It’s difficult to succeed when you self-sabotage yourself. Yes, you heard me right. Most of the times, our worse enemy blocking us from reaching success and achievement is ourselves. Self-sabotaging behaviors are something very real and too common. I managed to kick, along the time, some really good opportunity “thanks” to my self-sabotaging behaviors. And many times I wasn’t even aware they existed. I blamed the weather, bad timing or other people for things I did or didn’t do.
Self-sabotage includes a multitude of actions or thoughts that contribute to blocking one’s way to success or shine, or even a normal life. Most common self-sabotaging behaviors include procrastination, self-medication, comfort, and binge eating, self-cutting, self-injuring, interpersonal conflicts and constant self-underestimating. At first glance, you wouldn’t say these behaviors can do so much harm. But when these comportments last for a long period of time, they tend to interfere with a normal lifestyle and prevent success.
What are the most common self-sabotaging behaviors?
A lot of people would rather live in misery than try to live better and fail. They prefer a constant struggle because to try to succeed and fail would feel so bad. Most of the unsuccessful people want to be in control and this will self-sabotage their actions. Going for success doesn’t mean to be in control at all. When you want to achieve something you must face new obstacles and new problems. This is similar to a ship sailing the seas. When it’s in harbor nothing can touch it and it’s in control, but it will never reach exotic places or achieve its purpose, of being a sailing boat. If the ship is going through storms it’s experiencing a situation that will improve its skills and understanding.
- Self-esteem and worth
This is one of the worse self-sabotaging behaviors. If your self-esteem is low, you will believe you can never achieve anything and you don’t deserve to be in a higher position in life. Also, when obstacles come in your way, you tend to coward and to stop or go back. Like the bird sitting on a branch, its faith doesn’t reside in the branch. Its belief resides in itself and its wings. So, when the branch breaks, the bird will fly away. The same way, when you have no self-esteem and self-confidence any problems will break you.
- The impostor syndrome
Another relevant aspect in the self-sabotage patterns is the syndrome of the impostor. This behavior makes the avised person think they got positions and titles they didn’t deserve in the first place. They fear that the higher they go, the harder the fall will feel. This idea is making the person think that his work was not so relevant and someday someone will realize this. Many amazing people have this problem and it’s sad because they fail to see their efforts and hard work into achieving their success.
This self-sabotage thought is closely linked to the previous ideas. Self-blaming is opposite to blaming everyone else for own failures. This idea is very profound and hard to fight with. Self-blaming is basically preventing you from seeing the mistakes and things that went wrong after you failed. Failure is supposed to teach you a lesson from which you will grow wiser and more experienced. Self-blaming is blocking this lesson. Instead of saying “I failed this exam because I am incapable of understanding the material” say “I failed because I didn’t put enough effort, but next time I will do so much better.”
Familiarity as a self-sabotaging behavior that is constantly present in the lives of people who chose wrong life partners. They are used with a certain attitude from their partner and they will always look for people like that. While some people might not be aware of their behavior, the rest will choose this road because they know how to react and live with it. A better life might seem foreign ground and it would imply unknown things.
These sabotaging-behaviors are so relevant and a simple switch in a new direction can change our lives in unimaginable ways. However, changing these patterns as soon as we realize them is an important first step from failure to success. The following pieces of advice are meant to help you deal with self-sabotage.
Best Ways to stop Self-Sabotaging yourself
- Befriend yourself – You know how good people treat their best friends. They listen to them, offer them moral support, be there when they need it and give them space when required. So why not starting treating yourself like a best friend? Learn to stop treating yourself like your own worse enemy. You came to this world by yourself and with yourself, you better learn to love yourself while you are here. Love, support and encourage yourself.
- Praise yourself – Be good with you and be proud of every small achievement you did today. Don’t compare yourself with others, but with you from yesterday.
- Think one step ahead – Try to think what will your next step be. Don’t let life happen to you, but for you, like Jim Carrey once said.
- Stop blaming – Don’t put yourself down for every small mistake. We are humans and it’s in our nature to make mistakes, but also to learn and to succeed using these mistakes.
- Experience is valuable – When you are facing failures and mistakes, understand that what you learn is the most precious thing. Fail means to never try.
- Practice self-awareness – Each day, for 10-20 minutes stay alone in silence and listen to your thoughts, your needs, your emotions, and sensations. Learn to be at peace with your mind and body. Also, learn to detach yourself from problems and see them from outside. Practice yoga and meditation will help you be more in tune with yourself.
- Be your own motivational speaker – In the morning, make a custom of looking in the mirror and telling you “You are important and you can achieve your goals! Go get them, tiger!”
- Mind pattern awareness – Be aware of the amount of negative and positive thoughts in your mind. If you are preponderantly a pessimist, learn to hush that negative voice and build courage and confidence. It’s important to change negative thoughts into positive thinking.
- Accept compliments – People are so ashamed when they are complimented that it almost feels awkward. Learn to say “Thank you” when someone is making a compliment. This is the first step into accepting that you do have in yourself that thing you’ve been complimented for.
- Respect – Learn to respect yourself and the world around you. It’s important to respect your body, your work, and efforts.