What causes self-sabotaging behavior and how to stop it?
Discover 5 ways that I found to stop self-sabotaging myself for good…
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Self-sabotaging behavior… A Déjà vu…?
Have you ever felt like you are your own enemy?! And wish you could control yourself more?
I totally felt like this. Instead, I wanted to be able to trust myself, not to blame me all the time!!
So I can feel good being who I really am and I could count on me.
This is when I became super interested in self-sabotaging behavior… Let me share with you what has worked for me 🙂
Stop sabotaging yourself!
The 5 Ways on How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself are succinct tips on how to overcome self-sabotaging behavior. Countless articles have been written about self-sabotaging behavior and how to overcome it.
But most of them only provide quick fixes.
Hence, a lot of people still live their lives bogged down in the quagmire of loneliness, depression, and failure. In fact, at this very moment, several million people out there are still engaged in self-sabotaging behaviors.
Yet, they may be unaware of or barely aware of this fact. Thus, it is necessary to clear the cobwebs around the concept of self-sabotaging behavior!!
What do you need help with?
(Choose between the 2 options)
What is Self-sabotaging Behavior?
Self-sabotaging tendencies are a kind of self-destructive behaviors. In fact, to self-destruct may even be a self-sabotage synonym. It is a behavior, belief, or habit that is harmful to the person who engages in it.
There are myriads of beliefs, behavior, and habits that tend to be detrimental to ourselves.
If you position all these self-sabotaging habits, beliefs, and behavior along with an imaginary continuum, you’d see “suicide” at the extreme end. It’s really the extreme extreme end, but I just said this so you understand the meaning of it.
As you move to the other end of the continuum, you’ll see procrastination, comparing yourself to others, negative mental attitudes, analysis paralysis, lack of discipline, living in the past, and many other negative attitudes, beliefs, and habits along the way.
There may be myriads of self-sabotaging behavior.
Yet, they all have something in common: they are all injurious to your own self!
They kill your initiative to develop yourself. They preclude you from living a full life. They even destroy every good relationship you have.
This makes me think of J.K. Rowling, the author of the famous book series of Harry Potter, she even had a word for it—dementors—that “suck the happiness from you.”
But what are the causes of self-sabotaging behavior? This question needs to be answered for the more you understand something, the more you can have control over that something.
But first, let’s discover what are the habits and thoughts that are symptomatic of self-sabotaging behavior? Let’s have a look!
Habits and Thoughts that are Symptomatic of Self-sabotaging Behavior
The symptoms and signs of self-sabotaging behavior are the following:
- Comparing yourself to others, obsessing over other’s reaction, avoiding deep meaningful connections with others.
- Setting impossible goals to achieve, failing to plan, taking drugs, and chain smoking.
- Analysis paralysis, negative thinking, and self-defeating talks
- Procrastinating, lacking proper time management, and taking no responsibility.
- Dwelling on the “if only,” repressing feelings, dwelling in past mistakes, failing to celebrate small stuff, and lack of gratitude.
These self-sabotaging examples are just symptoms! They are not yet the root causes of self-sabotaging behavior itself.
Root Causes of Self-sabotaging Behavior
The causes of self-sabotaging behavior can be traced back to your childhood and growing-up process.
All babies, for example, were born with almost a blank mind.
René Descartes had a better term for this blank mind—TABULA RASA—which means “blank tablet.” All of us have a clean mind at the onset of our lives. Yet, as we grow, we learn new mental scripts that slowly form the very foundations of our own behavior.
In my point of view, the cause of self-sabotage is really beliefs that we have and that we take for real.
For example, we may think that “fighting isn’t something good. If you fight with someone and you disagree, it probably means that this person loves you less”.
This kind of thoughts may you spend a very hard time fighting with others…!
This is why I truly believe that the cause of self-sabotaging behavior is really the beliefs we have and the thoughts that we create in our own head.
You really need to ask yourself “why am I having these thoughts? Why do I believe this? Why is it true to me?”
And then, you can ask yourself “is it the reality or is it MY reality?”
If you’re more interested in beliefs and the effect they can have on your life, have a look at the posts that I wrote about this fascinating topic!
Are Your Beliefs Building Your Self-Confidence?
Are Your Beliefs Helping Or Limiting You? (Examples Of Beliefs)
Symptoms vs the Root Causes of the Disease
Many physicians tend to remedy the symptoms but fail to cure the cause of their patients.
Many quick fixes are given to those with self-sabotaging behavior.
They may appear to remove the symptoms for a while, but if the roots of the behavior are not uprooted, new symptoms may come out more ferociously in other forms.
This is why it’s very important to ask yourself “why” questions. Why do you think this? Why are you reacting this way (with a self-sabotaging behavior)?
I remember, during my coaching training, my teacher was often asking us “what is the positive intention” of this thought, of this reaction?” What does it say about you? What can you understand from it?
Now that we understood better what self-sabotage is, let’s get you to the 5 ways on how to stop self-sabotaging yourself!!
5 Ways on How to Stop Self-sabotaging behavior?
There are many ways on how to stop self-sabotaging behavior. But let’s focus mainly on the five primary ways on how to stop it. Here are five ways on how to do away with self-sabotaging behavior that has worked with me:
Begin to Love Yourself!
Loving yourself is a prerequisite to healthy living!
But the word “love” has already been so much romanticized! Its meaning has been so much muddled.
What does love mean, therefore, in this context? M. Scottpeck, one of my favorite authors, had a succinct definition of love. He said: “Love is desiring the best for the beloved.” I guess this is the best meaning I’ve ever heard about love. If we apply this meaning in this context, then, it would mean “you should desire the best for yourself.”
“You can,” said Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone two of my favorite authors. In the book Success Through Positive Mental Attitude they indicated:
“You are a very special person and many struggles took place that had to be successfully concluded in order to produce you. Tens of millions of sperm cells participated in a great race, but only one of them succeeded and it is you. Thus, it is right to say that you were born to be a champion. Victory is built in your very own nature.”
Believe that you are unique and a real champion! Learn to desire the best for yourself! If you love yourself, you will never wish to sabotage yourself!
Replace Negative Habits with the Opposite Good Habits!
As mentioned above, habits are forceful. They can save you in times when you feel down, thwarted by your beloved, and at a loss. It is easier to replace self-sabotaging thoughts and habits than to simply undo them without replacing them with positive ones.
Taking the cue from this idea, the fastest way to change your self-sabotaging behavior is to replace it with the opposite healthy behavior.
If you are always procrastinating, then, follow the advice of Napoleon Hill: “The secret to getting things done is to do it now!” Always tell yourself: “Do it now!” Tell yourself: “Now is the time to act.” At first, there would be an inertial tendency to procrastinate. But as you weave a strand of “do it now,” soon you will develop the “Do-it-now” habit, and procrastination will be a thing of the past for you.
You will soon find yourself a self-starter! The force of this good habit can keep you afloat even in the most trying moments of your life. Always remember that “real success is a success with yourself.”
Learn to Prioritize Things!
I remember Goethe, a famous author when I see people who manifest the self-defeating behavior of inability to set their priorities straight. He said: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter less.” Self-sabotaging behavior doesn’t have a place in people who know how to set their priorities straight.
Setting straight your priorities, however, requires self-awareness! Ask yourself this question: “What are the things that you are not doing now, that if you do on a regular basis would make a tremendous change in your life?”
If you conscientiously answer the abovementioned question, you will surely learn how to set your priorities right. You will also learn to manage your time! Eventually, negative thinking, procrastination, focusing on failure, and even dwelling on the “if only” will no longer have any place in your life. Your life will be truly different if you know what is truly important to you.
Understand what’s really going on, take the time.
You need to sit with yourself and to ask questions.
As I said it, already understanding and being more self-aware is SO important!
Take the time to understand why you may have a self-sabotaging behavior. As I said before, what is the “positive intention” from this behavior? Why are you reacting this way? Why are you doing this/saying that? What are you hoping that will happen? And if it’s not happening, how will it make you feel?
All of your actions, your decisions, your behaviors, everything can be control and understood if we just take the time to sit with ourselves.
Sometimes, I find myself so busy meeting with friends, family, I have meetings and other rendez-vous, but probably not enough with myself! And how are we expecting others to understand what we want and to fulfill our needs if we don’t take the time to do it for ourselves properly?
Always Motivate Yourself!
Your self is like a smartphone, there are often instances that you’ll need to recharge yourself. You can counteract self-sabotaging tendencies by always recharging and encouraging yourself. “Always motivate yourself! Read motivational books! Memorize affirmations that could strengthen yourself.”
Many people had been able to cope with self-sabotaging behavior upon hearing or reading very inspiring words. Moreover, other people will fail and even put you down! You may even be a victim of self-sabotaging friendships. But if you got the habit of always motivating yourself, no amount of discouragement can put you down.
Choose the scripts that you would like to live by! Say to yourself that you are blessed! Follow Og Mandino’s advice that “you should always count your blessings!” Read often this affirmation taught by Napoleon Hill: “Day by day, in every way, through the grace of God, I am getting better and better.”
Fill your head with encouragement when your willpower is sagging. Read inspirational books when you feel enervated. Recharge yourself and soon you will drive away all self-sabotaging tendencies and habits.
5 Self-Sabotaging Habits to Quit Right Now
I just shared 5 ways on how to stop self-sabotaging behavior and now, I wanted to talk about self-sabotaging habits that you should quit right now.
Just stop doing them! 🙂
I know that it’s easier said than done, but I’m sure that you can do it starting today!
I love how the iNLP Center presented these 5 habits in their brilliant article Top 5 Self-Sabotaging Habits to Quit Right Now.
Here are the habits they are referring to:
2. Autopilot Behaviors
3. Emotional Isolation
5. Personal Martyrdom
You HAVE to check this article to learn how to quit these habits.
While stopping these habits AND by following the ways that I shared below, you get a complete guide on how to live your best life, without self-sabotaging yourself! 🙂
To sum up!
Do you find yourself beset with self-sabotaging beliefs or habits?
Do you still struggle with a self-sabotaging behavior?
These 5 Ways on How to Stop Self-sabotaging Yourself would surely help you. It is a byproduct of my conscientious analysis of self-sabotaging tendencies. It is culled from my years of battling self-sabotaging behavior both in myself and in the behavior of my friends and relatives.
Lastly, life is beautiful, and you only live once!
You surely don’t want to botch or mess this one life by letting yourself be a victim of self-sabotaging tendencies.