How to Stop Self-Sabotage
“That’s too difficult!” “That’s impossible!” “You can never do that!” “No point in trying because you’ll probably not succeed anyway.”
These statements may sound as if they’re coming from a cruel, oppressive person aiming to destroy your confidence but oftentimes, they’re coming from within us. Unfortunately, we can be the tyrannical being that’s constantly targeting our self-confidence.
Most of us engage in negative self-talk sometimes. While this is completely normal, allowing it to be a part of your normal routine can result in self-sabotage, which can deter you from achieving your goals.
In most occasions we don’t even realize it’s happening, making it difficult to stop it in its tracks. Instead of recognizing it, we account for our shortcomings to lack of ability, thus, making these negative messages increasingly powerful every day.
Some common attributes to self-sabotaging behavior include procrastination, having unfulfilled dreams, constant worrying, anger and feeling that you’re worthless. Overtime, you become angrier and more frustrated with yourself. You lose the drive to pursue your dreams and begin letting your own feelings trap you and prevent you from doing what is necessary in order to break free.
Fortunately, you can stop these negative messages from taking over your life and it all starts with recognizing self-sabotaging traits within you.
Challenge negative thinking
Write down all negative thoughts that come your way regardless of how unrealistic or silly it may feel. Once you’ve identified your negative self-talk, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are these thoughts realistic?
- Are they based on any facts?
- Are there any deeper thoughts behind your negative thinking?
- Are previous shortcomings preventing you from making a positive step towards change?
Identify the consequences of negative self-talk
You’ve probably noticed that these thoughts and behaviors are keeping you away from something far more important: achieving things you desire, such as a body you always wanted, a fulfilling career or an amazing relationship.
Become clear and direct with yourself on how certain actions and thoughts are conflicting with your happiness and your dreams.
Every moment, we are taking steps that take us towards what we want to be, or away from it. The negative behaviors you welcome in your life are the ones that are keeping you away from what you want. The good news is that since it is completely internal, it’s also completely in your control. You control your mind – not the other way around.
Be kind to yourself
Most people feel that self-sabotage is a shameful behavior. Unfortunately, this can be a giant obstacle towards taking action.
Try noticing your actions with compassion and love, as if you were watching it happen to a young child. You’d probably want to help them escape from what’s inhibiting them.
Understand what you really want and how can it benefit you. What are the reasons you want to achieve your goals in the first place? Write all these answers down in a journal and ask yourself what’s the smallest level of commitment you can make in order to take one step in the right direction.
It’s also important that you understand that there is no shame in seeking help if you’re suffering from an endless cycle of self-sabotage. Allow your partner, friend or any other loved one to help hold you accountable in taking this step towards your success.
Stop comparing yourself
Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Maybe it’s a friend, a relative or someone you’re following on Instagram. Whoever it is, comparisons zap motivation and increase feelings of inadequacy.
When we compare ourselves with another human being, we are automatically adding unearned worth on the person under focus. Understand that there are innumerable factors that play a role in each person’s life and recreating them is unrealistic and impractical.
Humans are not designed to be clones. Each of us possesses our own unique personalities that make us authentic. There is nothing more liberating and empowering than honoring our true selves!