Are you stuck in a pattern of self-sabotage? Does it all seem to fall apart every time something good starts to happen? Could it be that you are sabotaging yourself without even knowing it? Here’s how to stop the self-sabotaging behavior for good.
What is self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is a combination of thoughts, actions, and behaviors that interfere with and prevent you from accomplishing your goals and aspirations.
Why do you self-sabotage yourself?
Self-sabotaging behavior is the result of a conflict between what you want and what you believe you are allowed to have, do or be.
It’s a part of your own subconscious mind that is attempting to help you and keep you safe. It does this by keeping you in comfortable and familiar circumstances.
After all, it’s kept you relatively safe so far. But it can only draw from past experiences and beliefs. It can’t see into the future.
The future is unknown and therefore, uncontrollable. Change is frightening and potentially dangerous. By keeping you in your comfort zone, it believes that it will keep you safe.
So, how does it keep you there? It keeps you safe by sabotaging yourself.
Self-sabotage is tricky. You may be sabotaging yourself without realizing it. If you feel as if things never seem to work out or go right for you, chances are you may be caught in a loop of self-sabotaging behavior.
Here are just a few examples of self-sabotaging behaviors:
- constant worry, anxiety and negative thinking
- fear of failure (or success)
- addictions (of all types)
How to Stop Self-Sabotaging Behavior
The key to stopping sabotaging yourself is to become more aware and conscious in the present moment. You have to learn to become aware of your thoughts and feelings in order to consciously choose your actions instead of unconsciously reacting to your life.
#1 – Where are You Sabotaging Yourself?
First, determine where you are sabotaging yourself. Is there an area in your life that you keep trying to change, but feel as if you are stuck?
Do you notice any episodes of “bad luck” or things going wrong – usually in similar circumstances?
Do you feel as if you are stuck in a loop and the same things keep happening over and over and you can’t seem to change or stop it?
If so, chances are you may have more power over these problems than you realize. These are classic signs of old, self-sabotaging patterns.
#2 – Notice Your Patterns and Identify Triggers
Looking at these problems, notice any reoccurring patterns and identify what triggered your reactions.
For example, perhaps every time you start a diet, you’re doing fine until something stressful happens at work and you find yourself picking up fast food that evening for dinner.
The trigger would be the stressful event and your reaction would be eating fast food and falling off the diet.
#3 – Notice Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions
Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions while you are repeating the self-sabotaging behaviors. Step outside of yourself and assume the watcher position. Notice what thoughts you had. Notice how you explain your actions or justify them to yourself. Become aware of your self-talk and the excuses you make for your behaviors.
Notice how you feel before you act on your thoughts and afterward.
Did you feel a sense of relief when you made the decision to stop at the restaurant? Did you feel less stressed at the time, but disappointed in yourself afterward?
No judgments here. You are just looking for a clear understanding of the sabotaging patterns.
#4 – Examine the Outcome
Examine the outcome of your thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Did it get you closer to your goals and objectives or further away?
The Secret to Change
Just because you have always done something in a certain way doesn’t mean that you have to continue doing it all of your life.
You can choose to do things in a different way, a way that will help you to attain what you desire instead of sabotaging your efforts.
You Have Permission
Give yourself permission to think of and do things differently.
If that feels too difficult, work up to it with a few small steps.
First, give yourself permission to accept your current behavior.
Then give yourself permission to accept that there are alternative ways to do things.
Realize that by doing things differently; you can create a different outcome. Give yourself permission to create a better outcome for yourself.
Switch Things Around
Practice responding differently to your triggers.
Instead of hitting the fast food when stressed at work, go for a walk or go to the gym.
Change Your Mind
Make a conscious decision that you can have, do or become what you desire in your life.
Accept it, visualize it and continue to take steps towards creating it in your life.
Change occurs as the result of learning and growing. The more actions you take, the more experiences your mind has to draw on.
Remember, your mind looks to your past experiences to keep you safe. By creating more experiences that lead to your goal, your mind will have less need to sabotage your progress.