Are you one of those people that struggle with making decisions? Self-sabotage can happen in many situations in life and it essentially refers to the act of unconsciously or consciously undermining your own success, relationships, happiness, jobs, health and/or general well-being. Does this scenario feel familiar: You have a big presentation with a deadline approaching, but suddenly you start second-guessing and doubting yourself and all your decisions, so you spend less and less time trying to reach your goal and start procrastinating. You can even find yourself doing things that result in the opposite of what you actually wanted. Why?
Self-sabotage can have many underlying causes, such as low self-esteem, fear of failure or success, or past traumas. It can also be a way of maintaining a sense of control or familiarity in your life, even if it is causing harm. It is very common to feel overwhelmed and avoid changes in your life because our brains do not like what is unknown so you become your own obstacle in reaching your goals
"Your mountain is the block between you and the life you want to live.
Facing it is also the only path to your freedom and becoming. You are
here because a trigger showed you to your wound, and your wound will
show you to your path, and your path will show you to your destiny" -
Examples of self-sabotage include:
Not following through on plans or commitments
Being overly critical of oneself
Setting unrealistic expectations
Not seeking help or being able to delegate
Avoiding opportunities for growth or success for fear or failing or succeeding
Being overly perfectionistic or self-critical
Engaging in negative self-talk
If there is an ongoing gap between where you are and where you want to be and you notice some of the self-sabotage behaviours present in your actions, then you might be self-sabotaging yourself
It's important to note that people may engage in multiple forms of self-sabotage at the same time, and self-sabotage may manifest differently in different people. It is important to first recognize that it is happening and then to identify the underlying causes. Once the causes are identified, you can work on addressing and changing those negative thought patterns, setting realistic goals, and learning healthy coping mechanisms.
1. Practice self-awareness: What does self-sabotage look like for you? You can start by saying to yourself “I want to achieve (goal), but I keep doing (behavior).” Notice what comes to your mind and what you can work on
2. Use tools to stop procrastinating: Shrink relatively unimportant tasks to the bare minimum required for getting them done and use to-do list apps (I use Asana or Monday) to keep track of what you need to get done and manage the results. Do not commit to more than what you can handle at once.
3. Practice acceptance and self-care: Self-care involves taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
To accept yourself is to step into your power. When you cultivate self-acceptance, you no longer need to look for external sources of validation. Take time to sit with yourself, your feelings and your thoughts, practice self-compassion and talk to yourself like you would to a friend.
4. Stop perfectionistic thinking: You must release your previous perfectionist self in order to find who you really are. Learning to accept we all make mistakes and letting go off the highly self-critical mentality, can lead to a more compassionate behaviour towards yourself and others, and help you change the negative narrative in your mind
5. Develop self-supporting behaviors: By practicing self-supporting behaviors, such as viewing challenges and failures as opportunities for learning and growth; setting goals that are challenging but achievable, or practicing mindfulness, you can develop greater resilience, self-esteem, and overall well-being which are all supportive of empowerment and self-love, avoiding the self-sabotage talk
But most importantly, learn to love yourself just as you are and remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards these goals, and seek support from others when needed.