Self Sabotage

Self sabotage is when you let your insecurities take control of your life. Often people will self sabotage themselves or their own efforts without even being aware they are doing it. It is not always easy to determine if you are sabotaging yourself but the most obvious way regarding how to detect self sabotage is if you notice a recurring negative theme in your life. When you seem to be seeking the approval of others and you worry about what others think of you and your decisions this is a form of self sabotage.

Itís a positive trait to feel good about making other people feel happy but not at your own expense. If you do things that you would otherwise not do if not for the approval of others you are experiencing self sabotage and I will say at this point that the longer you keep looking for the approval or acceptance of others the longer it will take to get their approval. People like and respect those who stand up for themselves and make assertive decisions and follow through with them. By seeking someone elseís approval you will only ever lead yourself down a never ending road towards fear. Your own inner fears lead to self sabotage and as you continue to live and beckon to your fears the more fear you will bring into your life.

Desperation is another form of self sabotage and when your want something desperately you only end up pushing it away further. One of the most common ways people sabotage their own efforts is when looking to find a partner or get involved in a committed relationship. Here is an example. A girl has gone through a series of failed relationships over a number of years and every time she goes on a new date with a guy she tells her friends before the date that she desperately hopes this will be the guy to sweep her off her feet but at the same time she also tells her friends and believes in her own mind that guys usually only want one thing and most guys are simply not up for commitment. Do you get where I am coming from? She is committing self sabotage without even being aware of it. She believes this new guy will be like the others she has seen but she is so desperate within herself that even if he is a good guy she will do or say something that will probably push him away.

Another example of self sabotage is when someone lands what they think will be the job of their dreams and they feel so lucky to have this great job but underneath they fear they are not good enough for this position and their fear ends up causing them to do something that ends up losing them this great job. This is just another act of unintentional self sabotage which could be avoided by letting go of the desperate need to have the new partner or the new job.

There are probably millions of different examples I could have used to explain self sabotage but it always comes down to the same old reason and the reason is fear. You want it so bad that you fear you will lose it before you even get it.

Let me give you one more example that everyone will be able to relate to either personally or you will know someone who has done this. A guy meets a great girl, she is intelligent, attractive and is all the things he could ever wish for in a girlfriend or a potential wife. Their relationship blossoms quite quickly and both the guy and the girl are so happy together and everything could not be any better. Than the guy starts thinking this is too good to be true and then the self sabotage steps in. He starts wondering why his girlfriend sometimes comes home late after work, he looks over the phone bill and notices a few numbers he never calls and wonders who his girlfriend has been calling when he has been out of the house. I think you get where I am going with this. So he confronts his girlfriend who is completely innocent of any infidelities and starts questioning her about some of the things he has noticed. The truth is nothing is happening but his fear is eating him up inside and eventually the relationship falls apart and it was due to nothing more than self sabotage.

So, how to overcome self sabotage? You have to let go and trust in the flow of life. Forget about what other people think of you and never do something for the sole purpose of trying to make someone approve of you if itís not the way you would normally act. If you create some kind of illusion about yourself, others will eventually see straight through you and they will never respect you.

Donít hold people to their word to the point you make yourself unhappy, if they let you down either forgive them and understand thatís just the way they are or move on from them, you donít need them and they donít need you. You control your own life and no one else is responsible for the situations you find yourself in. You canít blame others for what happens to you, if you do you are only sabotaging yourself.

Never ask for compliments and never give compliments to gain someoneís approval, no one likes or respects people who do this, they may seem to like it but deep down this will not win them over and they may even look down on you. Donít ever feel the need to explain yourself to others, you do what you think is right and follow up with what makes you feel good about yourself. On top of this donít ever judge others or talk about other people in a negative way. You donít know what other people have been through in their lives but if you donít like what someone else does or says you always have the right to walk away and if they judge you for that, well that is no concern of yours and nor it should be. Gossiping breeds more gossip and once again you lead yourself into more self sabotage.

If you think you are a candidate for self sabotage itís best to take a step back from your life and look at your words and actions in your daily life. Take a long close look at what motivates you and what makes you happy. Conversely, also notice what makes you unhappy and when you feel fearful about the conditions in your life, where does that fear come from. Overcoming self sabotage results from you looking at the big picture and taking the courageous steps towards forgetting what makes others happy and concentrating on doing whatís right for you. When you simply are yourself and let others be themselves the whole world opens up and the right people will gravitate towards you for the right reasons. When this happens you will really shine.

Have you ever gone out of your way to NOT take care of yourself? Does it ever seem like you're working against yourself? Do you ever ask yourself "Why did I do that??".
My "inner saboteur" loves to tell me "leave the dishes, you can do them later.". This is particularly harmful for me for two reasons. One is that I'm very affected by clutter in my environment. I never feel quite as motivated to take care of myself when there are dirty dishes on my counter. The second reason is that more dishes mean a longer time standing at the sink, which causes me physical discomfort.

The dictionary definition of sabotage is "an act or process tending to hamper or hurt" or "deliberate subversion". Hmmm. Why on earth would we sabotage ourselves? That's a complicated answer. And a simple one. We choose to.

Sometimes it's so frightening to imagine changing, growing or making conscious choices that we deliberately hamper our own efforts. ďI make choices every minute of every dayĒ. ďMy life is up to meĒ. Those are intimidating thoughts. And doing things the way we've always done them feels safe and comforting.
So how do you deal with your self-sabotage? The first step is to identify how you're sabotaging yourself. For me, realizing the effect that the dishes had on me was hugely important. Putting "do your dishes regularly so they don't build up" into my list of daily practices has had a big impact on my self-care. It's brought the issue into the forefront and helped me to think about it as often as I needed to.

To start, create two columns on a piece of paper. On the left, list the healthy habits that you would like to be doing. Now, think about times in your life when you may have tried to implement them. What happened? In the right column, write down next to each healthy habit the actions or thoughts that stopped you from doing it or keeping it up.

Think carefully and take responsibility where it's due! Yes, there are other people in your life who affect how you spend your time. And, you still always had and have a choice.

Now you have a list of ways that you may be sabotaging yourself - congratulations! Please don't judge yourself or use this as evidence to fuel your inner saboteur, whose favourite saying may be "You can't do this". You CAN do this! This list is your line of defense against your inner saboteur. Everything's out in the open, just like with my dishes.

The next step is to create your own self-care plan - a list of daily practices to foil your "inner saboteur" - and develop the healthy habits that will make you feel more energized, relaxed and balanced.

In the meantime, I've got some dishes to doÖ

Top 20 Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

More than once in the last 30 days I . . . Percentage
1 Procrastinated 86
2 Overindulged in eating, drinking, or spending 84
3 Acted impulsively / didnít consider the consequences 77
4 Got distracted or lost focus 73
5 Skipped exercising 72
6 Ate poorly 70
7 Took on too many things 66
8 Ignored or minimized problems in relationships, job, or health 59
9 Held unrealistic expectations 57
10 Was too critical or judgmental of myself or others 57
11 Needed help but didnít ask for it 55
12 Rushed through things 53
13 Obsessed over a trip, purchase, or other decision 52
14 Overestimated the risks of something bad happening 49
15 Worried too much 46
16 Didnít finish what I started 45
17 Failed to assert my needs, rights, or desires 42
18 Took something too personally 41
19 Talked myself into something and regretted it 40
20 Postponed pleasure unnecessarily 38

Edited by hapati (06/26/12 08:47 PM)