Do you ever wonder why you aren’t getting the results you want in your life? Why can’t you lose weight and commit to eating a healthy balanced diet? Why do you wait until the last minute to study for your test, only to realize there is no way you will be able to retain all this information before tomorrow?
It’s called self-sabotage. Self-sabotaging is a term used to describe people who take actions that are harmful to them, like sticking to unhealthy routines or making choices that set back their own goals.
It can be hard to recognize when you are self-sabotaging, but once you know what self-sabotage looks like, it becomes easier to stop doing it. Let’s explore why you might be sabotaging yourself and how you can stop doing it when you notice it happening in your life.
What Is Self-Sabotaging?
Self-sabotage is when you set yourself up to fail. You may do this because you’re afraid of failure and don’t believe in your abilities enough to give yourself the chance to succeed. Self-sabotage is not just limited to career goals but can also be seen in personal relationships and even health.
If someone has a tendency for self-sabotage, they may:
- Stay at bad jobs or in bad relationships
- Have poor eating habits
- Use substances to cope
- Act aggressively
- Avoid taking risks that could lead to success
It can be hard to break the habit of self-sabotaging because it usually has its roots in childhood experiences where you may have felt you were not good enough or didn’t get what you deserved. This feeling can continue into adulthood which manifests itself in destructive behaviors such as:
- Refusing feedback from others
- Blaming others for your problems instead of taking responsibility
- Letting yourself down by procrastinating without finishing important tasks
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
Self-sabotage is a common habit for people who have a fixed mindset. In psychology, there are two main types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A person with a fixed mindset believes their abilities are innate and cannot be improved or changed. People with growth mindsets believe their abilities can be improved through practice, effort, and persistence.
When it comes to self-sabotage, those with a more fixed view of themselves are more likely to destroy their chances of success by falling into habits like procrastination or negative self-talk. If you feel like you’ve struggled with sabotaging yourself in the past, you may want to check out these strategies for overcoming your bad habits.
Being Afraid of Failure
People who self-sabotage are afraid of failure; however, they often set up situations where they’re sure to fail. This is because when a person fails or even comes close to failing, it brings up all the feelings associated with their deepest fears. These fears may stem from thoughts of not being good enough, smart enough, or capable enough, and those feelings can be stressful.
This is why people with low self-esteem may find themselves struggling. They may not feel comfortable making decisions because they fear that their choices will lead them down a path toward failure. Instead, they seek out the type of situation that guarantees failure.
Self-sabotaging due to fear of failure might look like getting into a romantic relationship with someone who you know deep down isn’t right for you. Maybe it’s sabotaging your career by taking on more assignments than you want or can handle.
Stay Safe In Your Rut
Some people self-sabotage because they’ve learned they are safer and more comfortable in the rut they’re in. If you are afraid of failure, you will try to avoid it at all costs. If you are afraid of success, you will try to avoid it.
This is often a subconscious decision, meaning we don’t realize we’re doing it. But if we were truly honest with ourselves and examined our behavior closely enough over time, we would see that these patterns exist.
If you have been criticized as a child, you may believe that your ideas and opinions are not valid. This can lead to self-sabotage in the form of avoiding success because people might think you are crazy if they listen to your ideas. If this is true for you, try to change your thinking by remembering your accomplishments and recognizing them as successful products of your creativity and hard work.
Figuring Out Your Why
Once you start looking for the ways you self-sabotage, it’s easy to see them everywhere. The next step is understanding why you do it and then figuring out how to break the habit.
To change your mindset and behavior, it’s essential to understand why you’re doing it. You may be sabotaging yourself because of negative self-talk, low self-esteem, and a lack of confidence in yourself.
In this situation, work on changing your behaviors first by making small changes that are sustainable over time. Be patient with yourself. Don’t try to change overnight or set unrealistic goals for yourself; it will only make things worse. Instead, focus on making small changes that are sustainable over time. Little by little, they will add up.
If you self-sabotage, it’s important to realize that it’s not your fault. You’re not crazy and wrong, and no one else is right. You may have been conditioned to feel this way over time by people or situations in your life, but there are ways to break that habit.
Be patient with yourself, and accept yourself as you travel this journey. If you want help overcoming self-sabotage, Acera Health is here to help. We want to help you recognize your failure and accept your success. You deserve to live the life you want to live, and that includes accomplishing all the things you set your mind to.
Acera Health offers evidence-based treatments to help you overcome the mental health challenges you are experiencing. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you overcome self-sabotage at (949) 647-4090.