When I think of self-sabotaging behaviours one of the first thoughts that come to mind is that, why on earth would people sabotage their own lives? It doesn’t make sense. Then the realisation hits me, I am a self-sabotager if you will, except I don’t even realise it, and I hadn’t even realised it.
(I hope to break out this cycle of toxicity and self-sabotage).
Now, before you get all crazy and jump to the conclusion that bad people self-sabotage with things like alcohol and drug abuse, or even things that are much worse. Take a step back and look at it from a different point of view. The dictionary definition of self-sabotage, is to literally move away from being the best version of yourself, to do things that interfere with how you would like to live. And as I mentioned above, it can be subconscious.
We don’t intentionally want to become unhappy with our lives, but the inner fear and ego that resides inside can take control and lead us to wanting gratification fast rather than going through the journey and seeing ourselves grow. Self-sabotage may not always look as ugly as it sounds, it can be a way of keeping us within our comfort zones, a way of controlling our lives so we don’t get hurt by rejection, failure, breakdowns in relationships and so on. A safety net for our emotions and minds.
“We sabotage the great things in our lives because deep down we don’t feel worthy of having great things” – Taressa Riazzi
How exactly can we stop self-sabotaging?
Recognise the negative behaviours – without sounding too harsh, I believe we all have a pattern of self-sabotaging behaviour, in a way it’s only natural to have this. Since the somewhat evolutionary purpose of the concept serves to protect us, it’s rooted within us to the point where we may not even notice its existence. What we may not realise is how it’s all interconnected in our lives and our futures or how it may create even bigger problems later on in life.
Find the why – as with all things in life, my curiosity leaves me wondering why? To ultimately understand what causes the cycle of self-sabotaging habits, it’s important to know why exactly they occur. A lot of these toxic behaviours of procrastination, of negative, critical thinking and even perfectionism, don’t just happen without reason. These habits may be rooted in fear of failure/rejection, as is the case with perfectionism. Why bother doing something if failure is the outcome? Why bother at all? Or perhaps inadequacy, you feel like you don’t deserve great things, that it’s best to stay in your own little bubble of comfort to avoid those horrible emotions or even situations.
Reflet, reflect, reflect – this is the most emotionally taxing part of the whole process, the idea of peeling back all those protective layers to find out where all these behaviours and thoughts come from. There isn’t a right way or even a wrong way to reflect, as long as you’re tackling those issues. I know it’s much easier said than done, it’ll take much longer, potentially years to get to that deep level of self-awareness. But it’s worth it.
Make changes – yet another difficult part of the process, the idea that it’s possible to change those ingrained behaviours baffled me at first, until I realised that huge changes can’t occur without making those first small steps. A little progress is still progress, but zero progress will always be zero progress. One actionable way to make these changes is to set timers, if you struggle with being disorganised, take a few minutes to clear up whenever a mess has been made, at the end of a workday remind yourself of the tasks that next to be done the next day and so forth.
“Small steps, over time, move mountains”
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