Self-Sabotage: It’s Not Them, It’s You.

When are you finally going to do something with those ideas that live rent-free in your head? 
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Self-sabotage is an ambiguous phenomenon. It is finding numerous ways to de-motivate yourself, hindering you from reaching your goals. It is finding your enemy when you look in the mirror.

There is something quite deceptive about self-sabotage that may make it difficult to discern at first. This makes it one of the quickest and most effective ways to harm yourself over long periods of time. It enslaves you and stifles your growth. Then, it finds a way to make you believe that it is the fault of everyone else but you.

What does Self-sabotage look like? 

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If you often find yourself in a loop of unfortunate life events where you feel stuck, it’s good you’re reading this. It is easy to ascribe these to ill luck, but the idea of luck itself is rooted in idealism. If you want something, you have to put in consistent efforts to make it happen for you. Now, what happens when it feels like everything is failing and you’re never going to get a chance at your best life?

It may just be that you are self-sabotaging, and this can come in so many forms. Let’s talk about some of the character traits that are tell-tale signs of self-sabotage. Ask yourself if you’re guilty of the following habits:

  1. Blaming everyone else but yourself
  2. Procrastination
  3. Putting yourself down
  4. Constant pessimism
  5. Obsessed with the need for things to be perfect before you make a move
  6. Picking fights and arguments unnecessarily
  7. Difficulties asserting yourself
  8. Dating people who you know aren’t right for you

Guilty as charged? Let’s move on.

Why do people self-sabotage?

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There are a myriad of reasons why you may be undermining your progress, and it may not necessarily mean that you hate yourself. Like all habits, this trait was mastered over a series of previous encounters where you had to adopt a certain behaviour to pull through.  From childhood trauma to toxic relationships, your ‘coping mechanism’ may be influencing your ability to self-destruct.

Self-sabotage is a consequence of unresolved conflicts with your past. Are there patterns from your childhood that impact the choices you make today? Some of the possible reasons for self-sabotage include:

  1. A traumatic childhood
  2. Fear of failure
  3. Toxic relationships
  4. Low self-esteem

Finding the why is crucial to getting you out of the vicious cycle.

How can stop self-sabotaging? 

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It takes a process to disentangle yourself from something that you have mastered so well. For this to work, you need to be 100% honest with yourself but without any further judgment.

Identify and Understand the vacuum that needs to be filled

It is essential to understand why you do it to know how to stop it. Here, do not forget to treat yourself with patience and compassion. Take a moment to figure out why you self-sabotage. What is that vacuum in your life that you are struggling to fill? Identify and understand it.

Recognize the specific habits that have led to self-sabotage 

What are the things you do that prevent you from living a healthier life where goals are set and met? List out all your bad habits and see what needs to be changed laid bare in front of you.

Learn your triggers 

What sets you off? Is it fear, anger, anxiety, a need for validation? Take note of the triggers that are sure to push you to self-sabotage. Now, remember what I said about treating yourself with patience and compassion? This is a no-judgement zone. Understand your triggers and journal often about how they affect your life. This is how you practice mindful living.

Write down a list of healthier behavioural patterns

Instead of this (insert self-sabotage habit), why don’t you respond like this (insert a more positive and proactive response that reflects self-love)? Go on. Write down all the ways that you can get better before you get better.

Set goals, make changes 

Now, the ‘scary’ part. Know that every small step is something worth celebrating. The big question: What do you want? It is not out of your reach and it is not ridiculous either. Write out your goals and start actively taking the steps. It would help if you got an accountability partner to check in with you on progress. Speak to someone you trust today.

I hope that these tips help with amplifying you to the highest point of your authentic self. Cheers to getting your sh!t together. 

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