What is it? Seriously, what does that even mean? Does it really mean that people would actually stop themselves from being the best they can be? How does something like that even get a name?
If we were created to be amazing, awesome, and fabulous…why would WE be the ones to stop ourselves from reaching that potential? Why do we self-destruct? How are we so good at procrastination when it comes to our hopes and dreams? Our goals?
I would think (hope) that no one would intentionally self-sabotage, that no one would consciously make that choice. But, what IS it? What causes those habits and inner voices to take over our will-power and natural instincts to be great?
How is self-sabotage creeping in?
Mostly, self-sabotage comes in the form of procrastination and talking yourself out of reaching goals. It undermines our potential. We believe these acts to be helpful – to be saving us from some disaster, but in the long-run, these acts lead to us wanting more, being discouraged, and losing ourselves.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
You imagine yourself being healthier. Not even losing weight or body-building…but just being healthier because it’s good for you. It’s the right thing to do. Perhaps you would like to stop eating sugars, or maybe it’s processed food that you want to cut out. Dairy? Alcohol? Something as simple as chips?
Of course there is always one more event, one more birthday party, one more holiday that’s just around the corner. For me, every Wednesday at work is treat day. Every. Single. Wednesday. There are doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, Chex Mix, bagels and cream cheese, more cookies, pita chips, hummus, dips, crackers, banana bread…oh – and the occasional fruit and veggie tray (and those all come with dips and sauces). But seriously, it’s every Wednesday. Then, there are the staff birthdays. It seems like we might go a month or two with no birthdays, but then (like April) there are five in a row…almost every other day we are having special treats.
And, it’s not just healthy habits that I’m talking about. I am talking about finding the perfect relationships (just when you find a good one, you do something stupid that causes it to end before it ever really starts). Or maybe it’s your job…you know, staying where you are even when a GREAT offer comes along; it must be too good to be true, you’re comfortable where you are, you’ve made such good friends, it’s close to your favorite bar…
Here’s what I’ve learned about Self-Sabotage and Self-Destructing behaviors:
1. The first step is to recognize it. Spot it. Call it out: why am I thinking this way? Is there really a lot of risk involved, or am I just being a chicken? Why am I procrastinating? What are the effects of procrastination?
2. Try to understand the message. What is your conscience trying to tell you? Is it throwing up a red flag of “OMG, you better stop right now!!!” or is it just a yellow “hey, use a little caution here, friend” type of flag?
3. Perhaps you are experiencing the “upper limit problem.” Are you getting comfortable with your current level of success? Are you afraid of failing? Are the risks not worth the possible outcome?
Once you figure out the why of that negative self-talk…it’s easier to start on the why not?!
I encourage you to Google images for self-sabotage. I keep trying to think of words to describe all of the Google images that come up – but that’s just it…a picture is worth a thousand words. Just go Google it.
This website is an amazing source of information. Check it out!
Here is another great article about self-sabotage and how it can ruin a perfectly good plan. Click here.
If you are looking to better yourself, reach your goals, be the amazing person you were meant to be…follow this blog, friend me on Facebook, comment below. I’m here to be your encourager!