Is this you?
What is self-sabotage? Psychology Today says “Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. These acts may seem helpful in the moment, but ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly.”
Why do we self-sabotage? Is it bc we fear failure or maybe we fear success? Then again it might be that we anticipate failure. Either way self-sabotage is something I know many of us can relate to and have difficulty overcoming.
We usually start out very motivated and goal oriented. We have established our direction and begin taking the steps to achieve it. We start to see success, maybe we start to recieve compliments and praise for how great we’re doing. Then at some point a small quiet voice creeps in that says things like “this won’t last”, “I’ve just been really lucky”, or “I can ease up a bit now”.
Whatever those thoughts are for you, I think we can agree that as soon as we listen to that voice, and consider it we begin the old cycle all over again. When we look up, a realization that we’ve stalled in our progress sets in; or worse, we’ve gone backwards and reaffirmed feelings of guilt, regret and maybe even shame.
Then the voice is there again telling us things like “see I knew it wouldn’t change”, or “why bother trying when the result is always the same?” We find ourselves cycling through old tired patterns of behavior that we hate and that prevent us from doing all that we have the ability to do.
We have to fight against that small quiet voice that we’ve allowed to win too many times. We have to wage war on it by confronting it with the truth, being mentally prepared with statements of faith and truth.
We have to have accountability from those around us. We need to let trusted people in on our plans and goals so they can help us. Seek wise counsel to help achieve goals and overcome the negative self-talk.
We have to force ourselves to stay the course even when the pull to fall back is strong. Remind yourself phrases like “good things come to those who wait” and “patience is a virtue”.
We have to, as one colleague put it, “do it afraid!” No matter how scary a goal can be or how strong our fear of failure we need to keep moving forward because if we stop, failure is then a guarantee.
Those of us self-saboteurs have to stop giving up and giving in. We have to push forward. “No matter how big the obstacle!”, our small voice whispers.
If you find yourself continually struggling with self-sabotage and negative self-talk, we’d love to help you work through it.
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