Self-sabotage is a behaviour that is quite unique to us humans. A lot of us indulge in self-sabotaging mostly when we decide we want something and then we somehow unconsciously do everything we can to ensure we don’t get it. I bet that sounds crazy….but familiar? While self-sabotage is a subconscious act of behaviour, we can if we want to, get a handle on it.
There are so many reasons why you might sabotage yourself but know that you are not alone. It is an exceptionally common behaviour that is mostly rooted in “fear of the unknown”. Depending on the environment you grew up in or if you have at some time in your life engrossed yourself in mediocrity, you may find the idea of greatness to be frightening. A lot of people out there yearn for success but many of them are deep down afraid of success.
My question to you right now is that, are you totally satisfied with your life?
Regardless of your answer to the above, find out why you may be self-sabotaging:
If you are the type of person that always or most times have the need to be in control of your circumstances, you might self-sabotage. You are just an individual in whatever environment you find yourself and therefore the only thing or person you can control is you. You have no way of knowing what others are thinking and therefore impossible for you to control your circumstance because most times your circumstance will involve other people’s input.
The easiest and most certain way to stay in control is to maintain the status-quo.
If you put your all into something, you run the risk of becoming vulnerable; allowing fear to get the best of you and you self-sabotage.
2. Low Self-Esteem.
Do you feel unworthy of greatness?
- For whatever reason, you may have decided that happiness ought to be forever beyond your reach. This is a self-limiting idea, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You are whatever you believe you are and whatever you believe you will say and words are powerful enough to create.
Perchance you undermine your efforts because you’re seeking excitement. May be you often feel the need to remain in a constant state of turmoil to distract yourself from painful memories or alleviate boredom. Remaining in the past will keep you there. Life is a journey….you need to keep moving and keep evolving; sometimes you’ll find excitement along the path and sometimes you don’t, nevertheless you keep moving.
If you see yourself in any of the descriptions above, fear not: there are steps you can take to put yourself on the path to help you stop self-sabotaging and moving toward self-mastery.
Consider this process for defeating your self-sabotage:
1. Observe your behaviour.
Firstly, it is very crucial that you begin to observe yourself and be conscious of behaviour. They say it takes 21 days for a habit to become a way of life. Therefore, for the next 21 days, you can effectively create a good and non-self-sabotaging behaviour by creating a self-sabotage journal. Make a journal entry for the next 21 days and write down every time you realize that you’ve sabotaged yourself. Describe the setting, circumstances, and end result. Avoid over-analysing.
- Most often, a person’s true intentions are most evident in their actions, rather than their words.
- Strive to be an impersonal observer in your journal. Eventually, you’ll gain a better understanding of your motives in certain situations.
2. Envision success.
I mentioned earlier that you are whatever you believe you … how about believe in your success? Bear in mind that success is neither black nor white. Develop the habit of envisioning what success means to you and remember how it feels to achieve it. If you do this consistently, you will find that what you envision changes over time.
- Begin to see success as an integral part of your future, but realize there will still be challenges. Just like everyone else, you’ll still have to pay taxes and have relationship issues and so on.
3. Let go of the notion of perfection.
As you visualize success, you need to stop thinking that success equals perfection? There is no such thing… nobody is perfect.
- This is what George Bernard Shaw would refer to as “doublethink.” Perfection and life are mutually exclusive because perfection is unattainable. Your subconscious won’t allow you to achieve success if you associate success with the impossible task of being perfect.
- Think of your subconscious as a computer. It doesn’t know how to execute a command called “do the impossible.”
- If you associate success with fear, your subconscious will fight you the entire way. Why? Because its primary function is to protect you from perceived threats.
Give yourself permission to anticipate success with excitement. Perhaps you’ve been sending your subconscious the message, “Don’t give me success!” So, let’s put your self-sabotaging behaviours in the past!
Embrace the good life you deserve by picturing yourself as successful, and then refuse to talk yourself out of going for it. The journey to your ideal life starts now!