WHY YOU SELF SABOTAGE AND 4 STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU STOP
Have you been in this situation before? Things are going great. Business is going well, you feel great in the gym, you started dating someone new…wait something feels off. Well not off, but you have this nagging feeling that something is going to go wrong because that is how things work, right? So instead of enjoying the momentary happiness and looking for ways to increase it, you start looking for things that could go wrong. Maybe you start slacking on your nutrition and things head a bit south at the gym. Maybe you pick a fight or blow off your girl because let’s face it, it wasn’t going to work out anyway, right?
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
Self-sabotage is complex, but it can come from several different thought patterns. A recent Psychology Today article lists the top three reasons for self-sabotage as 1. Faulty Thinking, 2. Fear of Intimacy or Fear of Rejection, or 3. Procrastination and avoidance.
1. Faulty Thinking – What this essentially means is that we will default to the familiar ways of thinking and old habits even if a better option is presented. This happens when we are tired, stressed, and presented with too many options. Our brains have a hard time making important decisions when we are under duress.
2. Fear of Intimacy or Fear of Rejection - This is common and we all likely know someone (or ARE that someone) that has a fear of intimacy. This usually can be traced back to childhood and the attachment patterns that your parents or primary caregivers modeled. In my graduate program I have extensively studied attachment theory and the effects later in life. This self-sabotage behavior results in pushing people away by cutting off communication, picking fights, or even cheating.
3. Procrastination and avoidance – The third area of self-sabotage is procrastination or avoidance. Many people suffer from this not due to laziness but due to a need for perfection. This causes overthinking and the inability to start. The task itself may seem overwhelming and so it gets put off.
HOW TO STOP
Self-sabotage can result in damaging relationships, harming your health, and even loss of income when business is involved. No one wants to continue to behave in this way so how do you go about stopping this destructive behavior?
1. Recognize You Have A Problem – As with most things the first step is admitting you have an issue and working to identify some of your triggers.
2. Get To The Root – After you have identified what is causing you to self-sabotage it’s time to do some digging. If it is related to relationships, take a look at your past relationships, your upbringing, ask yourself if you see a correlation between some of the patterns you are acting out. If it is related to business, ask yourself if you have a fear of success. Perhaps seek out a coach to help you work through some confidence issues.
3. Change Your Pattern – Start small but start. If you have stopped going to the gym because your nutrition is crap, get your nutrition back on track. If you have been tanking relationships because your last two ended badly and you assume the next one will be the same, start small. Go on a few dates. Keep an open mind. Don’t assume everyone is the same.
4. Make A Plan – Once you have a few small wins under your belt make a plan. Our brains crave structure and a plan is a great way to help you succeed. Lay out your nutrition and gym plan. Make plans for a date. Set action items for your business. Your plan doesn’t have to be super far in the future, it could be more flexible and on a daily basis. I use a planner every day that has a “top 3” section that I must complete. Get a planner or journal that you keep track of your to do items.
Self-sabotage doesn’t have to run your life if you don’t want it to. It comes from a place of trying to protect yourself, but it doesn’t always serve your best interests. In this blog I talked about some of the reasons why we self-sabotage and gave you some actionable steps to stop. I work with people every day that struggle with this. If you need help, get in touch. I can help. Click here to schedule a call today!