"...the hard part is the mindset, and to not self sabotage, because you don’t believe in yourself. We often think we can’t achieve our wildest dreams or that we are somehow incapable, and then we never, ever take that first step."
- Riitta Klint
You know moments when you feel like you've been giving it all you've got for the past couple of weeks or months, and you feel like there is absolutely nobody to acknowledge your effort?
That’s the time that negative voice starts playing with your mind, seducing you into giving up altogether.
It starts innocently enough.
You decide one day not to do as much for your goals as you had intended, because you still cannot see the results of the work you've been putting in.
Indeed, it can be exhausting and discouraging.
This article by inlpcenter.org describes self sabotage as "a recurring behavior that takes us in the opposite direction of fulfillment and happiness."
In the beginning it doesn’t seem so bad when you let things go... it’s like no one around you even notices or cares that you stopped working on your goals!
You quickly roll back into old habits and routines, and old ways of thinking.
One thing I would like you to understand is that it is okay to find yourself in this position. It in no way makes you a failure, nor a person who is incapable of finishing what you start.
What you need are the tools necessary to empower and enlighten yourself. Because the truth is, your ability to sabotage yourself will never truly disappear, but you can understand it better.
Here are 5 forms of self sabotage that may be holding you back:
1. Being overly distracted
Whenever you find yourself in a constant state of self destructive behavior, the biggest problem is that you are avoiding something.
This is a natural instinct as human beings; to run away from pain and to seek pleasure as much as we can.
Escaping from the reality in front of you will only provide temporary relief, and will eventually leave you with heavy regret and remorse over wasted time and opportunities presented to you.
2. Extreme Procrastination
When you put off one task, after another, after another, after another...etc, etc, they obviously start to pile up to unmanageable and overwhelming levels!
They become so unbearable that they cause you anxiety, which cripples you even further because you honestly believe that you have absolutely no idea where or how to start cleaning up this mess you have created.
Now you find yourself in a state of mental and emotional paralysis, where you would rather do nothing than face the issue at hand.
3. Criticizing Yourself Too Much
If you grew up in a household where your parents never made you feel like nothing you ever did was ever good enough, or were heavily criticized, it becomes normalized behavior for you.
As an adult, you internalized that criticism so much, that it became your inner voice.
It mocks you, makes you second guess yourself, convinces you that what you are pursuing isn't worth your time or energy because you will fail at it anyway...
You have become your own worst enemy and you may be at a point where you don't recognize this but don't know how to get out of your own way.
4. Learned Helplessness
In psychology, learned helplessness is loosely defined as a person deciding that he/she is incapable of changing the situation they are in, thereby resigning themselves to the circumstances of their lives, no matter how unhappy or dissatisfied they may be.
Learned helplessness can easily lead you into a state of depression because of the fixed mindset you have set yourself in.
5. Remaining In Toxic Relationships
Our mental and emotional growth is heavily influenced by those we chose to spend most of our time and energy on.
It could be that you have a close friend, family member or spouse who is your biggest antagonist.
Whenever you want to pursue something that will make you happy, or that can add value to your life, this person or even people are quick to shoot your aspirations down, thereby discouraging you from wanting to go for them altogether.
Your feeling of helplessness could be coming from those around you.
It's really important that you start to critically look at the people in your life who are against your progress and start asking yourself whether they should be in your life or not.
How Do You Break The Habit Of Self Sabotage?
The most important way to break self sabotaging behaviors is to identify the root cause of them.
Do this by deciding to observe yourself for the next seven days:-
- Figure out the emotional triggers that make you sabotage yourself
- Write your observations down in a journal
- Talk to someone who you truly trust and who knows you very well. You may be surprised to find the insight they will reveal to you about why you hold yourself back the way you do.
Finally, slowly start to make small but meaningful changes in your life.
Creating new, tiny habits in your life consistently can actually start making you feel more capable.
If, for example, you accomplish a simple habit like drinking 3-4 glasses of water everyday for 30 days and have started seeing the results, then you start to realize there are other things you can do to challenge yourself because you have created that belief in yourself that you can set a goal and achieve it.
What about you?
What is the one behavior that causes you to self sabotage?
Please do leave a comment below with your answer and thoughts: