Self-sabotage can easily be defined as determining that you want a specific thing or outcome, and then finding ways to make sure that this thing does not come to pass. Have you ever found yourself in a position that you are so close to achieving a goal that you can feel the exhiliration of it, only to watch yourself throw it all away at the last moment? Of course you have. We have all done it. Then all you cab do is look back later and berate yourself for being so foolish.
Why did we do this? There are several possible explanations, ranging from a need to try to control every situation to feeling that we are not worthy of any good thingh. Regardless of the root cause, the solutions are similar.
Strategies to stop sabotaging yourself:
1. Check yourself.
- Look back at all of the times that you have sabotaged your own efforts or come up short.
- You have probably learned to try to justify the sabotaging behavior in your mind.
- Put a hold on thejudgement and justification, and simply observe your behavior.
- What conclusion would another casual observer draw from how you are acting?
- Learn to notice the signs of self-sabotage.
- How and when do you do it?
- What is the trigger?
- Be as objective as possible and recognize your patterns.
2. Success is trying, not perfection
- Sometimes we quit because things just are not going the way we had planned or imagined.
- Stepping back and taking the time to set more reasonable expectations can help ensure that we will see more things to completion.
- Nothing in life is ever perfect.
3. How are your decisions affecting others?
- Consider the other people in your life.
- Self-sabotaging behavior can be selfish, because you hurt yourself and you hurt others.
- Before giving upi, consider how it will affect not only you, but the lives of those around you.
4. Step out of comfort
- In his book Die Empty, Todd Henry says that “the love of comfort is frequently the enemy of greatness.”
- Be willing to get a little uncomfortable and become a bit adventurous.
- People who self-sabotage the most tend to stay locked in their own little comfortable worlds.
- Seeing a project through to completion means adjusting and readjusting your outlook. If you tend to start new projects, but then stop yourself before ever completing them, nothing will ever change and you’ve just wasted time.
- It may mean a different job, a new relationship, or something else, but, your life will be changed to a certain degree by acting.
- Be brave enough to take that adventure.
5. Baby steps.
- Give yourself the gift of having a few small victories.
- Make the time to notice that each of these successes is imperfect in its own way. However, life still feels better.
- Enjoy the victory and imagine how great it would be to accomplish greater successes.
6. Make time for thinking
- In the same book, Die Empty, the work we do in live (great and small) is divided into Mapping (planning), Making (the work) and Meshing (connecting the dots).
- Take some time before making any major decisions.
- Impulsive decision-making puts us on the path of leading our lives by default rather than by design. It is important to figure out if a particular dcision is leading us toward the goals and liofe we wish or away from these things.
- A few days can help give us the perspective we need to make a wiser decision.
Self-sabotage is a very frustrating habit. But, like any other habit, it can be dealt with.
In the heat of the moment, what may seem like a good and expedient choice may derail our projects, our careers, our dreams.
Take time to think about what you are doing and determine if it is in line with where you want to go. Start small. Celebrate the tiny victories. Pay attention the next time you are tempted to “shoot yourself in the foot” with self-sabotage.
You will be succeed!