Self-sabotage. That’s a major evil for many of us. It keeps us from living the life we truly want and stops us from reaching our goals. That’s why is really important to identify self sabotaging behaviors and nip it in the bud. I’ll be sharing some of my top tips on how to stop sabotaging yourself so you can really chase after the life and goals you want.
You must have heard that voice inside of you that keeps questioning your ability, your achievements, your wins, your accomplishments, and even your success. Listening to that voice keeps you away from what you’ve always wanted in life. It keeps you under the shadow of doubts.
Self-sabotage manifests in different ways. At times, it comes in the form of low self-esteem. These esteem issues are often as a result of the fear that is generated by our own inner voice – it is often a negative voice!
For instance, you have a new opportunity – a wonderful opportunity indeed. And you feel like taking it… But then a voice inside you will say;
- It’s very risky.
- You can’t do it.
- Remember, you have no experience doing this.
- You might fail.
- It is difficult.
- Others failed here.
- What will others think?
- Just try something else…
That voice is simply limiting you. Listening to it will make you miss out on many opportunities. You will fail to set and achieve many goals. That’s the negative effect of self-sabotage.
It is self-sabotage when, instead of preparing for your interview tomorrow, you are stuck on social media. Of course, you’re limiting your success. You chose the pleasurable activity (social media) apparently because that negative voice made you feel like it’s too difficult to prepare for the interview.
It’s also self-sabotage if, after your dietitian told you to avoid junk food so as to lose some pounds, you still can’t stop eating chocolates, pizza, and burgers! (Raise your hand if you’re on this table.)
Now, how do you deal with this? In this article, I’ll show you just how to stop sabotaging yourself.
But before we get to the how, it’s important to know why you need to stop self-sabotage.
Why You Should Stop Sabotaging Yourself
One of the greatest negativities you can ever embrace is self-sabotage.
Yes, it’s understandable that many times people can do a whole lot to frustrate you, your plans, your goals, and your mission.
But then, why should You be the one to frustrate yourself and your entire success? That is unimaginable. But it happens. In fact, that’s what self-sabotage is all about. It’s like engineering your own failure.
Sure, we all crave success. But it all starts with our ability to stop undermining ourselves, to stop questioning our abilities, and to stop limiting our achievements.
If you can deal with that part of you that sabotages your efforts, then you will be more positive and optimistic in life. You will start doing what you used to be afraid of and you will start embracing your greatest fears. You will begin to take bold steps!
By so doing, you will most likely achieve your goals and success won’t be far-fetched.
Now, to the main reason you’re here: How To Stop Sabotaging Yourself
Due to sad past experiences, you might become familiar with failure. This might result in chronic fear. This phobia can also be as a result of how you were brought up. You probably developed low self-esteem in the long run.
In this kind of situation, you will be scared to try out new things – scared to embrace a new challenge. Scared to make a big move!
But that’s self-sabotage.
So, how do you overcome this fear? How do you stop sabotaging yourself? Here are 9 tips to help you!
1. Understand What Self-Sabotage Is
The fact is, you are more likely to find a solution to a problem if you understand exactly what that problem is.
In other words, if you want to stop sabotaging yourself, then first, you must understand what “self-sabotage” means.
Many of us have these self-limiting habits that we misconstrue as “precaution” or “carefulness”. But in reality, it’s self-sabotage.
The reason your self-sabotaging behaviors keep lingering is because you often don’t understand that those attitudes are actually limiting you. You only see it like you’re playing safe… At the end of the day, you hurt yourself without even realizing it.
To avoid this kind of ignorance, the first step to take towards solving this problem is to understand what self-sabotage entails.
Now, to be clear with this, self-sabotage is simply that habit or mindset that stops you from being you. It is basically anything that comes from “within” you that prevents you from achieving your ultimate goal(s) in life.
Based on this definition, it is left for you to ask yourself; how am I sabotaging myself?
2. Realizing Your Self-Sabotaging Habits
Having understood what self-sabotage means, the next thing is to recognize those self-sabotaging habits you exhibit. Find out the self-limiting and self-destructive stuff that tend to undermine your progress.
Some common self-limiting habits or mindsets are:
- Procrastinating unnecessarily: This is one behavior that holds many people back. Hence, a popular slogan holds that; delay is dangerous!
- Negative Self-talk: If all you do is talk negatively about yourself, nothing can make you believe in yourself… Consequently, you will become pessimistic. And as a result, you will never succeed because you will never try.
- Perfectionism: The truth remains that nobody is perfect, and nobody will ever be. So, if you’re waiting till you’re perfect before doing what needs to be done, then you’ll never really do anything.
If you are doing any of the aforementioned, then please stop! That’s self-sabotage. And it won’t allow you to make any progress.
3. Understand Why You Are Sabotaging Yourself
If you must stop sabotaging yourself, then you have to first understand why you are self-sabotaging. What are the deep-rooted causes of your self-sabotage? The truth is that there are different reasons you subconsciously undermine yourself. Find out why!
Is it because of your deep-seated fears? Anxiety? Or because over time, your self-esteem got lower? Is it because you are hypersensitive? Or are you depressed?
Are you sabotaging yourself because you lack self-confidence? Or is it because you’re overly assertive? Are you undermining yourself because you work too hard and get too little to show for it? Are you the workaholic type with no results?
Or is it that you’ve achieved so much and now, you no longer feel like trying out stuff?
Are you impairing yourself because you are an introvert and you lack the basic social interactive skills? Do you simply suck at communication?
If you can ask yourself these questions, you’re likely to find out the cause(s) of your self-limiting attitude (or thoughts).
That being said, what is the cause of your self-sabotage? Jot them down.
4. Address Your Fears
What are your fears? If you want to stop sabotaging yourself, then you have to stand and face those things you dread the most. Be ready to embrace them. You don’t have to shy away.
As a matter of fact, you only feel like it’s impossible because you are scared. If you can remove that fear, you will begin to see the possibilities.
Instead of backing off because of panic, rewrite your fears from a different viewpoint. For instance, if your fear is because of previous failures, you can simply choose to focus on the present.
What are the facts about the task at hand? If you can deal with those facts, then you have nothing to worry about.
Just so you know, you can actually reverse your fear into inspiration. It’s just a matter of perspective. You have to decide to attack that fear by facing it anyway. Deal with it!
It mustn’t be about solving the whole problem at once… You can take it one step at a time. Every little step forward actually matters. It’s always going to be a gradual process.
5. Surround Yourself With Positive People
The people you keep close to yourself says a lot about the kind of mindset you have. Mediocrity begets mediocrity. Positivity begets positivity.
Most people who sabotage themselves only do so because the people they communicate with (or are connected to) are mostly self saboteurs too.
You have to watch the set of people you mingle with… Are they the type who are immersed in self-doubt? Do they always have a reason to say no? Are they pessimists?
As a matter of fact, when you only associate with people who would always dissuade you from taking up new challenges, you will definitely start buying their suggestions at some point.
It might even get to the point where you will start doubting yourself subconsciously. So, try as much as possible to avoid such negative-minded people.
6. Be Realistic
It’s vital that you understand your reality. It will help you to be you, and as such, you will always go for what you want without having a double mind about it. Being realistic is mainly about understanding that nobody is perfect. And that you (particularly) can’t be correct at all times.
Perfectionism makes you set impossible standards. As a perfectionist, you’ll most likely be physically and mentally stressed trying to make everything perfect. And at the end of the day, you won’t meet that “perfect” standard you aspire to.
That’s why you have to be realistic with your expectations. It will help you to be yourself. And hence, your goals will be obtainable without much stress.
Besides, perfectionism will deter you from a whole lot. Because you will tend to wait until a perfect time before you can execute your goals. Of course, that’s not what you want to do if you wish to stop sabotaging yourself.
7. Set Goals And Make Plans To Achieve Them
It’s almost impossible to stop sabotaging yourself if you don’t know what you want (or what you expect) in life.
When you are uncertain about what to expect, your self-esteem will be low. You will find it difficult to take those bold steps. You will feel incompetent, and as a result, you will see yourself withdrawing from any challenge you encounter.
How do you counteract this?
You simply have to be clear about your goals. And of course, you must make plans to achieve them. Setting a goal will give you a clear pathway towards achieving your aspirations for the future.
While we live in an uncertain world, when you have a goal and a solid plan to achieve the goal, you will be a little more certain about what to expect.
8. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Hey, this is the real deal.
After setting your goals, you have to get out of your comfort zone to achieve them! Often, the reason you undermine your success is because you prefer staying where you are comfortable. You only do things you feel comfortable doing.
Well, it’s natural. We’re all wired to seek convenience. However, if you must stop sabotaging your success, you have to be willing and able to do things a bit differently – even if it makes you very uncomfortable.
Nothing extraordinary actually comes to you in your comfort zone… Be mindful of that.
9. Change Your Behavioral Pattern
Changing your pattern of behavior is probably one of the most difficult tasks of all. But then it goes a long way to determine if you’ll stop the attitude of self-sabotage or not.
You simply have to deal with those behavioral tendencies that limit you from being what you want to be – or getting the results you’ve always wanted.
How do you change your behavioral pattern?
First, you have to understand that any behavior you exhibit begins from your mindset! After all, every action takes place in the mind – first – before we even reveal them. That’s why you must change your mindset if you want to change your behavior.
Remember, it’s always one particular voice in your head that will dissuade you from making those big moves. Now, ask yourself; is that a negative or a positive voice?
To change your negative behaviors, you have to stop listening to those negative voices. You should start listening more to that voice that propels you to take a step!
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It’s not always easy to adopt all these measures to stop sabotaging yourself. It takes lots of time, dedication, and conscious effort!
However, the end result is quite extraordinary.
You will be amazed at how much you can achieve if you stop undermining yourself and your success.