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Self sabotage is a complex issue because many people don’t even realize that they are doing it. Others realize they are hurting themselves, yet aren’t sure on what to do about it, or are attached to the rewards they get from holding ruining their best efforts.
While it might sound a little insane to think that you get rewards from self sabotaging and self defeating behaviors, they are actually potent and can be challenging to give up easily, despite the better rewards waiting on the other side.
Rewards for Self Sabotage
→You get to stay in your “old” role and that is more comfortable for you.
→You keep people happy/close that get their own rewards from your un-empowered lifestyle, even if that just means they can feel better about their own similar situation. Let me know if you need an example, chances are high that you can think up your own.
→You get to prove to yourself over and over again that you are RIGHT and that feels good, even if it’s about something bad. For example, you prove once again that you don’t deserve, or are “not enough” to have what your heart desires most.
→You don’t have to go through the growing pains of change.
These rewards are superficial at best. Learning to walk away from them, admitting how you were wrong about yourself and becoming a fully empowered person can put you in a temporarily scary situation. If you stick with it though, you will see the rewards far outweigh any awkwardness.
Self Sabotage and Self Defeating Behaviors
→Pursuing addictive behaviors such as drugs or alcohol.
→Keeping yourself too busy to do what you really need to in order to set your life on the right path.
→Damaging your love relationship, oftentimes to the point of no return.
→Finding problems in other people instead of looking at how you are really the one sabotaging yourself.
→Refusing to take complete ownership over some or all aspects of your life.
→Blaming other people, places and things for your problems.
→Anything else that hurts you can be used as self sabotaging behaviors. It takes deep reflection to work through each layer of that onion. The work is time well spent though – so start peeling!
Overcoming Self Sabotage
Now that you know what rewards you might be getting from any self sabotaging behaviors you have, and you have an idea of ways you might be doing it, let’s look at how you can overcome this harmful way of life.
→Become aware that you have the tendency to sabotage yourself.
→Plan ways to replace the hurtful behaviors with something healthier so you know you have tools when you need them.
→Take full, complete and unapologetic ownership of who you are and who you want to become.
→Pinpoint why you are self sabotaging and correct that. You may need counseling for that, or you may just need to learn as much as you can to help yourself recover. Do what you need to do here though, otherwise you will just find new ways to keep sabotaging yourself.
→Talk with someone you trust and let them know what you are doing, ask them to be someone you can be accountable to.
→Join a program or otherwise get help if you need it.
→Stay present focused so you can catch and stop the negative thinking before it takes over control of what you really want to accomplish. This will also help you learn how to respond to life instead of reacting from old habits.
→Be clear on what you want to accomplish so you are sure of how you are self sabotaging those efforts. For example, if you want a better relationship, be very clear on how you want the relationship to be better and what you need to do to own your part of that.
→Realize there is one part of you that knows you are deserving and good enough to have whatever you want in life. That part of you feels good feels good and right about having those desires. The other part of you feels like you don’t deserve it, aren’t good enough or can’t handle having it so good. In essence, you have a divided psyche.
There needs to be some sort of resolution between these two parts of you. The inner turmoil is just noisy drama, and it leaves you feeling bad about yourself for how you are divided. What that resolution looks like could be to agree to disagree with these two parts, push through the fears and realize that the self sabotage activities are a skewed way to protect yourself from some perceived fear.
With that in mind, be forgiving of yourself, yet firmly persistent about loving all parts of yourself.
Starting today, walk away from those activities that will ultimately cost you that which you feel is most precious.