If you’ve ever found yourself interfering with the positive parts of your own life, you’ve experienced this intricate set of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. But don’t worry... you can unlearn these habits today!
This book defines self-sabotage and will explain to you, how you may be defeating yourself and keeping yourself from reaching your own goals. We will be discussing self sabotage behaviors and what you can do to reignite your Sparkle within.
But best of all, this book details easy steps to help you banish self-destructive behaviors for good! By using these strategies, you can live the more satisfied and successful life you so richly deserve.
Self-sabotage involves engaging in behaviors that lead to results you don’t want. Maybe you’ve heard the old expression, “shooting yourself in the foot.” I might be aging myself here but mom use to say that one all the time. And if so, then you understand the concept of self-defeating behaviors.
When you do something that ultimately hurts or hinders you in some way, you engage in self-sabotage. By performing these destructive actions, you're bringing negative experiences and situations into your life.
However, self-sabotage is complicated because there’s usually some element of temporary relief, short-term payoff, or avoidance of something negative initially in the process.
Unfortunately, these positive feelings are only for a short time and reinforce the idea that there are benefits from engaging in the destructive behavior.
Unfortunately by continuing these behaviors, you’ll eventually begin to feel the negative longer-term results of your questionable choices. So even though there’s an early payoff, you’ll ultimately get stung when you engage in self-defeating actions. Self-sabotage is quite common, but being able to recognize these thoughts will give you the strength you need to conquer your goals.
The process of self-sabotage usually begins in your thoughts and feelings. Then, you make a choice based on those ideas and emotions.
Here’s an example of self-sabotage:
You’ve been going to the gym for several months, but then you skipped going to the gym for the holidays, and gained 15 pounds.
You’re embarrassed and you don’t want anyone to see you like this, so you choose to stop going to the gym entirely. That way, no one will see you’ve gained weight, and definitely nobody will see you in your now ill-fitting workout clothes. I know I've done and felt this one myself. What can I say, I love the cookies.
This choice allows you not to feel like you are being stared at by others you perceive as thin and dedicated to their health. You don't have to compare yourself to them or even feel that you are being judged.
You feel a bit relieved. You think, “I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with the whole health club thing.” However, the ultimate result of your decision not to go to the gym is that you hold on to the extra 15 pounds or put on even more weight. Is this really what you were hoping for?
Obviously, those results are opposite what you wanted when you joined the gym. The decision to skip exercising and avoid your feelings of discomfort only compounded your challenges in losing weight. This decision is just that - self-sabotage; not only do you not get what you want, but you get more of what you don’t want! UGH!!!!!!
“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something
and then go about making sure it doesn't happen.”
– Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
As you can guess, self-sabotage can drastically affect your life. Self-defeating behaviors will most likely bring unfortunate circumstances your way. And noone wants this.
Check out these important points about how self-sabotage reduces your quality of life and results in unplanned consequences:
examples of short-term positive results are:
You get out of giving a short speech to the supervisors at work so you won’t feel anxious. Although this may seem like a great benefit, you lose your opportunity to practice speaking in front of others, which could reduce your anxiety next time. Instead, now you have reinforced the idea that you are too scared to speak to a group. This now then, plays a part in your mind as fear and low self-esteem and holds you back from self growth.
You initially feel better about not being chosen to complete a big project at work: no stress! Plus, you won’t have to do as much work as your co-workers at the moment. The long-term consequences of this can be negative, but one of the biggest effects is that you have less opportunity to practice working under pressure. Therefore, you don’t ever get any better at it.
You choose to stay with your abusive partner; therefore you don’t have to pack up and find a place to live. Clearly, the long-term results of this choice can be dire, regardless of how much stress it may alleviate in the short-term.
You won’t have to sweat it out in an uncomfortable job interview since you didn’t apply for the position. What? You’re okay with only applying for jobs that you know you can get? You don’t want to advance your career? The long-term results of this choice can lead to lower income over your lifetime, reduced self-esteem, and less job satisfaction.
You keep hanging out with the same group of friends even though they aren’t very positive. After all, it’s easier than making new friends. This one can affect everything in your life. This saying is so true - “You are the company you keep.”We become like the people we spend the most time around, so if you want to be happy with your life, then surround yourself with happy people!
Self-sabotage occurs over all periods of time, from minutes to years. Although you might experience a brief period of feeling better after an incident of self-defeating behavior, as time goes by, you’re bound to experience unpleasant consequences.
“The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own Lures. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.”
The nature of self-defeating behaviors is that they tend to be pervasive in the lives of people who engage in them.
If you self-sabotage sometimes, you probably self-sabotage much of the time. This becomes your primary way of thinking, choosing, and relating. Self-sabotage comes in many forms.
These examples show how you might be practicing self-sabotage:
A function of drinking too much is a reduction in your good judgment. Isn’t that the last thing you want if you’re hoping to meet new people and make new friends?
In fact, if you end up not getting something done when you agreed to do it, your friends and family will be disappointed, annoyed, or even angry with you. Most likely, these were not the results you were looking for when you said “yes” to the task!
If your goal is to be respected and taken seriously, you’re self-sabotaging if you insist on having your own way all the time.
Be a team player instead and lead the group into what is more beneficial for everyone.
For example, perhaps you feel anxious so you avoid doing something, even though you know that you ought to follow through. Or perhaps you feel angry about something a colleague said. Self-defeating behavior in this case might include lashing out at them, which would just cause further friction in your relationship.
When you behave this way, you could be destroying your relationships with others. We can't always be right. Otherwise, we'd never learn and grow from our mistakes.
Probably the most common self-defeating behavior in the U.S. is knowingly overeating and consuming high fat, low-nutrition and processed foods. It’s self-sabotage in its purest form.
The short-term payoff may be more time for other things initially, but the long-term results always include increased stress.
You believe you’re escaping the stress of making the decision when, in fact, you’re letting a wonderful opportunity go by. This is how people miss their opportunities to marry someone they love or get that new job they’ve been dreaming about.
Although those who engage in NSSI have reasons, such as stress or depression, these behaviors usually have the unintended consequences of embarrassment, avoidance of others, and social isolation.
Please seek professional help if this is familiar in your life.
The range of human self-destructive behaviors is wide and deep. There are a multitude of methods you might be engaging in, including self-defeating thinking, choices, and actions. Contemplate your own thoughts and decisions to determine if you’re taking part in any self-sabotaging behaviors.
“This is how women self-sabotage and self-destruct.
Unless we have constant witnesses to our hard work,
we are convinced we pull off every day of our
lives through smoke and mirrors.”
– Sarah Breathnach
Although letting go of your self-sabotaging behaviors isn’t always easy, you can succeed if you make it a priority. Thankfully, there’s a full range of strategies you can implement to help yourself avoid self-sabotaging behaviors.
To start your journey of eliminating self-destructive behaviors, commit to follow these steps:
Next, put down specific incidents where you recognize that your thoughts, choices, or behaviors were self-defeating. Go back for at least the last year or two.
“I will not avoid going out with friends just because someone I’ve never met will be there. Instead, I’ll go with them and make an effort to talk to the new person. It’s okay if I feel some anxiety! I won’t allow my tense feelings to push me toward a decision that will ultimately prevent me from making new friends, which is important to me.”
If your friend comes to you to share that you’re about to self-sabotage, carefully consider the information. Don't get defensive, instead thank them for telling you and ask them to continue to follow through with letting you know in the future about such behaviors.
Repeat to yourself that you’re worth the time and effort to change your self-defeating thinking and behavior.
Keep reminding yourself that you’re letting go of the old style of living where you lacked confidence and determination. Make a decision to believe in yourself again and stand by it each and everyday.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to eat healthier. As soon as you begin thinking about eating doughnuts, visualize a big red light. Then, think about eating an apple instead. Visualize a green light as you get the apple and bite into its crunchy sweetness.
Enjoy how positive emotions make you feel with healthier choices.
Engaging in self-study enriches your life in many ways and will help you re-focus your efforts on what you truly want.
Here are some examples:
Don’t limit yourself to these, though!
There are abundant options in the self-help section of your local bookstore and more are written all the time.
If you find some that appeal to you more than the titles above, read them instead. This is all about self discovery, and that starts with tuning in to what you really want!
Many people seek professional assistance at some point in their lives, and doing so can benefit just about anyone.
As you practice these steps, you’ll discover new ways to approach your challenges. You’ll find that you possess greater strength and courage. One day, you’ll look back and notice that you’ve come farther than you ever imagined possible. That day is worth all of the challenges between here and there.
To do away with self-defeat for good, place these 17 steps on your refrigerator or by your bedside table where you’ll see them every day. Review them often. Once or twice a day is a good place to start. Take time to think about what you’re doing in your efforts to end your self-sabotage.
Keep your wish to banish self-destructive acts in the forefront of your mind. Your awareness is critical to your recovery and in letting your unique sparkle shine out onto the world.
Insanity- Doing the same thing over and over again and
expecting different results
Self-sabotage involves a complicated set of circumstances that ultimately takes away from you meeting your goals.
You are not alone in this. Self-defeating behaviors are not limited to certain people. We are all capable of these and need to continually work to heal and grow each day.
Let's promise to ourselves today to banish self-destructive behaviors. Free ourselves from self-sabotage to achieve our goals and live the life we’ve planned for ourselves!
“People who bite the hand that feeds them
usually lick the boot that kicks them.”
– Eric Hoffer