Who is your greatest enemy? Have you ever considered it may be yourself? Do you procrastinate until the very last second? Do you secretly fear success? Do you quit when things get tough or because you do not see instant success? These are all self-sabotaging behaviors and they are a sign that you may be your own enemy.
What is self-sabotage? According to Psychology Today self-sabotage is a number of behaviors that “create problems and interferes with long-standing goals.” Procrastination for many is on the top of the self-sabotaging behavior list and it is definitely on the top of mine.
Everyone deals with procrastination at some point in their life. Whether it is waiting until the last minute to do your homework, to waiting to do the dishes or laundry, or waiting to go to the doctor or dentist. It is every time you say “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll do it later.” Personally, I procrastinate on working on my procrastination. It’s an endless cycle.
So how can we change these self-sabotaging behaviors like procrastination?
Identify the behavior. Like I am doing now, I am openly admitting and identifying my procrastinating behavior. Admitting the behavior helps bring that behavior to the surface thus letting us notice as we exhibit it. This helps us consciously choose to not do it.
Identify any fears that are causing the behavior. Why are you procrastinating on inviting friends out for the night? Perhaps because you’re afraid they’ll say no, afraid they wouldn’t want to do something with you. Why are you procrastinating on applying for the promotion? Perhaps because you may fail. Identifying those fears will help you push through them. Tell yourself, just because your friends cannot hang out tonight doesn’t mean they don’t want to spend time with you. Just because you didn’t get the promotion this time doesn’t mean you’re not worthy or capable.
Avoid other people who continuously self-sabotage. It’s amazing how emotions and actions can be shared between people. If those around you are very negative they tend to bring you down with them. If people are generally happy around you it’s much easier to feel that happiness. This is the same with behaviors. If people around you tend to party instead of studying for tests you probably will do the same or at least it will be very hard to resist that behavior. Find friends that are successful and exhibit the behaviors and emotions it takes to be so.
Accept more love in your life. This mostly includes in loving oneself. Many self-sabotaging behaviors come from low self-esteem, high self-doubt, depression, and hatred of oneself. If you don’t believe you are worthy, loved, capable, then it’s more likely you will sabotage your chances to prove you wrong because they are also chances to prove yourself right.
Rewrite those thoughts. Think and identify all of the self-doubting thoughts causing your self-sabotaging behavior and rewrite the outcome. Instead of thinking “If I apply for the promotion and do not get the job, I’m a failure” think “I have a very good chance at this promotion and even if I do not get the job I will have other chances.”
We have just begun a new year and 2018 is looking to be a great year. Take this chance to really analyze what you want and how you can get there.
What self-sabotaging behavior do you have? Have you overcome it? If so, how? If not how do you hope to?