I believe that the things that challenge us are what make us stronger and push us towards success. But self-sabotage can get in the way of your success. Learning to stop self-sabotaging behavior is hard. By becoming aware of your own self-sabotaging behaviors, you can begin to stop self-sabotage and reach your goals.
Do you tell yourself that you are capable of more, but then your actions don’t reflect that?
Do you try to change your body but end up overeating?
Do you try to make more friends but end up lonely because you don’t nurture your friendships?
Are you attracted to exciting, new relationships, but they end because you can’t seem to get it together even when you know what you need to do?
Do you have a hard time reaching your goals because of all the ways you hold yourself back and sabotage yourself along the way?
Self-sabotage is a uniquely human behavior.
Many of us sabotage ourselves when we decide we want something by doing everything we can to ensure we don't get it.
Sound familiar? Although self-sabotage is a subconscious behavior, we can (and should) get a handle on it. It's time to stop the negative conversations you are allowing to happen in your head.
Why Are You Sabotaging Yourself
If you want to quit self-sabotaging, the very first thing you need to pinpoint is why you do it.
Is it because you're afraid of success?
You may be accustomed to your safe, mediocre life and don't know what to do if you get something better.
Is it because you've resolved that what you have or where you are is all there is out there for you, and settled for less than you deserve?
Maybe this concept of self-sabotage is something you've never really put your finger on.
It's a part of who you are, but fixing it isn't easy.
You can't just stop sabotaging yourself because you realize that's what you're doing. You'll need more than rational thought to capture the root source of the problem and find the solution.
The reality is, there are many reasons that you might sabotage yourself.
It's an extremely common behavior, rooted in a fear of the unknown and even a lack of confidence. Confidence plays a huge role in being able to achieve success.
If you've immersed yourself in mediocrity, the idea of greatness may be frightening.
But now it is time to ask yourself if you're satisfied with your life. And if the answer is no, then it’s time to get to work to change that.
Reasons Why You May Self-sabotage
You might self-sabotage because you have a need to be in control of your circumstances. Self-sabotage is a defensive behavior that allows you to stay in control while protecting yourself from being vulnerable.
If you put your all into something, you run the risk of becoming vulnerable. Fear gets the best of you and then you self-sabotage.
Do you feel unworthy of greatness?
This one can be a hard one to admit. Because even when we know deep down that we have issues with how we value ourselves, we don’t want to admit it.
For whatever reason, you may have decided that happiness ought to be forever beyond your reach. This is a self-limiting idea, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Around 20% of people are chronic self-sabotagers, according to some internet sources. These people sabotage their own happiness if they feel that they are getting too much pleasure. They need pain in order to get pleasure.
They might self-sabotage because they had abusive parents, or they may have been bullied when growing up, causing them to feel unworthy of accomplishing and experiencing good things.
Perhaps you undermine your efforts because you're seeking excitement.
You stop yourself from taking action.
You keep on procrastinating on things that should be done.
And you do this because you get bored of your activities and desire some thrill. So you set yourself to sabotage your efforts in order to feel the sense of thrill again.
Life can be difficult, and a consequence of struggling with life can be that you self-sabotage as a way to create exciting and dramatic results.
This could manifest through self-sabotaging your relationships, sabotaging your professional efforts, or even sabotaging your talents.
If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, there are steps you can take to put yourself on the path toward self-mastery and success.
3 Things You Can Do To Stop Self-sabotage
Observe your behavior
First off, it's essential that you begin to observe yourself.
You can effectively do this by creating a self-sabotage journal.
Make a journal entry every time you realize that you've sabotaged yourself. Or maybe you don’t realize you are sabotaging, so journal when you feel disappointed, like a failure, or when you are procrastinating. These are all directly related to self-sabotage.
In your journal entry describe the setting, circumstances, and end result, and the feeling. The feeling is what is extremely important. Because if you focus on changing the feeling, it becomes easier to change the behavior.
Most often, a person's true intentions are most evident in their actions, rather than their words. Make sure your words are very descriptive of the actions.
Take time to go back and review what you have written in your journal. Eventually, you'll gain a better understanding of your motives in certain situations.
Keep in mind that success is neither black nor white.
Cultivate the habit of envisioning what success means to you and remember how it feels to achieve it.
If you do this consistently, you may find that what you envision changes over time.
Begin to see success as an integral part of your future, but realize there will still be challenges. Just like everyone else, you'll still have to pay taxes and have relationship issues.
Let go of the notion of perfection to stop self-sabotaging behavior
As you visualize success, are you still thinking that success equals perfection?
If so, it's time to realize that nothing and no one is perfect.
This is what George Bernard Shaw would refer to as “doublethink.” Perfection and life are mutually exclusive because perfection is unattainable. Your subconscious won't allow you to achieve success if you associate success with the impossible task of being perfect.
Think of your subconscious as a computer. It doesn't know how to execute a command called “do the impossible.”
If you associate success with fear, your subconscious will fight you the entire way.
Because its primary function is to protect you from perceived threats.
Give yourself permission to anticipate success with excitement. Perhaps you've been sending your subconscious the message, “Don't give me success!”
So, let's put your self-sabotaging behaviors in the past!
Embrace the good life you deserve by picturing yourself as successful, and then refuse to talk yourself out of going for it. The journey to your ideal life starts now!
Are you happy with where you are? If the answer is no, instead of sabotaging yourself, evaluate your behaviors and make a few changes for an improved life.