Lately, I’ve been digging deeper into understanding my recent thought patterns and my actions (or lack there of). Could it be I’m self-sabotaging? Lots of times this happens on the sub-consicous level, except on those times when it’s clear we know exactly what we’re doing (like ordering that cocktail when you know you should be drinking water instead). Think of your sub-conscious as your “anti-self” or your “inner-critic”. It’s that voice that seems to hold you back and sabotage your efforts.
There are many reasons why people act in ways that can be damaging to their well-being. Some struggle with powerful cravings like gambling, shopping, or drinking. But lots of times in can happen with subtle forces such as limiting beliefs, those distorted or dysfunctional beliefs we have of ourselves. (Here’s that “anti-self” or “inner-critic” again.)
By definition, self-sabotage is behavior that creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-lasting goals. Some common types of self-sabotage involve procrastination, perfectionism, finances, time, relationships, and change. Well, I can count 3 of the 5 of those for me. How about you?
To understand self-sabotage better and make the connection you may be doing this, examine whether your behaviors are aligned with your long-term goals. Whenever we do things that keeps us away from what we desire most in life, this is self-sabotage.
Not sure if you’re self-sabotaging yourself? Here’s 5 signs you’re letting your “anti-self” take over and pushing your goals aside.
- Making excuses for everything. You seem to find your way out of everything that takes you out of your comfort zone. Your friend invites you to go hiking and you tell her you can’t because you’re busy.
- Defending your bad habits. Your friends invite you out many times over the last couple months and every time you’ve turned down their invitations. You defend yourself by saying you were sick or you didn’t have a ride.
- Reaching for what’s comfortable. When you’ve had a bad day, you reach for the nearest thing that makes you feel better. It could be that alcoholic beverage, or eating the entire bag of chips and dip, or watching Netflix movies all night long.
- Negative self-talk. If you think badly of yourself that you’ll never reach your goals, then you won’t. Period.
- Waiting for the right time. If you refuse to jump in until it feels like the “right time”, you may spend your life as a benchwarmer. It’s one thing to take calculated risks, but don’t overthink it. If you never start, you will never succeed.
Now that we have a better understanding of the self-sabotaging signs, what to do? You have to get a grip. Get a grip on your thoughts, your emotions, your habits. Have healthy snacks in sight so when you have a bad day, you are reaching for those instead of the tub of ice cream. Hide the remote control somewhere so if that “anti-self” pops up, you reach for a good book to read or a podcast to listen to. If you know you want to be more social, make plans way in advance with your friend so she/he holds you accountable.
Might I suggest these ways on what to do:
- Recognize self-sabotaging habits.
- Identify the root causes.
- Take time for self-reflection.
- Break the cycle of those bad habits.
- Make small changes.
- Make plans and stick to them.
By acting on these, you can control your mind and your life, empowering yourself to a brighter you.
Reflecting back on my own experience, I was stuck in a dark forest. I felt numb. But this was a good thing. My “anti-self” gave me the insight to see I needed a break, to step back, and regroup. I’m not saying I’m all good now. I still have work to do with myself. It’s an ongoing process as life is. But at least I knew it was time to stop, for however long I needed, before resuming my work, and that was okay.
I found my peace. Peace is our home. Every time we find our peace, we are aligned with our true selves. Martha Beck (best selling author, life coach, and sociologist) says so beautifully about peace, “When we struggle for things in a state of desperation, they don’t come us. Nothing works when its misaligned. But when we return to a state of peace, the things we’ve ordered can finally reach us. It boils down to this. Peace is your home.”
Don’t get rid of the “anti-self”, but instead control it. In reality, one can never get rid of the “anti-self” and honestly, I don’t think you want to get rid of it. Used the right way, it can be productive for you. It can bring us much happiness, help us be successful, help us with our relationships. The key is to manipulate it and control it for positive transformations, change for the good, and awesome outcomes.
Self Care Action Step:
Control that “anti-self”! Get a grip and change your life. Mindset work is the key to controlling self-sabotage. When you control your thoughts, leave the excuses behind, and have a growth mindset, you are golden. Experiment and see what works for you. Go with your truth.
So, I am thinking and reflecting, identifying and writing down the underlying causes, and having a plan, making the steps to get a grip to master my “anti-self”. Won’t you too?
“It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure when you get back up, you rise as a whole damn fire.”
~ Colette Werden
If this post resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Also if you think that there are people in your world who would benefit from receiving my self care tips, please do forward or share this post.