What Is Self Sabotage?
Self-sabotage is when we make choices or behave in a certain way that prevents us from reaching our goals. While consciously we may passionately want something – a promotion or career change, a fitness goal, a long-term relationship – subconsciously, we develop habits or micro-decisions that undermine our efforts to achieve those goals.
It's mindlessly reaching for a chocolate bar after we have committed to eating healthy food or procrastinating about working on a project that will help us launch our business.
Self-sabotage is a common behaviour, so don’t think you are alone if you have these tendencies. But, just because many people experience these feelings, they don’t have to hold us back.
Why Do We Do It?
So why on earth would we choose to block ourselves from getting what we say we want? The precise answer may be slightly different for each of us, but it always comes from some kind of self-doubt and fear (which are actually one and the same).
Our emotions are the puppet masters behind our behaviours and habits, and some feelings are so deeply hidden that we are barely aware of them. Here are some examples of how your core beliefs can turn you into a self-saboteur.
If you believe that you are not good enough, smart enough, or strong enough (insert your own adjective!), you will unwittingly act in ways that reinforce this core belief. Our internal chatter has a direct impact on how we behave and our brain seeks to validate our thinking.
Fear of success
If you are not blessed in the self-confidence department, you may actually think you don’t have what it takes to manage your success. As much as you want to run your own business or get that promotion, deep down you may be terrified that you will be exposed as a fraud (Imposter syndrome alert!) or not be able to handle the responsibility.
Redirect the blame
If we believe deep down that we can't reach our goal, we may find ways subconsciously to NOT achieve it so that we can blame something other than ourselves. If you run out of time to apply for that job (that you believe you wouldn’t have gotten anyway), you can blame the lack of progress on that, rather than face the unpleasant emotion of potential failure.
There's something just a little magical about "hope." If you don't put yourself out there and try to achieve your goal, you can hang onto that thread of hope that "one day" you will do it and it will be fabulous, rather than releasing control and risking failure.
Defeating Self Sabotage
If you recognise yourself in any of these scenarios, don’t stress. Self-sabotage doesn’t mean that you are broken, worthless, or useless and should just call it quits on your goals.
It means you are human!
And the fantastic news is that now that you are beginning to recognise and understand why you self sabotage, you can start learning how to beat it. As with any habit, it’s about learning to recognise it, put the brakes on, and turn in a new direction.
Here are my top tips on how to start:
Practical Ways To Manage Self Sabotage
Challenging self-sabotaging behaviours isn’t easy, and it won’t happen in a day or even weeks. But over time, you can form a new mindset and fresh habits that support success instead of sabotage.
Journalling, affirmations, meditation and self-care are all part of the journey, but one of the most effective ways of digging down into your psyche and making changes is by investing in a coach.
The right coach can help you see the blind spots that have been holding you back, provide strategies to reach your goals, and hold you accountable for doing the work. A hypnotherapist and/or NLP Practitioner can help you access your subconscious mind and make rapid change happen.
If you would like to know more about how to start the new year minus the self-sabotage, reach out today for a chat. I’d love to support you on your road to success!