Updated: Nov 28, 2018
Self-Sabotaging: an unconscious way of shielding ourselves from what might go wrong, or in some cases, what might go right. A way of protecting ourselves from disappointment, advancement, and unfamiliar territory. What does it look like? It’s procrastinating. Running from opportunities (change of employment, relationships, business deals).
Self-Sabotaging: an unconscious way of shielding ourselves from what might go wrong, or in some cases, what might go right. A way of protecting ourselves from disappointment, advancement, and unfamiliar territory. What does it look like? It’s procrastinating. Running from opportunities (change of employment, relationships, business deals).to job interviews for positions we are full if not over qualified for. We procrastinate until the deadline passes. We start arguments with loved ones. So what do we do? How do we save ourselves from self-sabotaging behaviors?
Own it: That inkling you get in your quiet time that says you are making a mistake? Accusing people of mistreating you so you can end the relationship. Not making any moves towards your goal until you have every single piece of the puzzle in place? There’s a fine line between making sure you’re making the right decision and shooting yourself in the foot by not making any moves at all. Engaging in illegal behavior once things started getting too good for you to handle… yeah, that’s self-sabotage at it’s finest. Say it out loud. Acknowledge the negative pattern you are quietly aware of. Own it and say it out loud. The first step in any change process is to stop pretending like the problem doesn’t exist. Admit to yourself that you are engaging in avoidant behaviors in the forms of self-sabotage. Write down various instances where you are holding yourself back. Own it and write it down.
Replace the behavior with a productive action: The next time you have that inkling to disrupt things that are going well, STOP. Make a conscious decision to go in another direction. Feel like sending that “we need to talk” text? STOP. Instead, send one acknowledging all the good things your partner does and how appreciative you are of them. Did a friend approach you about making some quick yet sketchy money? STOP. Consider all of the positive steps you have taken away from that lifestyle. Focus your energy on ways you can make safe and sustainable income. Have plenty of time to write that book, but you keep spending entire days scrolling Facebook? STOP. Commit to 20 minutes of writing time, even if it’s only spent outlining what you intend to write. Replace your avoidant behavior with a productive action in the direction of your goal.
Ask for Help: Find someone you trust and ask them to be your accountability partner. Opt for someone who has been through something similar and asks how they overcame. Let them know the area you are struggling with and what you would like to see happen differently. Be open to their feedback and guidance. It may even be helpful to create a check in time so you can discuss your progress. There is nothing new under the sun so I can promise that you are not the first person to have this struggle. This human walk was not intended to be done in silent isolation so there is nothing wrong with asking for help. If you don’t feel comfortable telling a loved one or you to feel like the issue is beyond what they can assist with, that’s when you contact a helping professional. For cavities, you go to the dentist. For broken bones, you see a doctor. For emotions and behaviors that are affecting your ability to progress in your life? You call Dr Glenna.
Self-sabotage is a tough pill to swallow, but once you own up to it, you will find that your overall quality of life will dramatically improve. How do we address it?
Own it, replace the behavior, and ask for help.