Have you ever noticed that you’re headed towards that health, relationship or professional goal and somehow, you get derailed? While it can definitely be due to factors out of our control, what if it’s actually something we’re consciously or subconsciously doing in order to sabotage ourselves?
Why would we do that?
Lots of reason. While some of us sabotage ourselves as we get close to that new level of success, others can sabotage themselves before they take the first step. The good news? With a few new strategies, you can kick self-sabotage to the curb and enjoy the success you deserve in the areas you’re working towards.
Avoid self-sabotage and enjoy more success with these strategies:
- Think about your goals. Does this make you feel uncomfortable? If you can think about achieving your goal and only have positive feelings, you probably won’t sabotage yourself. But, if you get that queasy feeling, you know that you have some work to do. Keep in mind, that feeling doesn’t mean it’s not a fit for you, it just means you’re going to have to bring something different to what you’re doing and thinking, in order to create something different to what you’re doing and thinking.
- Visualize positive outcomes. Imagine everything turning out well. When you start predicting the worst that’s exactly what you’re telling your mind to create. This doesn’t mean to ignore the potential pitfalls, but it’s important to avoid overwhelming yourself with all that may go wrong. What we feed grows and if we’re only feeding the negative, we’re giving it much more life than it deserves.
- Handle the worst. Consider the possible issues that may come up in the future and determine how you will handle them. It’s harder to think of a plan at the exact moment we need it so thinking of a contingency plan or alternative ahead of time can give you the confidence you need for when you may or may not even need it.
- Avoid making decisions when you’re stressed. Quitting just before reaching your goals often happens when you’re stressed. It’s like everything is compounded and hits us all at once. Decisions made in this mental state often focus on releasing that emotional stress, instead of considering what that action will create in the future. Avoid big decisions until you’ve had a chance to see the situation more clearly. This way, you’re not letting temporary stressors make the decision for you.
- Avoid starting “tomorrow.” There’s always another tomorrow. It’s a moving target that’s always conveniently out of reach. Once you’ve set a goal, start doing something about it today. The same thing can be said about starting on Monday or the first of the month. The tiniest of steps today is still more than if you didn’t start at all and that’s progress in the right direction.
- Be mindful of your self-talk. We have up to 60,000-80,000 thoughts each day. Most of those thoughts aren’t particularly supportive or encouraging. In fact, many of them are discouraging, negative and disempowering. If those are the thoughts driving your behaviors and actions, it’s worth taking a look because all the efforts you put in won’t be able to combat thousands of subconscious thoughts of “I can’t…” “I’ll never…” “I’m so…” You get the idea.
- Check in with your fears. So often, we sabotage ourselves because we’re afraid of what will change, who we’ll potentially outgrow or what we’ll be called to be or do if we truly make those changes. So, sabotaging yourself keeps you in a place where you don’t have to think because you keep those changes and decisions at bay. While we do this to protect ourselves, check in to see the price you’re paying for staying in that same spot. Are you preventing yourself from that lean, healthy body because you don’t want to outgrow your food buddy? Are you not going for that new dream job because of the safety of what’s become familiar? Are you staying in a toxic relationship because if you heal, you’ll outgrow that person? Take a look at the price you’re paying when fear is making the decisions for you.
- Stop fearing failure. You’ve failed at other things and if a lesson was learned, it’s not failure at all, it’s feedback. Even if something went drastically different than you planned, how bad was it really? Probably not that bad and it may have even placed you on a path better suited for you because of it. Learn from what didn’t go as planned and try again.
- Build your self-esteem. Some people self-sabotage because they believe they don’t deserve it. Whether due to a mindset that doesn’t support you, a betrayal or shattering of trust that has you believing you somehow did something to cause it, or just an old belief that hasn’t been changed, remind yourself of how worthy/deserving/lovable you are. It’s amazing how we can go through an entire lifetime feeling and believing we are somehow flawed, less than or undeserving. The only one who can change that belief is you. It’s cost you enough to have these beliefs lingering in your subconscious and driving what you think, feel, say and do. Time to change it and if it’s hard to do on your own, reach out for support.
Believe that you’re worthy of success and you’re halfway there. Failure is a normal part of life. It’s even a necessary part of life; it’s how we learn, grow and evolve. Use each setback to become more knowledgeable and capable so it’s an experience well served.
Self-sabotage is common but it doesn’t have to hold the power that it does. Whether it’s your way of trying to protect yourself, fear flexing its muscle, or it’s showing up because you’re about to do something unfamiliar, there are so many reasons why we self-sabotage. Whatever the reasons, realize what it’s been costing you and put an end to it once and for all.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute