Do you ever feel like you’re sabotaging your success even though you don’t want to? Self-sabotage is something that many people experience without knowing it. In this blog post, we will discuss how to recognize and stop this behavior from damaging your daily life.
Nobody wants to acknowledge it, but we all undermine our own lives to some extent. Everyone has taken actions that have put them at odds with a goal they are working toward or a behavior they want to modify. When we’re conscious of it, that’s okay.
Life can seem impossible when we’re not aware of our self-destructive tendencies. Sometimes it can seem like we’re playing a game with unclear rules. It could seem impossible for us to succeed in our objectives or lead the kind of life we desire.
It’s beneficial to focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t when trying to make changes in your life. Fortunately, you have the power to alter your behavior. This article will teach you how to spot harmful habits and how to quit self-defeating behavior.
What Is Self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is the act of subconsciously sabotaging your efforts, relationships, and goals in life. This behavior can range from minor and seemingly harmless thoughts or actions to big and consequential ones. Self-sabotage can also be a reaction to emotions such as anger, anxiety, fear, or sadness. Often, this results from the feeling that we can’t trust that things will go well.
What leads to self sabotaging behavior?
Dr. Judy Ho describes self sabotaging conduct as a biological reaction in her book Stop Self Sabotage. By setting goals, we increase the feel-good chemical dopamine. But when the time comes to finish things, avoidant behavior is brought on by the fear of failing. We begin to resent our aspirations unconsciously in an effort to avoid the “danger.” The approach-avoidance conflict is what’s happening here.
A mismatch between our values and conduct results in self-sabotage. Most frequently, it occurs when we are forced to choose a decision that goes against our true desires. In contrast, it’s possible that we act in a way that prevents us from achieving our goals despite knowing what we desire.
How To Recognize When You Are Self-Sabotaging?
Self-sabotage can take many different forms. It could be as simple as procrastinating on a task that you know needs to get done, or it might manifest in a more complex way, such as an addiction. These behaviors are often the result of unconscious beliefs and patterns from our pasts when faced with difficult situations.
One way to recognize self-sabotage is by looking out for behaviors that are significantly different from your values. These can come in the form of unhealthy eating habits, overspending, or avoidance of challenging tasks. Self-sabotaging thoughts may also come up when working on a project or having SMART goal in mind.
The act of self-sabotage doesn’t always take place right away. Instead, it can be a slow process that happens over time and is often the result of not receiving enough validation from someone we loved or admired in our childhood and adolescent years. Unfortunately, this experience leads us to seek reassurance through damaging behavior.
Your health is neglected
A healthy body is essential to your life. You run the risk of a lot of things if you don’t look after yourself. If your health is neglected, you can discover that you are frequently exhausted and that you are heavier than you’d like to be. It’s time to start eating healthily and working out. It will be challenging to kick a longstanding sedentary habit and start getting active, but it’s not impossible. After dinner, start by going for quick walks. Expand those weekly strolls. You’ll discover that as your energy levels rise, so does your mood. Make sure to schedule a checkup if it has been a while since you’ve had one.
You continue working at a job you detest
You must work, but you are not required to continue in a position that no longer fulfills you. Utilize your free time to hunt for a new employment if you’re unsatisfied in your current position. It’s unlikely that the ideal job will just appear in front of you. Look into evening or weekend courses that fit into your schedule if you wish to increase your education. Never leave a job until you have one to replace it, but don’t let your current one make you complacent to the point where you stop seeking for something better. You don’t have to stay in your work forever to be thankful to have one.
Reasons Why People Self-Sabotage
Self-sabotaging behaviors are usually rooted in some kind of pain from past experiences, such as feeling alone, unsupported, unaccepted, or unimportant. It might be an attempt to protect oneself from the vulnerability of being put in a risky position, or it could come from feeling like you’re not good enough at something and believe other people will notice this as well.
Stressors such as financial or relationship problems are also another reason why we self-sabotage. We give in to these behaviors in an attempt to “escape” from those stressors in a way that feels safe and manageable, even when it’s not the best solution.
Ways To Stop Your Self Sabotaging Behaviors
Self-talk is a common self-sabotage technique that happens when people avoid uncomfortable emotions like sadness or anger. This can manifest into statements like “I’m too lazy to get out of bed” or “I’ll eat a whole pie because I deserve it.”
If you catch yourself doing this, try practicing self-compassion. Self-compassion is the opposite of self-criticism. Instead of beating ourselves up for not being “good enough” at something (which often perpetuates a cycle), we offer kindness and gentleness toward ourselves by acknowledging that we’re doing our best with what we’ve got.
If self-talk has become an automatic response for you, and it’s been going on for years, then consider talking through your thoughts when they come up to catch them before they lead to self-sabotaging behavior. Self-talk can be turned around to provide reassurance and validation, such as saying, “I deserve this because I’m doing my best” after working on something for hours or days without any rest.
Another way you might overcome your patterns of self-sabotage is by creating an alternative plan when the first one doesn’t go well.
If you’re trying to quit smoking, for instance, but find yourself in a social situation where some cigarettes and people smoke them, it can be helpful to have an alternative plan like going outside and taking deep breaths.
If you’re struggling with self-sabotaging behavior and need more help, consider talking to someone licensed in mental health or addiction counseling for outside support. Find someone you can trust and talk through new ways of responding to challenging situations.
To become more aware of how you self-sabotage, take some time to think back on your behaviors. Try keeping a regular notebook to track your actions and thoughts to try and figure out where they come from. Take a few moments to check in with yourself during the day. You can become more deliberate about where you need to make improvements as you gain knowledge into yourself.
Take Care Before You Jump
This old saying has valuable advice for self-saboteurs in the present era. Ask yourself if your bad habits are helpful or hurting you as you start to notice unpleasant behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. A moment to consider whether something will hold you back is important since we frequently feel forced to do something (or avoid doing something) out of fear.
How Entrepreneurs Self-Sabotage
It can be challenging for entrepreneurs to recognize when they are doing something counterproductive due to their self-confidence, and they may even be at greater risk.
Many people are uncomfortable with charging for their services since it’s their passion. As a result, some businesses tend to undercharge because it is easier for them, even though they provide tremendous value to their customers. Business owner might even delay sending invoices to customers, waver at a discount request, or feel guilty about actively pursuing late payments.
As a solution, you can subscribe to online websites like Paystubsnow to generate invoices. You may even use it to prepare 1099 and W-2 forms. In this manner, you will not have to pay an accountant to organize paystubs and manage other financial documents for your business. The easier a task becomes, the less likely you are to self-sabotage.