day, each time you question anything. For you, it's not as simple as being afraid people wont like your art...it runs much deeper than that. For you, it's layers and layers of torment, complication, and desperation, daily guilt, remorse, isolation, and regret. For you it's not as easy to just get on with it, get over it, and turn a new page. For you, it's the thorn in your side that never ceases.
But the Saboteur keeps you in check. It keeps the fight alive. Makes you work harder. To see the light you have to place it in the dark. It's voice, though haunting, can drive you to prove it wrong. You work is better because of it's unending presence. You scoff at it, laugh it down, drive over it with a lawnmower...mock it until it becomes little more than a shade of grey. It feeds you to do better, fly higher, create greater.
Self Sabotage will always be a part of artistic life. The trick is to use it's presence to empower yourself and your work. It is merely the yang to your yin, the night to your day. So long as you strive for balance, your never need to fear it's influence.