WHY DO WE SELFSABOTAGE?
Highlighting some of the reasons for self-sabotage
Ever heard the expression, ‘you are your own worst enemy’? In fact, I’m sure it rings true for most of us. How many times have we acted against our self-interest then asked ourselves why did we do that? Why did we say that to a loved one? Why did we procrastinate on that project? Why did we eat the block of chocolate? Why have we stopped doing that one thing that makes us feel great? Why do we selfsabotage? When we fall victim to our critical voice, we often engage in self-limiting and acts of self-sabotage that ultimately hurts us in our daily lives.
HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES OF SELF-SABOTAGE:
• Repeating unwanted patterns of behaviour
• Procrastinating and lacking motivation as a deadline draws near
• Inability to commit to or hold on to long-term relationships
• Doing things that compromise your health, wellbeing and effectiveness
• Failure to complete what you start
• Finding the perfect job but missing the deadline for submission of the application.
Do any of the above statements sound like you? Ultimately these thoughts, feelings and actions undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly. Our inner saboteur is activated when strong emotions are surging. Internal feelings of turmoil emerge and destructive emotions dominate. These emotions compel us
to repeat self-destructive acts, do something that hurts ourselves or others, if we allow ourselves to be controlled by them. Once you recognize the ways in which you are self-sabotaging, you can actively and deliberately monitor these thoughts. Understand that negative self-talk is based on inappropriate beliefs and negative thoughts. You can kindly and gently choose to change this inner dialogue to more positive, supportive self-talk. Slowly but surely a healthier, more supportive mindset leads to a joyful sense of freedom and sustainable positive life changes.
YOU MIGHT FIND THE FOLLOWING TECHNIQUES HELPFUL AS PART OF A DELIBERATE WAY TO CHANGE YOUR THINKING: 1. Expect that there will be bumps in the road.
Change isn’t easy. There will always be tough times. Sometimes it can be helpful to brainstorm about situations that make it hard for you to be positive. By then developing a plan for how you might deal with these situations when they arise, can often make you more confident in your ability to keep going when the going gets tough.
2. Don’t view mistakes as failures.
Progress rarely moves in a straight line. Sometimes people think that one step back means they’ve gone all the way back to square one which can cause them to give up. Recognise that we are human and that we will encounter some problems that slow us down. So, rather than seeing ourselves as a failure we need to harness our energy and focus to create a plan to get us back on track.
3. Stay connected to your plan.
Having a clear plan for your future is both motivating and inspiring. A vision is what drives the decisions and actions that bring fulfilment and joy. Once you come up with a plan for your life, I believe that you need to read it every day. It reminds you of your greater purpose and there is less chance of you being distracted.
4. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.
When negative feelings come up, stop and bring yourself back into the present moment. Ask yourself the following questions posed by author Byron Katie in Loving What Is:
• Is it true? • Can I absolutely know that it is true? • How do I react when I think that thought? • Who would I be without that thought?
5. Get outside.
Stop, take a break, stretch, step outside into the sunshine and fresh air. It can change your perspective and help inspire new ideas and solutions that you hadn’t previously been able to see.
6. Share your struggle.
Sometimes being connected and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and share your story, can lead to being inspired and supported by others.
FINALLY, MY ADVICE FOR EVERYDAY IS:
1. Concentrate on what you want and make a plan 2. Enjoy what you already have 3. Live in the moment 4. Not to fear what could happen in the future. Remember to think about what’s going right and what’s working and be sure to acknowledge and be thankful for it. If you think in this way, you will attract more of what is working and limit self-sabotage.