When people self-sabotage, they destroy their chances of achieving what they want. It seems strange, but everyone does things to their goals.
“Procrastination is hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.”
— Alyce Cornyn-Selby
Think about when things didn’t work out. Were you procrastinating, snapping at coworkers, or running late a lot?
There are many ways to sabotage yourself.
Examples of self-sabotage:
- Focusing on your negative aspects and ignoring your good qualities
- Talking down to yourself “I can’t do this,” or “I’m not worthy of that much success.”
- Fear of success and/or failure
These harmful behaviors can become a massive obstacle between you and your goals.
If you’re brave enough to look at this issue head-on, then you can conquer it. Defeat this vicious cycle before it destroys everything you’ve ever wanted.
Here’s how to defeat self-sabotage:
1. Get out of your comfort zone
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.”
— T.D. Jakes
Your subconscious will hold you back by making you do the same things every day. People stay in this rut of “comfort” because they don’t feel confident they can achieve goals. The confidence you have in yourself will make or break your path to success.
You are going to have to escape the deceptive comfort zone. It seems harmless and pleasant. Nothing too horrible ever happens there, so it must be safe. Wrong. Your comfort zone will waste away years of your life and deplete your happiness.
But if you break free and continue to do things that scare you, your confidence will grow. You’ll be proving to yourself that you can do it.
2. Take responsibility for your life
“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.”
— Alyce Cornyn-Selby
Sure, it’s easier to just sit back and let life fly by. But it’s a sure-fire way to create an unfulfilled existence. If you don’t think you have the power to change your life, then you don’t.
But, every one of us has the power to change our lives for the better. So, why aren’t you taking control? Because it’s less risky to not try to reach goals. Instead, you might replace it with trying to not get fired every day.
Realize you can do astonishing things by practicing after work. Over time, you’ll refine and build your skills until you don’t even need that job anymore.
3. Avoid becoming a defeatist
“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”
— Gena Showalter
Defeatists expect to fail at everything, so they’re quick to give up when things get tough. Why would they try if they’ll end up failing, anyway?. Otherwise, you’re dooming yourself to live an unfulfilled life. Avoiding failure by quitting is to fail in life.
So, push past this tendency and keep trying for what you want. Experience things not working out and realize it’s not that bad. Then, keep trying.
4. Set yourself up to win
“The biggest thing holding you back is almost always… you. Start there.”
— Hunter Post
Set yourself up to succeed and make it more difficult to fail. If you want to learn how to play guitar, don’t keep it in its case in a closet. Instead, put it nearby, ready to go. Along with picks, tablature, a tuner, and capo. Even better, set a time to practice and let your family know that you’ll be busy.
5. Conquer self-sabotage by taking action
“The most dangerous way we sabotage ourselves is by waiting for the perfect moment to begin.”
— Vironika Tugaleva
You’ve got to develop some self-discipline. Bleh! That doesn’t sound fun. Well, it’s not, but it is quite thrilling once you get the hang of making yourself do what you want. You’ll be more confident and motivated once you force yourself to do the work.
6. Stop negative self-talk
“Nothing will sabotage our happiness and success more thoroughly than the fear that we are not enough.”
— Bill Crawford
Do you have a habit of thinking discouraging things about yourself or your abilities? Sometimes these messages can be so subtle that you aren’t consciously aware of them. But if you focus and have self-awareness, you can realize that you’re blocking yourself. You’re already demotivated before you ever start trying.
So, make it a new habit to give yourself a little pep talk beforehand.
7. Don’t blame situations or people for your self-sabotage
“The only reason I can’t jump in and engage life is that I’ve told myself I can’t. Yet I can’t helping wondering would happen if I told myself I could?”
— Craig D. Lounsbrough
Don’t blame others or situations. I know it takes courage to take a hard look at yourself. But denying responsibility can cause this pattern to continue for years.
You are not a victim of your circumstances. Therefore, don’t tell yourself that you’re powerless and can’t change it. The problems you have aren’t because of the outside events, it’s because of how you responded to them.
8. Start encouraging yourself every day
“You can’t imagine just how much believing in negative thoughts is affecting your life…until you stop.”
— Charles F. Glassman
To overcome self-sabotage, focus on how you can achieve the life you desire. Write out 5 accomplishments you are proud of. List 5 qualities you love about yourself. Counteract the habit of destructive thinking with encouragement.
9. No more excuses
“Our biggest enemy is our own self-doubt. We really can achieve extraordinary things in our lives. But we sabotage our greatness because of our fear.”
— Robin Sharma
Making excuses is the easy way out. Do you think of reasons why now isn’t the right time to work towards your dream?
Everyone’s favorite excuse is, “I don’t have the time.” But, in reality, this means you don’t have the motivation to try for your goals.
That’s why envisioning your ideal life is so important. Why would you want to do all this work when you can’t see the outcome?
You’ve got to persuade or force yourself to do what you need to do. No excuses! Your age, gender, status, race, nothing can stop you from succeeding unless you allow it to.
So, don’t stop until you’ve accomplished your goal for the day!
If things aren’t working out, then you need to stop doing the same things. Try something else until you find a way around this obstacle and you will find it.
10. What have you been avoiding?
“I am the greatest obstacle to my greatest dreams.”
— Craig D. Lounsbrough
Ask yourself what you could do that would bring great joy to your life. What would you be proud of achieving?
You know the answer and you’ve been avoiding it.
But you’re not going to discourage yourself from it anymore because you know you can do it. All it takes is some work and dedication. You know you can do that.
So, write an action plan with the steps to reach the finish line and get started.
In short, self-sabotage will make you spin your wheels for an eternity and you’ll still never reach your goal. But today is the day you put an end to it. Now, you’ll let go of all limiting thoughts and won’t bow down to fear. You won’t avoid doing what you always knew you should do anymore.
So, find out what is holding you back by examining your daily habits and thoughts. Then, ask yourself what you’ll do instead that will move you forward the fastest.
Don’t talk yourself out of it, prove yourself wrong, and get started today.
How do you avoid self-sabotage? Share your thoughts below!
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