Your pattern is rooted in
low self-worth and unconscious fears.
Somewhere along the way, either due to your upbringing or early experiences you have acquired a set of beliefs about your unworthiness and lack of safety. They were formed as a result of messaging you received from people around you, and now they are entrenched in your subconscious mind dictating your behavior.
“We acquire limiting beliefs through a family of origin (the family unit you grew up in), early romantic relationships, friendships, or the school environment, and then we play them out in the future because we have been conditioned to do so on a deep subconscious level.”
Maybe growing up you have not received care, guidance, and attention you needed and deserved.
Perhaps when you were young, you felt rejected by others which was damaging to your sense of self.
Maybe you have a history of abuse which resulted in perpetual feelings of shame and guilt.
You grew up in a chaotic and unpredictable environment, which influenced your sense of safety and security.
You felt excessively criticized, and it impacted your self-worth
Those feelings of undeserving are so deeply ingrained and your subconscious mind gripping to its limiting beliefs is attracting negative circumstances into your life. It's happening because ultimately those events are confirming and validating your feelings of unworthiness.
If something is always stopping you from taking action, fear might be a big player in your inner world. It can be a fear of finding out that if you take a risk, you are going to fail and confirm your deep-seated suspicion that you are just not good enough. A fear of failure or rejection might also come into play. And the ultimate - the fear of unknown.
If you repeatedly let opportunities pass you by it's because deep down you don't feel good enough. Not taking action is a self-protection mechanism. It keeps you safe because failing would prove once again that you are unworthy, which in effect would recreate the original pain. By not going after your goals and dreams you are avoiding this pain.
If you are on a constant self-improvement track, consuming more and more information, but not implementing it, ask yourself whether you had to be perfect as a child in order to gain approval or affection. Low self-worth often leads to perfectionism. And perfectionism leads to paralyzing overwhelm and procrastination.
Practice - Rewire negative views of yourself
If you tend to rebuke compliments or praise, receiving from others might be hard for you due to diminished self-worth. This practice will teach you how to accept the goodness that others see in you and as a result increase your self-esteem. The trick is to bypass your critical, rational mind by getting into meditative state. Also from the neuroscience perspective, when you see someone looking at you with love and acceptance, mirror neurons in your brain create a sense of goodness within you that the other person is seeing.
This exercise was adapted from Linda Graham's book "Bouncing Back- Rewiring your brain for maximum resilience and well-being"
Go ahead and find a quiet space in which to perform this guided visualization. Sit down and close your eyes. Focus on your breath and allow yourself to relax. Notice how you are feeling towards yourself. Uneasy? Judgmental? Just notice the feeling and accept it for what it is.
Then when you are ready bring to mind and image of someone who you know loves you unconditionally. It can be a person, a historical or spiritual figure or your pet. Pets are actually the best :)
Imagine yourself sitting with this person face-to-face. Picture them looking at you with love and tenderness. Feel into this love and imagine taking it in with your whole being. Allow yourself to bask in that feeling.
Now imagine yourself being that other person, and see yourself through their eyes. Feel that person's goodness being directed at you. See in yourself the goodness that the other person sees in you.
Now come back to you again. You are in your own body again taking in the love and acceptance this other person is sending to you. Take it deeply into your being. Feel it in your body. Stay with this feeling for as long as you wish. Then open your eyes and reflect on this experience. If you repeat this exercise you will rewire your neural pathways and change the view you have of yourself.