Why do we self-sabotage? What are the stories we play on repeat? What are the behaviours that continue to stand in our own way of our goals?
Self-sabotage can be reflective in many ways such as; emotional eating, procrastination, self-soothing with drugs/ alcohol, avoidance, self-harm and result in internal conflict with our core values and beliefs. These behaviours can start small but left unidentified, can interfere with our long term goals.
When we really look at our emotive behaviours with an eye of curiosity and the softness of a mothers love, we can start to unpack the reasons behind why we do what we do. Identify your WHY is the first step to getting out of your own way!
There are many reasons people self-sabotage. Working with clients and looking at my own baggage, I have identified the below reasons as the top 4.
SELF WORTH / BELIEF/ EGO
This is a biggie for most people I know. We can all be a little critical of ourselves and don’t feel worthy or love, success or happiness. When we are working hard towards our goals, feeling good then BAM!!! Ego jumps in tells a story that you aren’t worthy of this success. You are flawed, incapable, lacking in some way for what you want. Its bullshit. Ego is fear. It will hold you back in the know and the comfortable.
Directly correlated to one’s own belief and value system, many that self-sabotage may feel that are somehow pretending and all will be revealed. That they’ve fooled everyone into believing that you are something you are not. The more success, adulation or promotions you are given, creates the feeling of further to fall, be called out as a fake, a phony, believing that you don’t deserve this and it’s been a mistake. Manifested as procrastination or avoidance.
We all know these people. The ones that need to control every situation, event, circumstance so that they can govern the outcome. By controlling every situation, impairing our own path to success, happiness, whatever it is we want, we control the failure. We give reason that we were responsible rather the failure taking us by surprise. We aim for the sky but shoot ourselves in the foot.
Most people like consistency, the known. Our ego loves this shit! It doesn’t want you to change, to grow greater awareness and expansions, that shit is uncomfortable. It wants to keep things at status quo. To put yourself out there, to drive for your goals, requires courage, vulnerability and ambition. When we don’t get the feedback we want, when we want it, we retreat back to the comfort on the known, no matter how in discontented this makes us. Keep pushing, keep striving and a new level of comfort can be grown.
Identifying why we do things isn’t always easy, nor does it feel nice. It’s hard, uncomfortable calling your own bullshit, even harder when you start to make the shift in behaviours to move away from self-sabotage.
When we think about making changes, most of us don’t really consider all sides in a complete way. Instead, we often do what we think we “should” do, avoid doing things we don’t feel like doing, or just feel confused or overwhelmed and give up thinking about it at all. Thinking through the pros and cons of both changing and not making a change is one way to help us make sure we have fully considered a possible change.
Ask yourself the following questions;
What are the benefits of changing this behaviour?
What are the benefits of staying the same?
Consider your thoughts and feelings around keeping things as they are and then do the same for making changes.
For ways to help overcome self- sabotage, read my journal here
Be kind to yourself, call the bullshit and integrate the behaviour changes you identify how to get out of your own way!!