The Secret to Overcoming Self-Sacrifice

Do you struggle with over-giving to others to the point of resentment?

Does helping others make you feel needed & necessary?

Do you feel angry when the gifts that you give are not reciprocated?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you might be struggling with the self-sabotaging tendencies & fixations of a personality style on the Enneagram known as the “Giver” or “Helper”.

In my last newsletter, I talked about how I overcame perfectionism (which is also a personality style on the Enneagram, a system that I use to help my clients understand the underlying root cause of their thoughts & behaviors).

In addition to overcoming perfectionistic tendencies that used to sabotage me in the past, I’ve also struggled with the self-sabotaging pitfalls of the Giver/Helper.

So what are the defining pitfalls & traits of the Giver/Helper?

According to the Enneagram, this particular personality style typically shows up in the following ways (most of which is often unconscious):

  • Lack of self-identity because they define themselves by what they do for others & by their roles instead of their true feelings.
  • Multiple selves or “chameleons”, adapting to the needs of others in order to be connected. Classic co-dependent.
  • Struggle for personal freedom because they’re controlled by other’s needs; dependency on others will be an issue.
  • Spends all their energy gaining approval and avoiding rejection.
  • Giving is often unconsciously manipulative – they give to get.
  • Over-giving & then angry when it is not reciprocated.
  • Playing the martyr by packaging hostility as love.
  • Hysteria/panic when their own real needs surface & collide with the needs of others.
  • Their need for appreciation turns into a need for approval
  • Matchmaking and networking people
  • An overwhelming need to respond to others & have others respond to them
  • Overemphasis on positive feelings toward others
  • Extremely focused on making oneself needed & necessary

Does any of these apply to YOU??

If the answer is yes, you might be wondering… what’s the secret to overcoming the self-sacrifice that sabotages my life?

The secret is to resolve & heal the deep seated core fear or avoidance that drives the behavior & discover the growth path for becoming your very own hero!

According to the Enneagram model, the basic underlying core fear or avoidance that drive the Perfectionist behavior boils down basically to:

A deep-seated fear of being unloveable, unappreciated, unneeded, abandoned, or rejected.

So you see… the behavior of self-sacrifice arises from the deep-seated fear.

In order to be deemed as “loveable” or “needed” by others, the Giver/Helper will be ultra-focused on helping, giving, & pleasing others in the hopes that their efforts will be rewarded with love, appreciation, & acknowledgement of the gifts they give. THIS is what makes them feel loved & sadly, this is what they struggle providing themselves with, which is where the tendency to be co-dependent rears it’s ugly head!

So what’s the secret to overcoming self-sacrifice?

According to the Enneagram model, here are just a few ideas to help someone struggling with these fears & compulsions:

  • Give up the need (addiction) to live through significant others.
  • Identify and express own needs and feelings.
  • Spend time alone to appreciate yourself apart from others.
  • Utilize anger and panic as a signal of your own needs.
  • Learn to love all instead of a select few.
  • Learn to receive (both from yourself & from others!).
  • Resist the urge to pull others in by flattery and recognize that the need to retaliate is caused by hurt pride.
  • Develop a consistent self that does not alter to please others.

In a nutshell, the overall secret is to learn how to take care of YOU first instead of everyone else at the expense of your soul, sanity, & health.

In addition to incorporating any of the above recommended growth paths, it can also be helpful to find a practitioner who can help you resolve at the root level the cellular memory associated with any of the deep-seated core fears that sabotage your life!

My favorite by far is a well-known healing modality known as The Journey Method® which has helped to heal thousands of people around the world & is something I’ve used to help clients break free of self-sabotage & accelerate their results since 2007.

Regardless of which of these options you choose, working WITH your fear (rather than against it) to heal & resolve past trauma is the key!

After all, what you resist, persists. 🙂


Jess Bonasso, otherwise known as The Self Care Goddess, helps busy, high-reaching super heroes struggling to juggle it all break-free of the sabotage that leads to burnout & re-ignite their radiance without sacrificing their soul, sanity, or health!

Are you ready to become your very own hero?

For more information, click HERE to learn about Jess OR HERE to apply for & schedule a COMPLIMENTARY* Discovery Consult!

To receive daily inspiration on how to break free from burnout & re-ignite your radiance, be sure to follow me on social media! 🙂